Dear Wendy: “I’m A Lesbian Magnet!”

It’s time again for “Shortcuts.” For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss being a lesbian magnet, former chat buddies, and overly flirtatious boyfriends.

I have not been on the dating scene in about five years, and am not interested in dating or a serious relationship right now. I am still trying to figure out what I want in life and I am busy starting my career. Eventually, I do want a relationship, marriage, and kids, but not at this moment. My issue is that I am constantly attracting gay women. My sexual preference is men; I have never been sexually attracted to a woman. I began to notice women hitting on me shortly after I stopped dating. I’m thinking these women are coming on to me because I’m not seeing any guys right now. Recently, I’ve had a few situations at work where I’ve ignored the advances of some women and they got really angry and retaliated against me in the worst way by spreading vicious rumors and lies. Fortunately, I don’t work with these women anymore but I still wonder if there was something I did to provoke the hostility. I wasn’t mean to them or rude when they hit on me; I just remained professional (yet polite) when I interacted with them. I would like to know how I could gracefully let the women who hit on me know that I’m not interested. — Lesbian Magnet

A simple “I’m flattered by your interest, but actually, I’m straight” should do the trick. If their flirting turns into harassment, excuse yourself from the situation — just as you would if a man was harassing you. If you’re being harassed at work, whether it be by a man or a woman, speak to an HR rep or your supervisor.

I’ve been flirting with a guy since he asked me out earlier this year, but we can’t date yet for professional reasons (my boss knows, so not being unethical). We’ve discussed it and we’re going to give it a shot once the professional conflicts are resolved, which should be around Christmas. In the meantime, I’d be all for taking a break from dating, but I know that he’s still logging into his online dating account. I’m hurt and a little mad, but even I have to admit that “Well, we’re not dating and have no idea if we’ll work out, but I don’t want you to date anyone else” sounds a little crazy. What do I do? — Waiting For Dating

If you don’t want to risk losing the potential of a relationship with this guy, figure out a way you can start dating now, even if it means doing it in secret. If jeopardizing your job is too great a risk, you really kind of have to suck it up and accept that this guy isn’t going to wait around for the next 2 and a half months for something that is by no means a sure thing (and frankly, you shouldn’t either!). Hopefully, he’ll still be available come Christmas, but if he isn’t, it’s not like he’s the only man out there.

About 11 years ago, when I was in college and very lonely, I met a wonderful man online via instant messenger. We’d talk for hours during his workday. About two months into our chats he said he was falling in love with me and was terrified because he was on the rebound and we lived too far away for a relationship to work. He proposed that we track each other down at age 50 and try again to have a relationship. (I’ll admit the relationship wasn’t entirely without red flags. We never talked at night, he was smarter and better spoken than any other 21-year-old I knew, he didn’t give me additional contact info, etc.). We continued chatting a few more months until I left school for the summer, and when I got back, he was “gone.” I felt bad for not having gotten a goodbye, but I moved on. I met my now-husband about a year later. I thought of my friend frequently, though. I still hear songs he introduced me to or see things that remind me of him. He sort of lived in my heart and mind like a fictional character — someone important who helped shape who I am today but who didn’t actually exist in the real world.

A few months ago, I found a list of helpful websites left for me by the last person who had my job. One of them is a blog run by a man with the same name as my old friend. Now I read his blog both for work reasons and for curiosity’s sake. It’s entirely possible it’s not him, but I’m 80 percent certain it is. (If it is, he’s a lot older than he originally stated — a red flag come true). I’m so tempted to contact him just to say hello. Also, we’re in the same industry so it’d be a nice connection to have. On the other hand, despite his suggestion of a meeting at 50, he did cut me off. Plus I’m married, so there’s no chance of a romantic future. How crazy would it be for me to contact him? Is it creepier for me to just watch from afar? — Long-Lost Chatter

Yes, it would be crazy to contact this guy. He sounds like a creep who took advantage of a naive, impressionable, very young woman during a vulnerable period in her life. That guy who lived in your “heart and mind like a fictional character” is exactly that — he doesn’t exist in the real world — and you should let him stay put in the fictional world where he belongs.

My boyfriend, who I have been dating for about two years, still calls other women (either his good girlfriends or acquaintances) “Babe” and “Gorgeous.” I read a text of his the other day where he texted, “OK gorgeous” and even though there was no flirty response back — just a simple one — it still made me upset! He is naturally a flirty person, but am I wrong for feeling uncomfortable when he does that? He even does it in front of me sometimes, which I prefer instead of him saying it in a text or an e-mail because then I feel as if he is purposely flirting. He, of course, calls me cute names too, but am I overreacting or should I be worried? — Not The Only “Babe”

If, after two years, you’ve never mentioned to him how his flirty ways bothers you, you really have no one to blame but yourself. If you’ve mentioned it to him before and he’s still doing it, perhaps it’s time for a reminder. Personally, I’d find it a little annoying but probably not anything to worry about, especially if he’s, as you say, “naturally a flirty person.”

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