Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My FWB Wants to Marry Me!”

I’m a lesbian and this semester I made friends with another lesbian, “L,” who is an awesome girl. Lunches after class turned into “Dr. Who” marathons on the weekends. I could tell right away that she like-liked me. A lot. So I tried not to lead her on, but it’s hard when you’ve met your geek-match.

On Halloween I got pretty drunk and we ended up making out and since then, things have turned a little more serious. We spend a lot of our free time together, we’ve been sleeping together since Thanksgiving, I’ve befriended her friends — we’re basically acting like a couple, even though we aren’t. I’ve been clear as day with her (or so I thought) about how I just wasn’t sure about my feelings towards her. I was more interested in a FWB type situation, repeatedly asking her if she felt comfortable that. And she’s repeatedly told me: “I know what you’re saying and I wouldn’t let it go this far if I wasn’t comfortable with this arrangement.” Lately, though, I’ve been feeling more comfortable with the idea of being her girlfriend. I haven’t exactly told this part to her but I’ve shown it. However, I found something today and I just want to run as far away as possible!

I’m been taking care of her cat while she’s home for the holidays. While at her place, I noticed some drawings sitting out (sitting out! I was NOT snooping through drawers, I swear to god) with the word “marry” on them. Curious, I picked them up and noticed they were addressed to “Dear One,” outlining that she’s in love with this “dear one” and wants to marry her. OH MY GOD!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!

I don’t know what to do, or think, or say. If it was a “let’s be exclusive” letter, fine! No problem!!! But MARRY HER??? OH MY GOD!!! I know that we click well and all, but we’re only 21, and the L-word that has never, ever been spoken between us and I’ve never, EVER insinuated such feelings for her. I want a very casual relationship. I want to hang out with her and I want to have fun, and I want to analyze literature, drink beer and watch geeky shows and just be together…in the here and now and see how things develop (slowly!) over time.

She’ll be back in our college town on January 4th. How/when should I approach her about what I found or begin having this conversation? — Casual-Times Lesbian

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

40 comments… add one
  • avatar

    demoiselle January 2, 2012, 10:07 am

    Why do you assume that you are the “dear one” or that those drawings didn’t exist prior to your arrangement? I’m puzzled.

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    • JK

      JK January 2, 2012, 10:23 am

      Exactly. Unless the drawings had LWs name on them, I think she´s freaking out about nothing.

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  • avatar

    Allison January 2, 2012, 10:21 am

    I think you’re being a little paranoid. Did you read it closely? Is it for sure related to you? Or even a specific person at all? I know people who write letters to their future spouses, under the idea that the person “is out there somewhere waiting to meet them.” Your next-to-last paragraph sort of outlines why she wouldn’t be writing a letter to you about marriage…

    Regardless of who the letter is to, your situation seems to be hinged on communication issues. You say that you guys verbally established a FWB situation and nothing more, but basically acted like a couple. But then you seem to think that just showing her you want to be exclusive is enough. A lot of people write in asking whether doing couplely things with a FWB means things are getting serious, and the default answer is no. If someone tells you they don’t want a relationship, you should believe them, no matter how they act. So, if you want to be her girlfriend, then tell her.

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  • Public Pearl

    Public Pearl January 2, 2012, 10:24 am

    Maybe it’s not for you. So now that you’ve considered the possibility that it is you, consider if it’s not and how THAT would make you feel.

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  • avatar

    Yammy January 2, 2012, 11:36 am

    I would not mention the drawings. Like an earlier poster said, it is rather presumptuous to assume they mean she wants to marry you ASAP. I don’t know, perhaps you should mention them, if they are bothering you so much. If the drawings have creeped you out enough that you want to break things off with her, I’d advise not mentioning the drawings, just break up with her. If you like pace your relationship is moving at, and you’d like to continue to slowly move in a more girlfriendy direction, tell her. If you do think that you might like to move in a marriage sort of direction some day, perhaps it would be prudent to mention the drawings, or at least marriage in general. There is the possibility that she has accepted that FWB is all you’ll be and is fantasizing about someone else.

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    • avatar

      Allison January 2, 2012, 12:11 pm

      I sort of disagree. If the drawings were the reason for breaking things off, I think it would be a good idea to mention them. Particularly in case the LW was misunderstanding their meaning.

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      • avatar

        Anna January 2, 2012, 12:31 pm

        I agree. It’s easy to say “just forget you saw them” but in reality we all know the LW can’t do that. Whether she chooses to continue hanging out with this girl or ends it, this will change things unless it is resolved. I would elect that the LW let her know that the drawings were left out and ask about them…if you are that close to someone you would care about their future goals, whether they do or do not include you. It might be a good lead-in to the “couple talk” that seems impending.

        LW, I think you are in a bit of denial about your own feelings as well. You have described someone you have a ton in common with, love hanging out with, and also have sexual feelings for…a best friend you have sex with. To me, that’s a significant other. You don’t have to be ready to settle down any time soon but if you want to be in an actual relationship with her then stop putting up walls and just take the leap!

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  • avatar

    CottonTheCuteDog January 2, 2012, 11:43 am

    I used to want to marry Justin Timberlake. I once screamed out a proposal during an *NSYNC concert. I wonder if he heard and had the same reaction as you did. If so, that sure would be funny!

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    • avatar

      zefal January 3, 2012, 8:56 pm

      Were you having a relationship with Justine when you shouted it out? If not, I think it’s safe to assume he didn’t have the same reaction since the circumstances are completely different.

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      • avatar

        SweetPea January 4, 2012, 4:06 pm

        Pretty sure she was being silly.
        And I still *kind of* want to marry JT.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow January 2, 2012, 11:52 am

    Lots of people (women especially) have wedding fantasies. Even if you ARE the “dear one”, it doesn’t mean that she wants to marry you NOW or actually expects it to happen.

    If I were you, I would forget that I saw it and let everything progress naturally. Don’t let this put a wrench in your budding relationship.

    In fact, you two sound like a super-cute couple! I’m not even sure why you’re reluctant to put a girlfriend label on it since it seems like that’s what you are. Have fun and relax!

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    • avatar

      kali January 2, 2012, 1:12 pm

      Yes! Fantasies sometimes make their way onto the page (I’m a writer and everything makes its way onto the page at some time) but it may be something I’m trying on for size not necessarily a concrete desire. Relax and see how tings progress.

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    • avatar

      cporoski January 3, 2012, 6:11 am

      Exactly, I can’t tell you how many doodle hearts I have made over the years. How many last name tests I did. If someone ever saw, I don’t know what I would do. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

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  • avatar

    Jess January 2, 2012, 12:46 pm

    sounds like a “letter to my future spouse” to me. i know people who write them to their future kids too.

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny January 2, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s irresponsible, even cruel, to carry on a fwb situation with a person who is in love with you? Even if you’re absolutely clear that you just want to be fwb?

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    • avatar

      CottonTheCuteDog January 2, 2012, 12:57 pm

      I think all FWB situations are cruel.

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      • avatar

        jaybro January 2, 2012, 1:19 pm

        Agree. Someone always gets feelings hurt eventually.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't January 2, 2012, 12:58 pm

      Nope, I agree. It’s one thing if you are clueless as to how they feel, but this LW knows that her FWB wants more and has very strong feelings for her. I would guess she’s using the poor girl for fun/ an ego boost/because it’s convenient for her.

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    • avatar

      Trixy Minx January 2, 2012, 2:16 pm

      I was going to say that but you beat me to it.

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  • avatar

    CottonTheCuteDog January 2, 2012, 1:04 pm

    In all seriousness, LW this is what you do: Talk to her honestly about your feelings and then ask her how she feels about you. And then listen. From the letter it sounds like you’ve asked her if she was okay with the situation but you never asked her what her feelings were. After the feelings are all out in the open then ask her if she wants to be exclusive or whatever you want the next step in the reationship to be. Don’t mention you saw the drawings. Most likely it was just a fantasy drawing. If she ever tells you upfront she wants to marry you then you are allowed to say “I’m not ready yet”, etc.

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  • avatar

    jaybro January 2, 2012, 1:18 pm

    I agree with all the other comments saying that there isn’t really a clear way to know if this letter is actually addressed to you or not. It could be a fantasy that she made up, or a friend/sibling could have asked L to write up something to help THEM confess their feelings, or it could be a joke to freak you out (and if so, she did a good job!). I don’t know L, so I don’t know what her intentions were here.

    However, you do defend yourself by saying that you were not snooping and that these letters were in plain sight. Therefore find it hard to believe that L, knowing that she would be gone for a few weeks AND that you would be the one taking care of her cat, would forget to put away drawers containing this “love letter” if its recipient were you!

    So TALK to her about it. When she gets back, tell her that you saw it (since it wasn’t hidden, she shouldn’t get angry) and you’re wondering if this “dear one” is referring to you. If she actually says yes, you can say that you’re flattered, but you’re not interested in marriage now or anytime soon, and let her know where the relationship is in your mind (casual relationship, not FWBs anymore) and go from there. If she says no, then this can all be a hilarious misunderstanding (although you’d still need to reassess the relationship and ALSO let her know that before reading this love note, you were still feeling like making the step from FWBs to being in a casual relationship).

    Just let her explain the letter before you do anything. Y’all sound like a good match; don’t let silly assumptions get in the way of that.

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  • avatar

    This Letter Writer January 2, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Letter Writer chiming in to clarify. I had written Wendy not long after I found the drawings and freaked out pretty hardcore and things got cut out (it was pretty long lol). L and I have been communicating about our feelings on our relationship. We sorta ran into each other this semester after both of us got out bad relationships and resolving not to date anyone. And then the geektastic feelings started flying.

    In my town, casual dating is almost non-existent. You stake a claim on someone and you’re automatically in this serious relationship. *Insert lesbian U-Hauling joke*. Before L and I were even hooking up our friends referred to us as a single unit. Being someone’s “girlfriend” in my circle implies a lot of seriousness and commitment, which really freaked me out. Hence my reluctance to label what we have…even though we’re totally girlfriends and not what I’ve deluded myself into thinking. My intention was never to use her for sex, but rather naturally see how things developed between us when we didn’t slap on that heavy “girlfriend” label.

    We have had the talk about what it means to be official. I have talked to her about how the labeling scares me because it comes with certain expectations and commitments. She reassured me that she has zero expectations…but then I found those drawings and jumped the paranoid bridge.

    In any case we’re due for another check-in and serious conversation about these things. Thanks for responding guys

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    • avatar

      CottonTheCuteDog January 2, 2012, 2:00 pm

      what expectations and commitments are there with the girlfriend label? I’m just interested in knowing.

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      • avatar

        This Letter Writer January 2, 2012, 2:46 pm

        I’m having a hard time finding words, but this meme illustrates the sentiment well:
        http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ytkjkM-0nP4/Tv97BnwW96I/AAAAAAAANnI/3CuDdfyi5rY/s1600/Women%2527s%2BFriendship%2Bvs%2BMen%2527s%2BFriendship.jpg

        I’ve felt it with the other women I’ve dated. Relationships start off super intense and we burn up and out so quickly. Yet there’s the expectation that we’re going to be together forever and ever. And us being “L” and “M”, who are totally perfect for each other, doubles that pressure from friends. We were treated like a couple long before that was remotely true. Her dramatic ex-gf wants to cook me on a spit just for hanging out with L (looooooong after they’d broken up).

        The sentiment is there that were going to be together for a long time, not just planning for next week. I realize that every relationship reaches this crux, but where I’m from it can happen in a matter of weeks/days, instead of months. Really annoying.

        I don’t want to burn out with her because I enjoy what we have so much, and I’m really silly in that I’m afraid that a label is going to kill it and launch us into this forever-ness. (which is really stupid, considering I read DW everyday and have read all those letters).

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      • avatar

        Rachel January 2, 2012, 4:17 pm

        You said it yourself, you’re just being silly being afraid of a label. Don’t worry about how your friends perceive your relationship. The only people who know what a relationship is are the ones who are in it. Just talk to your girlfriend about how each of you feels and what expectations YOU have for your own relationship. Let your friends assume what they want.

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      • avatar

        Something More January 2, 2012, 8:31 pm

        And BE HONEST!!

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    • avatar

      cporoski January 3, 2012, 6:17 am

      I can see what you are saying about seriousness. I have noticed with L relationships, that people are working so hard to legitamize them that they throw around “Life Partner” way too early. Like you are on 3 dates and now are married. However, a label is what you make of it. I know terrible marriages, terrible b/g relationships, and wonderful ones. It isn’t the label that makes them what they are. It is the people in the relationship.

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  • katie

    katie January 2, 2012, 7:56 pm

    LW, the only thing that I would say is that even though your sort of girlfriend is thinking about marrying you, that doesnt necessarily mean she would literally go with you tomorrow and get married.

    my boyfriend and i have talked about our wedding- we have sort of planned it. i go to wedding blogs and look at stuff, and a couple of weeks ago i think i found a place that would be perfect to hold it at!!

    but if he asked me tomorrow, i would absolutely have a heart attack. actually, he had been hinting that he was going to ask me on christmas! and it totally stressed me out (he didnt, in case your wondering)

    all im saying is that even though your girlfriend may fantasize about getting married, and even marrying you, that it doesnt mean shes like a crazy obssesed girlfriend. the bottom line is that you both need to be on the same page- which i think is really the root of your problem.

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  • avatar

    MiMi January 2, 2012, 8:08 pm

    Let’s wipe away all considerations of labels, what anyone’s gender is, and what the relationship culture is like in your town. The bottom line here is that you have been sending mixed signals to this girl and neither one of you is honest with the other, you for making loud statements about how this is only a FWB situation while acting like a girlfriend, and she for denying that she hopes for/expects more from you while writing fantasy proposals she can never give you. It is time to decide if you want this relationship or not and to clear the air with her on all topics.

    Having been the recipient of a now-I’m in, now-I’m out, not-sure-I-want-this-amazing-connection, booty-calling type relationship, I can tell you that it sucks big hairy balls. Kindly make up your mind that you will never (again) be a person who takes advantage of someone who cares for you, and either go all in (wherever that may lead the two of you) or let her go for good.

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  • avatar

    Steve the homo January 3, 2012, 3:25 pm

    What 21 YO doesn’t want to fall in love?

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  • avatar

    DonM January 3, 2012, 3:34 pm

    and if you get it wrong, you can get a lesbian divorce (U-hauls work both ways, and checking accounts can be closed.

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  • avatar

    deepelemblues January 3, 2012, 3:52 pm

    Grow up. You want all the pleasures of commitment, but you don’t want to be committed.

    If you just want regular casual sex with one person, don’t hang out with them like they’re your boyfriend/girlfriend. Just, you know, have casual sex with them, see ya next time.

    Of course that’s easier to say than do, so maybe the problem is your ideal of having a “FWB” in the first place? Why not go out and get an actual girlfriend? Because you think for some reason that the problems will be worse than what you’ve got yourself into now?

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  • avatar

    Ishmael January 3, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Send pictures.

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  • avatar

    DngrMse January 3, 2012, 4:04 pm

    It’s obvious that your relationship with this young woman meant something more to her, than it did to you. Sometimes not even the most obvious hints, or unequivocally clear statements about how you like the arrangement you share “Just The Way It Is” will convince your friend to believe that More is not better…and that you won’t be happier wearing her ring.

    The little drawings, the allusion to her “Dear One”, were not an accident. If they were meant for someone else, they would have been put away before she left, (and left you her key). You were meant to see them, because, in her mind, you are her dear one. And now, there’s no easy way out. Cut her off at the knees quickly, and be done with it, or drag the pain, suffering, and tears out by alienating her bit by bit.

    You already know what to do…what’s right for you, and your lady friend. It’s not the easiest choice, it’s not the one that hurts the least Right Now. Years from now, you will not look back on your decisions with pride. But unless you’re willing, eager, and happy to make this young woman your bride, unless you love her, and want to spend the rest of your life with her, then do her the favor of hurting her now, and letting her get on with a life without you.

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  • avatar

    Brian January 3, 2012, 4:51 pm

    LOL… my lesbian best friend told the the other day the bad thing about her relationships is that there are twice as many neurotic women over analyzing everything!

    Seriously, LW, for what its worth here are my observations.

    1. Go get some therapy for yourself. You clearly have very unhealthy hang-ups about “labels” — these are bad because you’re so worried about the labels that you’re missing sight of the substance.

    2. Which leads me to this: Just because your S.O. is “saying the right things” when you drop your various disclaimers and waivers about what you don’t want her to expect, etc., that does not excuse you from your obligation as a human being to be a decent person. Fact: If this woman is deeply in love with you, and at the same time you’re wanting to keep your options open (in case you fall in love — or into bed with someone else, you don’t want any moral foibles in your way), then you are being deeply unfair and selfish and you ought to end it before you hurt this person any more. Its not uncommon for someone who is madly in love to say “sure, I can accept that” — in that person’s mind, she’s hoping to survive on what little commitment you can give her and that maybe you’ll change your mind.

    3. Trust me as someone nearly twice your age. The type of connection you describe — being on the same page with the same interests and an abiding desire to be with each other is rarer than you think. You’re young, so you don’t want to close any doors. But when you get to be my age, you don’t focus so much on the people you haven’t met or the doors you have not yet opened. You look back with sadness and regret at the really great relationships you screwed up, the times when your fear or uncertainty caused you to lose something great. Since we just finished the silly season, go get your favorite copy of A Christmas Carol and notice what Dickens makes the centerpiece of the torment of Scrooge by the ghost of Christmas past: Its the woman he loved and didn’t do right by, that he lost.

    Good luck to you.

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  • avatar

    TMink January 3, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Well, you could assume you know what is going on and make unilateral decisions on your assumptions.

    Or you could talk it out and find out what is really going on and THEN decide.

    Up to you.

    Trey

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  • avatar

    Mastro January 3, 2012, 5:43 pm

    First- if you are FWB- you have to ACT like FWB. You are acting like siamese twins- so basically you are GF’s-

    GF is not a legal status- it doesn’t matter if you say it under an elm tree at high noon- if you spend all your time together you are either GF’s or having a torrid affair.

    If being a GF bothers you- when you are in all but name- break up with her. Or at least spend time apart.

    I’d ignore the letter- it might be harmless fantasy- or someone else- as others have said.

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  • avatar

    ken in sc January 3, 2012, 7:22 pm

    Whoever cares the least about a relationship is in charge of the relationship. It sounds like you are in charge. Do whatever you like. Keep her hanging on until you are tired of her, or kick her to the curb, it’s up to you. You are probably hotter than her or this situation would not exist.

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  • avatar

    Ken Pierce January 4, 2012, 9:24 am

    Strikes me that you have trust issues, not communication issues — no matter how clearly she communicates to you that she is okay with the FWB relationship, you suspect that she wants more. How is talking it through some more going to help when you never have believed what she tells you in the past? If you aren’t going to believe what she tells you anyway, then aren’t you being rather dishonest when you “talk about things”? If you said up front, “You know, no matter what you say, I’m still going to suspect you of wanting to marry me,” then how do you think she would react?

    I don’t know if you see what I’m saying or not, and God knows I don’t know the two of you and could be totally off base; but to me your letter screams trust issues, not communication issues.

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  • avatar

    Mwalt January 5, 2012, 12:43 pm

    Let me get this straight – you want all the benefits of a relationship but don’t want to really commit to one?

    And I don’t know what state you live in, but “marrying” might not be an option. If you want out, get out, but stop thinking that spending ALL your time together is totally a FWB situation, because it’s totally NOT. It’s leading someone on.

    Wendy always says to trust people’s actions, rather than words. Trust YOUR actions. You are leading this girl on and she deserves better. MOA already and let her do the same.

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