Okay well, I'm 17 and I'm a girl. I like guys, but never in a sexual way, it's always been an emotional attraction. Even that's started pretty recently, and I've only had a few serious crushes. Sure, if I watch a movie or TV show with people kissing I get all gooey but that's about it. When I was about 14, I asked my dad if he thought I was gay and he said no, because he could always tell if there was a male around that I liked, which is true, I'm pathetic! But it didn't stop me wondering. Even though I liked guys, I wanted to know what it was like to be gay.
Now I wonder if it was because I've had the potential to like girls too, all along.
I have a good (female) friend who I think I'm in love with. I have no idea how long I've felt that way. All I know is that I don't want to have sex, or kiss her. I have actually intentionally thought about kissing her, just to see what my reaction would be, and didn't feel wrong. But that was only secondary.
My primary feelings about her are an overwhelming desire to be there for her, and have her be there for me. I feel as though I will never be good enough for her. I sometimes get this about my other friends but again, this is overwhelming. Also, I find myself wanting to 'show off' around her a lot, be someone else. She also makes me nervous, like sometimes when I'm talking to her, I can't meet her eye.
I don't know what to make of all this, and it's hard. I know that a lot of people have same-sex attractions, or opposite-sex attractions even if that is not their eventual orientation, when they're just working things out. But somehow this doesn't feel like a phase. I really do love this girl. The funny thing is that I've never been attracted to girls before. I guess that's the main reason I have for doubting my feelings, as well as the fact that they're not really sexual. I mean, we are close friends so could it just be that?
Anyone who has any advice or who has just been in the same situation and is willing to share their story would be much appreciated.
I think when we're trying to figure out if we like someone, there's actually no need to try and figure out our whole orientation through that, or at the same time.
You can like her and be bisexual, you can like her and be lesbian, you can even like her and be largely heterosexual. Very, very few people in the world really are strictly heterosexual or homosexual. Most people will have some feelings for at least one person same-sex and one person opposite-sex in their lives.
And trying to figure out what our orientation is based on feelings for one person isn't sound, and wouldn't be no matter what the gender of that person, you know?
So, in talking with you and working this out, how about we try and keep those two things pretty separate, and determine which you want to talk about first?
I do want to say, though, that a parent can't ever know our orientation. The only person who can know is us. And if we're bisexual, gay or lesbian, it's always going to be a little tougher to work out just because so many people will tell us -- directly and indirectly -- that we, and everyone else, are straight.
It also sounds like so far, you haven't had expressly sexual feelings for anyone, male OR female. That doesn't mean you can't get some sense of your orientation, though: after all, how we're oriented is about more than sex, as are our romantic and sexual relationships.
Lastly, I'd ask why you think it's been a theme for you that with friends in general, it seems you don't feel your good enough for them and need to impress them. What do you think is up with that?
-------------------- 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: 66433 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
| IP: Logged |
In answer to your question about not feeling good enough and having to impress people, I guess it's because I've been through a lot of tough times in the last few years and they've taken their toll on my self-esteem. Also, I have cerebral palsy and a learning disorder. It means I am a person with many contradictions. For example, in my last report, I got almost all A's and B's, but I may not be able to drive and I find it really difficult to find my way around. Normally, I just deal with it but when my head's not in a good space, it feels overwhelming.
I completely agree that I don't have to define myself in terms of orientation yet. It's weird, because I want to, but don't want to at the same time. While I know there's no rush and I think that labels are no help to anyone, I want to know just so I can have something concrete, you know?
What I most want to work out whether I really do like this girl. I can't help wondering if I'm wrong. And while I know that there's nothing wrong with any orientation, it's strange when you start realising that things might be different from what you'd always thought.
Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.