Wedding Woes

Wow, this wordy.

Dear Prudence,


I recently became good friends with “Absalom” and “Richard.” Richard is queer and non-binary but very masculine-presenting, while Absalom is a straight cis man (I myself am a gay cis man). When we first became friends, Richard and I both developed small crushes on Absalom before we knew his sexuality. We both subtly and innocently flirted with him a couple times. After Absalom offhandedly mentioned he was straight, I backed off, no big deal.

Richard, however, has kept belabouring the issue of Absalom’s straightness in the ensuing weeks—not aggressively, but in a gently teasing way. This would normally not be an issue—I gently tease my straight friends sometimes and Absalom is normally the type to take it in stride—but Richard has also continued the subtle flirting. It’s nothing outrageous or boundary-crossing, but it’s enough that some of our other friends have started to notice. Absalom has repeatedly reiterated—sometimes jokily, sometimes more seriously—that he is straight, and even that he’s experimented with men but found that it wasn’t for him. When Richard has brought their intentions toward Absalom up to me, I’ve reminded them of all of this, but I’ve always been dismissed. They’ll say that maybe Absalom just hasn’t found his type, or that he needs to broaden his horizons. Prudie, I know that sexuality and gender are a rich and ever-shifting tapestry, but I also believe in taking people at their word. Richard is an otherwise conscientious person, and their behavior hasn’t struck me as alarming or blatantly non-consensual, but it still bothers me. Absalom is a good sport, but if some of his friends are a little uncomfortable at this dynamic, I’m wondering how he’s feeling about this whole thing. I want to let him know that if he’s uncomfortable he can be clear without being thought of as homophobic or closed-minded (since I know this is an anxiety straight people sometimes have), but I don’t know how to broach the subject with him.

Prudie, do you have any recommended scripts for a) communicating to Absalom that he can talk to me if Richard’s behavior makes him uncomfortable, and b) more effectively communicating to Richard that I value them as a friend but their behaviour is edging towards “not OK”?

–Looking For Straight Talk

Re: Wow, this wordy.

  • Yikes.   There's a lot of "No means no" that Richard needs to hear.
    MissKittyDangerOliveOilsMomahoyweddingcharlotte989875
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
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    Perhaps when it is just the three of them somewhere LW should say "Richard, no means no.  Give Absalom a break!" when he is doing this flirty thing.  It might be an opening for Absalom to agree that Richard is coming on too strong and he is not interested in him in that way - again.

    Also - Absalom?  Am I missing something with this name? 

    short+sassycharlotte989875kimmiinthemitten
  • Absolom is a big boy and clearly has no problem communicating to Richard to back up when things go too far. LW needs to stay out of it. 

    Personally and if I were Absolom, I'd be letting the friendship wane a bit. I wouldn't want anyone (regardless of preference and identity) flirting with me and making sexual advances constantly - after I had told them multiple times I wasn't interested and to please stop. Then to take things further and have them constantly questioning my identity and preferences and telling me to broaden my horizons? Nah. That's not the kind of friendship I'm interested in.
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    charlotte989875kimmiinthemittenVarunaTT
  • Perhaps when it is just the three of them somewhere LW should say "Richard, no means no.  Give Absalom a break!" when he is doing this flirty thing.  It might be an opening for Absalom to agree that Richard is coming on too strong and he is not interested in him in that way - again.

    Also - Absalom?  Am I missing something with this name? 

    You took the words right out of my mouth!

    Otherwise, it's just an extremely odd choice.  Especially since the other person was given a typical name, like Richard.

    I'm bordering a little on the LW needing to mind their own business.  If Absalom is uncomfortable, that is up to him to say something.

    Though I suppose something more mild...like taking Absalom aside and asking if Richard's flirting makes him uncomfortable.  Or the throwing out a "joke" with a bit of meaning, like the bolded, would also be okay.

    I am bothered that their friend group has an attitude of, "Don't believe what Absalom actually says.  He just hasn't found the right man yet!"  WTF!!!  Seriously???  Especially coming from a group who, one could guess from the letter, has had their own problems with society accepting their sexuality.

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    OliveOilsMom
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
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    Absalom is also the name of a man in the Bible. He was the son of King David. He was described as quite handsome. He killed his brother because his brother raped their sister/half-sister (not sure which she was). 

    Absalom did all all sorts of things to offend his father, and he wanted to be king and tried to usurp the throne. He had long hair and died when his hair caught in a tree and people came along and killed him. 

    Crazy story, I know!




    southernbelle0915short+sassymrsconn23
  • Absalom is also the name of a man in the Bible. He was the son of King David. He was described as quite handsome. He killed his brother because his brother raped their sister/half-sister (not sure which she was). 

    Absalom did all all sorts of things to offend his father, and he wanted to be king and tried to usurp the throne. He had long hair and died when his hair caught in a tree and people came along and killed him. 

    Crazy story, I know!
    What a crappy way to die. I mean, you live this whole life and then your hair gets caught in a tree and you die? Like "oh this is really how I'm going to go?" 
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    levioosalovesclimbingkimmiinthemittenclimbingwife
  • Absalom is also the name of a man in the Bible. He was the son of King David. He was described as quite handsome. He killed his brother because his brother raped their sister/half-sister (not sure which she was). 

    Absalom did all all sorts of things to offend his father, and he wanted to be king and tried to usurp the throne. He had long hair and died when his hair caught in a tree and people came along and killed him. 

    Crazy story, I know!

    Thanks, lol!  Though I'm not seeing any correlation, other than the LW's Absalom is presumably also handsome?
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  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    Absalom is also the name of a man in the Bible. He was the son of King David. He was described as quite handsome. He killed his brother because his brother raped their sister/half-sister (not sure which she was). 

    Absalom did all all sorts of things to offend his father, and he wanted to be king and tried to usurp the throne. He had long hair and died when his hair caught in a tree and people came along and killed him. 

    Crazy story, I know!

    Thanks, lol!  Though I'm not seeing any correlation, other than the LW's Absalom is presumably also handsome?
    Yea, I know, I was reading through the whole story and was trying to think of correlations. 

    The only correlation I could think of was wanting someone who has turned you down. (The sister said no multiple times before he raped her). But obviously this is different because no sexual assault is happening, and I'm definitely not trying to say this guy will assault Richard eventually!

    short+sassymrsconn23
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