Just Friends

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Recently I went on an excursion organized by one of my friends. There
were 20 people from the various interest groups in her life (rowing,
hiking, book group, etc.). I’ve been mostly single for the past decade,
but I met someone with whom I genuinely think I could become good
friends. I’m a lesbian; I suspect she is not, and I’m worried she might
see me as interested in her for social, read dating, reasons, where in
fact I mostly just looking for a movie or travel buddy. I am done
dating! Is there a polite way of saying “I like you but not that way”
without it coming off as creepy, arrogant, or some other estranging
adjective? I guess if she were interested in dating I might be, but the
truth is that in my late 60s making a great new friend sounds like
more fun and less hassle. I think I’m too old to be share my home

Just Friends

Dear Just Friends:

I think you’re a little too self-conscious. Most people assume friendship
as the baseline for interaction, unless they meet on some kind of
obvious hook up or dating site. Did you exchange contact information
when you me? Did the interest seem mutual? What kind of things did
you think you had in common? Since you did not already know her
from rowing, for example, I suspect there’s lots of room in both your
lives for independence, so start where you think it’s safe and see what

If you have not already done so send this person a quick text saying
roughly, Are you up for a movie and a bite to eat? If you get a no
thanks you can always go to your friend who organized the original
event and explain what happened, though I tend to err on the side of
direct communication. I think any ambiguity will be cleared up very
quickly if you get together, share personal histories, and say with the
emphasis you showed me that you’re very happy being single but are
very interested in expanding your social base for fun and adventure. If
she is a lesbian it will evolve or not. If she is not, you have no worries.