Wedding Woes

Stop making excuses and just tell her it won't work for you.

Dear Prudence,

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

Re: Stop making excuses and just tell her it won't work for you.

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    mrsconn23 said:

    Dear Prudence,

    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

    There is?  Where is that in the rule book?

    STARMOON44charlotte989875eileenrob
  • I totally giggled at the signature. 

    But yeah, this isn't about gay/straight; you're not compatible travel partners. Tell her (nicely) that you enjoy your time when you come to visit, but you're not interested in a vacation together. Encourage her to go to events where she might people she would be find more compatible travel partners. 
    mrsconn23short+sassy
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    Ooo, I wonder if she's pulled the, "but you're my gay bestie!" line (I have heard this said in person, at least 3 times).  Sooo gross.  Straight people do give off vibes like this all.the.damn.time, btw, especially straight women to gay men.  So, I can totally see where he's getting this.

    I think he's doing the right thing already, just rinse and repeat.  Unless he doesn't want to see her at all anymore, in which case, ghost her.
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • VarunaTT said:
    Ooo, I wonder if she's pulled the, "but you're my gay bestie!" line (I have heard this said in person, at least 3 times).  Sooo gross.  Straight people do give off vibes like this all.the.damn.time, btw, especially straight women to gay men.  So, I can totally see where he's getting this.

    I think he's doing the right thing already, just rinse and repeat.  Unless he doesn't want to see her at all anymore, in which case, ghost her.


    I hear you!  To me, it still sounds offensive because it's implying that a person's sexual identity is a part of the reason in WHY they are such good friends with someone.  And while I'm sure (hope) that those close friendships are a result of two people who are close and have a good bond, that's actually going to be a result of their personalities.  Not their sexual orientations.

    And I agree with the other PPs.  I don't think this is about male/female, gay/straight at all.  I think the friend is just either more into the friendship and/or more of a social butterfly than the LW is.

    I don't think the LW needs any advice, other than to just keep doing what he is doing.  It sounds like he enjoys the friendship the way it currently is and the friend has never said anything to him about being "hurt" that he doesn't stay the night, answer every call, or want to go on vacation.  So that person might/probably thinks it's largely fine the way it is also.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875
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