Crush Hooked Up With Someone Else
May 19, 2012 11:29 AM   Subscribe

First things first: I am a gay female. I have had a crush on my friend for several months (also a gay female), however, being inexperienced at making first moves and being shy, I have been moving very slowly. I thought perhaps she felt something for me, but never made any overt moves. Recently she drunkenly hooked up with another girl (whom she had just recently met within the last 2 weeks and this was only the second or third day they had really hung out together) at a party. I am wondering if I have completely missed my chance, and what I should do.

Let me preface this to say: I've only been out for about 6 months. I've never kissed another girl, yet I've known I was gay almost my whole life. I was just in heavy denial for a while. I have since decided to be true to myself and live my life, but I have a lot of emotional barriers to work through. I have very, very limited experience in relationships. The only stuff I have done has been initiated by a guy.

So I have known this girl since around November. I am 28 and she is 21, almost 22. When I first met her she was with her long distance girlfriend. They broke up a few weeks after I met her. I didn't know her well at the time, and didn't want to jump in right after her breakup. So I decided to try to just become better friends with her, and hang out with her more. When I first met her I was still firmly in the closet although I knew I wanted to come out soon.

Eventually I came out to some friends, and also the group of friends that my crush is a part of (all mostly gay females). I valued this group of gay girls because they were my first gay friends.

My crush got kinda big kinda quick, and I ended up behaving as many crushers do: I got scared of her and it was difficult to act natural around her. I hid the fact that I had feelings for her. I searched for signs that she might like me in everything she did.

The odd thing was, I thought I picked up on a vibe that she might like me. She was rather shy around me, wouldn't make eye contact, and seemed to treat me differently than her other friends. Would sometimes ignore me or act aloof in groups. Would open up a bit with me in person but would be kind of quiet. And I know she's not a super quiet person to others. However despite her shyness she wouldn't hesitate to invite me to hang out or contact me over text or Facebook.

She seems to like me quite a bit at least as a friend, yet seems somehow uncomfortable with me. That's the best way I can describe it. I never *directly* flirted with her (you know, in a sexual way), so it's not like I've made a clear move on her to make her uncomfortable.

She went away for 2 months, and I was left to my own thoughts, making the crush worse. I was in touch with her on her travels, but I was so nervous - I was unable to flirt with her although I would eagerly talk to her.

Friends (and my therapist) would tell me to just tell her I liked her. But that was and is a terrifying prospect to me.

She came back the second week in April. Called me up right away. We hung out a few days in a row, just us and with other friends. She crashed at my house one night after we had all gone out and shared my bed. Nothing happened because our other friend was there too, in my very small apartment. Plus she passed out right away. I thought we were flirting ever so slightly. But it's so hard to tell when it's your friend. I have no experience in this area. I've never made a move on someone. Being in the closet so long and repressing this side of myself has put a lot of fear into the act.

We continued to stay in touch almost every day. She would text me a lot just to say hi. We chatted on FB for almost an hour the other day. She sends me playful HeyTells. I never had a platonic friend that would contact me so much. I think this group of friends likes to text each other a lot, but this was all so different to me.

It all came to a tragic halt a few nights ago at a house party. I thought I was making some progress breaking through my fear of taking action....I was getting more comfortable playfully teasing her and making eye contact, breaking the touch barrier, etc. I thought she was getting more comfortable with me too. She didn't seem as uncomfortable with me.

Then the unthinkable happened. This other girl who was there, who lives out of state, and comes only once a month or so for a visit, ended up sharing the futon bed with her and they hooked up. I was still awake getting some water, and I heard everything. Everyone was drunk. I have never felt so terrible in my life. I cried myself to sleep in the other room, just wanting to die.

I hung out with them over the next couple of days. I watched them interact. Nothing overt. She doesn't know I heard them. She doesn't seem shy with this girl - but this girl is very very outgoing, loud, and confident (overly so, I don't care for her). The other girl went back home. They were kind of throwing around ideas about when they'd be in the same areas in their travels. I felt sick the whole time. After the girl went home my crush texted me right away to see what I was doing, wanted to hang out the next day, etc. Sent me a drunk voice message at 2am last night just saying what are you doing.

My question is.....what now? I want this to be over. I have become so lovesick over this whole situation that I can't properly function (if anyone is familiar with the term limerence, that would be an apt description).

She's not perfect. I'm older than her, she doesn't have much direction in her life right now, I know I'm intellectually far ahead of her, she likes to party and drink (although she doesn't do drugs). We have different values. But I like her as a person, we have many of the same interests, and I'm insanely attracted to her.

Should I tell her? Should I get over her? Wait and see? Just drunkenly kiss her?

I'm going to see her tonight. It's going to be a lot of people around, and partying. I don't know if I will get to get her alone. She might be going on another trip on Monday. If I fail to tell her in person, should I just send her an email or a text and just get it over with so I can move on in my life?
posted by christiehawk to Human Relations (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Why not ask her out on a date? She is out. You are out. No need to do the whole I have a crush on you thing. That will make it awkward, gay or straight or both.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 11:35 AM on May 19, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Hi christiehawk. Congrats on coming out. Now you are getting to start your romantic life. I am sorry that you had to hear your crush making out with someone else. It hurts and it's horrible. But it's a part of having crushes and going to parties and all of that stuff. This is what happens.

This is why it's best to just say something to the person you're into. Trying to read into their obscure signs and signals is usually just a way to make yourself crazy and end up missing out when someone more assertive butts their way in. Yes, sometimes two very shy and careful people slowly circle each other for a long time and somehow end up connecting. But so much of the time it just goes nowhere and you lose months of your life feeling insane and hurt.

I know that it is scary to face possible rejection when you have no experience, and when you've built up a lot of emotion around a person. But it gets less and less scary with practice. The only way to get experience is to kind of buckle down and do these things.

I think you should do the following. Get out your phone and create a draft of a text to her. Write the following, "Hi Julie. Would you like to go on a date with me next Saturday? I was thinking [wherever -- eating at a cute brunch place, going to a bar, whatever]." Wait at least until tomorrow to send it. Stare at it as long as you need to in order to get up your courage. Then just suddenly hit send. Do whatever you need to do - do a shot, cover your eyes as you send it, hide under the bed, get someone else to hit send for you, anything.

Also --

She's not perfect. I'm older than her, she doesn't have much direction in her life right now, I know I'm intellectually far ahead of her, she likes to party and drink (although she doesn't do drugs). We have different values.

It's fine that she's not perfect. But some of the other thing, like being "intellectually far ahead of her" are not great ways to go into a relationship thinking about someone if you want it to be successful. Really try to reframe these things in your mind so that you are thinking of her as an equal, as someone whose choices you respect, etc. If you can't do it, it may be better to forget about it altogether regardless of all the other issues, just because these things will cause problems in the future even if you do start dating her successfully.
posted by cairdeas at 11:46 AM on May 19, 2012 [9 favorites]

It might help to tell her a much shorter version of some of the points here: That you are attracted but inexperienced, you know you are gay but all your sexual experience is with men who initiated, you are nervous and don't know how to proceed but you were wondering if she is interested. You probably haven't yet missed your chance but if you wait much longer you likely will.

Best of luck.
posted by Michele in California at 11:48 AM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

We have no way of knowing what it meant to her, if anything, that she hooked up with that other girl.

We have no way of knowing if she likes you as more than a friend, or could. The problem with reading tea leaves, as you are doing, is that you are reading tea leaves. All the guessing and trying to decipher makes you obsessed and crazy; it ramps everything up in your mind despite the fact that nothing has happened.

Whatever you should do, it should not be more waiting and seeing. Make a move (ask her on a date, actually flirt with her--there are many options) or move on.

Also, you should stop trying to convince yourself that she has these problems of inferior intellect and values, etc. I think you're doing that to somehow make this hurt less if nothing happens or you wind up getting rejected, but honestly, it won't help--and if stuff were to move in the right direction, you would have been poisoning your attitude toward her. If I'm wrong and you really just don't respect her, you should move on and find someone else whom you consider your equal.
posted by J. Wilson at 12:04 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am wondering if I have completely missed my chance, and what I should do.

Well, there is the whole Hippocratic Oath part about First, do no harm. Have you missed your chance ? In the long run, not necessarily. But any future positive outcome comes down to letting go of any project towards your friend for the time being. Whatever happens between them, happens. How much anything may be possiible for the two of you depends a great deal upon how you handle the two of them for the time being. Betraying any jealousy, longing or hurt over the over it will not necessarily be helpful for your chances.
posted by y2karl at 12:14 PM on May 19, 2012

Flirt a lot. Ask her out. You are just on the beginning of your journey, and it doesn't need to be perfect or calculated. Have fun!
posted by manicure12 at 12:16 PM on May 19, 2012

I sympathize with many aspects of your story. Having been almost exactly the same "there," I would say making your feelings explicit is the best way to go about it. When you have a crush on someone everything they say or do is magnified-- including their "maybe flirting/message-sending." And by the same token, everything you think is super obvious might be extremely subtle in real life.

Tell her.
posted by atetrachordofthree at 12:31 PM on May 19, 2012

This all seems super overwhelming to you, I'm sure, but let me tell you that the world will not end if you tell this girl that you like her. Your friendship with her will not end. Your place in your friends group will not disappear. At most, it'll be a little awkward as you re-establish firm(er) boundaries as friends and move on.

Ask her out. Be explicit in that it's a date. You can do the whole "I'm in experienced and don't know what I'm doing" shpeal mentioned above but that's usually par for the course for LGB folks in their 20s. Stop torturing yourself with might have beens/should have beens/etc and actually DO something.

And yeah, it's entirely impossible for us to figure out what that hook up might have meant for her. I've had hookups that were of the "well you're here and I'm here and we're both into something NSA" and hookups that were of the "oh man let's do an LDR; you're fantastic!" that would seem identical (or reversed) to outsiders.
posted by buteo at 1:04 PM on May 19, 2012

Having been in a similar position before, aside from a lot of good advice above, I'd be a little bit cautious. It could turn out fine, but she's a fair bit younger than you are. She might very well be at the point in her life when what she wants is more in the way of hookups and other low-commitment stuff. That's kind of how being 21 tends to be. Not for absolutely everybody, but if she did this, even while drunk, that could just be the point in her life where she is right now. You seem to be more at the stage of wanting something serious, and even if you really like her and she does actually like you, you might want to start guarding your heart a bit and thinking about the fact that there are other women out there who are also at the wanting-a-relationship stage who would seem just as nice to you as this particular girl.

None of which means you shouldn't tell her and see what happens, I just think it's best to keep it in mind that even if you're very compatible in every other way, that you might very well find that this is not everything you imagine it to be, because we usually have a tendency to imagine that the other party is at our own maturity levels, even when they're not. I had a few really passionate and really disastrous relationships before I settled down with my current partner, who is for once at the same place in her life that I am, and it makes a lot of difference.
posted by gracedissolved at 1:23 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

You've done the hard part - coming out. Bask in the awesomeness of never having to hide who you are, and take some of the giddy juice that comes with that to ask your friend out.

Yes, she might not be interested in anything serious, but that's the chance you have to take if you want to take the chance that she might be. Trust me, even if this doesn't work out the way you now want it to, you've got a lifetime of amazing, fun and loved-up experiences ahead of you. Good luck!
posted by New England Cultist at 2:52 PM on May 19, 2012

Well, speaking from experience, I new what I wanted when the time came, and didn't wase any time. My crush was a five year relationship and a great one at that. We went to The Isle of Man, of the coast of Liverpool in Europe, and had a great time. She is still my best friend after 20 years. Life to me is taking risks, and , I suggest taking the oppertunity! I love the unknown, and by the way she was 11 years older than me. I suggest not waisting any more time thinking about it and move forward. You have developed a close friendship already. Nothing bad can come of it. Just let go and have a great experience, believe me, it will be. Don't over think it. Just go and see what she on an intimate basis, you will not regret it ! Best of luck ! :)
posted by brittaincrowe at 4:05 PM on May 19, 2012

If you don't ask you don't get. Worst case scenario is she turns you down, right?

My anecdote: when I was young and shy I had a huge HUGE crush on a girl and was too chicken to ask her out. A few years later when I was in a LTR I found out she'd been crushing on me too. Opportunity wasted! And that girl was hot. We would have had a really good time (small sigh for missed opportunities in my youth here).

Get used to asking people out and get used to not stressing if they turn you down. You've paid them a compliment and you've taken control of your life. Win-win even if you don't get that particular girl.

Congrats on coming out!
posted by Cuke at 6:15 PM on May 19, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you all do much for your responses. I'm replying from my iPhone. I've been reading the responses all day, and you guys are amazing.

I have to tell her at some point or I think I'll explode. Tonight's not the night...there's so many people. I'm not getting any vibes from her. I feel like I'm losing the battle.

My question asking her out over text super lame? I just don't know if I can do this in person. I'm scared as hell. I just want to send the text and let the chips fall where they may. The bad thing is that she is going on a trip the day after tomorrow. How can I ask her out when she is gone ? She might see the girl she hooked up with on this trip.

Anyway. This situation sucks. And what you guys said was right - I sounded like an ass. She is smarter than me in certain ways. That was just me trying to protect myself in the event of rejection.
posted by christiehawk at 10:30 PM on May 19, 2012

My question asking her out over text super lame

It depends precisely and particularly on her communication habits and preferences. And the separate set of habits and preferences which she has regarding relationships. Which you don't know. And she may not even have codified for herself. And are situational for her.

So bring up the "you're really cute and I've had a crush on you for weeks bit" over a picnic lunch, somewhere nice. Set up the lunch by texting her / emailing her this "Hey kiddo, are you free for lunch tomorrow? btw, have a question to ask you then."

That last bit is a commitment strategy to force yourself to follow through and tell her you think she's cute. Don't send the text / email without it.

Then take her out to lunch.

I'm not getting any vibes from her.
That's not going to help you make the decision, regrettably.

Right now she may be thinking "christiehawk's super-cute, but she has never given me a hint she's attracted to me. I really want a one-night-stand with her / she's my one true love. Sigh. Woe is me."

How can I ask her out when she is gone ?
So do it now! Don't let her leave town without telling her how you feel. In person, ideally.


If this doesn't pan out, and you don't have personal objections to one-night-stands, you may want to try dropping in on a local lgbtq meat-market and, once you're there, see if you're comfortable picking up company for an NSA evening or two. Sow your wild oats and so on, and get used to asking folk out / getting asked out. A relationship may come out of it, or not, but it might help with the shyness. (Do this a few weeks from now, after you've had a chance to have a good cry / vent / decompress.)
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:26 AM on May 20, 2012

She seems to like me quite a bit at least as a friend, yet seems somehow uncomfortable with me.

It is possible she may not want to be your first girlfriend / hookup / one night stand / whatever. It's a weighty thing, or can be, and she simply may not be up for it regardless of how she actually feels about you. You are just going to need to ask and see what happens. Don't overthink it!
posted by DarlingBri at 12:43 AM on May 20, 2012

Response by poster: I heard her talking on the phone to the girl she hooked up with. I saw she was texting her. I am now crying my eyes out in my car. I think I need to forget everything. I really just want to fly home, text her I like her from across the country, and just hide for a while. I don't know what is wrong with me...I can't bring myself to do this. I think the problem is that my sexuality has been an enormous stumbling block for my whole life.

I am hating myself right now for not making a move sooner. But what could I have possibly done in my situation and with my experience levels? I guess this is a learning experience....a very painful one.

Right now a hail mary text from
across the country feels like my only option. I don't know. I feel like an idiot. There is so much good advice here and I can't seem to act on any of it. This shouldnt be so hard, I don't get it.
posted by christiehawk at 2:34 AM on May 20, 2012

If you can't ask her out in person, asking her out over text is better than nothing. It sounds like she uses text a lot. If you're really casual about it then it might help you save some face, I suppose, but I do think you are less likely to be rejected if you do it in person. After all, people usually figure if you're really serious about them you would talk to them, so she might take your date-requesting text message as meaning that you aren't very serious about wanting to date her. Like, if someone asks me on a date, and I can see how nervous they are about it and how much they had to get up the guts to ask me, it's much harder to turn them down than if they send me an email and write "hey p.s. wanna go on a date sometime?"

I don't think you should worry about her going away on a trip. That's more over-thinking. Just say it. Even if she's going away for a while you could set a date for when she gets back, and if she might see her drunken hookup while she's gone, all the more reason to ask her now, so she'll know you care before she potentially gets more entangled with that person. And by the way, the fact that she hooked up with that person while intoxicated and just happening to be sharing the futon bed with them seems a lot less meaningful than if she fully sober entered into some romantic encounter with this person and eventually ended up hooking up with them. It does NOT mean she's not interested in you. Good luck!
posted by treehorn+bunny at 2:37 AM on May 20, 2012

I know this is AskMe and I am not supposed to be carrying on a conversation in the answers section, but christiehawk, don't give up! Please don't send a cross-country text and then hide under the bed! It is not too late just because she is texting someone else. You can do this! Don't be apologetic about your lack of experience and don't blame yourself for not being someone who you're not. If she isn't interested in you (and you really don't know until you ask!) then it's her loss and there are plenty of other people who will be interested.

Remember if you are thinking of completely abandoning her and not speaking to her anymore - you have nothing to lose by asking her out! When my husband and I were in grad school together, he sent me a note "I like you. Do you like me?" And put checkboxes for yes and no. It was so middle school it was the cutest thing ever (and obviously it ended up going well for him). There is nothing wrong with keeping it simple.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 2:43 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't be so hard on yourself. I know, you feel like you should be past all this at 28. But since you've only been out for six months, you sort of have to start over again. It's like when I switched from skiing to snowboarding - suddenly I was falling on my ass all the time, and I was getting frustrated because I hadn't done that in years. But snowboarding was a different thing, and I had to learn how to stay on my feet all over again. Similarly, this is all going to feel new to you. You have the gay experience of a teenager, so don't be surprised if you find yourself acting like one from time to time.

Now, on to your question. In general, it's best to very quickly ask someone out when you realize that you like her. I understand the temptation to want to slowly transition the friendship into a relationship, but the situation you're in now illustrates perfectly why that's a bad idea. The main stumbling block that most people have to just asking out someone in this situation is something along the lines of, "well, if she's not interested it would be weird, and I don't want to ruin the friendship." Once again, your situation perfectly shows why this is not a valid line of reasoning. It would be impossible to ruin this friendship, because it's not a friendship. It's a torture device. It's making you miserable, and if she doesn't want to date you you would be much better off not being friends with her at all.

I think you should ask her out. I'm not saying that because I think she'll say yes - I have no idea. But this is making you crazy, and you need to know either way. Also, if she does say no, it will help you to understand that, while it absolutely will hurt, it will be far from the end of the world. Experiences like that will really help you proceed with more confidence in the future. I'm going to recommend against doing it over text. In person is fine, on the phone is fine. But no text. Not because there's something wrong with asking out over text, but because the interval between when you text her and when you hear back from her is going to be absolutely hellish for you. I strongly suggest you choose a method that guarantees an immediate answer.

Also, there's a really important distinction between telling someone how you feel and asking someone out. Having been on both sides of both of them, I can tell you that asking out is far, far superior to confessing feelings. It comes off as much less dramatic, so there's less pressure. And it demands a simple response - yes or no.

Try to relax. This is something we all have to go through. I promise, you'll be fine either way. Good luck!
posted by Ragged Richard at 8:40 AM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Look, it hurts at the moment. But don't get caught in the loop of self-talk about this being your only chance. With her, or otherwise. But just talk to her. Text is fine. If text is how you're comfortable, and she's the right person for you, then she'll be totally okay with text. Just do something. Act. If it doesn't work out, there will be another girl. It won't be the same girl, it won't be the same feelings, but you are not risking your one shot at happiness. This isn't a game where you get infinite lives, but they're definitely not as short supply as they look in the early levels. Taking risks is how we grow.

The first time feels like life and death. But believe me, if it doesn't work out, the next one is easier. And the one after that. All you can really do is feel afraid and do it anyway, in the meantime. Don't hate yourself for any of this. It is totally natural, it's just that most straight people get it out of the way as teenagers.
posted by gracedissolved at 10:28 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I just want to say thank you so much for the incredible and thoughtful advice that has been shared here. Im kind of stuck and unable to talk with anyone about this right now, and this thread is helping me more than you know.
posted by christiehawk at 11:59 AM on May 20, 2012

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