I'm a girl of 24 and I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years in october to be with a woman. Confused!!!
June 12, 2007 4:43 AM   Subscribe

This is very complicated so get comfortable....I'm a girl of 24 and I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years in october to be with a woman.

When I met my boyfriend I identified myself as gay and all my friends knew about it (although my family did not). I had previously been in a serious (but long-distance) relationship with a girl which had ended a year before I met my boyfriend.

We met at work and I instantly felt a strong connection to him and we started dating. I told him that I was gay straight away but that I liked him and hadn't really felt like this before. When we first kissed I didn't really feel anything but carried on seeing him regardless, as I felt the connection was so strong-it was one of those things when it feels as though you have known someone for years. He is such a good person, never cheated on me, never hurt me, and I can honestly say he's one of the best people I have ever met.

However! During the 4 years we were together (we lived together for the final year) I still found myself attracted to women and every 6 months or so would have a crush on someone, and it would develop to the point where it would make me unhappy and question whether I could spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend and never be with a woman again. I never had an affair, although I did kiss a couple of girls (which he knows about). To cut a long story short this went on for a while and we decided to move in together with a year lease, and that it would make or break and if it wasn't working after that year we would go our separate ways.

Well, during that year I met a girl who totally turned my world upside down and I really fell for her....nothing happened but I felt that it couldn't go on like this anymore so me and my bf split up. Not long after me and the girl got together and we are still seeing each other now.

What my problem is that I'm not sure I've done the right thing. When me and my bf were together we didn't have sex very often at all and if we did it would be him that initiated it. I didn't hate it but at the same time didn't always feel that it was right and I missed the emotional connection that comes from having sex with a girl. When me and this girl got together the chemistry was amazing and the sex was exactly what I thought it should be. But now I don't feel sure anymore, I miss my boyfriend (even though we still meet up)....and I know he still loves me. We talk about what happened a lot and in the last 9 months I don't feel that I have progressed at all in terms of knowing what I want. I constantly question it and am getting more and more confused. I feel that I may have thrown away the best thing to ever happen to me and am so scared that if I do realise that I want to settle down with him that he will find someone else and it'll be too late.

To put it in a nutshell: I love him but the sex was missing....and the sex with her is good but I feel that the relationship isn't the same....I feel as though I am beginning to resent her and see her as the reason for us splitting up. I wish I could give it another try with my ex but am too scared of it not working again and hurting him and me.

posted by shitontheradio to Human Relations (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not convinced you should have been with your bf in the first place - you both knew you were gay. He sounds like a good friend to keep and you should be looking for a relationship which gives you a complete package, not making do with bits here and there...
posted by SpacemanRed at 4:58 AM on June 12, 2007 [3 favorites]

Any chance of spending time with both of them, openly? You'll never know if you don't ask.

Your question reminded me of an Ursula LeGuin story.
posted by DarkForest at 5:14 AM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think these feelings are very common when relationships end. People always wonder if they did the right thing. It sounds to me like you did the right thing by breaking up with the bf, but should also break up with the gf since that's not working out either. There are many options out there besides these two people.
posted by modernnomad at 5:17 AM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Here beginneth the senseless rambling....

Is there any particular reason you can't have both?

You identify as gay. Fair enough. But why do you identify as that? Is it because the thought of a woman's body turns you on? Or because you want a huggy-feely relationship with a woman? Or what? I'm asking because you said "I love him but the sex was missing....and the sex with her is good but I feel that the relationship isn't the same."

I've had relationships with men and women, and enjoyed them both, because of the different things I got from each. With a guy I had someone to climb trees with. With a girl, I had someone to go shopping with. That's an extremely simplistic view, but you get the idea.

Sometimes, you want something from a relationship with a person that that person just can't give you. If that's the case, you have 2 options. Find someone (or sometwo) who can give you what you want, or deal with the fact you aren't going to get it.

A three-way relationship is unusual, and unworkable for most people, but it seems to me to be an ideal solution to your problem. Live with him, sleep with her.

What I'm trying to say is, you may well be bisexual. Have you considered this? You may want to have 2 relationships with 2 people at the same time? Have you considered this, as well? it might not be a case of either/or. The "normal" rules of relationships (such as they are) might not apply to you. If they don't, please don't try to make them fit. You'll only end up unhappy.

Hope this helps.
posted by Solomon at 5:24 AM on June 12, 2007

The lover is never as exciting when s/he becomes the spouse, more or less. You had stray feelings all along, you got out, and rebounded. All the guy/girl stuff is irrelevant.

You lived with somebody who was almost right for you, but not quite. You moved on to somebody else who was almost right for you, but not quite. Keep looking; s/he's out there somewhere.
posted by headspace at 5:50 AM on June 12, 2007 [3 favorites]

Why be with either of them?

Are you or aren't you looking for a relationship that satisfies you sexually, emotionally, and intellectually? SpacemanRed makes a good point about making do with the bits and pieces of a relationship. This is a colossal waste of everyone's time and effort and is so far causing pain to everyone involved.

If something is not really doing it for you-- for whatever reason--then you don't need to be there, you need to be on your own, edifying and investing in yourself so that you are prepared if and when the right man or woman comes along. You have confused the issue of your personal sexuality with the push-pull between these two people, which is a betrayal of your true desires, whatever they may be. You owe yourself a better understanding of yourself than what can be determined by letting yourself love, or be loved, artlessly.
posted by hermitosis at 5:51 AM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

SpacemanRed had it nearly out of the gate.
posted by dreamsign at 5:57 AM on June 12, 2007

[Oh, another poly thread...]

Leave the poor guy alone.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:11 AM on June 12, 2007 [3 favorites]

You were with the guy for four years. If he was a marmoset you'd be bound to have a greater emotional attachment than your current gal--when you're with someone for that length of time you develop an ease with one another that you can't get from a new relationship. I think people underestimate the length of time it takes to get over long-term relationships, especially if they didn't end terribly.

Give. It. Time. After four years, the guy still wasn't satisfying you physically--and in my opinion you need that to sustain a long-term relationship (like, a forever relationship). If you still aren't feeling a connection with the girl than move on. But rushing back to a relationship that left you dissatisfied just because that relationship is comfortable is the worst possible thing you could do not only to yourself but to him. He needs time to heal, too.
posted by schroedinger at 6:58 AM on June 12, 2007

It seems to me like you've rebounded, as other people have mentioned, but there's not necessarily anything wrong with that.

Your description of your relationship with your ex-boyfriend sounds like that of a very close friendship. It is absolutely natural to miss that when you've stopped spending as much time with him as you used to. But when you describe yourself as not feeling anything when you first kissed him, and as only having sex when he initiated it, it really sounds like more of a friendship than a romantic relationship. There are plenty of different kinds of love, and just because you may not be right for each other romantically doesn't mean that you're not right for each other as friends.

As far as the girl goes, is it just that she's different than your ex-boyfriend was? No two relationships will ever be the same, and if she's failing by comparison than I think the problem may be the fact that you're comparing them at all; perhaps a little time apart from the entire situation would help you to move on and clear your head.
posted by plaingurl at 7:01 AM on June 12, 2007

Your boyfriend deserves to be with someone who wants to fuck him. If there is one thing I've learned from talking to clients over the years, it is this: people are not happy when they are in a long term relationship with people who do not want to fuck them. Your boyfriend sounds like a decent guy. He deserves to be happy. So, echoing chuckdawrin, leave the poor guy alone and let him move on.
posted by pasici at 7:01 AM on June 12, 2007 [2 favorites]

Live with him, sleep with her.

Oh, yeah, here's a recipe for no heartache at all. Please don't do any selfish nonsense like this. Don't go back to the poor fella because you're suddenly not sure about this gal. Won't you just be missing her in six months? chuckdarwin and pasici have it - give the poor fella a chance to move on and find someone who'll like him without reservations.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:42 AM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Exercise some discipline here, at least for his sake. Do not try it again! It's clear that your relationship with him is missing a necessary physical component, so you shouldn't be with him, and you shouldn't lead him on by even suggesting you get back together, or acting like you think it's a good idea.

As for the lady, maybe you just aren't relationship-compatible with her. It's not like she's the only woman who you'll be attracted to for the rest of your life. Maybe give it a little more time, but there's no reason you can't move on.

Don't stay with either of them. Don't settle until you find someone you're 100% satisfied with.
posted by rxrfrx at 9:03 AM on June 12, 2007

I agree with the posters that suggest you miss the familiarity of your relationship with your ex bf, but it's probably not the right relationship for you. Unless you two decide to go the poly route (and I'm not rolling my eyes here -- that's the route I've taken, though I'm a mostly gay guy in a relationship with another guy), then it seems to me you'd be much happier with the right woman. If you do decide to give the poly route a try, keep in mind that just having sex outside of the relationship probably isn't going to satisfy you -- it sounds like you need real intimacy with other women, not just sex. That's not a deal breaker, necessarily, but it can make the emotional terrain a bit more difficult to navigate.
posted by treepour at 9:09 AM on June 12, 2007

Being monogamous when you're bi isnt easy, theres always going to be something missing. Relationships with men and women are very different, emotionally and physically.
As others have said, it could just be the you're missing the familiarity of your ex or it could be that when you're with a woman you miss the things a man can bring to a relationship... but obviouly not that thing ;) equally, when you're with a man you miss the things you like about being with women.

Or it could be as simple as lust - regardless of gender and sexuality issues its perfectly possible to strongly physically attracted to someone without having any emotional connection.

Either way its not fair on your current girl just to use her for sex though - unless thats all she wants too.
posted by missmagenta at 9:42 AM on June 12, 2007

You aren't giving either of them a fair deal. You didn't try to have an outrageously hot sex life with the bf, and you aren't putting on the sex brakes so you can really get to know the gf.

Relationships are work, regardless of orientation. It's the person, not the gentiles that matter in the long run.
posted by ewkpates at 10:01 AM on June 12, 2007

I get the feeling there is a looming, unaddressed presence in your question; namely, are you or are you not planning to have children? In terms of health, you and your baby will probably be best served if you do so in the next ten years, and if you want more than one, the issue of issue is correspondingly more urgent.

Thinking about children won't resolve your sexuality or your ambivalence about your boyfriend, but whether or not you want to bear his children may trump your worries about desiring him, and thinking of your lover as the other mother of a baby, yours and potentially hers, may help you get beyond mere infatuation.
posted by jamjam at 10:13 AM on June 12, 2007

I think you need to stop forcing yourself into a category -- whether you're "gay" or "bi" or "straight" matters a whole lot less than whether you're happy. A lot of people seem to spend a lot of time obsessing over how to categorize themselves, and it's really just academic.

It sounds like you weren't happy being monogamous with the ex-BF. And now you're not happy being monogamous with the GF.

So ... this would seem to leave you a number of paths: one path would be, maybe it's the monogamy that's not for you. Maybe you're just not going to be happy with a single girl, or a single guy. I've met people like that...but it's a tough situation to be in, because it's hard to find other people who are going to be open to a non-monogamous relationship for any long term. And there are all sorts of complications and jealousies that can result.

The other path is to perhaps just realize that neither of these two people alone are doing it for you, but perhaps there is some person who could do it for you -- whether they're male or female I have no idea, and it sounds like neither do you, so I'd keep an open mind about it -- and you just need to go your own way from both your BF and GF and seek greener pastures.

You're 24. There's still lots of time to experiment, to meet and date different people, to be with guys, girls, guys+girls, whatever. Don't spend your time wondering about labels and categories. If what you're doing isn't making you happy, do something else. If that doesn't help, try something else. Rinse. Repeat. Eventually, you'll find something that does work, and then you just try to keep doing it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:34 AM on June 12, 2007 [2 favorites]

Best inadvertent humor from a typo: "it's the person, not the gentiles that matter in the long run."

Nthing the other comments: You need the guy as a friend, and the girl may just be chemistry, or it could be something more. Finding the whole package in one person is terribly hard. Give her more of a chance, and DON'T go back with him.
posted by misha at 11:07 AM on June 12, 2007

You have a person who has it all but sex. You have another person who has sex but not the rest. Hold out for someone who has both.
posted by callmejay at 11:22 AM on June 12, 2007

Why not find a new girl, one that you connect with emotionally. I guess others have said as much.
posted by chunking express at 11:52 AM on June 12, 2007

Have you tried being alone for a while? After four years, maybe you need that before you are ready to fully commit to someone else, male or female.
posted by happyturtle at 12:23 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

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