Does she love me? I love her!
April 3, 2012 5:40 AM   Subscribe

Found myself head-over-heels in love with my friend. Our interactions have gotten exceedingly flirtatious. Is she in love, too? What's your opinion? Details after the jump.

She has pet names for me in her native language: one means "beloved" and the other means "clever one."

She clasps my hand during conservation and holds it longer than a friend would normally do.

She told me she had a surprise for me while she was on vacation. I was puzzled what her surprise could possibly be. Turned out SHE was the surprise as she showed up at work the next day while i was there. She came back early to surprise me.

When I thanked for surprising me, she said, "Anything to make you happy!" To which I replied, "Seeing you smile makes me happy!"

She makes out-of-left-field comments a lot about two women being in a lesbian relationship. She jokes with me that one of our female coworkers is in love with me. She always jokes about it in a positive manner. She said to me today: "When they ask why we are always together, tell them that we are in love!"
My face flushed at this statement, but I laughed and told her it was a great idea because our friends' heads would explode at the very idea.

I've always said that people will often joke about something to "test the waters" and see your reaction to the subject. I wonder if she is doing this with me.

She notices small changes in my appearance and compliments my hair and clothes. Her compliments are unique to me. She said I looked "garçon" and "handsome/beautiful" with my new hair style. She said my new outfit was "tres chic" and perfect. She calls me "pretty girl" and other such things. She touches me as much as I touch her. Very flirtatious. She doesn't do this with anyone else and neither do I.

She sits so close to me that our bodies touch. We touch each other all the time during conservation. A hand on the knee, the arm, the hand, the thigh. We feel very comfortable together. We discuss our feelings, hopes, dreams, problems, prayers, opinions, etc. at length and have moments where we just look intensely in each other's eyes saying a word. She will hug me, drape her arm around my waist, take me by the arm and walk with me, hold my hand, and rub my back.

We linger in our goodbyes and are reluctant to part ways. She relaxes with me and smiles and laughs so much. I am the same with her. Very much at ease.

We both invent lame excuses to call each other, too. It's ridiculous how long we've been pretending we're only spending this much time together in order to complete "work-related" duties. We just keep adding more work projects to the list so we never have to spend our evenings alone.

What is your opinion?
posted by thatgirl1985 to Human Relations (39 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Our opinions aren't worth much here...

Given the cultural differences, it would seem that it may be easy to misinterpret her attention.

I would suggest that you simply ask her how she feels about you.
posted by HuronBob at 5:50 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ask her on a date? She adores you!
posted by taff at 5:50 AM on April 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

I may be the most clueless out there when it comes to relationships, but I think the letters KTMFA leap to mind -- and do it before she decides you're not interested in her.
posted by eriko at 5:53 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

It sounds like even if she's just naturally flirty with people she cares about and isn't actually romantically into you, she cares about you SO MUCH that if you just ask her, and maybe just kiss her, she'd be committed enough to keeping you in her life that any ensuing awkwardness could be smoothed over by both of you easily enough. It's worth it either way, and not knowing is going to gnaw at you. So go for it!
posted by Mizu at 6:02 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh lord this reads like a script for Ellen DeGeneres and Meg Ryan. Perchance do you have a guy friend who looks like Albert Brooks who is taking notes and smirking when he thinks you are not looking. YES ASK HER OUT.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:03 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Eriko, what's KTMFA? I'm clueless with abbreviations.
posted by thatgirl1985 at 6:03 AM on April 3, 2012

Wow, sounds like you have an amazing relationship. Can't really tell if it's platonic love or loooooove 。◕ ‿ ◕。 because of the cultural differences. Guess you have to talk to her about this?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:03 AM on April 3, 2012

Friend, you are the cute lesbian movie the OP was asking for the other day. it sounds like all systems are go, but as stated above, sometimes women from certain cultures express sisterly love in a way that is confusing for us lesbians. Heck, sometimes North American straight women confuse me. (Back rubs given in friendship? I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS) But it sounds like she's down with family, so maybe gently explore this over a glass or two of wine after a hard day at work one night.

And please update the thread when you do. Good luck!
posted by Lieber Frau at 6:06 AM on April 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


Which, yeah. During one of your lingering goodbyes, plant a quick, soft kiss on her lips and pull back to look at her. Her reaction will tell you.
posted by Night_owl at 6:08 AM on April 3, 2012 [7 favorites]

Well, you've never dated or even kissed, so I don't think she is in love with you (nor do I think you are in love with her, although you plainly have a big crush).

Is she single? Does she date women? Do you never hang out or talk outside of work without the excuse of work-related things? Is she just not flirty with other people from work, or do you know if she is not flirty like this with any of her friends at all?

Honestly, I think it could go either way. Maybe she digs you like that, and maybe she doesn't. Ultimately, who cares -- you're never going to have certainty about trying to guess what someone is thinking/feeling, so why not just make a move and find out.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:10 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Like a beloved moth (see OP's last question) to a flame, you should go to her. But how? What are the courting rituals in her culture? Why don't you ask her what the first step would be and then do it. Then ask what the second step would be and then do it. Then the third step.

It sounds like you're both in love and taking those steps gives the beginning a sweet touch of romance and intensity.

Kissing her outright might be good too. But taking the steps gives y'all the chance to signal intentions or safely pull away if she isn't interested.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:12 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Kiss her, you fool!

I'm sure I mangled a movie quote there, but seriously, go for it! Life is too short.
posted by Grither at 6:13 AM on April 3, 2012

You all are LOVELY as always. Such a variety of comments! : )

I've been AGONIZING about this for months. She is NOT flirty with other women. Sisterly---yes, but it's completely different than the way she is with me. She calls me "soosah" (clever) and I call her "otta" (cat). Turns out this was the perfect pet name for her because her father called her this when she was a child. We also call each other "habibti" meaning "beloved." This is a common Arabic form of endearment.

The other day we having a grand time, working and talking way too much. She shook her head while laughing and said very admiringly, "You are amazing." And I melted inside because I knew she meant it with all her heart.

When she found out I got my hair cut, she DEMANDED I send her a picture on her mobile. She sounded like a giddy school girl: "Send me a picture, please! Send me a picture, please!" And I did. And she called me proclaiming my hair was "PERFECT! BEAUTIFUL! FANTASTIC!" And then she sent me a picture of her.

I call her "habibti" in our text messages. My love told me that one of her colleagues saw her smiling secretively and texting on her mobile while they traveled on a work trip. And she teased her. Was it was a man sending her love messages? No, she told her friend that it was me---not a man! I guess to onlookers, she looked pretty twitter-patted.

And so do I. Thank God none of my friend have been around me when she calls. I light up like a Christmas tree. LOL.
posted by thatgirl1985 at 6:39 AM on April 3, 2012

Does she know you're romantically interested in women? If so, yes, all systems go. If no, maybe, ask her out.
posted by anaelith at 6:42 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

This grows more adorable by the moment. But if you are not yet aware of the phenomenon of straight women "sport fishing" for lesbians, you should read this very informative and hilarious blog post on Effing Dykes. I'm not saying that's what she's doing, just keepin' it real. It sounds to me like she's crushing on you even if she's not aware that's what she's doing.
posted by Lieber Frau at 6:47 AM on April 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

Having had this sort of thing before, I was definitely not brave enough to do the kissing thing, she was definitely really into me, it didn't end up working out but for unrelated reasons. Some of the stuff is borderline, but I have trouble imagining a situation in which "the surprise is me!" is something *other* than romantic interest, and that was before the 'hand on thigh' bit.

Do you have any idea what her relationship history looks like? Because if she's not been involved with women before, I might take it a little slower than kisses out of left field, but it seems like at the very least, now seems like a good time for the sort of outing that involves a little bit of alcohol to loosen things up and then a little more direct talk about how you really like her. Presuming that works where you are, substitute something else relaxing and inhibition-reducing as necessary.
posted by gracedissolved at 6:49 AM on April 3, 2012

I agree with the KTMFA crowd. I would add that having been in love with friends before, and never acted on my feelings for fear of losing the friendship (I'm not saying that's what's driving you, just dropping this in. Sorry.), the friendships never outlasted my getting weird about things. So maybe as far as you're concerned the friendship is over ALREADY. Act on your feelings, don't hold back, and maybe something beautiful will happen. And if she's as nice as she sounds, then y'all can probably still be friends even if the most beautiful thing doesn't happen. Good luck!
posted by Infinity_8 at 6:54 AM on April 3, 2012

Two approaches:

1. It sounds to me like you two are close enough that you could tell her without risk: "You are so gorgeous. I would really like to kiss you."

2. Alternatively, when you are sitting very close to her, kiss her on the cheek, but close to her lips.

Inch forward from there if reaction is positive.

I can't see this going badly whatever happens because there is so much love and positivity between you two.
posted by Dragonness at 7:01 AM on April 3, 2012

Also, if she's never had experiences with women before, do not KTMFA. Start with words. Work your way up.
posted by Lieber Frau at 7:06 AM on April 3, 2012 [9 favorites]

Her surprising me was the most romantic thing ANYONE has ever done for me. She was so shy about it, was TOO SWEET.

She had told me the night before on the phone, "Maybe I will make a surprise for you TOMORROW." I said, "What kind of surprise?" She said, "I can't tell you that because it wouldn't be a surprise!" And she told me to clean up and not be covered in paint tomorrow. To not look like mess because she knew I'd been painting a mural and was pretty disheveled by paint. I thought what in the world is she planning??? She's not even in the same city! I was so perplexed, but I prayed that night: "Please God, let her surprise be that she is coming back to me." And I got up that morning trying to convince myself I was being stupid and would end up disappointed.

I went to work and began my painting and wondered what in the world she had up her sleeve. I finally put in my headphones and cranked up Rihanna to drown out my anticipation.

As my back was turned to the doorway, I mixed paint at the table. Suddenly, I felt a warm hand touching my side gently. I whipped around and couldn't believe my eyes. It was her---standing there, hands clasped in front of her, smiling at me. I yanked my headphones out of my ears and said quietly, "So YOU are my surprise?" "Yes, I am," she said simply and I hugged her tightly. My hands trembled as I fumbled for words. I had been missing her terribly during our first entire week apart from each other. We spent the whole afternoon talking and laughing. When we had to part ways, I told her, "Thank for surprising me. It was the best." She said, "For sure? I am glad" and smiled happily.

Ahhh...I'm so in love. And I'll be spending the evening with her soon. More "important" work things to complete together.
posted by thatgirl1985 at 7:11 AM on April 3, 2012

Sorry, I should expand on that. It is possible that right now she views you as "safe" and she's engaging in all this affection because it feels really good and she's exploring in a way that's not threatening for her, because you're "just friends". If you KTMFA before having an explicit conversation, there's a possibility that might freak her out because she hasn't thought of herself as a lesbian, or bisexual, or whatever. That's why I said explore gently, possibly over wine.
posted by Lieber Frau at 7:15 AM on April 3, 2012 [14 favorites]

I would definately follow Lieber Frau's advice. As someone who might have explored things moons ago, a KTMFA then or even now would have freaked me out. If someone is on the fence, a KTMFA, even in a straight relationship, is a huge jump to make. I would do a private discussion (and yes, for me, booze brings about honesty; just don't get blitzed that it's a 2nd day regret).

Good luck and I hope things work out for you two.
posted by stormpooper at 7:25 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

She makes out-of-left-field comments a lot about two women being in a lesbian relationship. She jokes with me that one of our female coworkers is in love with me. She always jokes about it in a positive manner. She said to me today: "When they ask why we are always together, tell them that we are in love!"

When they cross lines like its no problem, it isn't a good sign. I'm not saying she doesn't have feelings for you, but this is a little much for a "friend."
posted by Ironmouth at 7:51 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does she love you (romantically) - I really can't tell. I feel like I'm reading a romance novel on your part, but the fact that you have not answered what I think are two vital questions - does she/has she had romantic feelings or relationships with women, and is she single - doesn't make me feel all that optimistic and definitely doesn't make me go KTMFA. Your rhapsodizing doesn't illuminate her feelings to me.

It is also not the greatest sign that you are crossing some confusing lines with a coworker but that's an aside.
posted by sm1tten at 8:42 AM on April 3, 2012

smitten: to answer you, I do not know if she has ever been with a woman romantically. She is single, by the way.
posted by thatgirl1985 at 8:54 AM on April 3, 2012

Seriously, get off the internet and go do something with her. Talk, laugh, go out, kiss, whatever, but sitting her talking about how much you love her isn't going to do much for any relationship, you know?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:17 AM on April 3, 2012

I will say that I, a lesbian, feel like I'm falling a little bit in love with the both of you, just reading this.

I will also say that I had a similar experience BUT it was in secondary school (high school). It went on for months and months and then eventually she told me that she had learned to undo buttons with her teeth(!?) and was going to show me *on the buttons of my shirt*. When she was finished, even though my buttonhole looked like it had been chewed by an overenthusiastic, tiny dog, I kissed her. It went down well. You may/may not decide to adopt this approach.
posted by Acheman at 9:48 AM on April 3, 2012 [8 favorites]

Oh, one more thing I should say that would actually be to the point - I think if your goal is to avoid a freakout, particularly the tragic kind of freakout where she wants it but stopped to look down and so can't go through with it, you need to edge there carefully. There are all kinds of little boundaries short of a full-on frenching that you can cross first, so that she has time to get physically comfortable, but is also able to gently rebuff you in a non-freakout way if she wants to. Sharing cups, lollipops (worked for me, but we were only sixteen), kisses on the cheek, hugs that go on a bit long... if she doesn't want to be physically close to you, she will push back at this point. If she does want to, she'll probably let them slide without thinking about it. Enjoy this. Even if it doesn't end the way you wanted it'll still be a beautiful bittersweet indie film, y'know?
posted by Acheman at 10:01 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

"I would really like to kiss you" sounds like a great idea!

Dying to know how this turns out.
posted by snorkmaiden at 11:22 AM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Update: Just got back from a very long evening at work alone with my beloved. Our work is honestly never-ending, and we choose to work together at night so we won't be bothered by nosy colleagues. Everyone wants to know what everyone else is doing. It's awful and the night is the only time for a little peace and quiet. We can let our hair down, so to speak.

But, we got spied on anyway. A colleague dropped by at 10pm. This was highly unusual and we knew we had piqued someone's curiosity. No problem because were working. My beloved said that the busy-bodies might think we're in here kissing, but they would never see a thing because we're not stupid enough to do that where anyone could see.

Before we parted ways, she put her arm around me and asked me if I wanted to travel with her to her homeland this summer. I said I would love to go with her. It would be just us alone and we'd be far away from all the nosy people.

And the saga continues...LOL.
posted by thatgirl1985 at 1:52 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wants to take you home to meet the folks?

Yeah. Yeah.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:56 PM on April 3, 2012

I have no advice on this one.

I am just reading this and smiling a lot.

What a lovely beautiful little .... I don't know what it is ... but whatever it is, its made me smile.
posted by chris88 at 6:17 PM on April 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

My beloved said that the busy-bodies might think we're in here kissing, but they would never see a thing because we're not stupid enough to do that where anyone could see.

And you didn't follow that up with: "yeah, ha ha, of course not. hey, i feel like a little walk. Shall we get out of here?" ??

Dude seriously, have your next work session together be somewhere private.
posted by salvia at 9:07 PM on April 3, 2012 [5 favorites]

But, we got spied on anyway. A colleague dropped by at 10pm. This was highly unusual and we knew we had piqued someone's curiosity. No problem because were working. My beloved said that the busy-bodies might think we're in here kissing, but they would never see a thing because we're not stupid enough to do that where anyone could see.

I truly hate bringing this up, because this is such a sweet and endearing story that I hope it has a fairytale ending. Based on your previous questions, it seems like you're working in the UAE or elsewhere in the Persian Gulf... which includes a great variety of countries and customs. As a dykey queer who has travelled the world, and who has had too many LGBT friends assaulted (including in presumably safe places like London and New York) and others driven out of certain communities, I am a tiny bit worried about this situation. Or, at minimum, I hope you've considered the possible repercussions for both of you.

While it sounds like your relationship is only getting more and more intimate, what could happen if she thinks you crossed a line? Does she have any gay friends? I assume she knows you like women...but does she know any other lesbians? Is she prepared for that kind of situation? What happens if it gets out at work? What if your boss found out? Her family? Have you met many gay locals? What is life like for them? Especially for the women? Is it more accepted than I realize? Am I totally worrying over nothing?

Of course you know the situation better than me. Perhaps you're in totally safe environment. Or perhaps your specific community is very progressive and gay-friendly. And of course, far greater hurdles have been overcome for love. People deal with this situation in lots of different ways. But I just hope you have considered all of the questions above, and whether or not your friend hasn't acted yet because she's unsure of the consequences.

Please forgive me if this worry is unnecessary. I'm sure you've considered them in detail. I just worry about my community and especially want my young friends to stay safe. It does sound like your relationship is heating up, and I wish you much happiness and safety if you choose to progress.
posted by barnone at 1:24 AM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

barnone, she doesn't know about my relationships with women. i've kept that a secret because it's all very hush-hush here. certainly there are gay folks, but it's all under-the-radar. our community is not progressive. she is a very open-minded person, but our local community is like any other tiny town anywhere in the world. nothing to occupy people's time so they start rumors. anything out of the ordinary is scrutinized. being female (and being single), we are prime targets for nasty rumors and it cannot be avoided. we both hope to be transferred to a more metropolitan area where we can have some anonymity. but until that happens, we gotta keep one step ahead of the busybodies. AND IT SUCKS. Thank you for looking out for me, friend!
posted by thatgirl1985 at 7:54 AM on April 4, 2012

In that case, I must warn you against the going for a surprise kiss or conversation. And please don't romanticize the clandestine aspect of your situation.... It's totally serious business and even if jail isn't all that likely, many other repercussions can be expected. You can always leave. She might not have as many options. Just keep that in mind. And please update with any news :-)
posted by barnone at 12:41 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

In your responses, it seems to me like a part of you (okay a BIG part) ENJOYS not knowing whether you're being hit on or not.

This is all well and good, but as it drags on and nothing's happened, you may start to resent it. This is not a 'real' relationship though it does seem very sweet. Ultimately, one of you will have to put it out there that you'd like to be more than friends (and it seems like due to the language thing, it would have to be made really clear what that means).

IANAL (not a lesbian) so i dont know whether a tentative kiss is the proper thing here, but it seems like you two have an intimate enough relationship to be able to say 'would you like to go out on a romantic date with me, as not just friends?'
posted by softlord at 2:32 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Barnone, you are absolutely right. Romanticizing the situation is not going to help either one of us. Simply being her friend is the best thing I can do right now. I know my heart will be aching for more, but it's better to ache than to break.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
posted by thatgirl1985 at 10:37 PM on April 4, 2012

It seems like you're really into this unrequited, ambiguous area that you're in. Which is up to you but it's something to think about. This likely also plays into that sneaking around and flirting that you're doing at work -- your reluctance to take things elsewhere/further -- and if it's unwise to be publicly tied to a same-sex relationship, you should consider how these things interact.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:05 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

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