Anonymous asked you:
Hi Cat! After years in a hetero relationship, I have my first real crush a woman (past thinking she’s very pretty). We have mutual friends and from what I can tell, we would get along. She is something else, and I feel drawn to her in a way I have never felt about a stranger. But, I found out she recently got into a relationship. I feel almost heartbroken and, more so, uncomfortable about it because we don’t even know each other. How do I move on and stop being weird (for lack of a better word)?
Crushes are sooooooo wonderful and can also be really painful at the same time. The reason they can feel uncomfortable is because they are often on people we want to have more of a relationship with, than we currently do. They can have incredible power and can make us stumble on our sentences, blush, withdraw, talk incessantly, show off/act cool, act in mean ways/tease the person, feel awkward. And this all feels so uncomfortable, we often want to just make the feeling stop. But really, having crush feelings are important because they give us a lot of information about ourselves. (more on that in a sec.)
When we have a crush there are different ways to handle it.
1) Ask the crush out/make a move/confess the crush. This is no prob if you are both single. Complicated when one of you is in a relationship. Confessing crushes and making moves in this case can often change the crushy feelings into other feelings. Some feelings might feel good, some feelings will be more painful than the secret crush felt.
2) Say or do nothing with the person we are crushing about—but talk about it with friends, supportive people and act as if the crush doesn’t exist with the crush herself. (A great option if one/both of you is in a relationship). In this case, keep your eyes open for other people to crush on if your single.
3) Pretend the crush doesn’t exist at all (with ourselves and/or others).
So as far as what “to do” in this case, it’s defninately not the time to confess the crush or make a move. But it IS the time to think about all the feelings you’re having.
So coming back to my earlier point about crushes having information for us— I also think that crushes serve a purpose. Crushes tell us about ourselves and sometimes they can surprise us. They can be great opportunities to become clear about what we want in a person who we date. Sometimes a crush can turn into a relationship with the person we are crushing on, and sometimes that crush remains a secret. Sometimes the crush dwindles and falls away, and sometimes the crush remains for years. (So moving on isn’t always easy or simple). But they always have important information about what we want in our lives at the current moment and sorting through that info often helps with moving on.
So what is the purpose of THIS crush? (I can hear you asking…) Well first… she is your “first real crush on a woman (past thinking she’s very pretty)” That’s a big deal, because it’s clarifying something for you. You are really interested in getting to know another girl in a romantic sense. Now I know that might seem obvious, but go with me here. You haven’t ever had a crush or a relationship with a girl before that felt like this one. There will be another crush and probably a relationship soon to come. And probably more after that. But she is your FIRST crush. So of COURSE you feel sadness when she has gotten into a relationship, because it makes the crushy feelings feel more complicated. But you are perfectly normal and not “weird.” Having and admitting to yourself that you have a first big, heart-poundingly-lovely crush on a girl is what coming to terms with your own orientation is all about.
The truth is, there are things about her that are amazing to you. So, start to break it down. Your friends have told you a lot about her—and you know that you feel attracted to her. So what are those things that make you excited? Is it how she carries herself? Her eyes? Is she creative or really into hobbies or bands or movies that you like? Note these things to yourself, or write them down. And start to keep your eyes peeled for those qualities in other people.
The last thing is this—and it’s important. When we are drawn to certain qualities in others, they are often things we feel we would like more of in our own lives. Are you drawn to someone because they are accomplished, kind, stable, generous, creative…Do you wish you possessed more of those traits yourself? Are there ways to cultivate more of those things?
Ant the other last thing is this. If you find yourself around her and you are fumbling for words or feel yourself blushing, just know that you are totally normal and lovely. And most people, if they can tell the crush is present for someone else, take it as a compliment. How did you feel when you sensed that someone had a crush on you in the past?
Best of luck!
A little about Pilar:
Pilar has her own blog, as well, which you can read here: lonelyforever.wordpress.com
Another question/answer post from Maya Johannson, a friend of QgQ and therapist in San Francisco.
I’m a Lesbian and I’ve been with some really bad people. I tend to always fall for the straight girls. I know this is terrible, but I find most Lesbians I’ve met to be stuck up and mean. Anyways, I want to find a way to stop liking the straight ones because I always end up getting hurt really bad. Any advice?
Hello. Since the dawn of queerness, falling for straight girls has been a problem and a big source of heartache. You are in good company. It’s great that you’re able to see your pattern and know it’s not good for you. You deserve better and I promise that all lesbians are not stuck up and mean. Depending on where you live, you may have a small group to choose from, which I know can be frustrating and feel hopeless. But it’s probably not worth pursuing girls who are most likely not going to reciprocate your feelings. It can really erode your self-esteem unnecessarily to be rejected over and over again like that. My advice is to maybe try online dating, if you feel like you already know every lesbian in your area. Contact with other queer gals who are sure of who they are will be good for you, and will hopefully shake up your perspective that all lesbians are lame. There are good ones out there, but you may just have to widen your circle to find them. Best of luck to you!
**My friend Maya, an amazing and smart therapist friend, has agreed to guest post a few answers to some Queer Girl Questions. Here’s one of the questions Maya has answered.***
i’m a 17 year old girl who’s trying to come to terms with her sexuality. Ive only come out bisexual to a couple of people. But lately i’ve been realizing that i have little to no interest in guys which scares me slightly. but theres this girl i really like. me and another friend were suspicious that she was bi so one day i asked her. after i told her that i was bi, she admitted to being equally attracted to both guys and girls, but mostly being asexual. the thought of being with either gender made her want to throw up.
She also told me that she had liked this one guy and this one girl. But she didn’t see the girl anymore. She then proceeded to ask me if i liked her, and listed a bunch of reasons why she thought that. i kind of did at the time, so i told her yes. she didn’t reply to my text. so i told her that we would talk about this the next night. it was awkward the next day in school, but she still acted the same towards me. The next night i texted her and told her that i didn’t like her, and that it was a mistake and that i was confused and liked this other girl instead. she said “okay sorry for the confusion that makes me feel a lot better.” and then we continued to be friends and hang out. But i soon started to really like her. We haven’t talked about sexuality in awhile but i really want to because she’s such an interesting person. I try and flirt with her (such as teasing, etc.) but i don’t want to scare her. i put my arm around her once for a bit, which even friends do as i pointed it out to her, but she took it as me wanting to be more than friends. i don’t know what to do because i really just want to try a relationship with her. i want to show her what it feels like to be loved, and cared about. i want to show her so many things. but i can’t. It seems like she’s hiding a huge secret, and i just want her to feel comfortable around me and to trust me. So i guess what i’m saying is what should i do? i really care about her, but don’t want to ruin our friendship.
This is a very tough situation, and one of the hardest things about coming out and exploring your sexuality is having crushes on friends who may or may not be queer. It is clear that you care a lot about your friend and that you really want to date her and treat her really well. But it seems like the message she is giving you is that she is not available for this right now. You may be right, and she may be bi or questioning and not being honest about it. But even so you have to respect her process, she might just not be ready to talk about it, she might be scared or confused. If you want to be careful to maintain your friendship, it sounds like you might have to back off with the flirting, and just offer her support. You can still be honest and say the things to her that you said here- that you want to be a comfortable and trustworthy person in her life. You may even be able to tell her something about yourself and your own fears and thoughts about coming out or being queer, to help her feel safe. But the bottom line is that everyone moves at their own pace, and even if you have the best intentions you can’t force her to feel something she doesn’t, or isn’t ready to feel.
**My lovely smart therapist friend Maya has agreed to guest post some answers over the next couple of days. Here is one of her answers**
Anonymous asked you:
Im a 19 yr old girl and I have just got into my first relationship with a girl (3 months). I’m really attached to her and she’s absolutely lovely, but sometimes I question my sexuality. I find sex with men just absolutely revolting, but sometimes I just want a tall strong man to hold me and cuddle me (I’m not thinking of anyone else though). I love the smell of men and I feel safer with a boyfriend. The worst thing is that I can’t seem to ever feel comfortable to be just ‘us’ in public. The judgement is extreme. I don’t know if I can live with this awkwardness all the time. Am I bisexual? I can’t work it out and I’m starting to feel sad about it now, especially if I really am lesbian, because I want children. :( Help me please!
First of all, you have to take some pressure off yourself to have this all figured out. You don’t have to know if you’re bi, or a lesbian, or queer in whichever way. You have time to figure this all out, and the only way to get to know yourself, and find a label that feels comfortable for you, is to let your life unfold and have experiences and see how they feel. Right now you are in a relationship with a girl, and it sounds like you like her. You don’t have to decide how you feel about men right now. At some point in the future if there is a guy you’re interested in and you want to pursue that, then you can see how that feels. All these issues of attraction and identity are complicated, and you should be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to explore whatever feelings arise.
The other issue I hear you struggling with is less under your control, which are the cultural and societal factors. Depending on where you live, there can be very serious judgment and vulnerability associated with being in a same-sex relationship. This is real, and a sad and unjust truth that affects queer relationships all over the world. Partly, you may feel less awkward as time passes and you get used to being out with a girl. But I don’t know where you live or what your family is like, so it is hard for me tosay. Also the issue of wanting children is totally valid, and if you continue to want this you can make it happen whether or not you end up partnering with a man or a woman. I know it can feel sad and scary to think about all of these different things, but try not to overwhelm yourself, and jus t take one step at a time. Enjoy and explore the relationship you’re in until you feel it is no longer what you want, or you feel strongly you need to explore another aspect of yourself. It is great that you are aware of the conflicting feelings inside of you, and that you can be honest about them. From here you can chose what you want right now, and try to let go of excessive worry about the future and what label you want to use.