I am a seventysomething gay man. I have a female friend who is 20 years younger than me, whom I’ve known since she was a teenager. She has adult children she’s reasonably close with, and she doesn’t date (as far as I know). I occasionally visit her city, and we usually spend an evening together having dinner and going to the theater. Once she said I could always stay with her during my visits, but I wasn’t interested, so I always just tell her the dates I’ll be in town, the hotel I’m staying at, and what evening I have free for her. We keep in touch over Facebook and email but she also calls me a lot, almost never leaving a message, which leads me to believe she “just wants to talk.” Sometimes I pick up; sometimes I don’t. I’m not crazy about phone calls “just to talk,” from her or from anybody.
Several times she has suggested that we take a vacation together. I made excuses both times. I don’t think we would be compatible on a vacation. (I like independence; she likes constant companionship.) I know there’s supposed to be this special bond between gay men and straight women, but I’ve always thought that was a myth, or if it’s true, that I have somehow escaped it. I’m not interested in a Will & Grace relationship with her. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but there are times when I want her to back off a little, and I’m not sure how to do it. What would really solve the problem is if she found another friend close to where she lived. I introduced her to a gay male friend of mine who lives in her city, and they went to some kind of show together once. Each of them complained to me afterward about how difficult the other one was. What should I do?
—Not Your Gay Bestie