I’m not sure you can help me with this polyamorous problem but here it is. What can I do when a guy seems a little too "friendly" with me, and his girlfriend seems unhappy with this? Maybe she doesn't like me or maybe she feels threatened. I'm not at all interested, and I don't know them well enough to say anything directly without potentially creating more awkwardness and maybe drama. I can't avoid them; they're both central figures in my social circle. What’s a girl to do?
Sarah T. - Seattle, WA
Yeah, this isn’t a polyamorous problem, this is a people problem. I think you can say something without drama. And about the awkwardness… um, isn’t it already awkward? I see two choices:
a) Ignore the friendliness and trick yourself into believing he’s like this with everyone and this is his normal.
b) If his friendliness is causing you to feel pressure and is unnerving, pull him aside and say, “Hey guy! I like spending time with you, and I’m getting the feeling you want something more from me. I’m not available for that. And super-sorry if I’m misreading you. We’re cool, yes?”
There shouldn’t be any drama from either of those options unless you hang out with super-sensitive people who can’t handle that level of kind clarity. Most poly people I know can absolutely hear that.
And whether you pick choice a or b, remember what other people think of you is none of your business. It’s not your job to manage how people feel or respond to you. So you be you. Don’t tone yourself down or adapt to an environment to lessen the impact of the situation. Show up, be you, be kind, be really, really nice to the girlfriend, and that’s it.
Good luck with them!