Oh Hey! It’s Alyssa #5: A Woman To Love

Oh Hey! It’s Alyssa is a biweekly web comic series by Alyssa

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A. Andrews

A. is a totally complete incomplete paraplegic and thirty-something hanky-in-the-pocket cartoonist weirdo!

A. has written 69 articles for us.


  1. Alyssa this is so wonderful.
    Can we have a discussion about the really real fear I have of being guilty of “friendzoning” a girl ? Like I don’t want to be that girl (guy!). But what if you “like like” a girl and she only “likes” you and even though you DO mean “I’d rather have you as a friend then not have you in my life” you still kinda wish / hope / pine for her. Just thinking “maybe she’ll come around wouldn’t that just be great”

    I mean i’m saying this because I’ve had to distance myself from budding friendships because of the fear that I was turning into that person.

    • I think it’s different (and good) when you deliberately cultivate a platonic relationship with someone because you respect that they’re dating someone else, vs the typical meaning of “friend-zoned” that devalues friendship because it doesn’t lead to sex.

      • Absolutely ! I believe so too ! But how do you develop the reflexivity / consciousness necessary to make sure one doesn’t slip into the other?

        • Interesting question! I feel self-conscious about how long this reply is but here goes.

          Not all friendships are equal and even some of my good friendships don’t lead to emotional intimacy on any topic, much less the kind that might lead to ~*~*~*~feelings so maybe being conscious about what you value about each particular friend, regardless of crush status?

          Like, literally make a list of what you value most about your friends: Sarah = sports talk! Jim = jokes and up-coming comics and doesn’t mind spontaneous hang-outs; Jill is a great listener and has good relationship advice, etc. And then for those friends you have a crush on, it just becomes one colorful facet, like Sam looks amazing today; yes I have a crush on her but she also has rad fashion and we could go shopping together, in a totally platonic way. Lol.

          But if Sam is actually a terrible dresser and you can’t think of any other basis to hang out with her except she gives you feelings, then there’s your answer, maybe? Besides, I think it’s ok if finding romance *is* the priority for the precious free time in someone’s social calendar at the moment, and there’s nothing unethical about prioritizing dating, and investing more in friendships at a later time.

          I’ve actually had the opposite happen, where a (straight!) girl was definitely homophobic and definitely aware that I liked her and she would not countenance any reference I made to gay culture no matter how general and not at all related to me specifically, but would still invite me out to bars alone and encourage me to flirt with her because she wanted the attention.
          So, you seem like you’re already a lot more ethical and caring than that putz, even if you feel you overdo the ‘you’re just a friend’ modulation of feelings/ behaviour in your own friend world.

    • Absolutely. When I found out that “want to grab a coffee?” did NOT in fact translate to “I totally want to sleep with you.” I really did respond in a way not at all unlike a sleazy guy friend moping about being friend-zoned. That part of me felt really gross and sad. I knew that ultimately it was just that I felt like I was going to miss out on who I thought would be the only person to ever be with me in a really authentic way – but that didn’t make my response any less icky.

      When we caught back up, and I got home from seeing her I really did realize that I wanted to be friends more than missing out on having her in my life in general. It was hard to think of not having a romantic connection, but it’s so hard to find people who really “get” me. And I realized when I got home that night that I would hate myself if I let jealousy and all that other stuff get in the way of having someone meaningful in my life.

      I was lucky that our feelings were mutual in the end, but I think – I hope, that had things gone as I thought they might, and she moved to be with her partner and we remained friends forever, that I’d be as grateful for her friendship as I am for her role in my life as it is now.

        • Don’t be terribly hard on yourself. I think it’s human nature to want the person you want to want you back (three wants in one sentence!). You just have to really look at the big picture and accept that when they don’t want you the way you want them – they’re not being terrible; they’re not MAKING you feel this way. You can be bummed, you can feel however you’re going to feel, but I think it’s just super important not to put your feelings on a pedestal, or convince yourself that them not wanting you is somehow their fault.

          Which, I think if we’re all honest with ourselves, we all do that from time to time and have to consciously put ourselves in check. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just take your time and unpack. :)

          • Yes! I’ve been trying to keep all this kind of stuff in mind about my crush! Cause while we do both like each other and flirt a lot, she lives across the country and has expressed she doesn’t like long distance. So I always have to remind myself that there is a lot I value in our friendship in addition to the crush feelings and flirting. I remember that she is a great listener and friend in general. Plus flirting can just be fun.

          • ‘…not to put your feelings on a pedestal…’ This. A skill that’s so hard to come by, and yet, we need it on so many levels and in so many ways … which is not to say don’t have feelings, and wallow on them on occasion, but to have a mechanism in place to come back into balance.

            Recent émigré from AfterEllen here. :) Hiya all. :D

    • HI I think about this sometimes

      But I also feel like you can be sad about an unrequited crush without it being about sex

      Because it’s hard to not be liked the same way you like somebody

      But maybe I have a slightly different take, because I’m vaguely demi sexual, so usually this stage happens to me before I’d be ready for sex anyway

      Where like, even at a platonic level, I like them SO MUCH MORE than they like me

      So it becomes, like, “I need to take a step back so I can open myself up to ppl who are available, because Best Friending all over this person who clearly would not put me in their Top Five on MySpace isn’t healthy”

      • I totally relate to this. It’s like being rejected for close-friend status when you’re already friends with someone is it’s own kind of pain because I don’t have that ‘chemistry’ excuse like for unrequited crushes, so it’s just my personality they don’t like that much. Blah.

    • To me, the concept of “friendzoning” is more about entitlement/expectations, rather than hopeful pining. If you go into a friendship with the expectation that you will win them over and then feel indignant when that doesn’t happen, that’s getting into friendzone territory. If, on the other hand, you can take responsibility for your own feelings (go ahead and totally feel upset when it’s not reciprocal – that’s normal! Just don’t shift the blame for those feelings onto the other person) and recognize the value of the person’s friendship in your life anyway, in my opinion there’s nothing wrong with that.

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us, it’s beautiful. I especially love the image of ‘slept upright in hospital chairs with no reservations’ — that’s love. <3

    • Also it probably says a lot about queer lit and queer comics that the happy ending felt like a total plot twist. An amazing, warm fuzzies, made-my-day, completely out of nowhere plot twist. God do we need more positive queer representation.

  3. Ooooooh my goodness, my crush just broke up with her long-term long-distance partner and this is not helping me with my resolve that I should still just be friends with her despite that…

  4. Every one of these comics makes me cry, Alyssa

    Also as a comics dweeb / wannabe illustrator: the red dotted lines!! Is!! SUCH A PERFECT CLEVER REPRESENTATION / DETAIL / WORDS FAIL ME NOW

    I got really psyched about them when I first read your comic, like the kind of psyched where you wanna evil kinevil over a line of cars in a shopping cart and then double high five everyone in Wal Mart while screaming

    • haha! Thanks! Day made. It’s honestly just really humbling and flattering that folks are reading them! xo.

  5. I think maybe I loved this a little less as it strokes some subconscious fears as someone in a long distance relationship (that one of us is going to start to fall in love with that co-intern turned close friend)? but I still love the honesty and openness in this piece and all of Alyssa’s pieces so far on this site, thanks for sharing!

  6. Fuck I needed this. It’s one of my biggest fears that any prospective partner won’t want to deal with my chronic illness. Which I totally get because *I* don’t want to deal with my chronic illness either!! Hospital visits roughly every other month suck a lot, and at least I get to sleep in the bed there and I get some nice drugs so I just don’t care about being miserable and being poked and prodded, but the person that gets to be my ride to the hospital doesn’t get any of that…

    It’s just a nice reminder that people can and will still love me and value my chronically ill self.

    • It’s really hard to be young and disabled or chronically/terminally ill and feel like you deserve someone’s love. it’s also really hard to be young and disabled or chronically/terminally ill and feel like it’s fair to put someone you love through the hardships that are unique to your life. knowing my partner could save a lot of worry and stress if she had a healthy and able bodied partner, makes me feel really guilty sometimes.

      but. my partner has always shrugged that off as nonsense, and that the point is – she wouldn’t have it all, because she wanted me in whatever packaging i come with. there’s an element of control in not letting someone love you – you’re deciding their well-being for them – which is even MORE unfair than letting a partner make the conscious decision to be there for you.

      I have had many a partner who couldn’t deal with a scar let alone a hospital stay. The first sight of illness has sent many a-running. but my partner just sticks it out.

      there are people in the world who will value you enough to deal with whatever baggage you come with. everybody’s gonna need somebody sometime. :)

      • It’s hard to be OLDER and chronically disabled.. I’ve been on this damn planet for nearly half a century and I’m probably going to spend the rest of my life alone ( and I don’t just mean without a partner, but without lovers or good friends).. many of us are socially isolated at this age without being disabled to boot

        • Donna, thanks so much. you bring to light a really important and (all too often) little talked about difficulty in the lgbtq community. I ran a program for elderly lgbtq adults experiencing disability, cognitive impairment, and isolation – and while I certainly couldn’t speak on behalf of my elders, the experience of disability in the queer community as we are aging or have aged is incredibly isolating and can be incredibly lonely.

          I hope my comments about difficulties in acquired disability and chronic illness as a young adult didn’t make you feel slighted in any way. I by no means think it is ever easy to be disabled and queer for anyone. We are a very unique marginalized community, with a massive array of needs as we know that disability looks and feels a lot of different ways.

          Feel free to message me if you’d like to chat or connect on exploring having this topic brought to a higher level of attention. At the very least, know that I’m around to chat if you’d like a friend. Xo.

  7. This made smile. A lot. It’s very reminiscent of my current situation but mostly because of that awesome ending.

    Have I mentioned I love your style? Cuz it’s so uniquely wonderful.

    Already looking forward to the next one.

  8. Ugh, the romantic in me loves this. The part of me who has had to deal with 29 years of being single is jealous. Excellent comic, and I like your unique style!

  9. God, I was just scrolling down through some old posts while waiting for the bus and now I’m crying A LOT.
    This is so cute and heartwarming and ahhhhh I just can’t handle

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