Hey Trish @LibertarianJhon here, I recently came out to my girlfriend about me being bisexual and ever since then she has felt this pang of jealousy. She feels that now she not only has to compete with other women for my attention, but other men as well. I keep telling her I’m interested in only her but my voice seems to be falling on deaf ears. I feel like I’m losing her and I don’t know what to say anymore. Was hoping you could help me help her understand that she’s the only I want.
This is an excellent question! Many people are now acknowledging their sexual identity as bisexual — as opposed to being hetero or gay/lesbian. Trying to make sense of being attracted to both genders can raise a number of issues for the individual, their partner, and even their friends.
As someone who is also bisexual, I can attest that being open about your bisexuality is not easy. Straight friends may feel more comfortable that you’re not “gay gay” but still not understand how you can be attracted to both genders. Your gay friends may accuse you of not being willing to “commit” to being “actually” gay — as if you’re trying to play both sides: one for society and one for how you really feel. Ultimately, it does not matter what anyone else thinks about your bisexuality as long as you are happy and comfortable in your own skin.
Self-identifying as bisexual and acting on your desires can be two different things. You can be attracted to men and never have a relationship with a man, but still identify as bi. Or as I once heard bisexuality explained, choosing between being with a man or a woman is like choosing between a redhead or a brunette — it’s just what you want at that moment. Each person finds what is right for him or her, both in identity and in practice.
As for your girlfriend, she seems very insecure, and from your phrasing, I can only assume she was jealous and insecure before you dropped the bisexual bombshell. Because I know some of your background already, I know that you are 24 and the two of you are in a long-distance relationship (that is important info, by the way). Being apart can conjure all sorts of insecurities. Now her mind is wandering with even more visions of infidelity in her head. She probably spends most of her time worrying that you’re cheating on her with the entire population, not just the female half, and you probably spend most of your communications with her reassuring her that you’re faithful. That is a one-sided relationship that is all about what she wants and making her happy, meanwhile you are miserable and feel helpless.
The unfortunate truth here is that you have explained who you are, and either she accepts you as you are or she does not. You have explained how you feel about her, and either she believes you or she does not. You cannot make her understand something she is unwilling to comprehend, and you cannot make her accept you completely if she will not. If her reluctance is also based on her religious beliefs, that’s a whole other can of worms — and by the way, you can’t win that battle either.
You cannot change another person. The person has to be in a place in his or her life to want to change; and the change that does happen occurs from within them. Are you going to keep your life and happiness on hold for someone who is not in the same place emotionally or intellectually?
I can almost guarantee that if you stay in this relationship with this immature, insecure female, you will either hate her for being so rigid while she dominates and sabotages the relationship, or you will hate yourself for having been honest with yourself and for confiding your true self with her. Always side with truth. And if she can’t handle it, your relationship will only get more toxic. She is not the only woman in the world, and it sounds to me like she needs to grow up, and you need to move on.
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A great post 😀
There is one thing I don’t subscribe to, though: The recommendation to leave sooner rather than later.
Jhon, I agree that you should question if you really want to be with this partner anymore. And you should keep asking yourself this question. If the situation gets too bad, it would be better to leave, of course. But how much is “too bad” depends on several factiors. It depends on the odds that your partner might change her attitude in the time to come, it depends on how important she is for you, etc.
I agree that this behaviour is immature. I agree that your partner still needs to grow up in this respect. (Hey: Each and every one of us still needs to grow up in some respect or other 😉 ) And it is true that you can’t change your partner. But you can assist her. You can’t make her grow u — but you can help her realize and overcome her problems. Your partner will only change if she truly wants to, sure. But perhaps, you can inspire her. Be honest, be understanding and set a good example. Be positive about your sexual identity, and show this attitude to the world. Be confident, be yourself — and maybe, your partner will realize that bisexuality is not a bad thing at all 😉
Plus, I’d like to add one idea to the jealousy issue. It seems that some people assume bisexual persons needed to have relationships to both men and women to feel sexually fulfilled. In their notion, a bisexual person with “only” one partner has to miss out on one part of her/his sexuality. So, these people assume bisexuals were particularly prone to looking for an “additional” partner (a partner of the opposite sex than the one they already have).
Could it be that your partner fears you might have some desires that she just cannot meet? If so, she might fear that you would start an affair with a man sooner or later most certainly — simply to have these desires met.
Thanks for making that point about bisexuals NOT needing to be with BOTH genders to be fulfilled or even “bona fide” bi. If a person feels as if he or she identifies as bisexual, that person can choose to take on that “label” if he or she chooses. I prefer “human being,” but that’s just me. 🙂
But, I stand by what I said, and I do think Jhon needs out of this toxic relationship sooner than later. He’s already put in the time and effort and she’s still controlling (and sabotaging) the relationship. Every minute you spend being miserable is a minute you could have spent being happy. Since you can’t change the past, the present and the future are the only things you have any say-so in.
CHOOSE HAPPINESS! 😀
Before I came out our relationship was amazing. It’s the first time I ever felt connected with someone that went beyond physical attraction. I only came out because I felt so comfortable with her. After I told her she asked if I was seeing any men. Ever since then she keeps asking about it, if I wanted to be with a guy. I dunno I wish I had never told her at this point.
I understand why you’re wanting to back-peddle, however, living a half-truth can be as excruciating as living a lie. The problem is NOT WITH YOU. The problem in the relationship is now squarely on HER shoulders. Either she can adjust and accept you or you need to move on. If you stay in this one-sided relationship, don’t complain later about how miserable you are.
This a great posting and I’m sure helpful for those who want more from a singular relationship when one does come out as Bi.
Thanks for following my blog on WP and I have written a post on the blogspot version of Focus On The Rainbow about this posting and your blog.
Just a short comment … to point out the emphasis should probably be that a happy together straight couple don’t go looking elsewhere (that’s the understandable context for a straight person), so why expect a happily together with someone bi person to go looking elsewhere? Just a thought. If I was trying to reassure someone in that situation that’s probably a good angle to start with.
After that? It’s communication and figuring out the exact detail of the worries, then hopefully finding ways of calming them down one by one.
Communication (as you seem to have realised) can become a bit of problem when you hit a ‘biggie’ in a relationship. Going on about it all the time won’t help, neither does ignoring it. A bit of space is needed, a bit of skilful timing and a pinch of luck perhaps.
Hope it works out for you both. (And for the record, I’d tend to agree, denying a basic part of yourself to keep a relationship going might be heroic in theory, but tends to lead to pain in practise).
While I appreciate that a bisexual person might have to forego intimate relationships with a whole group of people for the sake of a romantic and sexual relationship, I cannot keep from thinking about what would be the maximum loving response from the partner of a bisexual person. If I were in a relationship with a bisexual woman, I could not tell her that she had to forego intimacy with an entire group of people (other women) for my sake, especially since there is no way I could provide to her the kind of sexual experience that another woman can. To do otherwise would be to ask her to deny her nature. And I don’t think I would have any feelings of jealousy about it as long as my relationship her wasn’t adversely affected.
I realize that making a commitment in a relationship is important and that in some cases a bisexual person might need to forego sexual relationships with one group of individuals for the sake of a relationship with one individual. Still, I can’t keep from wondering what the loving response is in the case of the partner who is not bisexual. If it were me and I was in a relationship with a bisexual woman, I don’t think I could tell her to deny herself relationships and experiences with other women: experiences I could never provide her. That would seem unloving to me. But maybe that’s just me. I’m rarely jealous or feel threatened emotionally or sexually.
I have to wonder as well… is the problem because it’s the MAN who’s the bisexual??? We’re so used to seeing lesbian or even bisexual women in TV and movies, and they’re standard fair for skin mags’ fantasy fodder. I’d bet a lot of men almost WISH their GF’s/wives were bisexual to fulfill that porn/skin mag fetish for themselves. But we do not see “Average Joe” gay men (i.e., non-flamboyant) or bisexual men represented in our culture’s media and entertainment. When people don’t see it in their entertainment, it is harder for them to adjust to it in “real life.” Sad to say, but I think that’s true.
I think you are right that it’s more acceptable societally for bisexual relationships among women than men and that’s because of the fantasy factor men have about it. The only thing I can say about it is that women having sex together has never a subject of sexual fantasy for me. I don’t get why men like it and when I have heard their reasons for finding it arousing, I often found them offensive. So my comment is not coming from that place.
You may have found their discussion “offensive” because of the manner in which men talk of such things. With the lesbian fantasy, men can be quite crude. Just as men can be horribly cruel when expressing their disgust for homosexuals and homosexual (gay male) sex. I’m not saying women can’t be harsh when discussing something they don’t like, but when women talk about sex (that they do like), it is not in the same manner as men do.
You’re right about the “Average Joe” men not being out for all to see.
I’ve been blogging now since 2006 and there are very few such as myself who are “out and proud” bisexual men who blog (and I’m not talking about the ones who put on porn on their blogs for the sake of having porn = readers/hits).
There are very few websites/support groups for bisexuals (non-porn). You have to do a lot of Goggle (or other type of) searches to find them.
It’s one reason why I, and it’s not that often unfortunately because there is not much content to write about, try to promote and get folks to understand bisexuals particularly us guys. And of course fight the with-in LGBT community prejudice of those who say “there’s no such thing as a bisexual”, at least when it comes to men which I believe is why most bi-men stay in rather than kicking the closet door open. After all who wants to get dumped on by gay men (use to hear that song & dance in the 70’s & 80’s until I finally didn’t give a crap anymore about what anyone said … after all it was their loss for a night of bliss), it’s easier to pretend to be gay and then straight with women, unless you can find another bi-partner or open minded straight gal.
Sad to say just about the only place you can “see” bi-guys (or at least doing the sexual act) is on porn sites.
Of course you have black men “on the down low” but I think that’s an altogether different subculture than being a bisexual man.
Because I don’t come anywhere close to being the “limp wrist” type when folks do find out I’m bisexual it’s like “okay close your mouth before you start collecting flies”.
I’ve had my rant about “labels” more than a few times on Twitter. 🙂 I’ve also gotten on my soap-box about the in-fighting within rights groups that serve nothing except to create hierarchy within the label/faction, which ultimately only helps the oppressor stay in charge. I’ve seen the bitching in EVERY group I’ve ever been a part of from women’s rights, witch/pagan groups, LGBT, American Indian rights, human rights — even why I’m a Humanist not a Feminist… It ALWAYS comes down to who’s “real” (by blood, skin tone, etc.) and who’s a “wannabe.” And when that isn’t enough, it becomes a subjective clash of “Who’s suffered more” contest. Human beings deserve to be treated with equality not judgment and not discriminated against by legislation based on fear and archaic superstitions.
THIS IS EXACTLY why I’m trying to get my radio show & the forum going! gofundme.com/aw-radio-forum To have a platform for more active discussion! 🙂
Trish, I totally support your call to “choose happiness” 😀
But: Being happy is not always the same thing as choosing the easy way.
In this case, if your current partner is important to you, I understand that you are willing to spend quite a lot of time and effort in order to maintain your relationship with her.
Now: Ask yourself how much time and effort you are willing to spend. Ask yourself honestly what your limits are. And if/when those limits have been reached, you should actually leave—and in this case, you should not wait too long until you draw this conclusion 🙁
Unlike Trish, I don’t know anything about the background. So I can’t give you any more specific advice than this: Decide where your personal limit is, and if/when that limit has been reached, remember that your priority is yourself. Your priority is your own life. It is not your “task” to to “save” this relationship. A relationship is not an end in itself—Its only a reason for existence is serving all of the persons involved.
Btw: As for self-labeling: I consider myself “mostly straight” 😀
Very clear and strong initial response and follow-ups Trish, and a great resulting discussion!! I am 65, happily hetero-married for 43 years and father of two wonderful mature sons. I identify as “functionally bisexual” and proud of having had a very positive and enlightening gay relationship from age 17 to 19+. I have remained platonic friends with my male partner then and we enjoy his visits with us.
He found he was/is gay and had a noble long-term gay partnership until his partner died. I found that I enjoyed our gay sex until some of it became “same old same old…” and have never regretted that sexual adventure. I also found that I do not need gay sex physically, even while enjoying male aesthetics/energies in parallel with my enjoyment of female aesthetics/energies.
That was not my first experience with a different approach to male eroticism. In the last of three summers spent at an all boys summer camp, my prostate gland called out to me, and I silently solo answered with my finger. It did not suggest it had anything to do with other boys there.
It did have me explore it much further in the privacy of my bedroom back home as I found a wide range of objects with which to massage my prostate, which induced astounding after-effects that I called Intellectual Orgasms!! And of course my masturbation had a big boost as well!!
Later in life I found the amazing energies of an awakened prostate with Taoist energies sexual kung fu and qigong. These I shared with my wife and this was a significant enhancement to our sex life.
About 15 years later I found the Aneros prostate massagers and the joyous, generous, inclusive community of men (and increasing numbers of women!!) of all orientations sharing the vast wonders of the fully awakened prostate and the full spectrum of orgasmic energies. They pointed me to the equally amazing Key Sound Multiple Orgasms site and program, where I again found a similar mixed community of great sharing and mutuality in care and love.
So many men and women, in the tens or hundreds of thousands at each of these and other related sites are freely discussing and supportively developing their sexuality and energies orgasmic capacities in open whole being communities where the distinctions of who you partner with matter little and your character matters more freely and fully than ever before.
Thanks so much Trish and all the respondents above. There is a new dawn of eroticism and whole health orgasmic energetics rising above the horizon now. All the Best All!!!
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