“When you know better, you do better” is maybe life’s most laughable platitude. Has anyone ever even pretended to take that to heart? There’s a reason that even the most discerning of society – moms – have homes littered with pillows and hand towels that say “I’m a hybrid – I’m fueled by chocolate and wine!” and “I can’t calm down – I’m out of wine!” and it’s because life is full of regret.
Knowing better and doing better is a U-turn opening, and then there’s us smiling in our car, driving directly and proudly into the median. Not me personally, just people I know. I make perfect decisions. But this might ring especially true for people of a certain orientation who spend time and energy on women of another orientation. That is one hypothetical for, again, you and not me.
Rejection is hard enough without the dramatic unfurling of an “oh honey” banner in the background, so I can’t imagine this an easy journey. What’s worse is that cultural visual cues have crossed the party line, and so this goof seems doomed to repeat itself. Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time it happens.
Immediately ask another question
It should look something like this:
“Hey, we should go out sometime.”
“Oh… That’s really flattering. I’m actually straight.”
“Have you ever been to the Empire State building?”
Just like that. Imagine. How unsettling! Maybe you do this with everyone you meet because you are some sort of statistics wizard, data-collecting and odds-testing every one of your daily interactions. She’ll leave the conversation thinking she’s met someone who 1) asks out every person they meet and 2) has possibly been conducting a life long survey. What a strange person you are, she might think with a sip from her martini, but notice what you aren’t: one to be pitied.
Just do anything else
Commitedly, which is not a word, but I need you to consider it and then embody it fully. This was simply an inconsequential meeting in the middle of your busy schedule. If the only thing that’s around you is a Sunglass Hut, go inside of it with the efficiency of a dad on a Saturday. Ah, yes, the new sunglasses you’ve been needing. Time to try on exactly one pair and feel satisfied that they meet your only requirement: that they rest on the tops of your ears without then sliding down the rest of your face.
Set aside an appropriate grieving period
Three, eight months? Whatever feels right to you.
Talk to a trusted friend
Don’t assume this is something that needs to be kept to yourself. Reach out. Remember your chosen family. If the friend you first contact doesn’t laugh at you, go to another friend. Do this until you find a friend who laughs at you.
Is this like the time you woke up from a dream where you were Rihanna’s girlfriend only to realize you weren’t Rihanna’s girlfriend and then were deeply affected for the rest of the day? What’s going on in your life, babe? Oh, anyone can have a podcast or be a DJ and so why can’t you ask out this clearly straight woman? Get it together, you messy bitch!
Order something off Anthropologie
Reframe the rejection
And by reframe it, I mean rewrite it. Recently a friend took her child to get a haircut and the experience was so tantrum-riddled that it ended in her child throwing up in her hand while they sat together in the barber’s chair. On the ride home she decided to record herself asking him how it went. “Jack, how did the haircut go?” to which he responded with ease, “Very, very well.” And why not? This is a gorgeous move universally available.
Find an ocean
Lie on your back and let the current take you past the break. Float until you hear colors.
I’m so shy when it comes to asking people out, not to mention I’ve never dated an L-type yet so I’ll just stay crouched under a rock and pining
Same here <3
So, what do you say if you’ve already hooked up with her and then she tells you that she’s straight? Hypothetically speaking. I’m asking for a friend. A hypothetical friend! >.>
Don’t say anything, just back out of the room and then run, run, run away!
throw your phone in a ditch
I think just listen to that one I Didn’t Just Kiss Her Jen Foster song over and over again? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGPxlMbLpiw
Also fun fact this person is probably going to now dive hardcore into dating men, get engaged to someone nice and boring much to soon and then divorce them for their lesbian co-worker who they are now happily married to and with whom they have a kid. You will also be happily married to a woman and wondering why you had ever thought that this other person who was so clearly wrong for you was interesting. Or at least that’s what happened to a hypothetical friend in a similar situation.
I would agree with probably backing out, but then remind people that Deanne Smith married a straight girl(her words, unless that was just part of her comedy bit).
Lol you pine after her for a year and then drunkenly make out with her on a couch at a party.
Incidentally, that was her excuse for what happened: “Well, you know, we were both pretty drunk and got carried away. I like you a lot, but as a friend! I’m straight.” That hasn’t happened since though, lol.
Everything you write is so good.
Erin, this made my morning. Still laughing on the second read. <3 <3 <3
Where was this article 6 years ago when I needed it! My appropriate grieving time is almost up! The world is cruel, Erin, but you are a gem.
I’m now committed to anything commitedly
I meant acting but….now I’m committed to “anything commitedly” ?
i’m committed to this
Did you guys just create the “Fake News” tag, or have I really been this oblivious for … 7 years?
Either way, keep it up. I expect DJT to be decrying the “fake news site Autostraddle” on Twitter by the end of the year. Make me proud.
it’s been around for like..3 months and i’ve snagged every tag
Chill tip number 9:
“Hey, I’m in love with you.”
“Sorry, I’m straight. But let’s be friends!”
“Superb idea! Let’s!”
Totally not going to be awkward, like ever.
“i hope we stay platonic friends forever!”
*Hayley Kiyoko’s ‘Sleepover’ plays on repeat*
Look sympathetic and say “Oh, you’re straight? That’s so brave. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. I know this other straight person though, do you want me to introduce you? You should totally meet, you would have so much to talk about!”
Or grin fixedly whilst mentally debating on which icecream flavour will be improved by rivers of salty tears (the answer is either dark chocolate or caramel).
this is genius and is now what i will say when i get rejected by the probably straight girl i met through work last week (short hair, fairly sensible shoes and a voice approximately half an octave lower than you’d expect is all i really have to go on, wish me luck i need it)
I feel like you should know that this piece and the vaguetombing post have actively changed my life for the better this week.
same; they are both so good.
BUT sometimes you tell them about your Feelings and they tell you they’re straight and you feel crushed but then several years later it turns out they’ve realized they’re into you after all.
chandra this is doubly bad
You will not extinguish my optimism Erin
See I’m so scared of asking out straight girls that I pretty much only date people I meet on dating apps…my gaydar (unless you’re an A-camp type) is pretty bad.
Once I had a crush on this woman I only kind of worked with who was giving off a vibe, and then I went to SF for pride, and when I got back she was like “you were in the city? I was in the city too!” and I was like b-i-n-g-
And then she said “were you seeing Joel Osteen too?”
And I was like “ohhhh.”
“were you seeing Joel Osteen too?”
i’m more shocked that joel osteen has tapped the below-70 age market
i’d honestly never heard his name until he came to the bay that week! and this person was under 40, what was her deallll
God, QG, you’re so good
I had to look him up, and then went oohhh out loud at work.
– were you seeing Joel Olsteen too?
– no, I was seeing the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
“Very, very well.”
Jack is my new Patronus.
This situation is a tough call. I habitually fall for straight women, but, are they really so straight I wonder. I used to cry and cry and make myself miserable with the rejection. But not anymore, it seems I’ve changed !
I’m currently in a relationship with a straight woman. The interpretation she’s making of it is that we’re like teenage friends, because she sees the parallel with her daughter who texts non-stop to her best buddies and misses them terribly when they’re not around. Of course I had to talk myself down from the ledge a bit, but I find that I’m not trying to lead us in a certain direction, i.e., the bedroom. Yes I’ve thought about telling her how I feel but my Tarot advised against it and Tarot knows best. Both of us have found a space where we’re on the same wavelength it seems, and relish each other’s company on that level. I find that I fully enjoy the times we’re together, as long as I don’t aspire to a particular outcome. And really, we’re so clearly dating, but by the standards of a previous century perhaps. I find it kick-ass joyful to give a straight gal all the room she wants to flirt with me, it’s just soooo flattering. But as always, YMMV…
If you read online fiction, I suggest KG MacGregor’s Shaken, http://xenafiction.net/scrolls/kg_macgregor_sh1.html which follows a friends to more pairing. Actually, any of her works are a way to escape whatever one wishes to forget for a bit.
Thanks for the suggestion !
oh god I’m the dad shopping on a Saturday, I feel seen
Jack is an inspiration to us all.
Is this another way to prove that straight women are not OK?
erin’s description of the ‘IM OUT OF WINE’ handtowels and pillows littering the house confirmed this for me.
I read this to prepare for telling my straight (?) boss I have a crush on her, thanks Erin
How did it go?
@sgilbert Mmm well see some stuff got in the way and work’s been crazy, haha, you know how it is (I have not done it yet)
Ok sure but what do you do when the Sunglass Hut has just closed and you start to bounce off that weird gate while trying to march inside and you start to fall down but your belt gets stuck in the gate so you don’t really fall but you also can’t leave and she’s just staring at you with this mixture of pity and horrified amusement and then the security guard comes and is all like “ma’am the mall is closed” and, and, and…
…Again, just asking for a friend ?
I’m afraid these tips are all flawed because they are predicated on a fallacy.
Women can’t actually hit on other women. You just have to radiate longing at each other from a safe distance and if you are fortunate then sex happens. Or not.
Sorry, these are just the rules.
I feel personally attacked and also so very seen by this comment. I fear I will need another 6 years to process how I feel about it.
I’m the friend that laughs… If anyone needs to end their chain of calls.
Straight women should just stop all this nonsense and be queer already.
For *that* straight girl at work I’m just gonna skip all that asking out and getting rejected and making things at work awkward when you still gotta work with each other, and jump straight into the ice cream crying too much wine part. And.
Find an ocean, sounds like a plan.
Thank you Autostraddle for this essential and high-quality content
No really…VITAL. y’all are saving lives out here with this toolkit i’m gonna utilize all these suggestions at the same time
“Maybe you do this with everyone you meet because you are some sort of statistics wizard, data-collecting and odds-testing every one of your daily interactions.”
I LOST IT at “odds-testing.” Too funny. Literally every one of your articles is 10/10.
Unexpected thing which happened to me today – discovering the truth by reading the comments section of this article.