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LeavesNoTrace's avatar

How do I tactfully deal with my acquaintance's girl crush?

Asked by LeavesNoTrace (5674points) February 7th, 2017 from iPhone

I’m a 28 F in a committed, long-term relationship with a man. One of his close friends is also in a relationship with a very nice, but emotionally fragile woman in her mid-30s. (Let’s call her “Jen”.)

Jen has always really liked me and I like her just fine too (in moderation) but I’ve never thought of getting too close to her because while she’s a well-meaning person, she has a lot of emotional issues and I suspect she is an alcoholic. It’s not uncommon for her to suddenly break down sobbing or have some kind of emotional episode at a social gathering that effectively ends the party and while she is good-hearted, she is often so emotionally “raw” that my partner and I are concerned about her.

Last night, we went to a Super Bowl party at their place and it was apparent that Jen was in one of her “weird places” from the beginning. I went out with her to get beer and chips and she was very emotional and touchy-feely with me but didn’t seem all “there”—telling me how beautiful I am, etc. I chalked it up to her having one too many glasses of wine and laughed it off.

A little later on, my boyfriend gets up from the game for a bathroom break (we were in the back of the room), and she takes his seat and scoots it right up next to me. I have a warm-blooded Italian background and am generality not too protective of my personal space, but this was a little too close for comfort.

She then proceeds to start stroking my hair and the back of my neck the way a lover would and mouthing the words “I love you” to me while touching my face. I freeze and have no idea what to do. Do I pull away? Do I ignore it? Do I say something?

Luckily my ever-perceptive partner saw my distress and came to my rescue by tactfully calling us a cab. Her boyfriend beckoned her over and she kind of passed out slumped against his shoulder.

In the cab home, my BF and I shared a laugh about it and he made some joking comments about how clearly he has good taste in women if even other women find me “irresistible” (har-dee-har) but I’m still inwardly kind of skeeved out.

This evening she sent me a private email off the usual group chain with a bunch of smiley emojis about how she’s still enjoying the delicious cake I made and hopes she can see me soon and we should hang out. I told my partner that I’d like to avoid her for a month or two…

How should I deal with her? She recently lost her father over the summer so that accounts for some of the strangeness but she’s been somewhat like this for the three years I’ve known her. I know she has emotional and drinking problems so I want to be kind but also set boundaries.

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16 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

Wowsa… That is way beyond anything I can offer advice on…. Good luck.

All I can really say is are you happy?

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@johnpowell I’m very happily monogamous with my partner and have no desire to indulge in any sort of dalliance with this woman.

Zaku's avatar

If she passed out shortly after cuddling up, I’d tend to suspect and/or make room for the possibility that she was in a drunken state that doesn’t reflect her waking state entirely. There are some people who when they’re quite drunk get quite sexual in ways that don’t have much to do with their waking state, and they may not even remember it. In any case, that she has a drinking problem and gets that way for whatever reason is an issue, but it’s possible that her sober/conscious persona doesn’t have that sort/level of crush on you.

I’d suggest avoiding her when she’s drunk if possible, and size her up when sober. Or if it really makes you uncomfortable, of course you can set boundaries but I’d recommend doing that with full open frankness, and in person not via electric writing. You should be able to communicate with sober her that she got over flirty and you’re happily monogamous, and she should be able to hear and respect that, and if not, she has more serious issues and you have every right to avoid her entirely in that case. If that’s not an issue and you still just would rather not spend much time with her, then that should be ok too.

jca's avatar

I wouldn’t even address the part about her saying you should hang out. I’d avoid that topic. I’d respond with someting like “Hi Jen, thanks for having us over. We had a great time. We look forward to the next gathering.” Keep it simple, keep it off any topic you don’t want to discuss, hopefully she gets the hint and doesn’t pursue anything further.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Does she even remember what the hell she was doing? If not then problem solved.

I had a roomate that had a knack for picking up these types as he was one himself. Never underestimate what will come out of a drunken person’s mouth with bipolar disorder. Honestly, I would pretend it never happened and hope it never comes up again.

kritiper's avatar

Be honest with her if it comes to confronting the issue. Then, watch your back!

janbb's avatar

Surely you have learned to set boundaries with people over unwanted attention by now. Just avoid her for a while and see if it goes away.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar


Yeah, I told my SO that I’ll need to opt-out of social gatherings with them for a month or two and hope it cools down.

zenvelo's avatar

@jca and @janbb have the best advice: disengage as much as possible.

Talk to your boyfriend, let him know that this may put a damper on his friendship with his buddy, and that it is not about the buddy, but about Jen. It’s up to your boyfriend to discuss Jen with his friend.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@zenvelo I certainly don’t want to put a damper on my BF’s friendship with Jen’s boyfriend. They’ve been friends for the better part of a decade and he’s only been with Jen for three years—and quite frankly, I don’t think they will be together much longer with her possible mental illness and long history of inappropriate behavior.

I’ll just personally opt-out of gatherings where she’ll be present for a while.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Gosh, if it happens again can you kindly tell her “No,” and gently push her back into her own space?

Seek's avatar

Sounds like she was on Molly.

I’d brush it off and avoid her in the future.

LeavesNoTrace's avatar

@Seek Nope, that’s kind of the norm for her. And if she was on Molly, she’s a b*tch for not sharing—especially since I baked a cake and made guac!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Seek I think you just decoded that one. Does sound like it.

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