New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), or submit a question for advice.
I have three-hour lessons a day with her, three days a week, and they private lessons, so I really get to talk to her a lot, one-on-one. Lately, we have become closer because now we have more confidence between us. In fact, once she invited me to have dinner at her house with some friends and I had an amazing time!
This past weekend she again invited me to have a drink after a conference that we are both attending in a few days.
Now, like I said I’m straight and I had never ever thought about being with a woman. In fact, just the idea of it was really unappealing to me. But now that I met this teacher of mine, I don’t think it’s unappealing at all. I’d like to be with her, and I like the thought of going out with her and everything… in a few words, I really like her.
But it’s just her. I’m not doubting my sexuality because I don’t like any other woman at all. It’s really just her. Maybe it’s because she is so perfect that I just have a crush on her, but I can’t stop thinking about her all the time and I just want her to be happy. Is that a crush? I don’t so, right?
She is also straight, but sometimes when we are together I really feel like she is a bit attracted to me. She gets a little nervous and gets pretty close to me when we are alone in class — really really close — and she has already invited me a few times to have a drink. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I do feel something when I’m with her.
The other problem is that she has a male “friend” who lives in another city. They don’t see each other very often, but this guy doesn’t like labels, so he is just her “friend.” For me, it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t want to commit. I think she knows it too, but I don’t understand why she is still with him. Sometimes when they talk on the phone they fight and she seems really sad.
So, I don’t know what to do. Do you think that she likes me or that eventually even though she is straight, would like to be with me? And what about her “friend”? Should I tell her: “You don’t deserve to be treated that way because you deserve so much better”?
Finally, I want to ask her out and give her some hints to show her that I like her, but I don’t want to freak her out and lose her as a friend, so what sort of things should I do or say? — Straight Girl Crushing on Straight Girl
First thing’s first: do no bring up the “friend” at all. Just don’t. It’s none of your business and it’s not your place. Even if she asked you directly what you thought of him or their relationship, I’d say given your feelings for her, you should just keep your mouth shut. Your crush makes you biased and your status as a pretty new person in her life doesn’t really give you the wisdom or a wide enough view of the whole picture to come to a totally fair conclusion.
So, forget about the “friend,” and focus instead on your own relationship with your teacher. You say you have a crush on her, and you know, that’s a very normal thing. Plenty of straight people have crushes on people of the same sex. Those crushes don’t have to mean anything more than just pleasant feelings toward someone whose company is really enjoyable. Or, the crushes could have deeper substance. Sexuality is fluid and individual sexuality falls on a spectrum that at any given time may be at a different spot on the spectrum that at another time in a person’s life. You may feel 99.9% hetero but still manage to feel sexually attracted to your female teacher. That doesn’t mean you’re gay. It doesn’t even mean you’re necessarily bi-sexual. Those are just labels anyway. You can be whatever you want to be or call yourself whatever you want to call yourself. What’s most important is how you feel and whom you feel drawn to, and right now you say you feel drawn to this woman.
I’d say that first, decide whether you have any sexual attraction to her. Can you imagine kissing her? Is it something you think you’d enjoy, or at least want to try? If not, and if your crush on her is merely platonic, continue enjoying her company as a friend, NBD. But if what you feel is something different than friendship — something that gives you butterflies when you think about kissing her or sleeping next to her or running your fingers through her hair, then that’s exciting and worth exploring, especially if you think there’s any chance at all the feelings might be reciprocated.
So, how do you go about exploring your crush without potentially wrecking your friendship? Well, there isn’t a surefire way, but I think using vague, sort of “hint-hint” language that can be interpreted in a variety of ways will help your cause. You could say something like, “We’ve been spending so much time together lately, it’s almost beginning to feel like we’re dating,” which is an innocuous enough statement that your teacher can brush it off if she wants to… or not. Her response will give you a big clue as to her feelings.
And she may be feeling the same way you are — she may be drawn to you and confused by her attraction. And if that’s the case, it will take a combination of both of you being interested in exploring your feelings and brave enough to act on them. I say go for it. You’re young and living in a foreign country temporarily. This is the perfect time to explore your sexuality. If things don’t work out or you feel rejected, you go back to Spain and who cares?
You may discover that your crush is merely platonic … or you may discover that being with a woman — at least this woman — is thrilling and exciting and opens up your world to different relationship possibilities, which in itself is pretty exciting.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.