Dear Christine, Frustrated in Ferndale

  • Posted on August 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

Dear Dr. Christine,

Question: I am a lesbian, and I’m masculine looking and proud of being me. I like hanging out with straight girls, as they are more fun, I think, than lesbians. I get caught up in a cycle that is exhausting, and I wonder what should happen? For example, my straight friend “Cindy” likes to hang out at my house and we’ll watch movies together, and pretty soon, she’s holding my hand on the couch, and before long she’s cuddling with me! I can’t watch the movie to the end! She’s driving me crazy. The next day I’ll try to tell her that I’m really attracted to her and want her, and she’ll just laugh and tell me that she doesn’t have feelings like that for me. When I ask her about being such a tease, she insists that she does these PDAs with her other straight girlfriends. It’s torture! I try to tell her that I’m like a guy, that if you hold my hand and cuddle with me it turns me on, and I can’t stop! If she really does this with her straight girl friends, then it sure isn’t something I can do and remain just a friend. The cycle is, we hang out, she’s affectionate, I think she’s putting the moves on me, and respond, and then we fight. We don’t talk for a couple of days, and then we start texting, then talking, like nothing happened. A week or 2 later, it happens again. The other thing is that this cycle has happened with other girls in the past too. Frustrated in Ferndale

Dear Frustrated,

Wow! You’ve got quite a problem there! First of all, you can’t change anyone else, and changing yourself is hard, but possible. Second, if there’s a pattern that repeats in your life, and you are the common denominator in a series of problems, you can figure out what you are doing and change. It sounds like you are seeing a pattern of straight girls teasing you, and you falling for their more lax rules of affection, which end up misleading you! You get hurt and feel like the straight girls is out to mess with your head. Not fun!

The best advice I can give you is to be clear about what you want and set your boundaries accordingly. If you hang out with attractive people who like affection, but then don’t follow through, then it’s probably best to 1) not hang out with people like that or 2) if you are friends, keep the PDAs out of the interactions unless you know that she has similar feelings for you as you do for her. If she pushes your boundaries, reset them, and be clear why you are restating them: “Don’t hang on me like that! I told you that I can’t do affection with you, it’s just too tempting, and you’re going to pull back and hurt me.”

Another suggestion is to stop playing games! Games are when we get involved with assuming things about each other, and not tell each other what we really feel, need or want. If you are hanging out with someone who doesn’t respect your needs and still wants to play with your head and your heart, then you are asking for lots more hurt. Everyone gets hurt in a love relationship eventually, as you are making yourself vulnerable and open to another, and sometimes you will be misunderstood or disappointed. However, the only way to build that relationship is to communicate what you feel, need and want, and what you can’t have. If each of you are honest with each other about your needs and wants, what you can tolerate and what you can’t, then at least the hurt will go towards deepening the relationship over time.

Just remember: the definition of “crazy” is doing the same thing over and over, all while expecting different results! Keep doing what you’re doing, and the hurt continues. Make some changes and learn more about what works for you and what else doesn’t!

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067

Click here to email Christine.

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