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Dear Miss Information,
I’m a 24 year old girl, and I’ve got a really fantastic best friend. She’s smart, funny, loyal, supportive, kind, interesting, and we’ve been through a lot together. I also think she’s in love with me. She came out as bi when we were teenagers and has had girlfriends before. I am a straight lady. My best friend’s sexual orientation hasn’t really been a big deal to me because who cares, but in the past few months I’ve been getting vibes from her. She hasn’t said anything or made a real move but our friendly banter has felt flirtier, she’s been more physically affectionate, and I’m just getting vibes. I love her, but I love her like a sister.
It’s not that I wouldn’t be open to experimenting with a woman, but not with my best friend. She’s attractive, but I’m not attracted to her. I don’t know what to do. Do I bring it up and tell her I’m not interested? I don’t want to pull back on our friendship but most of all I don’t want anything to get weird. I think she’s really wonderful, and a catch, but she’s my best friend and I don’t want our dynamic to change. What do I do?
— Like but not Like-Like
My god, Taystee, is that you? Did my joke a few weeks ago about writing advice for fictional characters break the fourth wall? I presume this is just a case of life imitating art because if this letter was actually from Tasha Jefferson a.) I like to think you’d have mentioned being in a federal prison and b.) we would all be impressed by Netflix’s compelling documentary. Honestly, though? Have you watched season 2 of Orange Is the New Black, darling LW? Because (*spoiler alert for those slow to binge watch*) this shit happens to Taystee and her reaction gets the Miss Info seal of approval for dealing with awkward interpersonal relationships. Cliff’s notes: the best, cutest, awesomest pair of lady best friends are a straight lady and a gay lady. One day when they’re hanging out and being awesome, there is an attempted kiss, which the straight friend is not into. She very gently says thanks but no thanks, and the two of them hug it out and snuggle. The gay friend is super sad, as anyone will be after rejection, but she eventually gets over it, as anyone will after rejection, and their friendship repairs itself because love conquers all, even unrequited love.
So, listen. Your friend hasn’t made her feelings explicit to you at this point, and that’s probably because if she’s crushing on you, she doesn’t want to make things weird, either. She’s your best friend, not some moron. If she’s feeling romantic toward you, she’s probably nervous about it and trying to keep it under control. She probably knows you’re not interested. Just act normal. Don’t put her on the spot or make her feel embarrassed of her feelings, or risk bringing it up and realizing you’ve misread the whole thing and your friend is not interested in you just because she likes girls and you are a girl, you egomaniac.
If you have the kind of friendship where you can be that blunt, go ahead and ask her if it gets to a point where wondering what she’s thinking is creating too much tension for you to deal with. Otherwise, act normal, and if your friend does make her feelings explicit at some point, let her down gently and lovingly, and don’t get weird afterward. Being rejected by someone you love is when you need your best friend most of all, you know. But for now, just enjoy your friendship as it’s always been, and know that if she is in love with you (which she may not necessarily be, vibes be damned), you should be really flattered even if you’re not interested. If she’s your best friend, that’s for a reason, and she’s probably a catch.