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Help me deal with bisexuality.
June 21, 2008 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Fiancee best friend is bisexual. I have issues dealing with it.

I have always been suspecting that my significant other's BFF was bi. But recently I got the confirmation.
These girls grew up together and they have known each other for far longer than I have known my significant other. They always act very affectionate towards each other.
When I found out I asked my fiancee about it and she said that nothing sexual ever happened between them and that she found out about this other girl's preference at the same time I did.
In fact, she was upset that I ever thought that she would hide such a thing from me. We're going through some relationship problems as well, and my question, which I posed in a less than gentle way, is only fueling the fire that is burning our relationship from the inside.

How can I mend things, assuage my suspicions, and how can I deal with my fiancee's friend in light of the new knowledge? My fiancee and I come from different backgrounds, mine is a lot more conservative. I have bisexual friends but they are not someone who I feel really close to, or someone that I have known practically my entire life.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What if you're fiancee had an opposite sex best friend? As far as the sexual tension question goes, it would be the same, right? This is a common situation... you should trust your fiancee to have platonic friendships with people she could in theory (or actuality!) be sexually attracted to.
posted by phrontist at 9:34 AM on June 21, 2008

Suspicions? Would you feel uncomfortable if her BFF was male instead? Your girlfriend's friend's sexuality should not be a concern of yours. There are hundreds of men and women out there who will be attracted to her over the years. How that turns out is your girlfriend's responsibility, not yours: you can't be a jealous wreck your entire life. It's unattractive and weird and says really bad things about you.

If you really want to solve it, tell your girlfriend "I'm sorry. I was an asshole about [BFF's name here]. Her sexuality doesn't matter, and I love you and trust you and I won't be an asshole about that again."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:34 AM on June 21, 2008 [14 favorites]

Yeah, basically I think you're being jealous and insecure. The bisexuality thing is a herring.
posted by phrontist at 9:35 AM on June 21, 2008 [14 favorites]

You don't have to be the person's best friend. But if this is going to work between you and your fiancee, you'll need to accept that she has a bi friend.

You don't have to be around if the person comes to visit. You don't have to go visit them. You don't have to let them be a godparent to your children. But you can't tell your fiancee that she can't do those things (except maybe the godparent one).

It's bad form to make someone chose between a friend and you. Especially if they've known the friend longer.
posted by theichibun at 9:37 AM on June 21, 2008

Who cares what sexuality her friend is. You either trust her or you don't.

Optimus nailed the apology.
posted by Silvertree at 9:41 AM on June 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm with you on this on. Bi people creep me out. I mean, make a decision already! Seriously though, I can't see how it matters unless you expect something is currently going on between the too.

I agree with the scene in "Chasing Amy," where the gay guy says every man wants to "imagine it's unconquered territory, like no one has ever been there before." This is a paraphrase.

And I was joking about Bi people creeping me out.

But I think a lot of these answers are skipping right past your question. The way to get more comfortable with a situation like this is to spend more time in an environment that exposes you to it until you do get more comfortable. You'll probably find out you have nothing to worry about.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:00 AM on June 21, 2008

It sounds like you've got two separate, but related problems: there's the girlfriend you don't trust, and there's the homophobia. It might be easier to solve them separately than together.
posted by box at 10:10 AM on June 21, 2008 [5 favorites]

Is your girlfriend also bi? Because, you know it takes 2 to make these things happen. If your girlfriend is straight then its not much different than a straight female friend. How would you feel if her best friend was male?
posted by missmagenta at 10:12 AM on June 21, 2008

Does she love your penis and are you delivering the goods? Then stop worrying. Even if she hooks up with the woman, you have what she really wants.

Any kind of prying or jealous behavior (what a waste of time), or worse - saying you "trust her"- will only push her away.

Do a "George Constanza" - the opposite of what your instincts are - and you will find she will be even more attracted to you.

The dumbest thing you can do is make some big production about how you "trust her that she's not doing anything". Just start packing your bags, because it will be over soon.
posted by Zambrano at 10:14 AM on June 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yeah, basically I think you're being jealous and insecure. The bisexuality thing is a herring.

Yes and no. Jealously is obviously the root of the problem here, but it's compounded by the fact that the subject of his jealously has something to offer that he doesn't and can never hope to.

I mean, it sounds like he's probably aware that she isn't actually cheating and is looking for a means of getting over his own hangups. The fact that the friend is bisexual just adds another thing to get hung up over. Optimus nailed it, obviously.
posted by Adam_S at 10:24 AM on June 21, 2008

You admit that you and your fiancee are having problems. This is part of that, because you don't trust her. That's the real issue here that is causing problems between you. If you want to marry her, you need to trust her. There are many good points made above: that the homophobia and the jealousy are two different issues, that if your girlfriend is straight then you have nothing to worry about, that if she's faithful to you in your relationship then that's what's important. Yes. But really, you need to trust someone you plan to marry, and I am sure that you expect the same trust of her.
posted by bassjump at 10:39 AM on June 21, 2008

I bet it has very little to do with the friend's bisexuality. I think you're worried about the relationship, not sure how to put out the fire. And here you are, engaged. It's pretty normal to attribute your looming, unnamed worry to something easily namable.

Make a commitment to understanding the real difficulties between you and your fiance. Consider doing a few counseling sessions (individually or together), because it can save a lot of time and offer perspective you can't get on your own. You have to do that part anyway. You might find out that the bisexual BFF question is a red herring. And even if it isn't, you'll have done the right thing and set a good precedent.
posted by wryly at 11:24 AM on June 21, 2008

We're going through some relationship problems as well, and my question, which I posed in a less than gentle way, is only fueling the fire that is burning our relationship from the inside.

This is what you should have focused your question on. (It's not too late.)
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 12:29 PM on June 21, 2008

These girls grew up together and they have known each other for far longer than I have known my significant other.

There's your answer right there. They're like sisters. They're not going to be getting it on, because that would be icky.

When I came out to my longtime, childhood best friend (who was also my roommate), her other friends started implying to her that she should, you know, be careful around me. Because, you know, gay people want to get it on with ANY member of the sex they prefer.

That's one of the stupidest, most illogical fallacies about gays. I think it's even worse for bisexuals -- there's this assumption they're sexually attracted to every single person on the planet, including those they've had long, caring, platonic relationships with.

You've got to get past this. It simply is not true.

Trust your fiancee and check your other assumptions at the door.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:43 PM on June 21, 2008 [17 favorites]

This is what you should have focused your question on. (It's not too late.)

Agreed. Focusing your energy on the bi best friend serves to distract your attention from the actual problem onto a lurid but purely imaginary "threat." Don't waste another bit of energy entertaining suspicious fantasies about your fiancee and her best friend. Instead, figure out where the "fire" is. Hint: the place to start looking is with you.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:46 PM on June 21, 2008

Make a lunch date with the BFF. Hang out a little, explain why you've been upset, take the bit between your teeth, make an effort. Since you and GF are having problems anyhow, you can take the opportunity to talk to BFF and get some advice on how to fix things.

Good luck - it's a weird situation for some people, and can be trying in unexpected ways.
posted by waxbanks at 1:11 PM on June 21, 2008

Make a lunch date with the BFF. Hang out a little, explain why you've been upset, take the bit between your teeth, make an effort. Since you and GF are having problems anyhow, you can take the opportunity to talk to BFF and get some advice on how to fix things.

I really wouldn't do either of these things.

You being upset about the BFF's sexuality is your own issue (and I agree with the previous comments - if it worries you, it's your girlfriend's fidelity you're questioning, not some bisexual nympho magic power) and it's unfair and inappropriate to land it on the BFF, who's probably run across the assumption that she'll sleep with anyone before. If she's coming out to people generally for the first time, it'd be an even crueller thing to do. She's done nothing wrong and it's not her problem.

With the second, confiding about your relationship to your partner's friend isn't fair to your partner, and might be extremely weird for the BFF if your friend confides in her generally.
posted by carbide at 1:56 PM on June 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

What mudpuppie said. Her BFF is family to her. That you would throw some extra suspicions of long-term lying and cheating into your discomfort with the idea of bisexuality is a double low-blow in your issues with your girlfriend.
posted by desuetude at 2:05 PM on June 21, 2008

I agree with all who said that is a question of trust and not of sexuality. I sincerely hope your fiancee is able to overcame your lapse and forgive you. I recommend a very humble apology.
posted by francesca too at 2:06 PM on June 21, 2008

OP: I realize you're human and you're dealing with things as best you can, but I need to rant here just a bit:

For freak's sake - BEST FRIEND. What does it matter what his or her sexuality is? My best friend is someone who I had initially had a nearly two year long relationship with. We've now known each other for more than ten years and there isn't a person in the world who knows me better, faults, strengths, fears and all. There was a time when all I could think of was the way her skin felt under my fingers. The way her fingers touched me. The way she moved.

But now? Now she's family. She is the sister I wish I had. She is the person who when I fall chooses to catch me. And if any of my significant others since had an issue with my friendship with her it would have meant the end of the relationship. That's how steadfast I am in that friendship. And that's how certain I am that the women I choose to be with now need to be adults about adult relationships.

Further, I have several exes with whom I'm good friends. Yes, there are one or two with whom if I (and they) were single something might be likely to happen. But that's a matter of trust and respect in someone's relationship which is irrespective of gender or sexuality.

I hope you can find a way to deal with this in your relationship. I would recommend doing so quickly. Cause if I were your SO and you were exhibiting this behavior I would be dumping your butt in short order.
posted by FlamingBore at 2:17 PM on June 21, 2008

How can I mend things, assuage my suspicions, and how can I deal with my fiancee's friend in light of the new knowledge?

To mend things, apologise to your girlfriend for telling her that you think she is going to run off with someone else, and for thinking it in the first place. Suspicion is not the same as proof - if she's never been unfaithful to you, or shown any sign of wanting to be so, then you're being paranoid. This is your problem, which is good, because you can deal with it. Either learn to trust your girlfriend, or be upfront and tell her that you don't trust her. Honesty is key in a relationship.

To assuage your suspicions, realise that there is nothing going on between them. There simply isn't. You either trust her, or you (apparently) don't. The fact that her BFF is bisexual is immaterial - contrary to popular belief, bi people don't have double the sex drive of non-bi people, and the overwhelming desire to steal straight people away from their partners. This is about your prejudices paranoia beliefs, not your girlfriend, and not her BFF.

When dealing with your fiancé's friend, treat her like you would any other person - as a human being. She's not an alien. She isn't going to take over your girlfriend's brain and recruit her. What she will probably continue to do is love and accept your girlfriend for who she is, irrespective of who she shares her bed with.

The fact that this girl eats snails and oysters is none of your concern whatsoever. It has absolutely no bearing on you or your relationship with your girlfriend. In an ideal world, it would have no bearing on your relationship with the BFF, seeing as how it's none of your concern who the BFF sleeps with. I keep repeating that because I'm trying to get the point across to you that it is none of your concern. Repeat that as many times as you need to, until it sinks in.
posted by Solomon at 4:03 PM on June 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

You're anonymous which is good, I can be totally blunt with you - You're being a dick.

Don't you think the innocent cheerleader pyjama party pillow fights would've progressed into something 'unexpectedly so much more' if they were ever going to? What you have here are two people that will never sleep together. She didn't make a tentative move on your fiancé, she dropped a bombshell.

It seems that the bisexuality of Jane Smiths cat is neither here nor there. You mentioned you have real problems? Two girls that are never going to sleep together, when you identify as a more conservative type, is not a problem! Most of all you're wasting your own time with this, clearly you have other concerns to be tackling.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 5:52 PM on June 21, 2008

Optimus nailed it, but may I add what you might want to aim for?

I'm a lesbian, and it makes me very happy when female friends' husbands don't get jealous when we hang out. Men like that are secure, and those relationships are strong, loving, caring and generally very pleasant to be around.

I tell my friends to keep those guys. They are mature, I enjoy being around them, and it actually takes a burden off me - I don't have to worry that I'll harm a friend's relationship because of one careless gesture, joke or word.

If you can get there, you'll be one hell of a catch for at least one woman. Plus you'll be happier.
posted by QIbHom at 6:46 PM on June 21, 2008

Yeah, you were a dick. We're all dicks sometimes. Now you're making a good faith effort to understand your knee-jerk reaction and overcome your superstitions. That takes some strength of character, so good on you.

It might make it easier to imagine the exact opposite situation. What if your male best friend revealed his bisexuality to you? Would you dump your girlfriend and start shopping for china patterns with him? Of course not; you're not attracted to men, not even your favorite ones.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 8:05 PM on June 21, 2008

If you haven't know bi people before then you may have some misunderstandings about them. Just because they are bi does not mean they will hit on everyone around them. Most reasonable people know that friends are off limits, just because this girl likes girls too doesn't mean she's some sort of sex fiend with a hyperactive male style sex drive that will make a move on everyone.

Optimus Chyme's post is very insightful. If you're having trouble I suggest you read it a few times.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 8:55 PM on June 21, 2008

Please highlight QIbHom's answer already.
posted by Zambrano at 10:46 AM on June 22, 2008

This may seem like an issue of your fiancee's bff's sexuality, but like many others have said, it isn't. First and foremost, you need to trust your fiancee and have worked out between you what the boundaries (intimacy with other people-wise) are in your relationship.

Please also remember that bisexuals (yes, even the affectionate ones) are not working to move in on all of their friends and acquaintances. Being one of this party, my most long-term female friends are people I have never thought about sexually in the least---they are far too much like sisters after all these years.
posted by lacedback at 9:47 PM on June 22, 2008

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