Dear Christine, Unsure in Redford

I have always been with men. I was once with a women and that was when I was younger, and the girl and I made it into a game. I liked it, and was excited to hang out with her and play the game again. But that is the only lesbian-type experience that I have had. After that time in my life, I always considered myself straight until about two years ago, when I came out to my boyfriend at the time that I was bisexual. No one in my family knows, I don’t know how they would handle it.

Now I have been with the same guy for over a year now, and I keep having fantasies about women and really only women. I honestly feel that if him and I broke up I would never date another guy. ANYWAY, for the past month or so I have been even more confused. My boyfriend and I don’t have sex anymore…we only do when we are drunk…I mean that could be because we are both insecure people. But who can really know. I just have no sex drive with him. I mean I guess that could be other things, but I have sex drive thinking about this one girl that I have always had a crush on. I love my boyfriend, is it just as a best friend? I love being around him, it’s just gotten awkward. Honestly, I don’t want things to end, but am I just telling myself that because I don’t want to come out? I don’t even find myself looking at guys anymore, only girls.

From when I was little I always “checked out” everyone. But I would find myself looking at girls a lot. Also I was always awkward around girls…and I still am, until after I am around them more. There is a lot to the situation…I just don’t know. My mom has this vision of me and my boyfriend getting married and she loves him a lot…

I just don’t want to make that step with him if I am just gonna come out as a lesbian later in life….no we are not planning marriage or anything at this time, but I don’t want to hurt him. I feel bad enough already. I just need opinions.

Unsure in Redford

Dear Unsure,

I hear your confusion, and encourage you to take some time to really search your heart and figure out who you are and what you really want in your life. Only you can be the expert on you, and you don’t think you’re the expert, then you may need to gather more information.

It sounds like you are attracted to women, and also that your relationship with your boyfriend isn’t what it used to be. No relationship stays hot and heavy, in love (or as the Japanese say, in love psychosis) for more than a few months to maybe 3 years. So, no matter who you are with, the relationship will change over time. Right now, you need to find out if your attraction to women is a temporary thing, more present because things aren’t as exciting with your boyfriend, or if you really prefer being in a relationship with a woman. If you can’t answer that question now, it’s best not to encourage your mom’s dreams of your wedding to this guy. You’ve been honest with him that you’re bi, but now you need to decide if you need more data to know yourself more fully. Do you need to sleep with another woman, or several? Do you need to be in a serious relationship with a woman to see how that feels?

You don’t want to hurt your boyfriend, which is honorable, but not possible. In fact, in any relationship or friendship, it’s a matter of time until we hurt the ones we care about and love. Not on purpose, but because we aren’t clones, and we have different needs, feelings, wants and limits, and sometimes because we aren’t clones, and we have different needs, feelings, wants and limits, and sometimes our needs conflict. It’s all part of being close to someone. You will hurt your boyfriend, no matter what you do or don’t do. Given that reality, I encourage you to really search your heart and figure out what you really need in a relationship before committing to anyone in a marriage or long term relationship. If you just aren’t ready to stay straight in this particular relationship, then be honest. Intimacy is built on honesty, and even if it isn’t what your boyfriend wants to hear, it is what will either make or break the friendship/relationship. Bring up this topic again with him, and find out what his feelings are. Would he want you to give up your interest in women for him? Would he trust you to keep your word on that? Or would he be afraid that you would explore behind his back, so that he is hurt whenever and however he finds out?

You don’t need to come out to your family at this point. There’s really nothing to come out about, until you know who and what you are. If you decide you are bisexual, you really don’t have to come out to family at all, when you’re in a straight relationship. In fact, to share that with them might confuse them, as many people assume the only way we know if we’re attracted to the same sex is because we’re actually in that kind of relationship.

So, explore your sense of yourself, your needs, wants, limits and tolerances, but as long as you are with your boyfriend, be honest with him, so he can choose for himself if he wants to continue on this journey with you, or if he can leave if it’s too confusing or painful for him. A relationship is made up of two people who openly and honestly choose to be with each other, every day, as long as it lasts.

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888Click here to email Christine.

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