Started conversation Mar 26, 2006
I have a friend who's lesbian and she likes someone. She's planning to tell that person but she doesn't know if she should and asked me?
The person she likes doesn't know her though
Anyone got suggestions?
Posted Mar 26, 2006
Well, this is a puzzle. Do we know whether this object of your friend's attention is a lesbian? It sounds like perhaps not. It also sounds like this person probably doesn't know your friend is a lesbian, since you say she doesn't know your friend.
If it turns out this person is straight, it will be more than a little awkward. From her perspective, a lesbian she doesn't know laying down all her cards and then waiting for some sort of reply will be seen as a not terribly subtle come-on. And an unwelcome if flattering one at that. In a worst case scenario, a homophobic person may retaliate by spreading the story in a disguested tone with heaped on exaggeration.
If the person your friend is interested in turns out to be gay or bisexual, it may still be awkward if she's not attracted to your friend on first glance. The opportunity to woo or be wooed will have been lost a bit. And if she's in the closet to people close to her or in a work/school situation, she may not trust your friend enough to confide in her right away regardless of any first impressions.
Not to put to fine a point on it, but how would you feel about a guy you didn't know walking up and telling you he was attracted to you, followed by a pregnant pause in which you're expected to make a snap decision on what you think of him? Would you respond well to that? As much as society makes this situation stickier, there are similarities.
If this person your friend is interested in turns out to be gay and attracted to your friend and not put off by an immediate query, there's still the issue of what happens when the two get to know each other better. Perhaps your friend will find that the attraction fades once all this person's faults come gradually to light. Or vice versa. Ideally, their mutual apprecation would grow, but there's no guarantees.
So my recommendation would be for your friend to get to know the object of her affections a little better before saying anything about being attracted to her. Whether she should reveal that she's a lesbian relatively soon depends on lot on your social climate. I would suggest she treat it the same way she would treat the subject with a new pal.
The goal is to find a way to get to know this person better without setting up something that could be seen in retrospect as a pseudo-date. No suggestions to meet over dinner at anyone's home. No invites to go out to the movies, unless it's with at least a couple of other friends. The place where these two met may provide some kind of opportunity for shared activities. Once the ball is rolling, your friend can reveal more information assuming she gets a positive vibe about doing so.
Part of the reason your friend is probably tempted to just walk up and ask is that she's understandably nervous about the situation. And rightfully so. Society gives lesbians few opportunities to meet others like them who are looking for love. One is left with riskier prospects.
If you sense a lot of nervousness, it might be a good idea for your friend to start with a deadline in mind by which she will reveal she's a lesbian (and perhaps reveal her attraction) or else decide to drop the subject. If she has a plan for navigating this tricky terrain and knows the tension will last at most a week or a month or whatever, it may be easier for her to slow down and take things one step at a time.
All this is just my own personal opinion. In the end, your friend will probably do what she's most comfortable with. She may be asking for your support more than she's really asking for advice. If this is so, the important thing is to support her regardless of what she does. Stick around to listen to any developments, console her if it doesn't work out, and be the first to congratulate her if it does.
Posted Apr 15, 2006