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[RANT] Being shipped irl


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Title. My problem is being shipped with everyone. From childhood amab friends to classmates and even teachers.

Hetero- and amatonormativity, creepiness (?) and swear words warning

My closest (and probably only) friend, who is an allo cis girl, keeps shipping me with people. One time it was my childhood friend from when I was 4, sometimes my male classmates, sometimes teachers, random people, actors, she has no limits.

I am afab and she is very heteronormative. She only ships me with guys.

If I mention someone who happen to be male she's like "oooooh Robin has crush!!!!!!" and even though it's a joke, I hate it. If I look at random male person, she goes "oooh who ya looking at?" Sometimes at lunch she's like "next boy who walks in is Robin's crush!!" If I mention a male actor I like (especially a specific one) she thinks I have a crush on him. I like their acting skills, for fuck's sake.

She may address me by some random boy's surname. This has happened at least thrice. She may even call other people our children.

If I mention that I like a certain class (with a male teacher ofc) she's like "oooh teacher crush eh??"

One time in class I was labeled as trans because I have a pretty deep voice and then I was shipped with, you guessed it, a female peer.

And no, I am not kidding. She actually does all this. It's been going on about a year and I have told her to stop multiple times but she doesn't. I've had literal insomnia because of fear of her starting rumours of me. Generally she's nice but this shit is going overboard. I am seriously considering coming out to her. 

And after all this she wonder why I don't want to visit her or have sleepover.

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This is more of a rhetorical question, but what happens if you tell her to stop? A close friend should be someone you are safe to come out to and should be someone who respects your boundaries and cares about your safety/wellbeing. You should be safe to come out but you shouldn't have to come out. "Please stop shipping with me people or teasing me about having crushes whenever I mention anyone else" is a very reasonable request, and I would honestly fear that if it's not enough for your friend, coming out won't be either. I'm sorry. :(

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14 hours ago, hemogoblin said:

This is more of a rhetorical question, but what happens if you tell her to stop? A close friend should be someone you are safe to come out to and should be someone who respects your boundaries and cares about your safety/wellbeing. You should be safe to come out but you shouldn't have to come out. "Please stop shipping with me people or teasing me about having crushes whenever I mention anyone else" is a very reasonable request, and I would honestly fear that if it's not enough for your friend, coming out won't be either. I'm sorry. :(

If I ask her to stop, she shuts up about it and talks about something else, but doesn't apologize and resumes eventually, after some days.

I don't want to come out because I'm afraid word will spread and living in very conservative place with unfortunate events regarding LGBTQIA+ people, it would probably become a 'thing', mostly likely eventually reaching my brother, which wouldn't be a good thing. That being put aside, I don't know if my friend would understand. That one time I told her that I didn't want romantic relationship with my 'crush' (it was aesthetic + a total stranger) she was like "aaaaww :( I'm sure you'll find someone" and when I told her that I didn't want a relationship with anyone, she said "oh really? 😏" and when I said I didn't want that, she kind of changed the subject to her own relationship and told me about how she wasn't sure if she liked her crush (now boyfriend) at first and that I would find someone eventually. Then the conversation ended because we had to go to class. 

The problem is that she can't quite catch on the idea of NEVER wanting a relationship. I wear two bracelets, the sunset aroace flag and ace flag, but she has never asked about them. I kinda hope she would.

More rambling:

I can't probably come out face to face because we can only see each other at school and it's not very private place. I may do it in the beginning of next June because;

1. She has two months to process it before we start in high school (I'll be 16 though, not 14, our grades are a bit different from USA)

2. It's pride month so it may be easier?

3. I find it WAY easier to talk about it through text

I have considered coming out to another friend this weekend because she is LGBTQIA+ and very accepting, and I have done it before I realized I was aroace. It's also good because my identity has changed. I had that "I must be biromantic because everyone feels the same" but, well, my 13 year old self was not the sharpest tool in the shed

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She's not being a friend. Being not straight isn't even the point here, the point is you communicated your boundaries and she continues to cross them. If I were you I would just get up and walk away every time she did that, without a word. And if she continues, I'd just stop talking to her. Life is way too short to spend time on people who does shit they know makes you uncomfortable. 

 

But that's just me. 

Edited by Procrastinating
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On 1/18/2023 at 5:30 PM, Frogrobin said:

If I ask her to stop, she shuts up about it and talks about something else, but doesn't apologize and resumes eventually, after some days.

You can train people by getting always instantly mad and not speaking to them for some time. That's the only way they learn.

But I reserve this treatment for annoying family members, not friends. Because if your friend doesn't really care for your feelings or respect you, what's the point?

 

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On 1/18/2023 at 9:30 AM, Frogrobin said:

If I ask her to stop, she shuts up about it and talks about something else, but doesn't apologize and resumes eventually, after some days.

I don't want to come out because I'm afraid word will spread and living in very conservative place with unfortunate events regarding LGBTQIA+ people, it would probably become a 'thing', mostly likely eventually reaching my brother, which wouldn't be a good thing. That being put aside, I don't know if my friend would understand. That one time I told her that I didn't want romantic relationship with my 'crush' (it was aesthetic + a total stranger) she was like "aaaaww :( I'm sure you'll find someone" and when I told her that I didn't want a relationship with anyone, she said "oh really? 😏" and when I said I didn't want that, she kind of changed the subject to her own relationship and told me about how she wasn't sure if she liked her crush (now boyfriend) at first and that I would find someone eventually. Then the conversation ended because we had to go to class. 

The problem is that she can't quite catch on the idea of NEVER wanting a relationship. I wear two bracelets, the sunset aroace flag and ace flag, but she has never asked about them. I kinda hope she would.

More rambling:

I can't probably come out face to face because we can only see each other at school and it's not very private place. I may do it in the beginning of next June because;

1. She has two months to process it before we start in high school (I'll be 16 though, not 14, our grades are a bit different from USA)

2. It's pride month so it may be easier?

3. I find it WAY easier to talk about it through text

I have considered coming out to another friend this weekend because she is LGBTQIA+ and very accepting, and I have done it before I realized I was aroace. It's also good because my identity has changed. I had that "I must be biromantic because everyone feels the same" but, well, my 13 year old self was not the sharpest tool in the shed

First, I want to confirm along the lines of what everyone else is saying. It's a crappy way to treat a friend to disregard their feelings, not apologize when you hurt or upset them, and then continue doing the thing that they have outright told hurts you. You probably even just generally feel a lot of pressure to forgive her or let it go, for a variety of reasons, from the good ways she treats you to people generally never siding with victims and telling people to "just get over it" when they're hurt, from what the reast of your support system would look like or how it's impacted if you cut her out. I understand that. But do know that this behavior of your friend is not okay. At 13/14, she's absolutely old enough to understand this.

But beyond that, I do want to tackle this a different way than just telling you to cut her out and get new friends. Because, as I said, I understand if that feels harsh or doesn't feel like the right move here. You are totally allowed to do this, but I don't want you to feel like you just have no other options and have to continue putting up with this if you're not ready to cut her out. Setting boundaries is hard regardless of age. Ending friendships is hard regardless of age. It's easy for us to sit on this side of the screen and hear the negative part of the friendship and tell you to walk away. It's a lot different on your side of the screen, caring about this person, remembering the times you've laughed together, appreciating the times she's supported you - not to mention other considerations like if due to family relationships or location or whatnot, you would have to keep seeing this person and/or even face pressure from parents to continue the friendship.

I think there are a couple of different things you can try here, even trying multiple of them, before coming out to her. Imo, while coming out to her may be a relief, it's ultimately not going to solve your problem. A friend I was out to is still the friend who continued to try setting me up on dates because me "being alone" made her sad. My mom who I had just come out to is still someone whose response to my coming out was to tell me to not be afraid to change my mind in the future. My ex who knew I was asexual before I ever asked him out is still the person who, without ever consulting with me, still decided we could have sex because some other asexuals had sex. Coming out is not a magic bullet for making people respect you - in fact, a lot of the times, it's gonna have the opposite effect, unfortunately. Because of attitudes towards queer people, when you come out, people often feel more entitled to define your feelings for you or disregard your boundaries to try and force you to feel how they think you should. Your friend may indeed increase her dismissive attitude towards your romantic discomfort once you come out and she feels it's something that needs fixing.

I hope she's a better person than that, but any relationship with her that works for you is going to mean having to push back against her making you uncomfortable. D:

Here's some approaches I suggest:

  • Bring this up during a neutral time when you have time to talk, ie not at school between classes. Maybe during an afterschool or weekend hang out. Bring this up as a specific discussion, not just in response to it happening. Don't throw out any accusations, feel free to give her some benefit of the doubt, but do be clear on what you would like for her to stop doing and how it impacts you when she does it. "[Friend], I've asked you a few times now to stop shipping me with other people or making comments about me dating. I know you don't understand or share my feelings and that you're not doing this on purpose to hurt me. But I have asked you to stop because these comments make me feel sad and like I'm not good enough. I don't understand why you want to date so badly, but I respect that those are your feelings, and I don't expect you to feel differently for me. I just want to ask that you extend the same compassion to me and respect that my feelings about dating are different than yours. I need you to please stop making comments about me dating altogether. You're a really good friend and we usually have really good times together, so I totally feel this is something you can do to help improve our relationship."
  • Consistently enforce this boundaries. The first few times after this, you give a verbal reminder and a chance for her to correct herself. "[Friend], we've talked about this. You're doing it again." If she doesn't ever apologize and continues doing so, you know she's not even trying to stop. After a few corrections, it's time to walk away. There are consequences to her not being a good friend to you. "[Friend], you know how this makes me feel. I've talked about it with you several times now. Do not follow me. I can't be around you right now. I'll see you [after class, after school, tomorrow - if you have to keep walking away from her, make this time that you need a break from her longer and longer]." And walk away. Go hang out with someone else, read a book, work on homework, talk to the counselor if there's one at school, listen to music, go to your next class early. If she values your friendship, she will start taking this seriously.
  • Subject changes. Maybe, like so many of us, you need a lot more practice to feel more confidently setting boundaries this openly. Maybe you need to sometimes try with a subtler message. Take a page out of her book. Straight up ignore her comments (do not engage with them at all) that make you uncomfortable and give a very blatant subject change.
  • If you don't have any other friends/support system, now is a good time to try and change that so you have more options and more people to enjoy being with and being safe with. This is very daunting, I know! Easiest way would be to join a new sport, club, extracurricular, activity, etc. if at all possible. If you're so bold, you can even try starting one of your own for something you enjoy doing. It should be something that you're at least interested in trying, though. Don't join something you hate to try and connect with other people. You have a better chance of connecting with them if you're both interested in participating in whatever it is.

She does not have to understand or relate to your feelings in order to respect them. You don't go around trying to make her feel bad for having crushes, right? There's no reason she can't do the same for you for not having crushes.

And if it turns out that all you can handle is just putting up with it until you have the opportunity to physically leave this relationship behind or hope she does a lot of personal growth in the next few years, that's okay, too!

Just know that you do deserve friends who respect you and treat you well. You should never have to suffer with someone who upsets you and makes you unhappy just because you have other good memories with them. You deserve better than that.

Edited by hemogoblin
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