T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 43840
posted 08-22-2009 03:20 PM
Hey there! I was going through different sites to see where I could post this, and this seemed like the best one, so much kudos to y'alls!
I'm a 19 year old guy who lives in FL. Here's my situation: I met a girl in June of 08 online that is from NY. It was under very coincidental and creepy circumstances and we definitely think it means something. We discovered we had a lot in common, a lot of the same interests, a lot of the same beliefs that I had always strived to find with someone else, even in a friendship (I'm not like a regular teen, I don't have a lot of mainstream interests and much more mature than other people my age, so it doesn't leave a lot to friendships or relationships) and as I found out we were a complete and utter match in every sense of the word, I always had a crush on her for the first few months. Over time, even if she had other boyfriends, I fell in complete and utter deep love with her. We both felt the same way but we recognized how we didn't like a long-distance relationship, we saw how we didn't want to keep each other back from seeing other people; and so we placed our feelings into a holding pattern (basically just box the feelings into a corner and wait for the right time). I visited NYC on my first solo trip just a week ago, and I got to finally meet her for the first time, and it was a completely great experience, to finally meet the love of my life in person. While I could only see her once and it was just for a few hours, I loved every second of it. While she says right now she's in shambles due to a lot of crap happening as of recently and wanting to focus on school, that's why we're still in the holding pattern. So, how does this relate to an LGBT forum? Well, back in April, I experienced my first true thing of jealousy towards someone else, and it was because I was starting to get to the peak of my feelings for her. Thing is, she discovered that she had feelings for her best friend who was bi. While it didn't lead to a relationship because the girl wasn't interested in her like that (they're not even friends anymore). I knew she was very mixed on the matter, but it just stayed in the shadows, very rarely did it ever come into the convo as I thought it was just that girl she was attracted to. However, a few days ago, when she got a Facebook, on her profile she officially said she was interested in both men and women, and I was like huh, what?; and then that's when she explained to me everything that has been going to related to that. She said how she discovered she starting looking at girls in an attractive way since she was 13, but she kept it back and it popped out to the forefront again when she was 16 and it's been there ever since. She says she definitely likes guys, but she can't help but think of some girls being attractive. She says it's become more noticeable now, as when she's gone out with her guy friends or even her Mom to the mall and she can't help looking at a girl and checking them out and thinking of physical things to do with them, sexually or otherwise (even a guy friend of hers who was an ex-bf has noticed it firsthand). Thankfully, she said when she's in a relationship with a guy those thoughts happen rarely, so I know she won't cheat on a guy if that happens. She knows it isn't just a sexual thing either, that it's a romantic appeal and she would be open to the experience as she was with her best friend, but the only time she's ever had romantic feelings for a girl was back in April. She admits to having crushes on certain girls sometimes (notably friends and celebrities), but just as she with guys, she thinks she would be very picky when it comes to choosing girls as well. At the same token, she admits the attraction has gotten stronger, to the point of overshadowing guys at times and even having a dream of kissing another friend whom she thought was attractive. I have absolutely no problem with LGBT people; on the contrary, we're both very liberal and want gay rights and are indeed very respectful bout it all. If she turns out to indeed be bi, I wouldn't mind, but with how I'm understanding it, it almost appears she's slowly turning into only liking girls. At the same token, when I saw lots of her favorite films or TV shows, there were regular shows and films, but a good chunk of them featured bisexual or lesbian relationships, which sort of set off a flag for me. When she was talking about it fully the other day, I felt a bit threatened for the chances with her that I have with her might be hampered, but I soon got over it. My main fear is the fact that I think if she goes into a lesbian relationship, she won't come back from it. She's told me that she doesn't think that will happen, that it might be just a one-off thing to see what would happen and to finally get closure from that lingering question. As many including her have said, she knows she can't decide whether she is or isn't bi until she's gone through with it. At the same token, she says she doesn't know when or if it'll ever happen, especially with the fact she has a single mom (divorced Dad barely raises an eyebrow on her) who is domineering and uber-conservative. Lastly, she says she knows she definitely likes guys, she still checks guys out, wants to get married and have children; she just doesn't know whether she floats both ways. Sometimes it irks me to see how she might like other girls, but it's just because it happened out of left field very recently and I thought the thing with her friend was a one-off. My questions are these: What do you folks think about this? Is it just a fear of mine delving into paranoia or does anyone see the same thing as well? From what she has said, do you think she really is bi and is there any chance of her being a lesbian? I know that I support her with this, but I can't help fearing I might lose my chance with her if it's successful (meaning I won't just have to worry bout other guys but also girls) or if she does turn out to be a lesbian. I was in denial before bout her possibly being a lesbian, but now I can't help think that she might be. I'm in love with her and I just don't want to lose her. Sorry for this being so long and much thanks! [ 08-22-2009, 03:21 PM: Message edited by: t3techcom18 ]
Member # 13388
posted 08-22-2009 05:40 PM
[Hey t3techcom18, welcome to Scarleteen! I'm just popping by to let you know that while you're certainly welcome to continue this thread here, we also have a brand new thread on this very topic right
here in case you're interested. ]
Member # 40774
posted 08-23-2009 09:06 AM
The thing is, no one can tell you what your friend's orientation is except your friend, and she seems to have been very clear about being attracted to men and women. There is no way to predict who someone will be attracted to over a lifetime, and how, if at all, the gender/sex of those people will vary. To be blunt, I think questioning her orientation is insensitive. She's told you she's bisexual/questioning (and just FYI, someone doesn't have to have sexual experience to know their orientation), so there's your answer. I hear that you think her not being straight, or more primarily attracted to men, impacts your chances of a long term relationship with her, but that's just not necessarily true (there was a recent thread where there was a lot of discussion on this topic, which I'd recommend checking out: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/15/t/000820/p/1.html#000000 ). If she were straight she could meet a guy who she connected with in different ways then you, and that relationship could take precedence, you know? Or, her feelings for you could change over time without any third party. Or, your feelings about her could change. It would actually be highly unusual for that not to be the case: relationships and people change and grow over time. With any relationship, the fact is, you can only take it day by day, be aware of how you're each feeling in the relationship, and reevaluate as things go along. I think it's especially sage to leave room for that in a relationship where you haven't had much in-person contact. Opposite sex people each being heterosexual (or primarily attracted to opposite-sex people) isn't any sort of guarantee that a relationship will thrive in the way that you want it to. quote: At the same token, when I saw lots of her favorite films or TV shows, there were regular shows and films, but a good chunk of them featured bisexual or lesbian relationships, which sort of set off a flag for me. I'm hearing some heterosexist thinking here which I think would be great to examine. Your friend IS queer, so that she is interested in queer culture, is hardly surprising.
uncovers a lot of the common myths about bisexuality, and I think it might put some of these issues in perspective.
Bi the Dozen: A Bisexuality Quiz
Member # 43840
posted 08-23-2009 11:02 AM
Okay, first, again, it appears as such that she's clear bout being attracted to both men and women, but she doesn't know if it's true per ce, as she believes her emotional attraction to her best friend back in April was a one-off and caught her even by surprise. She said she was attracted to girls since she was 13, but more on just a physical level; it's only been as of recent that she started looking at girls and wanting to see if maybe she could go on a date. So yes, she stands herself as being questioning, but not just yet as being bisexual. She knows the only way she'll know is if she tries it, but she doesn't know if it'll even happen.
Second, I know that she doesn't need to have a sexual experience in order to figure out her orientation. I was saying that because she told me her attraction towards women haven't been purely sexual in manner. It has been at times, but she said how it's changed recently from being just physical to the whole package of physicality and emotion. I know that if she isn't straight or other men will get to her first while we're in this holding pattern might mean our feelings will change or affect our friendship. We both have said how our friendship will never change, but feelings might will, hence, why (besides the long-distance issue) we haven't initiated a full on relationship. It's been interesting though; before we met in person, we've become very close and intimate friends; even though she said how she's not sure if her feelings for me will change or she might get a new boyfriend or what not, it almost appears this meeting was the thing to put a reset button on the friendship; instead of being just a very close friendship, it's slowly but surely evolving into something much more. When she was telling me how it wasn't the right time and when we had one final embrace, she appeared as if she was about to cry at any moment, almost as if as much as it was hurt me to hear it, it was hurting her to say it even more. We both agreed how, as you said, we'll see where it goes and whatever happens to us down the road and we'll probably see other people, but we both know our feelings for each other aren't going to go away very easily. We both acknowledge it's gunna be always be in the back of our minds, and hopefully when and if the relationship happens later on. Lastly, when you said bout me being heterosexist, I definitely don't agree with that. That's true that queer culture doesn't bother her at all; I just found it intriguing. It just set a flag for me as a point-in-case as how she's been interested by the idea. I wouldn't call myself a heterosexist at all; I've seen my own fair share of shows or films that have gay, lesbian, or bisexual characters. I watch Torchwood, Brothers and Sisters, and Six Feet Under if that gives you any inclination that it really doesn't bother me. Just wanted to clarify that. =)
Member # 3
posted 08-23-2009 11:09 AM
Just to clarify, when someone says someone is BEING heterosexist (or any kind of -ist) or that a given statement is heterosexist, that is not the same as saying someone is, in toto, heterosexist. Because indeed, calling shows which do not contain queer characters or culture "normal" or "regular" IS a heterosexist statement. Heterosexism means the belief or presumption that being straight is what is normal or default, and being anything else is outside that norm or default. So, when you distinguish shows which do not contain queer characters or content as "regular," which you did, that is a heterosexist statement. See what she was addressing? I also want to check in with you on something else: quote: She knows the only way she'll know is if she tries it, but she doesn't know if it'll even happen. Do you/she feel that's also so for those who are heterosexual?
Member # 43840
posted 08-23-2009 11:59 AM
quote: Originally posted by Heather: I also want to check in with you on something else: quote: She knows the only way she'll know is if she tries it, but she doesn't know if it'll even happen. Do you/she feel that's also so for those who are heterosexual? No; She has been in a relationship with several guys before (even to the point of one proposing to her) and she knows she likes men, she still checks them out, she wants to get married and have children. She knows it's authentic and something she wants. Like I said before, she very heavily doubts she'll be in a lifelong relationship with a woman. She just doesn't know if she's going to explore her feelings bout women or not, cause she said she's picky with guys so it's going to be the same if she's going to choose a girl for a relationship. She has said that if she goes into a bisexual relationship, it would probably be a one-off, to just experiment, see how it goes, and if she likes it or not. Her opinion was that she says it would be nice to experience, get answers, and get actual closure with that long, lingering question, but she says if it doesn't happen, it wouldn't bother her either.
Member # 3
posted 08-23-2009 12:05 PM
I don't think you understood what I am asking.
If she, or anyone else, who suspected they were heterosexual, would you suggest they can't know if they are until they "try it"? Have you said that to friends who have not dated at all but told you they were heterosexual? Did you feel that way about yourself as a heterosexual before you had any romantic or sexual relationships? Just to add something else, it's very common in our culture for young people who are queer to say and feel that they will never be in a lifelong partnership with someone of the same-sex. But that often is about the way we're all conditioned more than anything else. After all, for most of us, from our earliest ages, most, if not all, of what we see and hear about who's in lifelong partnerships and what they look like are about pairs or men and women. In other words, I'd personally say that's something people usually need a good deal of time with, but that overall, is something most young people have a very hard time envisioning, especially when they're still young and/or before they fall in love with someone same-sex. I'm not second-guessing what she knows about herself right now, nor what she feels she wants, just saying that this is something we tend to hear young people say a lot, even those who DO or will wind up in serious partnerships later in life with same-sex partners. More on that here: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/im_bisexual_so_why_dont_i_feel_exactly_the_same_about_men_and_women
Member # 43840
posted 08-23-2009 01:31 PM
No, I haven't told friends something along those lines if they were heterosexual. If they were heterosexual and didn't have any thoughts or feelings towards someone of the same sex, then no, I wouldn't mention it at all. If someone came up to me and said they were homosexual and it was vice versa, the same. If they did and they came to me about it, I would ask them their opinion about it, and what they think they should do next. I never tell them what they should do unless they really are lost and confused about it all, and even then, it's catered to that person; never will it be the same advice towards one person goes towards all.
I realize this is obviously a very big and very hard decision they must make, on whether they act on their feelings for someone of the same sex. With this decision, I leave the ball in their court. As for this situation, what am I saying literally came out of her; she said herself she won't know and/or get closure about the questioning until she tries it and she sees personally what the results are. However, she's very lax about it; she says if she tries it, that would be good, but if she doesn't, she doesn't mind it either. It's interesting you pull up that article: that's very true about the larger variables. She's searching for not only physical attraction (like in any relationship), but the biggest thing she looks for in relationships is just someone who has a deep connection with her, understands her, and respects her. In some ways, I guess you could say she has that new-age thought process that says that even if she may some girls attractive, when it comes to feelings, it's feelings, no matter what gender it may be. That, and with being bisexual, I definitely think it falls under the category for her liking men majority of the time, but has crushes here and there for women. OH - and by the way, I saw your comment bout the heterosexist. I'm sorry bout that, I didn't mean for it to come off that way. Sorry! =)
Member # 33665
posted 08-23-2009 03:59 PM
I think you are missing the point Heather and others have been making. A person shouldn't have to "try something" to prove that they are a particular orientation. People feel how they feel and they feel who they feel for. That's not something any of us should have to "prove" to another person. Your friend shouldn't have to feel like she has to "prove" her orientation either, and I have to wonder if part of why she feels like she does have to is because of how other people have been reacting to her coming out. It's unfortunately all too common that when someone comes out as anything other than heterosexual they get treated to this "Well how do you know unless you have sex with someone of X sex?" crap. Well, how does someone know they are heterosexual unless they have sex with someone of the opposite sex? It's the same kind of logic really. I'm female and I've known since I was a kid that I'm attracted to men. I didn't need to kiss a boy or have sex with a boy to know that I had those attractions. I just had them. Likewise, I have friends who knew they were attracted to people of the same sex as themselves since they were little kids, and they didn't need to "try" any kind of sexual act to know they had those attractions. You might even think about clergypeople who commit themselves to a life of celibacy. They may ID as any orientation, even though they've often never had any kind of sex (though for those who came into the clergy later in life, they may have had sexual relationships previously). Does that mean their orientation isn't valid? There are also people, even among our users, in their mid-to-late 20s who have never had sex of any kind, never even kissed someone, but are quite certain of their orientation. I think it might help to know that orientation isn't about who you have sex with but who you are attracted to and who you desire to have relationships (both romantic and sexual) with. We can even look at studies done by the Kinsey Institute and see that more people have performed sexual activities with people of the same sex as themselves than there are people who ID as bisexual or homosexual. That should show you that how a person IDs is not always about who they have or have had sex with but about who they currently want to have partnerships with or who they are currently attracted to. (I say "currently" because sexuality can change over time and anyone should have the option to change how they label themselves if they feel the label no longer fits.) And even then, any given person may define their orientation in a different way and for different reasons. quote: That, and with being bisexual, I definitely think it falls under the category for her liking men majority of the time, but has crushes here and there for women. Again, though, what you seem to be doing is trying to define her orientation FOR her, and there's just no way you can do that and even if you could, you wouldn't have a right to. She is the one who gets to define her orientation and ID how she wants to.
Really, the way you've approached this whole situation is problematic because you've been speculating about what her orientation is, even asking us as if we could possibly know when a) we've never met her and b) even if we did, we still wouldn't know unless she came out and said, "Hi. I'm ____ and I'm (insert orientation)." At this point (and at any point, really), it just doesn't seem too productive to carry on this speculation. So, would you like to talk about how you can be more supportive and accepting of her orientation, whatever it may be? Or would you like to talk about your worries in pursuing a relationship with her? (I'd also add that I think it would be very beneficial to you and your friendships to do a bit of reading on sexuality and broaden how you view orientations other than your own. You say you aren't against LGBT folk, but you are still expressing a lot of negativity and endorsing some stereotypes. And hey, none of us is ever so "open-minded" that we can't stand to try a bit harder to reach out and be understanding of others. So if you want, we'd be glad to suggest some readings for you. I find that literature is one of the best ways to ditch that xenophobia because you are immersing yourself into the mind of someone very different from yourself.)
Member # 43840
posted 08-23-2009 06:27 PM
Okay, I need to say something about this...
I don't understand. WHY does everyone keep saying that I think she won't know until she has sex with another girl??? I'm not saying that at ALL. I've defended that argument bout three times now, and yet different people keep bringing it up. I've known that since I started reading topics regarding psychology a few years back, and this is a topic I find really interesting in those terms. I know for a fact that no, they don't have to have sex in order to figure out whether they prefer one gender over another or whatever. That doesn't need to be reinforced, I know that...I don't know why it's been brought up quite a few times now.... Another issue: the issue of saying she needs to 'prove' what orientation she is to others. She's not 'proving' anything for anyone; if anything, she's proving it to herself. As you said, one does not need to prove their orientation. It's true; I fit that description you put. I've never had a girlfriend, never been kissed, never had sex, yet I know I like women. Then yes, if you were to meet her, she would say, "Hi, my name is ____ and I'm confused/curious." That's how it's labeled as, cause that's what she has literally told me. On the issue of coming out, she has 'come out', but differently than how it usually is. She's talked about it before with lots of friends of hers, both girls and guys, so pretty much people around her have always known she's always been curious but never actually been in a relationship with a girl. She did a bit of backlash when she had her first full on interest in her best friend who was bisexual, but it was from very few people. (And even then, a relationship didn't spur from that because her best friend didn't see her in a relationship light.) That, and very few people know how her interest in girls as of recent has strengthened, because she obviously doesn't want to go to a girl, tell her she likes them, and all hell break loose. Like I said before, she hasn't fully viewed girls as being in a relationship like she has with guys; but if she said herself that if she's going to go out with a girl, just like she is with guys, she's going to be picky about it. She has a very stringent set of traits and characteristics she wants and not many have them. The only major person in the way in the terms of coming out (and basically going head-long into a bisexual relationship without discrimination) is her Mom. Her Mom is uber-conservative and will put a fit if she finds out. Lastly, I'm sorry if I'm displaying negativity about this. It just feels like the past few posts I've been doing, people have been looking at the details I put and criticizing them or looking at them in a different way than how I'm presenting it. That, and I AM in support of LGBT people. I've defended a gay friend of mine when he was heartbroken to have a conservative family slam his relationship in a public place when they were just wanting to have fun; I've joked around with a girl who's bi about who's hot and who isn't; I talk to a guy all about theater and films and the entertainment industry, and he's been in the newspaper before bout being one of the biggest local LGBT actors there are; I talk to a guy at work who's really funny and nice and he's gay. I've talked to them personally about how they view their relationships, how they discovered their orientation was, etc....I did it firsthand. Heck, as I mentioned before, I watch Torchwood, Brothers and Sisters, and Six Feet Under and I don't shy away from it or fast-forward through the relationship parts like other people do. If I was negative about this, I wouldn't even be friends with those people or be scared to talk to them or avoid or whatever. If there's anything negative I'm showing here, it's because I love this girl and I can't bear to lose her, whether physically, emotionally, or circumstances like this. If she becomes my girlfriend or if any of my girlfriends are bisexual - would I care? No; it's just this right now, this sensation of maybe I might lose her. That's ALL it is. So yeah...to prevent this from getting argumentative and since we're going down that path, I would like to talk about my worries in pursuing a relationship with her given the circumstances that is going on and not so much how to be supportive of her orientation, but accepting, with anything that happens.
Member # 43840
posted 08-23-2009 06:30 PM
Sorry if I vented out before with the first two paragraphs to you all. I just didn't understand why you all were saying the same topics over and over again when I had already replied and given the stance on it...
Member # 3
posted 08-23-2009 06:39 PM
I'm only briefly passing through, t3techcom18 , and need a day or two off from the boards, so I'll have to address most of your post at another time. However, you've asked if we can't get to the heart of your concerns, and I actually think we can in just a fewe sentences, so: quote: No; it's just this right now, this sensation of maybe I might lose her. That's ALL it is. This might be the case no matter what her orientation, for any number of reasons, at any point in the relationship. And that'd be the case for everyone, in every relationship, of every kind, with any given set of orientations present.
There isn't anything that guarantees a relationship's development or permanence, and one person might now or later choose to be with someone else based on any number of factors. Having interest in those of a different sex than a partner a person is with is but one of many, including having interest in a different person of the same sex their partner also is.