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Author Topic: If I wasn't with him I'd be a lesbian...
Natalie H
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I'm dating this guy right now. We've been on and off for three years now. Right now we're in love and planning a future, moving in together, getting married. But the more I think about it, the more I'm certain I'm a lesbian.
I'm bisexual, always have been. But I'm pretty sure that if I wasn't dating him I'd be a lesbian. I don't think I'd ever date another guy besides him.
At the moment this possible lesbianism isn't really getting in the way of anything. I don't mind sex, but I don't really enjoy it. I still love him... For now the plan is as long as I love him I'll stay with him. It's kinda bad tho, because I'm worried one day I'm gonna wake up, know for certain I'm gay but I can't get out of it, like I'll already be too deep in.
What should I do? How can I solve this issue?

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Heather
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Do you mean if you weren't dating him, you'd be dating women? or that you would call your orientation something else if you were not with him?

I ask because you say you're bisexual, rather than lesbian (which is an orientation rather than a practice, per se), so I'm confused.

If you're not enjoying sex with this person, can I ask why you are continuing to have sex with them and be in a sexual relationship with them? Have you talked about not enjoying sex with him with him? Have you talked about any of this with him?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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I'm saying I'd stick to just girls, I honestly think all my attraction to men has evaporated.

I just hate vaginal intercourse. Maybe it's him, because it just seems so unattractive to me to have his sweaty (he sweats A LOT) naked body thrusting at me like crazy. And it feels good, but it doesn't seem worth it. The physical joy doesn't even out the emotional unhappiness. And I guess I think of sex as kinda barbaric, like almost violent in a way. Like have you ever watched porn when you aren't horny? Those people are like animals!

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Heather
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Okay, so have you TOLD him these things? Planning on doing something like getting married suggests a very serious relationship, where honesty about things like this is seriously essential.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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I haven't told him this because it'd break his heart. I've hurt him so many times, and sadly, sex is a HUGE deal to him (it's actually a pretty big deal to me too... sometimes I worry it's the basis for our relationship). I never lie and say I have an orgasm when I don't, but I do lie in that I haven't enjoyed sex. I used to really like it, and I'm hoping it's just a rough patch in our sex life and I can like it again soon.

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Heather
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The thing is, the way I see it, his heart may get broken either way, because whether you tell him or not, the fact of the matter seems to be that he's having sex with someone who isn't enjoying sex with him, and with someone who seems to be saying she'd really rather be with someone else. I'm sure that's not what he wants, you know?

As well, again, these are BIG things. Keeping them from someone planning a future with you, and who you are planning one with, is huge. Serious relationships tend to mean dealing with serious issues and how hard being honest can be sometimes.

This also just isn't about him. It's about your life and what you want in it.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Well how can I tell him? I don't know how I could possibly say, 'Hey, I know you love it when we do it, but I really really DON'T.' And then what? We'd stop doing it? I doubt that. I'd probably chicken out and keep doing it with him just to make him happy, which, actually, is what I'm doing already... But I honestly can't see him taking this easily. He'd either be pissed and think I'm just full of shit because we've been doing it forever and I always enjoyed it before, or he'd try to improve his techniques, which knowing him would make him feel stupid and humiliated. He already feels bad every time he can't give me an orgasm, I can't imagine how bad it'll be for him to know I don't like sex.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Heather
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You know, we had someone who was a user, then a volunteer of ours who went through this exact situation. She really, really loved the guy she was with, he was her best friend, and she spent many months not saying anything. When she finally did, it was hard for both of them, but it was okay. He was really great about it, as I recall, and last time I saw her was in Austin when she, the female partner she married and myself had dinner.

This is not at all an uncommon situation, and while they do not all have happy endings like Laurel's did, I think the hard truth is that you're kind of choosing between telling the truth or a really big lie: you yourself, to that person. And continuing to plan to commit more and make things more long term with someone you know you don't want to be with in this way is like committing to tell that lie to both of you for potentially a whole life. I've met older people who have done that, too: I don't have a happy ending story for any of them. That's really debilitating stuff, for everyone.

The tough thing is, if you'd been able -- not a judgment, I don't know your situation or abilities -- to be honest as you went, this wouldn't be so hard. But because in actions and words it's clear you haven't been, this is just going to harder as time goes on. [Frown]

You don't have to be in a sexual relationship with anyone you don't want to be. If you want a different kind of relationship -- like a friendship, or like being romantic but agreeing to each have sexual partners who are not each other, you get to ask for that, just like he clearly gets to ask for the kind he wants. If you don't want the same things, then continuing to be together and planning to make it even more committed tends to be a recipe for heartbreak for everyone. Especially since at some point, unless he's really in denial or not paying any attention, he's going to get you are doing things you don't want to. Then he gets to feel bad without the honesty.

I know this is a hard situation no matter what, and that there are obviously only hard answers no matter what, just so you know. It's one of those where we usually have to pick one of two choices when we'd rather not make either, which always really stinks, but it sometimes just what the deal is.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Ok... So you think I should end it before the web of lies just gets bigger and stickier. That makes complete sense. I've been teetering on it for a while now, but I just didn't know which way I should go. Mostly I think I was just hoping this was a phase, but I seriously just don't see it going any other way. No matter what scenario, I see this relationship ending messily.
I've hurt him so many times. Mostly because I'm fickle and I'm never completely certain about what I want. But I wanna make ABSOLUTELY SURE this is what I really want before I end it, so I think I'm gonna wait a little bit. Sit on it. That's my policy for everything nowadays, but a lot of times it's helped. Do you think that's a good idea? I'm pretty sure I want to get it over with and end it with him, but I just wanna make sure, because I'd be throwing a lot away because I overthought again, or because I'm PMSing, or because of impulse. Whatever it may be.
You know what's weird? The last few times we've ended it I had the same notion, that I wanted to be a lesbian, that I was REALLY done with boys, but somehow he always came back into my life one way or another. What does that mean? I can't let go of the one truly serious, healthy relationship I've ever had? Or that I'm just being stupid with this on again off again stuff and I should just stick with him and not mess it up again (that's what I've been thinking this time around)?

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Heather
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I can't tell you about continuing the relationship or not. But I think you need to TALK to this person, whether you decide to do that or not. You're talking about a serious relationship, and in those, people ideally don't just stay or go, but they communicate with each other throughout, including when they have conflicts.

I think the kindest move here for both of you, and the one that makes it most likely you'll both get whatever it is you want, is for you to just fill him in and see what he says and what you two think from there after talking.

Just sitting on it by yourself is important, but it sounds like you've been going without communicating a lot and for a while, so I'd say it sounds like it's past time to just tell him about these feelings. You can't continue a relationship and have it be healthy if you don't, and you also can't treat him with care if you just cut and run instead of talking, filling him in, and figuring out what you want in a way that honors the relationship you had. Know what I mean?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Hey, right now I'm reading Safer Sex... for You Heart and this really rang some bells with me:
Are you:

* Suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, or having unusual physical symptoms, such as stomach aches, insomnia, changes in energy levels or appetite, a sudden drastic increase or decrease in sexual drive, or other physical symptoms that are not caused by an existing condition or illness?

Because actually, almost every single time I get upset about something in our relationship, like we have a fight, even a small one, I get diarrhea and terrible cramps! It's the most bizarre thing, and it started ever since the last time we started dating again and things got serious(two months ago). What does THAT mean?

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Heather
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It sounds like you've probably been under a lot of stress with all of this.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Ah I see what you mean. Ok, I'll try and talk to him about it next time I see him. Ugh this is gonna be stressful.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Natalie H
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This relationship is definitely stressful. That's probably the first word that comes to mind when I think how to describe it. It's not bad ALL the time, and I'd have to say the good times usually make me over look the bad. We have a LOT of issues tho, well, mostly he does. Insecurities, a lack of confidence in my fidelity. His biggest concern is that I'm gonna leave him, which as you can see isn't so unfounded. But I try to comfort him best I can.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Heather
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No matter how good it is to be with someone in some respects, if you're doing things that feel wrong to you or for you, and in a relationship you just really don't want to be in, it's stressful. It also sounds like this maybe isn't such a great relationship overall, either.

Boo, I'm afraid I have to head off for the night, as I put in way more hours working today than I should have, and I'm running out of brain cells. Sorry to step out in the middle of our conversation, but I did tell another volunteer to step in in my stead if that's alright.

otherwise, I'll be back tomorrow.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Ok, that's fine. Thank you so much for talking to me. I'll check back tomorrow.
By the way, I just wanna tell you how great your site is. Reading some of the articles has really given me some insight (if I could only be so clear and thoughtful when it comes to the stuff you talk about!) and I just hope you know how many people you help everyday.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Stephanie_1
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Hi there Boo NY Oddity: I hope you don't mind if I jump in here as well.

Sometimes when we're under stress our bodies choose very bold physical ways of showing us that. For instance, stress from the fighting is likely behind the diarrhea and the cramps.

From reading through both your responses and Heather's, I do agree fully that honesty is such an important thing here. And the longer you push that discussion off, the harder it will become. Everyone deserves to be happy, and you should never sell yourself short of that. But know too that even if it isn't working as a relationship doesn't mean you can't work as friends. But I also agree you want to discuss this and likely make a decision after talking (but not directly, allow things to settle and set first). But the physical symptoms are definitely a show that something's not working for you here - and often those feelings should not be ignored.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Stephanie_1
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Also, just a note? I understand you saying that you want to work on things (and told him you want him to as well) - but the thing is he can't work on you not wanting to have sex with him, or ultimately that the relationship doesn't seem to be something you want or are comfortable with. Make sense?

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Natalie H
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Well let me just say there's no possibility of us being friends. There's just way too much drama and history and every other time we tried 'just friends' we would end up dating again. This is resulting in the fact that every time I break up with him he never really gives up on me. I'm pretty sure if we break up again that I'll never speak to him again, which is really scary for me because he's my best friend and the only person in the world that truly and completely knows and accepts me.

I really don't know what I should do here. I'm ready to keep fighting, I'm ready to let go. I think I just need something to convince me one way or the other. That's why I wanna sit on it, because then I can wait until I finally come to a conclusion, instead of forcing one right now that might be a mistake later on. And anyway, yeah, I think this relationship deserves one last try. He seems really ready to make things better, but then again he always does. I've kinda lost faith in him through all his empty promises. If in two months he's made things right I'm pretty sure that'll convince me this is worth staying in, but if not I suppose I'll give him the boot.

What sucks is I don't care either way. At this point I'd be satisfied with no matter what the outcome. I've become really apathetic about this, which is terrible because I know it means the world to him which way it'll go.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Stephanie_1
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You can't stay in a relationship just because of your partner. That's not how healthy functioning relationships work. You stay because you *want* to be there. You stay because you're not just comfortable with the relationship, because you *want* to be in the relationship and with that person.

Honestly, I don't see you saying at all that you're happy or want that relationship. And not having faith in a person, knowing they don't make you happen not just sexually but on a holistic level isn't a sign of a healthy functioning relationship either.

Also want to say, that you have to understand when people change it has to be because they want to change - because they see something about themselves not working. Changing for other people doesn't work, and often ends up being the person resenting the one expecting the change, and not being happy themselves.

Additionally, as Heather and I both have said, there's some pretty big things you've not been honest with him about. Either way,whether you choose to stay or to go, you really need to talk to him about these. Because honestly? These kinds of things are really big issues, and again the longer you go without talking about them the worse it's going to hurt when they are made known or become known.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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Heather
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Just FYI, I'm here, and also read your other post here: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/3/t/010719.html

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Everyone tells me I should leave. My family tries to support our relationship, but anytime we have a fight they very obviously push for me to end it with him. Even my sister who knows him and likes him pretty well can see that things aren't right here. And whenever I DO break up with him afterward I feel great, I feel free. But then for some reason I come back. Like a freed bird flying back to the cage. I don't know why I do that. Sometimes I feel bad, like I've ruined his life. Sometimes I feel lonely, like I've lost my best friend and first love all at once. Sometimes I think I've made a huge mistake, I'm throwing away love and happiness.
I think maybe I just have no will. No will to fight to save a relationship, and then no will to let a relationship die and move on, and no will to invest more time into someone else for me to get close to.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Heather
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Do you want my take on this based on all you have posted so far? I have one, and I assume you're asking, but I don't like to analyze people's feelings or patterns like that without being sure that's something they want.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Sure, yes, tell me what you think.

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Heather
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Okay.

Now, I don't know the whole of your sexual and relationship history here. I don't know if this is the only person you have been intimately involved with, or if you have had other partners. You seem to be expressing a very strong desire to only be involved with women, but it's sounding like that isn't something you've yet explored. I also don't know how supported or unsupported you are by the people around you when it comes to being queer.

In your other post, you made a list of all the things wrong with this relationship, or more to the point, with him, and discussed ultimatums you have given. But we also know that there's something pretty huge he CANNOT change -- his gender, his body, the fact that he is not a woman -- that you haven't disclosed to him is pretty central to you. In other words, even if he met all of your other conditions, even if this was otherwise a good relationship, it sounds like it still couldn't be what you want. While I know disclosing how you feel per his gender is hard, that's a big thing to leave out, especially when you're asking someone else to change, knowing they can't change what you'd really need to be different.

It also sounds like some of the ways he has been behaving and feeling may well be because consciously or unconsciously, he knows you just aren't really feeling it with him. Like I said before, it's pretty debilitating to have someone be with you that you sense doesn't really want to be.

Even moving towards something we know we want, and know would likely be a positive change is still moving towards change. And change is frequently scary, and frequently something people avoid, even to their detriment. It sounds like you might be scared of change in this regard, both per going towards what you want with women and your own identity, but also per changing a relationship that however substandard in many ways, has also been very familiar, and something you have as experienced as always being available to you. The fact that you voiced you feel this must be all or nothing with this guy -- that a friendship just would not be possible -- certainly explains those fears some more.

Now, I don't hear you expressing having love and happiness here, so it's hard for me to understand you when you say you feel you'd be throwing away love and happiness. You seem to list way more negatives about this relationships than positives and don't sound at all happy or like you have been happy. He doesn't sound like he has been happy, either. So, from where I'm sitting, it's you two staying together in this kind of relationship, with big untruths as part-and-parcel of the relationship, that appears the biggest barrier to both of you being happy right now.

I guess what I'd ask you is this: going back to your first post up top, if your current relationship with this guy is THE barrier (though I'm not sure he is) to you doing what you'd actually really want and vastly prefer, how badly do you want your alternatives? Are you feeling any fears about THOSE? Do you feel you COULD pursue relationships with women instead, and ID as lesbian if that's what feels most true to you, and be supported, and feel good about that? Might it be possible you're choosing to stay with this guy in part because you're afraid of those risks? Or even because you maybe don't accept yourself as much as you could or think you do?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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History wise, he's the only person in the world I've become very involved with emotionally and sexually. I've dated a guy and a girl here and there around him, but this guy is the only one I've gotten really close to. I'd like to explore other relationships and sex with other people (other people IN those other relationships), mainly girls.
What it comes down to, really, honestly, is I want out of this relationship. You're right, even if he did fix everything I've talked about with him I wouldn't be happy, and probably I'd pussyfoot around the main issue and make up new things he needs to fix, which would be frustrating and uneventful for both of us. I don't want to date him anymore. Yes we have some good times, and I don't know if they balance out the bad or not, but even during the good times there's still a part of me that isn't happy. And me being unhappy I KNOW would make him unhappy. He cares about me a lot, and if he really knew that I'm not happy with this relationship then I'm pretty sure he'd let me go. There'd be a mess, yeah, but in the end I think he wouldn't want me to be with him if it made me unhappy.
As far as my sexuality goes, everyone I know and care about, knows I like girls and is fine with it. I'm very blessed with that matter. They would be very supportive if I became a lesbian. Really, the only person's reaction I'd be worried about is my boyfriend's. For obvious reasons.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Heather
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Okay. So, how about you kind of sit with all of this for another day, and then -- whatever you decide you want to do -- you take the step of being truly honest with this person?

I really do think it's especially important you let him know about THIS part of the issue. While, per your other post, there are certainly ways in which he doesn't sound like such a gem, if the way you have presented all or most of your issues is that HE needs to change things about himself or you're outta here, letting him keep on thinking this is all about his failings, and in no way about things you want he just CANNOT give you is, IMO, a pretty lousy thing to do to someone we care about. Know what I mean? In fact, in my book, you do owe him an apology for communicating SO much about what isn't right with him or how he doesn't make you happy, laying down ultimatums, etc. while knowingly withholding things you know and he doesn't, things you need he can't give, without telling him about those.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Yeah that was pretty shitty of me. And right now he's freaking out, thinking it's all down to him or this relationship is ending. God, I think I've really messed him up. I hope that some day he can be with a girl that doesn't have these issues. Really, sometimes I think I have all the problems, not him. Well, he does have SOME insecurity issues, but I'm pretty sure I've instilled them in him.
I'm definitely sure I wanna break up with him. I'll apologize for building up all these expectations in our relationship and for making everything out to be his fault when really I have the issues, not him. And what it'll come down to probably is 'I'm a lesbian, sorry babe'.
Ok, well I'm gonna be seeing him tomorrow. Should I break the news to him then? He's coming over to my house so that's probably not a great way to do it. Maybe instead I should meet with him somewhere? It'd suck for him to drive all the way over here just so I can break up with him. I don't know how to break up right, every other time was over the phone but it'd be better to talk to him when he can't hang up on me.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Heather
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You know, yes, this was all pretty messy. At the same time, I think it's important to be sure to take appropriate amounts of responsibility in things. [Smile]

Right now, I'd sit with the thoughts you have been having for a day, maybe talk to another friend or family member about all of them to process some more if you can. And then if you feel ending the relationship is what you want, I'd figure from there what you think is the most kind way you can do that. In an LTR, though, I do think that having that conversation in person, not by phone, is important.

I don't think anyone knows how to break up right: few people do, anyay. And one of the trickiest parts of that is that so often, by the time people get to a breakup, one or both people have let all the communication break down so that instead of talking about doubts, questions, and everyone's full feelings as they go, and having a split be something that happens as a process, with both people able to talk it through together, someone is just saying buh-bye. But that is SO not just you, and once things have gotten to that point, it's awfully hard to have a breakup not be painful, no matter how you slice it.

However, if you are very honest and kind, if you take responsibility for the things that have been your responsibility, if you are not just cutting and running on someone -- like, for instance, saying you can't be friends because you'll just date, which sounds like a copout to me -- and if you let that person air their feelings and get resolution in an appropriate way, you'll have done the best you can.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Ok. I'll think about it today, and I'll think about it tomorrow. Is it wrong to have one last good day with him when we hang out tomorrow only to possible break up the next day? I think that might thoroughly confuse him. Maybe I should cancel our plans and take tomorrow just to thinkthinkthink.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Heather
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I think that it's not helpful to talk about wrong or right here, but to consider what is you acting with integrity and what might not be.

If we know we're going to break up with someone on a given day, witholding that information to have "one last good day" based on our own wants, or because WE decide that's what WE think that person would want -- without asking him -- isn't acting with integrity in my book. That's going to be a personal call, mind, and you may feel differently, but that'd be my call.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Natalie H
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Ok... Well I don't think it's right away. I'd be lying to his face the whole day. Alright, I'm gonna cancel. And then I'll make some plans to see him (meet up with him for a smoothie or something) and talk to him.
Thanks for all your help Heather! And you as well, Stephanie. I'll let you guys know what happens.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

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Heather
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Glad to have been of help, and I wish you the best of luck. These are big changes, which I'm sure will be really hard at first, but I suspect in the long run will be positive for you both.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67161 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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