My former sister-in-law

I’m bi, she’s flirty… should I do something? 

First, says our elder, figure out how you really feel. Then be honest with her.


Dear EWC

So, I’m 26 female, I’m bisexual and I have two kids. I believe sometimes my ex-sister-in-law is interested in me or flirting with me. Of course I tried to act on it about two years ago and I just told her. I didn’t even attempt to kiss her and she never really said anything – she never said no or yes, she got back with my brother again at that time, and completely cut me off, not even to see my niece and nephews. Out of nowhere she answers. Of course my brother is no longer in the picture again but he’s gone this time. I just don’t know what to do because she uses “sister” here and there but also says things like, “I know you love me and wouldn’t hurt me”. Or, “I hope you don’t go anywhere?” And how she loves me and wouldn’t want me to not be here or how I’m her new baby daddy, or how she always wants me here and can count on me and that’s even after not talking for a year.


PJH replies

I’m sorry it’s taken a while to respond to your letter to the EWC for an elder’s perspective on the dilemma with your ex-sister-in-law, but I’m happy to offer this straight old male’s view of the problem. Bottom line, be sensitive to this woman’s caution but also be clear about your own feelings and intentions. 

I’m sure you know far better than I do that being bi is rarely easy. Only other bi women with long learning curves handle their sexual lives with social aplomb and confident intimacies, and it’s apparent your ex-‘sister’ lacks both of these attributes. Still, she knows you’re bi and has expressed her attraction to you while avoiding any direct reference to sex. What I can’t assess from your letter is how you feel about her, and I presume she is similarly in the dark. 

I recommend you address this issue as soon as possible. There’s no reason for you to feel obligated in any way toward this woman, but if, indeed, you can see the possibility of a happy connection and potential intimacy it’s vital you consider the social and familial implications of your being romantically linked to your brother’s one-time lover. I suspect that would be exceedingly fraught, potentially volatile, and best avoided if it isn’t already underway. 

I think the best outcome would be collaborating friends who date other people. And if that doesn’t appeal to you, I recommend you tell her as gently as possible that you prefer your private life to remain private, and you regard your relationship with your brother’s ex as no closer than a polite acquaintanceship.

Again, while I trust you won’t have to be firm or blunt, I do hope you’ll look after your own interests at all points in the future of this rather curious encounter. 

Article #: 486456

Category: Dating/Relationship

One Comment

  1. Great and supportive advice about a possible future relationship that has the potential to go wrong for So Many Reasons!

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