Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Three's a Crowd

I am a gay man who has just entered into a committed relationship with a man I've been dating for three years. The problem is his friend, whom I'll call Loretta. Loretta is a lesbian and she is my guy's best, best friend. Let me make it clear that I have absolutely no problem with lesbians or women in general, but try as I might, I just can't get "into" Loretta. I just don't like her, and believe me I've tried. What's worse is that she is always around, and I mean always. She broke up with a long-time lover about five years ago and apparently still isn't over it. I'm sympathetic, but I wish she'd understand that her friend -- my lover -- is in a relationship and he doesn't always have time for her drama. Sometimes I feel like we're supposed to be this happy trio or something. They've been friends for years and I don't want to end that, but just wish Loretta wasn't around quite so much. When I bring it up, my boyfriend will tell me all the things Loretta has done for him, how she's lonely and hurting, blah, blah, blah. Dr. Bill, what can I do? Anon.

The problem isn't Loretta so much as your boyfriend. In other words, he has to understand that while being in a relationship doesn't mean that you forget about your friends, it does mean that you should be spending more time with your significant other and at least a little less with your friends. It's too bad that you just don't care for Loretta, but I have a feeling anyone who intrudes on your life with your guy would understandably be a problem.

It may seem that there's little you can do when your boyfriend goes into "defensive friendship mode" -- I mean, he starts reminding you of all Loretta's done for him and how much the friendship means, blah, blah, blah, as you say. Tell him that you understand that his friendship with Loretta is important and you don't want him to end it for the world, but you don't have the same history with Loretta and she's just an annoyance to you because she's around so fucking much! If he's unwilling to address the problem for fear of hurting Loretta, you may have to take tactful action, a sympathetic aside to Loretta, maybe just a hint that you wish you had more quality alone time with your new lover.

Take a firm stand with your boyfriend. Explain that you're in a relationship with him, not with Loretta, and while you don't mind if they hang out together from time to time, and can put up with her now and then, you don't want to feel as if you're part of a threesome. He has to meet you halfway.

If all else fails you will have to tell Loretta that she needs to get a life of her own, and/or tell your boyfriend that he has to put in his foot down in as kind a way as possible. If the problem is that Loretta just keeps showing up without an invitation, you will eventually have to be firm with her. Tell her you don't mind her coming over now and then, you respect her friendship with your lover, but he's in a relationship now and the two of you sometimes need to be alone. Give her a specific date to come over, but tell her she has to wait to be invited.

An awkward situation. But one that can be dealt with.

In the meantime, if you know any single lesbians who might be attracted to Loretta, for heaven's sake, introduce them to her!

No comments: