So, the very next day after I posted my dilemma on this blog, the same friend came by my office and asked if I wanted to have lunch. (We work at the same place, although rarely see each other.) I said yes, but the whole time I was wondering if my partner had mentioned my concerns to her and that’s why she was asking me to lunch.
It turns out it was just a coincidence.
We had a really good talk. She told me about her past relationship that had ended abruptly and in a way that left her devastated. She talked about her past and what a hard time she had in high school and college until finally learning to accept herself. We also talked a lot about boundaries and I mentioned how my partner was just learning how to set them. She said she would be a willing test subject and to let my partner know that she would not be offended if she wanted to practice on her. She said she considered us “aunties.” (She is about 20 years younger than my partner; 17 years younger than I.)
I felt really good about the whole situation after we left, sure that things were going to get better. Well, they really didn’t. The three of us are part of a women’s performance group, and we have weekly practice. The day after our lunch, we met for practice and the friend was all over her again, in what was an inappropriate way. My partner still didn’t say anything, even though I could tell she was uncomfortable.
Then, that weekend, we ran into her at breakfast with another lesbian couple we know. She came up behind my partner and grabbed her around the waist, nearly getting an elbow in the face because, as I have said before, my partner is not used to that kind of touching. She knows she needs to say something, but doesn’t know how without being rude.
In the meantime, I dread being around this friend and I am getting pretty fed up. We just met her this fall, and aren’t that great of friends yet, so it seems just too much too soon. I thought we would get a reprieve because she just started dating someone, but may have scared her off with wanting to be exclusive after a couple of lunch dates. At the same time, I feel bad for her because she is trying so hard to find a connection with someone but hasn’t been able to for the past few years. And, she has that past of being hurt.
Anyway, that’s where we are now — same place as before. Just wanting a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.