Relationships / Crushin’

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“I’ve been fooling around with my straight best friend for 6 months. Surprisingly, he made the first ‘moves’ and we progressed from there, but we agreed to keep it as ‘friends with benefits.’ But we act like a couple – we do everything together, and we both even say I love you several times a day. The only thing he won’t do is admit we’re ‘together,’ even though our close friends even say we’re a good couple. I call him Mickey (from Shameless) because he won’t admit he’s gay. Do I just wait?”

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Shane Billings Says:

In times like this I find great comfort in the electropop yodeling of Gwen Stefani, whose first solo album demanded that we ask ourselves: What you waiting for? 

Not-so-totally long ago, I fell for a guy who kept small Warhol prints hanging on the wall of his bathroom, each with a different quotation. One, in particular, read: “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.” So I’d be visiting this guy, and I’d be in his bathroom, checking for boogers or stray hairs before smoochy time. And I would see this particular print and wonder… Does waiting actually make it more exciting?

Like, waiting at the DMV never made my registration tags sparkle or shimmer. Two hours in line at Space Mountain maketh not a spacier thrill. Waiting, in and of itself, does not promise meaning or value to the futures we’re hoping for.

So to answer your question: no, you shouldn’t JUST wait. Take your Gwen Stefani moment, and find out what exactly it is you’re waiting for. Waiting for Mickey to admit he is gay could be frustrating and insensitive to the reality that he may be searching for a different way to define his own sexuality.

Instead, pair the waiting with a variety of other things, like a behavioral platter of fruits and soft cheeses. Tell Mickey how you’re feeling about the dynamic in your relationship, and that you love him. Then wait a little.

Enjoy the current status of your relationship, and take pleasure in the fact that you’re able to do everything together. Expand your definition of “everything.” Wait a little more.

Watch a few Nora Ephron movies. Read a few Nora Ephron books. Then wait a little.

In a relationship, waiting can be a courageous act, so long as the waiting doesn’t make you inactive or resentful. Be generous and be kind. Give Mickey time and space to define his sexuality on his own terms. Appreciate your role in his discovery.

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"There's this girl that I like and I want her to know that I'm interested in getting to know her better. So I though about doing the whole "Hey, wanna get coffee sometime?" thing but I legit HATE coffee and like everything else (tea, Starbucks, you know). What is an acceptable causal meet up place for me and this super cute girl?"

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Kristin Says:

First of all, might I suggest that you begin by saying, “I have wanted to ask you to grab a coffee for awhile now… but I hate coffee. So in the interest of honesty, I was wondering if you’d like to NOT get coffee with me?!”

Then, maybe she will giggle or chortle or nervously tap her foot or roll her eyes. If she rolls her eyes, roll yours back and forget it. No one likes an eye roller. If she does any of the other things or signals in anyway that she’d like this dialogue to continue, then might I suggest:

GETTING ICE CREAM or if you don’t eat dairy GETTING DAIRY FREE ICE CREAM. I think I may have started off too strong with my ideas here, because I cannot think of anything that would be better than an ice cream date. Please stop reading and go ask her to ice cream.

Okay so you either hate ice cream (WHO ARE YOU EVEN) or the only ice cream store in your town is owned and operated by your ex (BUMMMMMER), so here are a few more ideas:

GOING TO A MUSEUM! Museums rule and sometimes they even have exhibits where butterflies land on you or where there are dioramas of moose (mooses?) and stuff. Come on. It will be so fun!

WALKING IN A PARK! SITTING ON A PARK BENCH! SWINGING ON A SWING SET! ANYTHING PARK-Y! Spring is here and even if your city is still a snowy-tundra, having a fun park adventure is almost always a good time. If you time it right (post-snow), you can even buy soft pretzels (if you live near a park big enough to have soft-pretzel vendors), or buy a pack of skittles to share while you walk & talk. Eh?!

LAZER TAG? Probably this is a little extreme but the thought of you being like “I hate coffee so the other casual activity I thought of that we could do is play lazer tag,” made me laugh really hard, so. You’re welcome.

DO YOU LIKE BOOKS? HOW ABOUT A BOOKSTORE HANG? Sorry if this is too nerdy for you but like, I love bookstores and bookstores need people in them so this is a win-win for society. You have a place to go with this girl, you can talk about your fave comics or books, you can each buy something and help support independent booksellers, what could be better??!?!

ICE CREAM. Ice cream could be better, probably, because ice cream rules. So, if she’s super pumped about ice cream you can make your SECOND date a bookstore and your third date a park and your fourth date going to a museum and then you can have your wedding at a lazer tag park.

I am so, so glad that we had this talk.

Best of luck / Invite me to the wedding,


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“After skirting around the question all night, my friend and I confessed our feelings to one another. Only problem was the awkward hour that followed it. We didn’t kiss or make a move, and earlier we had been discussing how relationships in high school are weird because you probably won’t make it in the long run. Should I propose dating for our last couple years before college, or should we just stay close friends? I don’t want any regrets, but I also don’t want a resigned break up.”

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Kristin Says:

First of all HOORAY, YOU DID IT! You said your feelings! Your friend said their feelings!! That means that before you started to wonder OMG WHAT WILL HAPPEN THO and scurried over to Everyone Is Gay for advice… you both felt that amazing firework explosion that happens when you connect to a human who you care about. That is the best feeling, and I am totally stoked for you both! Fireworks, fireworks, fireworks!

Now, as generally tends to happen with human beings, your heart was all *kapow kapow* and your friend’s heart was all *kablam kablam* and then your brains were like *screeeeeeeeeeeech* and then you both just looked at each other like:


I get it. I totally get it. However, the fact of the matter is that you have connected to this person and sharing that connection can (and probably will) be an incredible & important experience for you both, despite what may or may not happen after high school.

My answer, then, as is usually the case, is to talk more about your feelings, talk about the things you are afraid of, and talk about what it all means to you both. Set a timeline if you want, where you take three days or a week or two weeks to sift through things in your brains and hearts, both together and apart from each other. Then, reconvene and make out with each other! SORRY, WAIT. I meant, *clears throat* reconvene and talk about how you would both like to handle the situation as responsible adults.

Also know this: even if you spend the most incredible year with this human and you decide to go your separate ways after a time, that doesn’t have to be something that either of you regret. I have actually found that regret tends to happen much more when we choose not to do something for fear of “what might be,” instead of choosing something for what it is, right in this moment.


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“How do you distinguish friend feelings from romantic feelings?”

Question Submitted by Anonymous

Kristin Says:


It’s like, sometimes you meet a human and you’re like, ‘They seem cool, maybe I will see them around some time,’ but then other times you meet a human and you’re like ‘OMG STOP STOP WHY ARE THEY SO COOL I WANT TO TALK TO THEM ALL THE TIME DO YOU THINK THEY WILL HANG OUT WITH ME EVERY DAY ALL DAY?!’ and then still other times you meet a human and you’re like, ‘Must. Mash. My face. On. Their face. Now now now must mash faces.’

Simply put: sometimes you wanna be friends, sometimes you wanna make out, and sometimes there’s this spot that’s neither here nor there where you’re like crushing on them so hard but you’re also like what does it all mean do I want to cuddle with them or bone them or talk all night with them or just like get a photobooth photo with them and call it a day?

And what’s so messed up about ALL OF THIS, is that there shouldn’t have to be rules that demarcate what makes a friend a friend and a romance a romance and a bone a bone. I don’t think having sex with someone creates a deeper connection than cuddling with a person or sharing your deepest darkest secrets while eating ice cream together and watching bad movies. All of those things make us feel vulnerable in different (and important) ways, and create important and meaningful bonds.

So what I think is that you should hang out with this human as much as you want to hang out with this human, and have fun with them and maybe feel those loopy feelings where you’re like OH COOL YOU CAN HANG OUT AGAIN TOMORROW OH GOD WHY AM I SO HAPPY ABOUT THAT AH AH AHHHHH and then you just see where things go. For a long time I thought that having those loopy feelings meant I also must want to make out or bone or whatever, but I don’t feel that way anymore. I think that this world has done a bang-up job of consistently teaching us to understand our feelings on a binary, and I am so fucking over binaries!

It isn’t friend or romance, it isn’t gay or straight, it isn’t boy or girl. We have different relationships with different humans over the course of time and if you are SO INTO THIS PERSON, why figure out what it all means? It means you found another human who you connect with, and that is fucking incredible. It is such an amazing thing when we meet people who make us laugh, who understand us before we even explain ourselves, who listen to us, and whose company makes us feel FUCKING AWESOME.

I think this person can be a million different things, and only time and an open mind can really tell you what it all means. Oh, and bonus prize! It might mean they are a BFF today and a romance tomorrow and in forty years you decide they make a good bone-buddy. WHO. KNOWS.


Dannielle Says:


I don’t think of sex, romance, and friendships the same way, at all. In fact, I think it’s complicated to compare sex and telling secrets. Not only because sex feels very personal and intimate to me, in a way that I don’t want to share with my friends. But also because sex represents different shit to different people. What could be a nothing hook up to you could be a world shattering experience for the other human. WHICH IS WHY communication is so important. You should never expect that someone feels the same way as you do about anything, especially something so intimate and personal. It might not be intimate and personal for everyonnneee, but you can’t assume someone’s feelings, only they know!

The dopest thing about your position is that all of the greatest relationships I know started as a deep-as-fuck friendship. If you’re totally unsure, just spend some time with the person and treat them as if you’re trying to be a new best friend. BECAUSE WHO KNOWS, maybe it is a romance crush and maybe it is a friend crush. The only way you’ll know is by figuring it out by spending time with them!

If you go full force, immediately ask them to date, get romantic for three months and it doesn’t work out. They will probs slowly disappear into the ether and you’ll be like ‘oh yea i dated that human once for three months lol we still follow each other on instagram, and they don’t have a septum piercing anymore.” HOWEVER, if you go full friend force, take it slow, treat it like a friend crush, get to know each other so GD well you can’t even believe it, one of two things will happen, either (1) you will stay best fuckin’ friends forever or (2) that friendship will blossom into a love you never expected. You’ll be legitimately swept off your feet every day because you’re deeply in love with someone that you know everything about. You’ve already farted in front of each other, you’ve already talked about your sex fantasies, you already know their morals are in line with yours, and you already know their favorite candy… It’s honestly the best thing in the world.

AND THEN ANONYMOUS, if you date and it doesn’t work, 3 years later you will be back on the friend track and the two of you will be like ‘THANK GOD WE ARE FRIENDS AGAIN’ bc nothing can stop a best friendship.

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“There’s this girl who works at a coffee shop that I’m super into, but she just has a high school diploma and I’m working on getting my masters. We’re both into each other, but I can’t get over the fact that she isn’t really doing anything with her life. Am I a horrible person for letting this get in the way?! UGH! How do you handle education inequality in dating?”

- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Shane Billings as part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions

Shane Says:

Oh man, those girls in coffee shops…. putting heart shapes in your cappuccino and drizzling their number with chocolate syrup. I hope you don’t even drink coffee, and you’re just ordering it to seem caffeinated and cool for your barista boo-thang.

With situations like yours, it’s important to not let the idea of a thing (the implications of her education level) interfere with the thing itself (your mutual attraction). There’s nothing wrong with wanting specific qualities in a partner, including a certain education level. However, your concern seems rooted in a couple of assumptions – that MAYBE your coffee shop lady doesn’t have an advanced degree because MAYBE she doesn’t have ambitious goals for success, or MAYBE she doesn’t care about her future. Don’t give those “maybes” any control over your love life.

Truth is, your coffee shop lady lover is doing things with her life. Maybe it doesn’t seem like much, but she’s got an income and a love interest… and most people would kill for just one of those (please don’t kill anybody). I’m willing to bet that if you ask her what she’s doing with her life, she’d have an answer. And that’s the fun stuff! Getting to uncover all the details that make a person complex and three-dimensional, those are the things that will anchor your feelings in reality.  Maybe she is, in fact, too cool 4 school. School – especially higher education – is not for everyone, and isn’t a comprehensive metric for success or value in a person’s life. Don’t hold it against her.

So take a hot minute, while you’re sipping your hand-crafted mocha made special by your barista lover, and think about why higher education is important for you in a partner. Then take another minute (OMG so many minutes) and see what Aziz Ansari has to say about dating, specifically how people often realize that the qualities we say we’re looking for… don’t match the partner we actually become interested in.

You’re not a horrible person, at least not in this case. Maybe you don’t pay your taxes, or maybe you fart in crowded elevators. But like I said, “maybes” are just emotional contaminants, and don’t deserve the swaying power they have over our decisions. Don’t let the idea of a good relationship defeat an extraordinary opportunity that looks and feels different from what you expected.


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