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Q: I want to make out with my bestie. I love her dearly, but I don’t think I’m in love with her—I don’t want to be in a whole relationship thing with her or anything. It’s just that when she talks or looks at me or smiles or frowns or yells about politics and the end of the world, my skin gets all tingly and I feel like I want to be a whole lot closer to her and ugh.
This is all well and good, I can ignore tingly feelings and her sparkly eyes and that’s all fine. The issue is thus: she is the biggest flirt on the planet. I’m pretty sure it’s not just me that she does it to, but I have a hard time coping when she tells me I’m the biggest babe in the room, at the bar, at school, in the city (I mean, come on!) or when she is smelling my hair, or telling me about every single person she sees checking me out (I am blissfully ignorant), or when I rock up to a party in jeans and she smiles and tells me she kinda wishes that I had worn a skirt because my legs are rockin. It’s not like I want to make out with her all the time or anything, just enough that it is annoying. I’m pretty sure she is completely oblivious to it anyway. What the fuck should I do?
A: Hey, I want to commend you on something real quick before we head to the answer. In your very first paragraph, you make some pretty self-aware statements. You’re not in love with your best friend and you don’t want to be in a relationship with her. That’s an excellent thing to know about yourself. It takes a someone who’s examined their own interior life to know that. Kudos to you!
Okay, before we go any further, watch this music video:
That was good, wasn’t it? It sure was, because Julia Nunes is amazing and also because making out is fun. Making out is so fun that, believe it or not, sometimes friends make out with each other without any pesky relationship stuff getting in the way. It’s totally a thing that happens and it could be your future.
But it also might not be. And you know the only way to find out? Yeah, you know.
You gotta talk to your friend about it. Which means fessing up to however long you’ve wanted to make out with her face. That could be awkward, but it’s the only way you’ll get to that blissful future where your mouth is on her mouth. I recommend making a coffee date and sitting down and legit reading the exact thing you sent me, because that will serve provoke one of a few outcomes.
First, if your friend also wants to make out with you without any strings attached, she will say AWESOME LET’S DO THAT SOMETIMES. Bam. You and your best friend are now also makeout buddies and that is a-okay. Then you should feel free to ask some follow up questions, like under what circumstances is it okay to make out? Are there qualifiers to this agreement that you should keep in mind ahead of time? Make clear your feelings too—is making out in public okay? At parties? Or in private?
Second, if your friend has been trying to send you “I’m into you” signals and you’ve been misreading them (and I actually do suspect this might be the case), this will give her the opportunity to fess up. Then you’ll have the opportunity to consider that alternate reality and if it’s something you might want to explore (though it sounds like not really). If this happens, you get to ask for time to consider it, though, so don’t feel pressure to answer right away.
Third, if your friend really doesn’t want to make out or change your friendship in any way, this gives her an opportunity to say so. AND! It gives you an opportunity to ask for her to then please stop flirting with you. Because your friend, being your friend and all, should want to stop torturing you.
If your friend needs time to process the information, you should give that time to her. If she truly has no idea this is coming (and honestly, I think she probably has some idea), then she might need a hot sec before giving you an answer. Whenever you’re the dropper of anvils, be really gracious to the person on the receiving end. Don’t make her answer that dat and be prepared to get on with your afternoon/evening/whenever without obsessing over what her response might be.
I think regardless of the outcome, you should prepare for something to change in the nature of your friendship. Like, don’t expect that even with the third option things will go back to being exactly the same. There will be behaviors she’ll change based on it, behaviors you’ll change as well. Or you’ll be makeout buddies. Strangely enough, I think the outcome that changes your friendship the least is the one where you’re makeout buddies. If you don’t want your friendship to change at all, well. Then it’s up to you to decide whether you feel comfortable withholding this information from your best friend. It’s not something I’d be down with, personally, but it’s one of those “whose business is it?” grey areas that I’ll let you navigate for yourself (with the help, I imagine, of our commenters).
But no matter what happens, know this one thing: by writing two paragraphs, you are single-handedly responsible for every queermo reading this article right now frantically texting their best friend to double-triple-check the state of their relationship. Lesbian Jesus be with you, friend, as you attempt to put your mouth on hers.