how to talk to a woman somewhat scorned
February 7, 2011 12:51 PM Subscribe
A (once?) good friend has been flipping out after I started dating someone. How do I go about talking to her without feeling like I'm talking to a wall?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (35 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Let's call her Frannie.
So about two and a half years ago, I started hanging out with a group of girls. I become interested in one of them (let's call her Zooey). Flash forward to now: Zooey and I are hooking up and Frannie is flipping out.
Frannie is in and has been in a long distance relationship with her high school sweetheart. They were doing an open relationship for a while but that turned out to be too difficult and so now they're monogamous but still separated.
Frannie had a crush on me sophomore year of college but that fell out of favor when I told her that I was interested in Zooey. A year passes and I, with herculean shyness, never manage to ask Zooey out. In this interim period, Frannie and I have cuddled twice but we never do much more than that.
Zooey goes overseas and I ask Frannie if she wants to be friends with benefits. She says no, she has a boyfriend and if we did hook up it would have to be more than just friends with benefits. She confesses to having had a crush on me sophomore year though and we are closer but we stop cuddling.
Zooey comes back. I finally make a move (finally, good god) and it's successful! Hooray.
Frannie finds out during a party. She sends long, rambling and less-than-sober text messages the next day that says she's happy for me but professes that she'd rather I be with her, that she'd been considering dropping the long-distance boyfriend, and that she's incredibly lonely. I attribute this to the lack of soberness and my status as a safety net and ask if she wants to get coffee and talk in private. She says she's not ready.
Next weekend, Frannie's boyfriend roadtrips over and we don't see each other at all. Everything seems fine until the boyfriend leaves and I'm flooded with more messages. I ask for coffee again but to no avail. However, we talk it through, sort of, and she seems fine with just 'hanging out' though she would like to talk to me in private eventually and claims that I’m ruining our friendship. I apologize but get no response.
So this weekend. We all go out to bars, Zooey and I get sloppy drunk and we're all over each other, our friends get sloppy drunk and they start hooking up, and Frannie ends up alone, which she realizes and vocalizes throughout the night. We walk home from the bars, Frannie behind us, our friends having long disappeared. Zooey and I turn a street, stumbling, and I check to see if Frannie is behind us. She’s not. I receive a few text messages remonstrating me for being a bad friend so I sit Zooey down on a porch and we wait for her. Frannie catches up but walks, for a bit, on the street opposite to us. The second she's over to our side, she pulls out a phone and vocalizes her disagreement with Zooey and I's sloppy drunkenness to her roommate. We turn another street corner she disappears. Zooey and I start yelling for her but nothing. Zooey receives a few remonstrative text messages.
We eventually make it back to Zooey’s place and we text our other friends, one of whom is Frannie’s roommate, and they come up sans Frannie. Turns out that when Frannie walked in, the two of them were macking on the sofa. Frannie yelled at them, loudly, and presumably went into her room. They walk over to Zooey’s place and we remark on Frannie’s behavior. Throughout the night, each of us receives, in turn, remonstrative text messages telling us that we’re bad friends. Night turns into day and our friends leave.
Yesterday, I receive another long string of text messages asking for coffee and asking to talk. The implicit reasoning behind them is that we're both at fault for what's happening. It sounds somewhat reasonable given the sloppy drunkenness. However, I have yet to respond. Am I being a dick? Are we all being dicks? I’ve been in Frannie’s place a long time ago and while I can’t ask for her to politely hold it all in herself, I’m afraid that it will be difficult to talk to her. She has something of a temper and can be stubborn.
So how do I talk to her? How do I treat her? The lack of sobriety that prompts these messages is understandable but it’s been going on for about a month now and there hasn’t been much change in the consistency of her behavior, even when she’s sober.
I want to help her get through whatever she’s going through for both this new relationship I've fallen into and because I’ve known Frannie for far too long not to owe her this much. So what now?