There seems to be a wild epidemic circling around this cruel, cold world of lesbian dating. I keep getting messages on my Facebook from a lot of you and there seems to be a pretty repetitive theme happening here. And that theme is this: STRAIGHT GIRL CRUSHES.
Girls. Don't do it. Think of straight girls like drugs: Just. Say. No.
Look ladies, I get it. Once upon a time I too spiraled down the straight girl rabbit hole, way back in the throes of my twisted youth and I learned the hard way that it's a trap with no happy ending. I know it's complicated because these straight girls (sometimes) indulge the crush. But I'm going to give you some tough love here: they're indulging it because they like the perks. Not because they like you (harsh I know, but I'm feeling hungover and blunt).
I know what you're doing. You're treating them differently than you're treating your friends, aren't you? Don't deny it, you're in a safe place. I'm your lesbian big sister right now and you're underneath my protective big sis wing, so you can drop the guard.
You're holding doors open for them like you're their dutiful boyfriend. You're paying for the cabs to the bar on the other side of town (and I know you can't afford that). You're buying them drinks. You're acting like a total, groomed gentlewoman. You're treating her better than any guy ever has.
And they like it. They like to be treated like ladies. So they're acting all coy. They're playing along, reciting the lines they know you want to hear. They're batting their mega lashes at you and flirting with you just the right amount, so you feel compelled to keep on going.
Maybe after a few drinks they get a little touchy/feely with you too. Gives you hope that maybe they'll cross over to the dark side with us, right? Well, I'm going to kindly ask you TO GET IT TOGETHER AND PUT A STOP TO IT.
Let me tell you a story about a friend of mine we'll call Alexa.*
So Alexa was deep into the throes of a straight girl crush a few years back. One night I met with her after not seeing her for a while. We were at a some nameless shitty bar on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, full of pseudo trust fund hipsters pretending to be poor. I hardly recognized her.
She had such heavy bags under her eyes they would have charged her extra at the airport. She had dropped weight. She had taken up smoking. Her attention was scatty and her eyes kept darting around the room. She looked like a paranoid drug addict.
"What's up with you, are you high or something?" I asked, because I was raised by a mother who doesn't have boundaries and that trait is genetic.
"What? Zara, you know I don't do drugs. I'm fine." She lied through gritted teeth (not about the drugs, but the being "fine" part).
"I don't believe you, but whatever," I bitchily replied because I was in no mood that night. I ordered a shot of vodka because I knew it was going to be a long, boring night and that's how I deal with my problems.
Two vodka shots and a lot of awkward silence later, Alexa asked me a question.
"Do you mind if my friend, Christina* joins us?"
"Who is Christina?" I asked, my interest suddenly piqued. Her face had lit up when she said Christina so I was pretty sure this was a new flame. And Alexa hadn't been laid in a while.
"She's just a friend," she said, lying through her gritted teeth again.
"Why can't you just be real with me?" I snipped, leaning back against the bar looking wistfully into the sea of unwashed and bad Lower East Side haircuts.
"She's hot, but she's straight, Zara."
"Ohhh, I see. Well, don't fall down the straight girl crush vortex," I warned her.
"Hell no," she said lying for the third time.
Pretty soon this Christina character arrived. She was a total gorgeous entity with seafoam eyes and bright red hair, but I inherently knew the moment she set her stiletto-laden foot onto the ash-filled floor of the bar, that she was totally heterosexual.
Look I get it. I know what you're thinking. "Sexuality is a spectrum. It's fluid. It's not the 90s, Zara." And I agree, but I've got some pretty good gaydar so trust me when I say she was as pretty far to the straight end on the "spectrum." Too far for my dear friend who is a gold-star lesbian (it means you're a girl who has never fucked a dude).
Alexa, once a hard shell, suddenly turned into the insides of a Cadbury Creme Egg. She was all goo. "Do you want a drink?" she asked Christina, taking out her wallet, aggressively summoning the bartender. Bitch hadn't offered to buy me a drink.
And then came all the signs. The drunker Alexa became the more she kept doting on Christina like she was her damn boy-toy or something. She kept buying her drinks and touching her lower back and staunchly protecting her from flirting bearded men, like she was her bodyguard clad in flannel.
And our girl Christina was milking it. Giving her just enough flirting back to keep the free drinks flowing. Pouting her lips just enough so she could get the door held open for her. I knew exactly what this girl was up to and I didn't like it one bit.
At the end of the day, Christina wasn't ever going to hook up with Alexa for real. Because Christina was boy crazy. She was all about that dick. I could smell the boy/dick craziness on her, it was so palpable. But she would keep flirting with the heroine of this story, because she liked the perks.
I began to get really annoyed with this Christina character. I had seen this happen too many times and I couldn't handle the idea of picking another lesbian destroyed off the floor.
"Hey Christina," I purred in my sweetest "I can do no wrong" voice that I use when I want to trick people into unwanted confrontation.
"Hey Zara," she purred back in her sweetest "I'm an innocent violet" voice that tricks lesbians into crushing on her.
"I know what you're doing and you need to stop," I said looking her dead in the eyes. Our eyelashes were both long and heavily made up. She held my gaze before whispering, "I don't know what you're talking about" and strutted off in her stilettos like she was the Queen of England.
I rolled my eyes.
I didn't see Alexa for the next six months because she wouldn't return my phone calls. Finally she called me. The call I had been waiting for.
"I'm sorry I've been off the radar. It's Christina. I'm consumed. She won't leave her boyfriend but she keeps hooking up with me and I'm in LOVE with her and I don't know what to do, I'm lost. I'm heartbroken. I'm a MESS."
And I wanted to sneer "I told you so" but I'm not that much of a bitch, so instead I just coaxed her and then told her to cut ties immediately. And she did. She cried a river of tears and didn't have the wherewithal to go on a date with someone for the next several months -- but she got through it. And vowed never to let herself straight girl crush ever again.
And this is just one example in a sea of many. It's a tale as old as time. But DON'T DO IT. You won't get that year of wasting your time, fawning over a straight girl back. Your heart is too precious and too delicate to be broken over someone who is either using you, keeping you a secret or leading you on.
Look, if she tells you that you're the exception and wants to give it a go, that's one thing. I would never deny you of love (I'm not a monster!), but don't you dare proceed until she's ready to make that commitment to you. I can't even stomach the idea of you being someone's secret. Secrets fester anxiety. Love should never be cohesive with anxiety. Love should be open, honest and most of all, real.
If you're falling into straight girl crush vortex, STOP RIGHT NOW. Message me if you need to! As your wise, old, 30-year-old big sister, I'm always here for you. If you're feeling tempted to buy her that third drink at the club, imagine me sitting in the back of the bar. I'm sipping on something I would never sip on in real life, like a Martini or something. My liner is winged and my gaze is direct. "Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it," I'm whispering to you, my red lipstick lips pouting.
And you my darling, will instead buy yourself a shot because you resisted temptation and are a fearless, fierce lesbian in control of her crushes AND her life.
* Name has been changed.