I’m a lesbian and have never dated men. I am 32 years old and have been living with a woman for six months that I am madly in love with. She says that she is gay, but has dated several men in the past. I know she loves me but I worry that she is going to go back to men. Sometimes, she will bring up her past and last night I asked her if she missed dating guys. She was honest, and said that she did miss it for certain reasons, but that she knows herself better now and realizes that she is a lesbian. But one of my best friends saw her out the other night with a man, but when I confronted her, but she got angry at me and said they are just friends. IF they are just friends, then why did I have to find out from a friend that she was out to dinner with some guy? Why didn’t she just tell me? Do you think she is cheating on me with a man behind my back? What should I do? I’m really worried things are falling apart.
Dear Know Thyself,
Many people seem to think that bisexuality is merely a bridge from accepting oneself as either gay or straight. There seems to be a prejudice against the bisexual community as not being a “legitimate” sexual orientation, but if you talk to people who state that they are bisexual, you will find that some people really are attracted to both sexes, and to varying degrees.
The reason I say this is because maybe your girlfriend really is bisexual, and perhaps hasn’t completely come to terms with her sexuality. She clearly has discovered a passion for women and fell in love with you, but on some level, she may also still find men physically and sexually arousing. But, to be honest, this is besides the point. Whether or not she identifies as bisexual or as a lesbian, she clearly isn’t being honest with you about her sexual desires. This is what would concern me more. A monogamous relationship means just that, no matter what your sexual orientation is.
If she isn’t ready to commit to you on that level, then she needs to be upfront and honest with you about where she is right now in her life. It isn’t fair to you that she is sending you mixed signals, and bringing up her romantic past, when she knows it is upsetting to you. If she wants to date men and women, that’s fine, but she needs to let you know that she plans to do just that. If that is something you can’t handle (and no one would blame you, considering you want to be in a committed relationship) then you have every reason to walk. But sneaking around will only inflame the situation and hurt you unnecessarily.
However, let’s just say (for a minute) that she really is just friends with this guy. Why did she keep it from you? Maybe she doesn’t feel the need to tell you every little thing she does during the day, and perhaps your paranoia is starting to annoy her. She is allowed to have friends of the opposite sex, and if jealousy is an issue that you need to work on, well, that is something you can take responsibility for. Perhaps she is just sick of the fighting when she knows that she isn’t cheating, so she just keeps the friendships outside your relationship to herself. Whatever the reason, clearly there has been a break down in communication between you two. If anything is going to be resolved, you both need to sit down and talk with one another in a calm and rational way.
Relationships are always going to have challenges in them. If this is something you don’t think you can get beyond, better to know sooner than later. But remember, no matter what someone’s sexual orientation is, monogamy is monogamy. There are no “loopholes” to cheating, so make sure you are both on the same page when setting out the ground rules in your relationship.
Good luck and thanks for the question!