“Wait, Is This a Date?” Podcast Episode 208: When Your Friends Don’t Like Your Partner

Bringing someone home to meet your parents is such a trope it’s become an entire genre of movie. But for many queer people there are two families to introduce to a partner: given and chosen. And sometimes the chosen family is scarier.

That’s why this week on the podcast we have Autostraddle’s own Yashwina Canter to talk about what happens when your friends don’t like your partner or your partner doesn’t like your friends. We get into Yash’s own dating history and how she’s navigated being on every side of this equation. And we talk about how all of us have navigated the challenge of our friends dating people. We even venture into some biphobia discourse and I try to stir up some drama by asking if anyone has ever liked a friend’s partner too much. I love some chaos!

We also begin with a truly inspired game of Hayley Kiyoko lyric or Rupi Kaur poem and end with three especially good crushes. To quote Tessa Thompson, Yash is single and ready to pringle so shoot your shot queers — just be prepared to pass the friend vibe test!

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SHOW NOTES

+ Once again, congratulations to Hayley Kiyoko.

+ My Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward obsession has finally come to a close and here is how I’d rank their work (of what I’ve seen). Also can officially say that The Last Movie Stars is great and you should watch it.

+ Endemic does not mean “end of pandemic.” Whoever told me that was either lying or joking and I think probably the latter! I am very gullible!

+ Read Autostraddle’s comprehensive coverage of A League of Their Own.

+ The famous picture of Myrna Loy and Amelia Earhart:

Amelia Earhart and Myrna Loy stand next to each other in front of a plane. They both have their arms crossed and are both chuckling.

Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

+ Check out some of Myrna Loy’s films on The Criterion Channel.

+ Beyoncé is our crush every week. Read this great piece by Amari about Renaissance.


EPISODE

Christina: Guess what? Annoying is the big equalizer of the world. Everybody can be annoying. Except for me. I’m perfect.

Drew: Sure.

Christina: I’ve never been annoying. Not once. Not ever.

[theme song plays]

Drew: Hi, I’m Drew.

Christina: And I’m Christina.

Drew: And welcome to Wait, Is This A Date?

Christina: Wait, Is This A Date is an Autostraddle podcast dedicated to the one, the only question that we ever want to talk about. I don’t know where I’m going with this. It’s about dating and it’s about knowing whether things are dates or not, et cetera.

Drew: A friend of mine asked me— literally I got a text yesterday that was like, “I don’t know if this thing I’m on is a date or not.” And I was like, “I have a podcast all about that.” And he was like, “Yeah, I know. I know.” And I was like, “You could ask.” And he was like, “And risk rejection? Never.” And I went, “Well, you should listen to the podcast more because we do cover this very thing.”

Christina: And that’s really what we’re trying to get to at the end of the ding dang day.

Drew: Yeah. My name is Drew Gregory. I’m a writer for Autostraddle and a filmmaker and a queer trans woman and honestly carrying over from last week, just number one Paul Newman enthusiast of the moment that is— You know, I love to switch the thing I’m just absolutely fixating on and that is the thing that I— Now we’re on week two.

Christina: I love that. I’m Christina Tucker. I’m also a writer at Autostraddle and a podcaster around the damn town. Town in this way is the internet. I’m also pretty gay and I love to support your hyper fixations on things.

Drew: Thank you.

Christina: I think it’s incredible. I think it’s really beautiful and I’m really glad you’re still on this journey with our guy, Paul. I think that’s beautiful.

Drew: Thanks so much.

You have a game for me?

Christina: I do have a game for you. I have a game for you that I think is actually going to be quite challenging, but it will be fun.

Drew: Great. Great, great, great. I love that. I love it, I love it.

Christina: Today’s game is: Is this a Hayley Kiyoko lyric or is it a line from Rupi Kaur’s poetry?

Drew: Wow. Okay.

Christina: And it is going to be challenging, but we’re going to have a good time. We’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time. That’s the motto.

Drew: Wow. You’re really wading into two discourses. I mean, there’s not really a lot of Hayley Kiyoko discourse, really.

Christina: Yeah. And I thought I’d go back in time to, I don’t know, 2014 when we were having Rupi Kaur discourse. I don’t know that we are anymore, but—

Drew: No, that’s a really good point. Yeah.

Christina: Why not make a joke when you can make a joke?

Drew: Sure. Yeah, let’s do it.

Christina: Are you ready?

Drew: Yeah.

Christina: “The truth is you make my tongue so weak it forgets what language to speak in.” Or, “hear your voice. Are you there? Through the trees, fill the air.”

Drew: I think the first one is Rupi Kaur and the second one is Hayley Kiyoko

Christina: And you are correct. Gorgeous work.

Drew: Great. Okay. This might end up being embarrassing because I’m not going to say I was a huge Hayley Kiyoko fan in 2018, but I did see her in concert and listen to her a lot so I guess you could say I was at least a fan.

Christina: I am similarly a fan. And I do respect that. Though I did, I think, mostly choose from the latest album. So if you’re super familiar with that album already—

Drew: I’m not. I’m not.

Christina: Right. Because we’ve been in a Paul Newman place. We haven’t been in a listening to Hayley place.

Drew: No. I mean—

Christina: No, I hear you. I hear you. All right, number two. “Shadows climb up the stairs,” your first line. And you’re second line, “Like the rainbow after the rain.”

Drew: Oh, that’s so hard. You would think rainbow might be Hayley because of the basic queer. I’m going to go with that.

Christina: You would be incorrect. “The rainbow after the rain” is Rupi.

Drew: Wow.

Christina: Yes. Yes, indeed. But yeah, I thought that might throw you for one.

Drew: Yeah.

Christina: We have five of these. So I’m not going to make you do a ton of these because this is challenging. Number five.

Drew: No, no, no. I’m having a great time.

Christina: Not number five. Number three. I don’t know how to count. I’m gay. “It’s caught inside of my mind, what we could have been.” Number two. “We tend to our wounds with grace.”

Drew: Oh see, this feels too easy. I feel like I’m getting tricked. It feels like the first one is obviously Hayley and the second one is Rupi, but now I’m like, am I getting tricked? I’m going to reverse my instinct. The second one is—

Christina: You’re going to say the second one is Hayley?

Drew: The second one is Hayley. Yeah.

Christina: Okay. You should trust your instincts, which is a lesson for both guessing what are lyrics versus poetry and dating also. That’s a lesson to the listeners also.

Drew: Wow. Okay.

Christina: All right. Number four. “And so we become eternal,” or “coals like the ocean breeze healed all of your broken pieces.”

Drew: Oh God. Those both really could be either, which I know is the point of the game, but it’s still—

Christina: It’s great when you validate that I did a good job in putting this deranged game together.

Drew: I think the first one is Hayley and the second one is Rupi.

Christina: You unfortunately would be incorrect. “And so we become eternal” is Rupi and “cold like the ocean breeze healed all your broken pieces” is in fact the number one legend, Hayley Kiyoko.

Drew: Wow. Okay.

Christina: All right. Our final one. Are you mentally ready?

Drew: I think so.

Christina: Okay. “I’d burn you and you still couldn’t take your eyes off me,” or “I’m done with fires just to prove that I’ve been cursed.”

Drew: Wow. Okay. I think the first one is Hayley because that feels like her gay bravado.

Christina: You are incorrect. That one is Rupi Kaur.

Drew: What?

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: Wow. I really felt good about that one.

Christina: No, that one was actually surprising and I was really thrilled to just be like, oh, there’s two fire ones that I can put together, but I knew that was the hardest one so I did save it for last.

Drew: What is Rupi Kaur up to? Is she just writing poetry?

Christina: I think she’s still writing books. I think what the lesson of this game is, anything can be a lyric and anything could be a Rupi Kaur poem.

Drew: You could argue that lyrics are poetry.

Christina: Wow. That’s actually huge to think about.

Drew: One thing I will say about Hayley Kiyoko is I’m so proud of her that she didn’t give up dating “straight girls” and found someone who she’s now in a full on relationship with who like— of all the, you’re interested in straight girls, what happens from that, she finally pulled the Tig Notaro, Stephanie Allynne. She finally did the one where the person wasn’t straight. They were in it for the long haul or at least for a decent amount of time. And I’m just so happy for her. It’s not something I recommend to people who aren’t pop stars.

Christina: Yeah. I would not date ex Bachelor contestants either. Seems hard. Seems like a hard road.

Drew: Yeah. There’s always one or two who get off early. I mean I’ve only watched two seasons, but I always felt like there were two contestants where you’re like this person’s too cool for this or is just a different kind of hot. Is a gay hot versus a Bachelor hot. And they always got off the first episode or the second episode and probably that’s the reason, but I would date one of them.

Christina: Yeah. I would date for sure. For sure. Mostly, honestly, just to be like, yeah, that’s a thing I did. How fun is that to say aloud?

Drew: It’s a really good point.

Well, that was a blast.

Christina: I’m so happy. I think this next guest and subject is going to be a blast also.

Drew: I think so too. Should our very special guest introduce herself?

Yashwina: Hi, I’m Yashwina. Known to those who love me or hate me as Yash.

Christina: I love the confidence of love me or hate me.

Yashwina: I like to give people options. I’m also a writer and nuisance at Autostraddle.

Christina: Yes. We love a nuisance every which where we go. We support nuisancetry.

Yashwina: I just think that we have to support gay wrongs as well as gay rights.

Drew: And you’ve really joined me in bringing some classic movie energy and fandom to Autostraddle. And it’s really powerful to not be alone.

Yashwina: I love this for us.

Christina: It’s really beautiful to see you guys have such a grand time in your classic movie energy.

Drew: Honestly, I think we could do it more. I think we could bring it … I don’t know. I was watching all these Paul Newman movies and I was like, can I get an article out of this? And I was like, I don’t know if I could. It might be a stretch. But then I was like, well…

Christina: That is your favorite kind of stretch though. Definitionally, your favorite kind of stretch is how can I make this work?

Drew: Absolutely. So we’ll see.

Yashwina: The character is literally named Butch Cassidy.

Drew: Ooh.

Christina: Well. And say that.

Drew: Wow.

Christina: Say that.

Yashwina: I just think lesbians should dress like Paul Newman characters. Plenty already do.

Drew: I do agree.

Christina: Yeah. I have to agree with that one.

Drew: We are not unfortunately— Well, not unfortunately. We’re here to discuss something that’s relevant to the dating podcast, et cetera, et cetera. So it’s not unfortunate, but we are here to talk about the topic of introducing partners to friends. What happens when our friends don’t like our partners or even not partners, but someone we’re going on a couple dates with, someone we’re hooking up with, someone who we’re bringing into their lives against their will, and what do they have to say about that.

Christina: I love that you made that sound like a hostage scenario.

Drew: Sometimes it feels like it.

Christina: Bringing this person into your life against your will and you will deal.

Drew: I guess the first question that I have for all of us is in that dynamic, are you usually the one bringing the person against your friends’ will or the person whose will is… This is getting confusing. Do you tend to date people who your friends don’t like? Do your friends tend to date people who you don’t like?

Christina: As a famous hater, I will say it is often that my friends date people that I don’t like. One of my biggest fears in life is that I would date someone that my friends didn’t like. Almost nothing would stress me out more than that. Being like, “I don’t know what I’m… What are we doing here? How is this going to work?” That would really send me for a spiral. So I tend to just hide in my corner and be like, “Hmm. This is the person you’re bringing. Interesting.”

Drew: I tend to think based on knowing you that that fear is certainly not the only reason why you’re not a major dater, but it is a part of the fears.

Christina: Oh, certainly part of it. Certainly a part of it. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. All right. What about you two?

Yashwina: I’ve been on every side of the equation, but I will say that historically my friends have commented that my taste is very hit or miss. More miss.

Christina: Interesting. Interesting.

Yashwina: Yeah. I’ve been in situations where my friends didn’t like the person I was dating, where the person I was dating didn’t like my friends, and then where I have not liked the people that my friends were dating either. So I have seen every configuration.

Drew: How do you feel about it? Is it relationships or is it people you’re casually seeing usually?

Yashwina: It’s definitely been both, but it is interesting in situations where I feel so much of it is about a hierarchy of allegiance or trust or loyalty where it’s like, if I trust one person to pull me aside and be like, “Hey, this other person in your life isn’t treating you the way we want to see you be treated,” then there is kind of a pecking order where it’s like, okay, this person is the one whose interpretation of events I have to listen to the most and maybe others get taken with more grains of salt. But if, in such and such configuration, this person is telling me because they care about me and they want good things for me, that something isn’t right, then you have to listen to it.

Drew: Yeah. It’s interesting because with not my current relationship, but my most serious relationship before that, when we started dating, it was largely my partner telling me that my friends kind of sucked. And in some ways you would think that would be like, ah, that’s not a good sign if your partner’s trying to turn you against your friends. But it was done in a way that was really caring and my best best friend — like it wasn’t all of them — so I think that also helped. And I was still a college student and was closeted so my friends were either straight or also closeted. And a lot of my friends did suck and didn’t… And not even sucked. Because what does that mean? But just didn’t treat me very well. And so she was right to make those comments. But now, because I feel a lot more stable in my friendships, if anyone I was dating were to say, “Your friends suck,” I would be like, ah, this is not a good sign. This is a red flag. Which luckily, I’ve never been in a relationship where my friends and my partner get along more than currently and that I get along with my partner’s friends more and it is better. It’s so much nicer.

Christina: Go on. Really.

Drew: And the first two serious relationships I had, it wasn’t that my friends didn’t like those people. They liked them a lot. It’s just I didn’t even realize at the time, because I didn’t have anything to compare it to. Now I’m like, oh, the people in my life are excited to see… It’s different. It just feels different and it’s nice. And that’s a really nice thing.

Christina: Yeah. It is really cool.

Drew: But also, I don’t know. I mean, I do think people need to make mistakes. Not even mistakes. Have to date the people who they’re dating at that time. And it’s one thing when things cross a certain line into being really bad. But if my friends are dating someone who’s not my favorite person, usually I am like, most relationships end. I’m going to be there for them. And just try to get along with my friend’s partner because they’re my friend’s partner.

Christina: Yeah. I think even when I’ve had friends that I haven’t liked their partners, it has usually not been like a, “Oh, I think this person’s really terrible to you.” Of course there have been exceptions where I was like, “Okay, that’s actually troubling.” Perhaps there is a conversation that needs to be had. But for the most part I’m just like, this person is not a person that I would choose to spend time with for whatever variety of reasons. That does not necessarily rise to the level of me having to share that with a friend and be like, by the way, I think your partner is boring. That doesn’t really do anything for anybody in many scenarios. So I can usually just be a hater quietly. And at the end of the day, it’s a relationship that I’m not in. So it’s like, how much can I really be expected to be listened to in these scenarios where I’m like, “I don’t know. Aren’t they just kind of annoying? Aren’t you kind of annoyed? No. Okay. Go off.”

Yashwina: That’s such an interesting thing too, though, where it’s being curious about what someone is getting out of dating that person. I feel like when I’ve been the one dating someone that annoyed my friends, at first, obviously when someone comes to me and is like, “Hey, I’m not wild about your person,” it’s not like I’m not listening. It’s just that maybe I don’t immediately dump them.

It’s like, okay, I’m taking that information under advisement and I might act on it later, but right now it doesn’t rise to that level. But I also do end up having these conversations with my friends where they’re genuinely curious. They’re like, “I find such and such behavior really grating,” or, “I thought the way that they approached this conversation was very off-putting.” And then that’s where as the person dating them, you’re the intermediary of, “They were really nervous about meeting you. They were really anxious or apprehensive.” Or, “This topic sets them off and we don’t know why.” Or, “They have such and such feelings about it.” And so there’s that kind of explanation and then there’s also the added layer of, “But when it’s just the two of us, we have different kinds of conversations.” Or, “They are more willing to listen or they’re more comfortable in one on one or they don’t get combative,” things like that. And so there is this exchange of how they were with you socially as the partner of a friend is different than the inside of our relationship is and sometimes you have to show your friend what the inside of the relationship is like and other times you have to feed back into the relationship, the information that your friends outside are telling you matters.

Christina: When you have dated people that your friends have found annoying, have you… Perhaps it’s because I know my friends so well, but if I’m out with somebody who I can tell would be annoying to my friends, I’m like, “Oh God, this person and Shoshana, they can never have a fucking conversation. This is going to go horribly. This is not going to work out.” I can usually tell pretty quickly. Is that something that either of you, if you have dated people that are annoying to your friends, notice? Or is it something that when you put them in the same room, you’re like, “Oh, I see the problem now.”?

Yashwina: I think I can usually anticipate it. And that is why I’m often very, very slow to introduce people to my friends, to the point where it is a little bit laughable. Meeting my friends, I think is at this point like meeting my parents. And so we have to be in it for several many months before I’m finally like, I’m going to introduce my friends to this person.

Drew: Yeah. I feel the same. The idea of being like, “Oh, for our second date, do you want to come to this thing where all my friends are?” is so wild to me.

Christina: No. Absolutely not.

Drew: It’s so wild to me. I love that for other people, but I don’t know. It’s wild.

Yashwina: That happened to me and it was terrifying. Someone I dated, it was, I think maybe our third date. I hadn’t been seeing them a couple of weeks and ended up at their house, watching The L Word with them and their best friends. There was a screaming match and I was just sitting there like, “Oh, The L Word is a contact sport?”

Drew: Yeah. That’s a really intense—

Christina: Yeah. That’s a really high level of difficulty, I feel.

Drew: Okay. I’m going to out myself as a little bit of a monster, but it also makes me think of the reverse of liking someone too much. And I think if I was on date two with someone and they were like, “Want to meet my friends?” What if I got there and there were other people I wanted to talk to more? Two dates in, I don’t know how I feel about someone probably. So I also think about, have either of you ever been in a situation where your friends introduced you to their new person and you were like, “Oh God, this person’s incredible. I wish I was dating them.”?

Christina: I don’t believe that has ever happened to me. No. I think my friends and I all have our very specific types and vibes we look for in a partner and they are very rarely on the same wavelength.

Yashwina: I mean, if my partner introduced me to their friends, I have never had the situation arise where I’m like, “Oh no, I have a spontaneous crush on one of the person I’m dating’s friends.” That’s never happened to me but mostly just because in that situation, I feel like I’m mostly just trying to be like… You are trying to be pleasant and nice because you’re like, I am also… Dating is all just a strange audition and you’re just auditioning to keep dating this person and be like, oh, do I pass the friend vibe check? Do the friends pass my vibe check?

Drew: What about your friends dating someone who you liked a lot?

Yashwina: I think I’m with Christina. My friends and I, we all have quite different types.

Drew: I like that I’m pushing you both on this when I can’t think of an example where this has happened to me.

Christina: I was going to say Drew, drop your “Monster” track. Go off.

Drew: Wanting to sew some chaos. But I’m trying to think if… I would say I had some friend crushes that I maybe sometimes was anxious that they were crush crushes on my second serious relationship’s friends. And those people I’m just still friends with friends with.

Christina: Friends with. Yeah.

Drew: And I’m not friends with my ex so it is just like, well that worked out. But it’s interesting also because some of my close friends are… I haven’t really had the experience that many times of my current group of close friends, bringing someone new in. Because a lot of my friends either were in serious relationships when I became friends with them or they don’t really date.

Christina: Yeah. I think that’s also… It just hasn’t happened in a while. If you can believe it, I’m kind of the last man standing. So I think I’m going through my friend group and I’m like, oh yeah, no, everybody pretty much is partnered at this time. So there’s not a ton of opportunity.

Drew: I also don’t think… I don’t know. It’s such a trope in media, but I’m like, Yash, you’re right. When you’re meeting people’s friends, you’re in such a certain head space. When you’re meeting your friend’s new person you’re in such a head space. I also am so excited for my friends whenever they’re dating someone new. I get so gossipy and whatever about it. So I would just be so excited to… I’m just saying, Christina, if you ever started dating someone, you don’t have to be worried that I’m going to develop a crush on them.

Christina: I am not worried about that.

Drew: Thank you.

Christina: But no, I’m very aware of whoever gets to be next in the Christina dating Rolodex is really going to have a lot of hyper excited friends of mine to deal with. So God bless.

Drew: The times that I’ve had the most like my friends dating people who I’ve disliked was before I came out and I had so many straight women friends who were dating straight men. And obviously a lot of those guys, not the best.

Christina: No.

Drew: Look, there are nightmare lesbians. There are nightmare every gender and every sexual orientation. But it’s also an age thing. I was in my early 20s. Teens, early 20s, cis straight men. That’s not a good dating pool. So that was often the biggest challenge. Not to wade into biphobia discourse, but it is something that I think is interesting, the idea of… I’m choosing my words very carefully here.

Christina: I’m pounding the table I’m so excited. I’m like discourse it up.

Drew: No, but just like the idea of it’s really important to parse out the things that are true, which is there are absolutely swaths of the lesbian community that are really biphobic. Oftentimes those are the same groups that are transphobic. And so I don’t interact with them that much. So I’ve had to, from talking to friends who are cis bisexuals or who have had experience identifying as cis bisexuals, to be like, oh, there are a lot of lesbians who suck. And I just— it’s not the people who would ever talk to a trans person usually so it’s not a problem for me. I’m sure there’s some whatever, but there’s a lot of cross over there. But then I also think there’s sometimes accusations of biphobia when actually people just don’t like a specific straight man and they’re like, “I don’t want this person’s boyfriend around.” And it’s maybe because he sucks and the same way that there are certain lesbian partners who I also wouldn’t want to be around and if I had an acquaintance or a friend who wasn’t in my inner inner circle, that I might be less likely to want to hang out with that person if they always brought their partner of any gender that I didn’t like. Because I don’t know. The friends of mine who are queer and dating cis straight men, they’re dating… I mean, not good ones. There’s no good and bad. It isn’t a binary.

Christina: Yeah. But they’re dating nice dudes that you like.

Drew: But dating people who I’m happy to be around so it’s never even crossed my mind. But then if there are people who are bringing someone around who makes me feel like, I don’t know, not great, whether it’s not even unsafe, but just like that guy’s annoying.

Christina: Yeah. It’s usually just like that guy’s annoying is usually how I feel.

Yashwina: And I don’t think it’s a phobia or an ism to find one specific guy really annoying.

Christina: No. Yeah. I will bravely go on the record and say I don’t believe it is. And it’s like, if your boyfriend is a bummer, then I don’t want him around. And if you’re dating someone who is a woman or of any other gender and they’re annoying, I might also not want them around. Guess what? Annoying is the big equalizer of the world. Everybody can be annoying. Except for me. I’m perfect.

Drew: Sure.

Christina: I’ve never been annoying. Not once. Not ever.

Yashwina: I mean, I was just thinking too about how there’s so many different things about annoying, especially when you’re their friend and you’re watching because sometimes it’s annoying just as in interacting with this person gets on my nerves or is grating. But other times annoyance is kind of the precursor to a red flag where if this behavior accumulates… Like if they say something annoying one time, it’s just annoying. But the third time that they get on the same nerve, it starts to be like, ooh.

Drew: Yeah. Also I love annoying people. That’s some of my favorite people.

Christina: Actually one of Drew’s ways of life.

Drew: I want to be actually more specific and I think the only real reason why I’ve ever not wanted to be around a friend’s partner is because they treat my friend poorly and I don’t know how to be around it and it’s challenging to watch. That’s really the only thing that I find I really struggle with. I don’t like watching couples who are fighting all the time or even worse where the person who I’m not friends with is being cruel to my friend. Especially if I’m not good enough friends with the person to really step in and be like, “Hey, we should talk about this,” or whatever. It’s like, I can’t be around this acquaintance who I really like if their partner is always undermining them or always correcting them or just being a jerk. That’s the thing that’s mainly going to make my skin crawl and me be like, I don’t know how much this person can be in my life still. Which is sad.

Christina: Yeah.

Yashwina: That’s what my friends say to me sometimes. When I’ve dated people who my friends have been hesitant about. Sometimes it takes me a while to finally hold a parachute and break up with someone. And as soon as I do, everyone’s like, “Oh, thank God.” And I’m like, “What do you mean? You hated them this whole time?”

Christina: The whole time.

Yashwina: And they’re like, “Yeah. They were obnoxious to you. Or they were always trying to make you feel small or they always dominated conversations or they were dismissive of your interests and it was really uncomfortable to be around.” My friends are very protective people and very much will throw down. The last time that I had someone who my friends really did not like, friends on the other side of the country are taking their hoops out. And so it’s one of those ones where it’s like, but in person, you can’t just be like, “I’m going to put a tire iron through their windshield.” It’s like, I have to watch this person interact with someone I care about. And my friends are really protected and they’re like, “Mm, no.”

Drew: I mean, my go to… I’m going to regret saying this because I’m just giving away my secrets, but—

Christina: That’s a podcast baby.

Drew: What I’ve learned… Because anytime that I would try to tell my friends, and again, my teenage girl friends dating teenage boys tried to be like, “Hey, this person doesn’t treat you very well.” They would get defensive, obviously, because that’s what we all do and especially if we’re getting validation from someone or we have feelings for someone and we want to stay with them even if they don’t treat us well. And especially, especially if there’s a part of us that knows that what our friend is saying is true. Defensiveness is a reasonable reaction. I learned that it was so much better. It’s not really a tactic as much as just, I think it’s a better approach that I would focus more on the way that my friend felt.

So instead of being like, I don’t like this person, I would be like, “Hey, it seems like you’re upset when she talks to you like this. Do you want to talk about that?” Whatever. Just validating. And a lot of times it is the case where I would like the person as a person. I would find them funny or smart or interesting or whatever. And I would be like, “Look, I like this person. I like you two together. You just don’t seem happy because of X, Y, and Z.” And I’ve found that to be a far more effective way of dealing with… I mean, it’s what I would want to hear. It’s not that I don’t care if my friends like my partner, but Christina, as you said, they’re not in that relationship.

Christina: Exactly.

Drew: So as long as it seems like I’m happy in the relationship, then it shouldn’t matter to them. And so it would only be if my partner was acting in a way that seemed like it was making me unhappy that I would want my friends to step in. And so it makes sense to focus on that aspect of it rather than this isn’t who I would date. And it’s like, great.

Christina: Right. You’re not dating them.

Drew: You’re not going to have an answer when Drew tries to sew chaos on the podcast. You’re not going to try to date my current partner. Sounds good to me.

Christina: Yeah. I don’t know. For me, I feel very similarly. It’s much easier to do a, you don’t seem happy when X, Y, Z thing is happening or this seems to make you upset. Is this something that happens a lot? How do you feel about that? I do think if there is consistent, constant patterns of bad behavior from a friend’s partner, there will be one or two times where I’m like, “Okay, look, I’m going to say this once. And I’m going to say this thing. We don’t have to talk about it again, but I do want to just put it on the record that I don’t like X, Y, Z thing about this person. I don’t like how that seems to make you feel. If you feel like I’m coming out of left field, feel free to ignore. I just want to get it on the record and we never have to talk about it again if you don’t want to, but I just want to voice it at least one time.”

But that is usually only in, I don’t know, really bad scenarios. And a lot of times when my friends were dating people that I didn’t like, and when it was in our 20s and we were dating horrible cis men, I was like, “I know you don’t like this person either. You don’t seem to be having a great time. So what’s the point of me being like, yeah, he sucks. You know that. I know that. What is there to say really?”

Drew: Yeah.

Yashwina: I mean, I think there’s also a really interesting point where you see the pattern and you want to acknowledge the pattern that you see. I’ve been on the receiving end of this. An example was I was dating someone who I always went to their place and they never came to mine. We were dating almost a year and I think they came over maybe once every other month. And my friends were like, “It’s really weird that you are always going to them all the time.” And to me at first it was just like, yeah, that is annoying. And we can acknowledge that it’s not great. I’m not saying that this is a thing that I’m actively stoked about. But there’s also room in there to say this doesn’t rise to the level of a deal breaker for me yet. And maybe for one of my friends that would’ve been a deal breaker way sooner, but it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. I mean, it’s not until it is.

Christina: Exactly. Yeah. But I also think knowing your friends and knowing, yeah, that would annoy me, but I can see how for this person that is not a problem for them or that is not something that they take as seriously or care about as much as I do so fine. We’ll let that one go.

Yashwina: Being able to see the difference and being like, yes, it is annoying, but I’m not going to dump them over it. And being able to meet someone in the middle and commiserate about, “Oh, I’m on my way to so-and-so’s place. The traffic is terrible.” That kind of commiseration just in letting it be annoying without necessarily having to escalate it to the deep meaningful friend check in right away, that’s also something too. It’s a way that I think my friends monitor things that they have qualms about without necessarily pulling the fire alarm every time.

Drew: I mean also every relationship, even the best ones, compromises are made.

Christina: There’s always something.

Drew: And different people make different compromises and it’s why we’re not all dating the same person.

Yashwina: The one thing standing between us and universal polyamory.

Christina: Yeah.

Drew: So it makes sense that we all have things that for some people are like, “Oh, I could never date someone who acted that way or who was that way.” And other people are like, “Yeah, I don’t care. I can deal with that.” I don’t know. And I do think that it’s important as a friend to be able to field complaints from your friends about their relationships or partners without internalizing them and then taking that to their partners. Not obviously telling the partners, but what I mean is not holding onto that to be like, “Oh, my friend is unhappy. This relationship is bad. This person is bad.” But just that every relationship has challenges and it’s really nice to have friends where you can talk those things out because sometimes you’re talking about it and you realize you’re in the wrong and not every conversation has to happen exclusively within the relationship.

Sometimes I find it to be useful to be able to talk something out with a friend and then return to my partner and be like… I mean, literally last night I— I’m not going to get into all the details because remember, boundaries. I’m trying to have them on the podcast.

Christina: Brave.

Drew: I literally called my best friend to talk about… It’s not even a fight, but just a little disagreement that I had with my partner. And then my friend was like, “You’re wrong.” And I was like, “Yeah, I was worried about that.” And then she came back and I was like, “Well, I just got off the phone with Tirosh and we both agreed that I was wrong so I’m sorry.”

Christina: Yep. I talked to the council and it turns out the council has voted nay on me.

Drew: And there might be a time where my friend would be like, “No, you’re in the right. I get why you feel that way.” And whatever. And it’s good to be able to talk to your friends about shit. I don’t think it’s healthy when everything that’s happening in a relationship is just happening within a bubble of the relationship. But that’s what my friends are there for in some way. I mean, not in the straight girl way where you just spend all day complaining about your partner to your friends. I’ve never understood that. But if it’s just occasionally needing to figure out if a compromise is something you want to make or not.

Yashwina: The gut check and outside perspective is really important and I think is a valuable part about introducing your partners to your friends and your friends to your partners. Because something that I have definitely experienced is you leave it too late and then you are the only two in this closed off terrarium of a social dynamic. And then you take your weird terrarium and then you finally show it to your friends and they’re like, “That is overgrown and nasty. You got to clean that out.”

Christina: There’s mold in that terrarium and it looks awful. You have to not do that.

Yashwina: Yeah. And so that’s something I’m trying to be better about because when you date enough people in a row that your friends are like… Then I just have ended up being quite wary of introducing my friends to people. And that is obviously counterproductive because then by the time that I’m finally like shit, you should know that I live in a society and I leave it too late and then they’re like, “Oh my God. What? This has been going on for months? Oh my … Oh.”

Drew: I mean, that was such an interesting aspect of pandemic dating because we were all more separated. There really were just all these little bubbles. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the person who I pandemic dated, who I ended up real dating was the person who already knew one of my friends. Some of the other people I was trying to pandemic date, God love them, but I do think that if we were in a more real world scenario and we were in each other’s worlds that there maybe would’ve been a quicker level of I don’t know if this is going to work

Christina: Yeah. The pandemic bubble of like, oh yeah, anything is possible here in this space that is no space and anything can happen and nothing really feels like it’s reality. And then it’s like, oh reality though. She’s back.

Yashwina: I mean, that’s where I’m at now though. Because when you say, oh, the person who ended up rising to the top was the one who I already had friends in common with and stuff, that definitely resonates because having someone… I joke very self deprecatingly, but it’s one of those jokes with a grain of truth of I’m making my friends match make me because I clearly can’t be trusted to pick out my own people. I need someone who can be vouched for by someone who I trust because when I am picking it out without any kind of support or input from other people, maybe my decisions aren’t the best healthiest decisions I could make. And so I joke about it, but I’m also not kidding.

Drew: Yeah. I mean, it’s funny though because the friend who introduced Elise and I spent so long— we haven’t been friends for that long, but spent a lot of our friendship trying to set me up with various people and very dramatically failing. I mean not dramatically failing. Just in the sense that I would meet people and I’d be, “Really? That’s who you think… Interesting.”

Christina: That’s always such a weird feeling. You’re like, oh.

Drew: And then was not trying to set Elise an I up and then we were in the same space together because of this person. And then I think even when I told them that we were starting to chat on Instagram, there was a, “Oh, really? Oh, okay.” There was a little moment. So it is also funny to think the way that our friends have ideas about who we should be dating and sometimes even the partners of ours who they’ll end up really loving, it’s not who they would’ve guessed.

Christina: Yeah. They might not have immediately guessed that person for you.

Yashwina: I mean, friends are just the in person Tinder algorithm though. They’ll show you a bunch of people and maybe they’re not all right. The in person friends algorithm is real.

Drew: It’s why I love a house party. I love the idea of just being like, let’s bring a bunch of people together who I like, and then they can all meet each other or I can meet a bunch of people who my friends know and you can float around the party and talk to whoever you’re drawn to and there’s no like, oh I have this idea about these two people. It’s more just like, there’s a built in way of meeting all these people and also there’s someone at the party I can ask to be like, “Is that person single? Oh, okay. They’re not? Are they open? What’s the deal? How available is that person?” And that’s why I’m here to say that house parties should happen more.

Christina: Wow. Drew’s bravely coming out as pro house party. Wowsers.

Drew: I thought there would be an era of end of pandemic, which I found out is what endemic— Okay. Did someone lie to me and I’m now saying it on the mic? Is endemic really just the end tail of a pandemic and that’s why it’s called when something is endemic?

Christina: My gut immediately says no. Nothing to back that up though. Absolutely nothing.

Drew: Okay.

Christina: Stay tuned.

Drew: I may keep this in and include it in the show notes just because I’m willing to be vulnerable. But I really thought there would be this end of pandemic era where people weren’t going to nightclubs, but there were just these incredible house parties and we never got it because people just started going to nightclubs again and I don’t blame them. Before variants really became a thing last summer, I went to some clubs, had a grand old time. I’m not judging anyone, but I really am sad that there wasn’t an era of 20 to 40 people house parties that were just nights to remember.

Yashwina: I think you’re right. I think we did have a missed opportunity for a real house party renaissance.

Christina: I don’t know what y’all are talking about because welcome to my house. My house is a house party. Let me tell you something.

Drew: That’s true.

Christina: We are a house of partying and it is challenging for me, but good for me also.

Drew: Yeah. Maybe I need to get my roommates… Maybe I need to be the roommate who makes my house into the house party house.

Christina: Yeah. There just has to be one person who’s always like, “I invited some people over.” That’s always what happens.

Drew: I don’t like that part of it though. I want to go to other people’s house parties, which is how a lot of people feel, I guess. But I already know these people and then I feel the stress of inviting people and not inviting people. Anyways, this is getting a little off topic, but—

Christina: No, I think it’s totally fair. I think it’s fair.

Drew: If anyone wants to invite me to a house party.

Christina: Bring back to the house party. That’s the message. That’s the message, right? Maybe date people that you like and maybe listen to your friends if it feels important, but maybe also don’t. I feel like we haven’t really nailed exactly what the truth is here, but I think that’s also part of it, right? There’s not an easy answer.

Drew: I also think big difference between someone who’s going to be your partner and someone who you’re going to have casual sex with. That is also something to keep in mind. And I think a good message. I think always is to know that for yourself and if you can’t know it for yourself, maybe phone a friend.

Christina: Phone a friend.

Drew: Phone a friend.

Christina: Yeah. I love a phone a friend.

Drew: Because sometimes someone is fun to hang out with and sex is good and they’re not who we should build a life with.

Christina: Wow. What a message to wrap that up on. I think that’s really beautiful.

Do you want to talk about some crushes? Some crushes of the week?

Drew: Yeah.

Christina: Drew, you got so excited. Are you going to say Paul Newman again?

Drew: I’m not going to say Paul Newman again. Yeah. Last week it was Paul Newman and Joann Woodward. This week it’s just Paul Newman. Next week it will be just Joann Woodward. No. This week my crush is Roberta Colindrez. I just watched… Which this is going to come out after it’s been out for everyone so I can say this. But I just finished the A League of Their Own TV show and it’s—

Christina: Oh, fun. It’s good?

Drew: It’s everything I wanted. Literally it’s everything I wanted from Gen Q and I’m so happy. And it’s the first reboot thing that doesn’t feel promising, but complicated and compromised, but it just feels like this is everything that I wish the original was.

Christina: I am so shocked.

Drew: It’s everything that I want. It’s so good.

Yashwina: I’m so happy. I have pinned a lot of hopes to that show. A League of Their Own was… I mean, I think we all know if you have encountered me on the internet how I feel about historical thirsting and so A League of Their Own was a profound experience for me.

Christina: Yeah. I just haven’t been letting myself think about it because I was like, there’s no way it’s going to be good. Don’t think about it. Don’t get excited.

Drew: Look, it’s a show that is operating on a certain tone and it’s not… It’s a very fun show. It is dealing with some serious things, but it has the tone of what I think A League of Their Own should have. I’m not saying it’s the greatest show ever, but it is just so much fun and so smart and it’s so good. It’s so, so good. And Roberta’s so good. Roberta. I don’t know her. I shouldn’t say that. I should have more respect for—

Christina: I love that.

Drew: Roberta Colindrez is so good in it and it just got me reflecting on the fact that first time I saw her was in Fun Home and then I Love Dick and then Vida and then this, and it’s just such a… I just feel like, I think a lot about how to build a career in this terrible industry as a queer person and how possible it is to do it on your own terms. And I know that she has other credits other than these things that I’m pulling out, but I really just feel like she’s managed to work on projects that are really queer and are really good. And she’s been hot along the way, which is also a really important thing I think.

Christina: Beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous.

Drew: She’s my crush of the week.

Christina: Hot. Yash, who do you have for us?

Yashwina: I have twofer because Amelia Earhart’s birthday was a couple weeks ago and Drew very kindly let me know that Myrna Loy is going to be part of the next Criterion collection feature, like the big drop. And so Myrna Loy, movie star from the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, that’s kind of her career. She was a profound gay crush for me as a kid. And obviously Amelia Earhart was also a profound gay crush for me as a kid. I had her picture in my locker. It was in the fifth grade because—

Christina: Just heterosexual things happening left and right.

Yashwina: Noted heterosexual Yashwina Canter. But in talking to Drew about my favorite Myrna Loy movies coming to the Criterion channel, I also got to go back and revisit some photos that Myrna Loy took when she was promoting a movie she was in with Cary Grant, another noted heterosexual. But for these promotional photos, her character was a stunt pilot and she and Cary Grant both did promotional photos with Amelia Earhart and got to hang out with Amelia Earhart. And there are just some candids of them talking where I’m like, that’s flirtation. I’ve seen that before. And so they are both my crushes and I have proof that they met and in my heart, I’m just like, do we think that they—

Christina: Something a little fruity happened perhaps?

Yashwina: I’m just saying—

Christina: I love it.

Yashwina: —that I have theories.

Drew: I support these theories.

Christina: Absolutely.

Yashwina: Thank you.

Drew: I think we should talk less about what happened to Amelia Earhart and more about what happened to Amelia Earhart when she met Myrna Loy. That’s the real mystery surrounding Amelia Earhart.

Christina: That’s the real mystery we have to get to the bottom of. Absolutely.

Yashwina: I’m just saying, anyone who tries to convince me that Amelia Earhart was straight, I have follow up questions. I saw those photos. I know what flirtation looks like and I shan’t be bamboozled.

Christina: Yeah. I won’t stand for it. I won’t stand for anymore bamboozling. Simply no.

Drew: What about you, Christina?

Christina: Guys, I have a real hot take. My crush this week is Beyonce. It’s Beyonce.

Drew: Wow.

Yashwina: No one’s ever felt that before, Christina.

Christina: I’ve never felt that way about Beyonce before. Yeah. This album is so good.

Drew: It’s so good.

Christina: It’s unfairly good. It’s unfairly good to drop this in Leo season, first of all. It’s unfair to just drop an album of straight bangers in Leo season to make me an earth sign think, “Do I have to get up? Do I have to do something? Must I go out? Do I have to move my body in a way because Beyonce said shut up, go outside and have a good time?” Because that is cruel, but she’s right and I do. And every second of it is bangers. It is absolutely for homosexuals. The last minute of “Heated” is one of the gayest things I’ve just ever heard in my life. I think she’s a perfect person and I am both thrilled and furious with her for her dropping this hot fire album right into the middle of my summer.

Drew: I don’t know what to do about the fact that there’s still a pandemic. There’s monkeypox. All I want to do is go out and dance to this album and I need to find some outdoor dance spaces.

Christina: Yeah. That’s what she’s asking for I think. There needs to be a random summer rainstorm in the middle of this dance party, this outdoor dance party. It just needs to hit all the things. It’s just so good. She just really did it. And I don’t know what the other two were going to be. There’s going to be two more. It’s part one. I don’t know what this means.

Drew: I know.

Christina: She stresses me out, but she’s quite literally very good at what she does and for that, she gets to be my crush of the week, which is I’m sure the highest accolade she has ever received.

Drew: Well, this is my question for you. Because until this week I would’ve laughed anyone away, but some people have been so adamant about it that I just… I don’t know. I mean, X-Files. “I want to believe.” Where are you on bi Beyonce theory?

Christina: I would find it believable. I would find it believable. Is it going to make or break my life? Not really. Because again, I don’t know that lady. She lives in a very different world than I do. She doesn’t really make my day to day life.

Yashwina: I think if someone came out with news and it was confirmed, I would say more excitement than surprise. I’d be like, whoa. But in my heart it would be fake surprise. I would not be surprised with this in the slightest.

Drew: I just never let myself hope for it. And it’s because she just loves Jay-Z so much. But maybe she is that bisexual girl with the boyfriend who we all don’t really like and she’s like, “This is biphobic. I can’t come out because this is biphobia.” And we’re like, “No, no, no. If you were dating a different guy, maybe we’d embrace him more.”

Christina: We’d probably be fine. But then again, she did write the lyric, “It must be the cash because it ain’t your face.”

Drew: She sure did.

Christina: And for that, she is also America’s greatest standup comic so go off, queen.

Drew: Incredible. Yash, do you want to tell people where they can find you and your work?

Yashwina: You can find me on a little website called autostraddle.com or anywhere on the internet at Yashwina Canter. Y-A-S-H-W-I-N-A C-A-N-T-E-R. Mostly on Twitter but I’m trying to be fun on Instagram too.

Drew: It is the best dating app.

Christina: It’s hard to be fun on Instagram.

Yashwina: I love a challenge. If we’ve learned anything about my dating history today it’s that I love a challenge.

Drew: Thank you so much for listening to Wait, Is This A Date. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram, @WaitIsThisADate and you can email us waitisthisadate@gmail.com.

Christina: Our theme was written by Lauren Klein. Our logo is by Maanya Dhar. And this podcast was produced, edited and mixed by Lauren Klein.

Drew: You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, @draw_gregory.

Christina: You can find me on Twitter, @c_gracet and on Instagram, @Christina_graceT. And you can find Autostraddle of course @Autostraddle.

Drew: And you can find Autostraddle at autostraddle.com. The reason we’re all here today. Thank you so much and see you next week. Christina, what is the difference between a date and a podcast?

Christina: Oh, actually that’s really interesting that you asked that because scientists are at this very moment hurriedly trying to figure this out. We have some of our best scholars on the case here. We don’t have an answer, but I think every day we journey closer to understanding.

Drew: I wish them and us the greatest luck.

Drew (voice memo): I feel like many times in my life I’ve been in what I would call a Jules and Jim. You could also call it just sort of a French new wave throuple, which is not a throuple in the actual sense of we’re all fucking each other. Or at least not regularly. But just like three people, two of them are dating, and there’s just a weird throuple codependence. I guess it also could be called the Alice, Tasha… Ooh, what’s the last person’s name? Honestly, I think it’s probably a good sign that I’m starting to forget some things about the original L Word.


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Drew Gregory

Drew is an LA-based writer, filmmaker, and theatremaker. Her writing can be found at Bright Wall/Dark Room, Cosmopolitan UK, Thrillist, I Heart Female Directors, and, of course, Autostraddle. She is currently working on a million film and TV projects mostly about trans lesbians. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @draw_gregory.

Drew has written 300 articles for us.

2 Comments

  1. Christina, your joke about “to make me, and earth sign think, ‘do I have to get up? do I have to do something? Must I go out because Beyoncé said shut up, go outside?’ She’s right but it’s cruel” had me rolling on the floor with recognition and laughter

  2. I look forward to listening every week – thanks, Drew and Christina!

    Drew your comment that ALOTO is what you had hoped Gen Q might be was exactly how I feel. Bonus is I wasn’t even hoping for much, and it was everything I could have hoped for and more!

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