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So my girlfriend is gay...now what? (Straight man asking)


freefree113
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About three months ago I found out my girlfriend was gay. I remember the day as if it were yesterday. She was beside herself, tears streaming down her face, telling me that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with me but that she couldn’t, because she realized she was gay. I can point to that day and the days and weeks following and say, unequivocally, that those have been the most painful moments I have ever experienced in my young adult life.

 

As a 19 year old I realize I’m probably a bit naive, but I can say with 100% certainty that this girl is a soulmate of mine. Despite her sexuality, our relationship was practically perfect. I knew something was wrong the entire time, but I couldn’t imagine not marrying this girl until that day she told me. And she felt the same way. I’ve never shared a deeper connection with anyone—my family, my friends—than I share with this girl.

 

Like I said, the ensuing days and weeks were terrible. But the pain started to go away. We still talk every day. I’ll drive accross the state to watch her volleyball games, she sends me packages and texts me during the day to let me know she’s thinking of me. To an outside observer, it would look like we were a young couple ready to tie the knot.

 

But of course we can’t, despite the fact that we are very much in love with each other, albeit in an unconventional sense. And I guess the reason I’m here is to ask what happens next? Is there an answer? Has anyone here had a similar experience to this?

 

I really want us both to be incredibly happy and best friends—more than best friends, but I get the sense there will be a lot of pain ahead of us. I feel like I’m not going to meet someone who is as special as her and heterosexual, and if I did, that it would break her heart. Spending time with her is bittersweet. She’s the most incredible person I know, and for that reason I love being with her, but because I know we’re not going to be “together” in the conventional sense, I feel sad too. Is there a way I can get over this sadness without finding someone else?

 

Can I continue to love her like I do now, but still have room in my heart for someone else? I think the answer is yes. I don’t know…I’d just love to hear from anyone who has been through a similar situation. I just really want the sadness of not being able to be with her to go away, and I want to trust that she will occupy a pivotal position in my life as a soulmate, but in a way that doesn’t interfere with either of us loving someone else. I want us to be a real life Will and Grace, a Will + Grace that find other people but don’t lose sight of their love for one another.

 

Thanks.

 

Oh, and for the record, I guess she's not my "girlfriend" anymore, but we don't know what to call each other. Friend doesn't begin to describe the connection, and ex doesn't seem right either.

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well, i really haven't had a similar experience. i think from what u said it sounds like there really is an opportunity for you to stay friends here, if the sex thing sort of isn't an issue (i assume you are not physical). maybe u can be the will & grace?

that being said, it would only work if your romantic feelings for her were no longer.

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Awww, I have never been in a situation like this, but I can imagine the pain it brings!

 

I do think that you two can maintain a close relationship as friends though! You obviously care a lot about eachother and I dont see why that has to change just because you can't be with eachother in that way. I think it will take time to adjust to the situation though...it will be hard for awhile, but in time I think you will be able to deal with it and just care for eachother as two very good friends...best of luck to you!! HUGS.

 

love melly

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There was a time when it seemed you had to be rich to get the girl. Then it seemed you had to be black to get the girl. Now, you have to be THE GIRL to get the girl.

 

I have gotten involved 3 times with women only to discover they preferred female companions over me. (My own version of the "always want what you can't have syndrome".)

 

I once had 3 female roommates who were very involved with each other. (They were my main introduction to Gay culture)

 

If I have learned nothing else, in my almost 49, years it is this: YOU, my friend, are screwed. Chasing Amy was just a movie, and a myth. being Gay is not a "choice" (Unless you're Anne Heche). You may be very much in love with a woman, but she will always dump you for another woman. You CAN be friends with lesbians. (At least the less militant ones.) And you may find yourself with the best friends you will ever have. But you will always be an outsider, a "Breeder".

 

Keep your feelings on a tight leash. Never express your love for a Gay woman. She will fear you and distrust you. And you will have lost a friend. I've lost a couple.

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I think you're misunderstanding. We dated for 8 months before she told me she was gay-- she didn't know she was gay until dating me, because in the past she was always able to find faults in her boyfriends until she met me, who she felt was perfect for her. So when something wasn't right, she had to look insider herself and find out why. This isn't a lesbian girl I'm trying to pick up and have a normal relationship with. What I want here is to remain in her life as a friend, a confidant, a soulmate, but not as a lover. I want to be able to love her with all my heart in a non-sexual way without feeling hindered in my ability to find someone else. I want to feel happy when I hang out with her and feel no remorse that we can't be together in a conventional sense. I want to love her, but not be in love with her. And the reason I'm here is I want reassurance that all of those things are possible. I don't want to her to take a less prominent roll in my life. Our connection is real, and I don't want to have to sever it out of fear that is preventing me from finding someone else. I am worried that I won't ever find someone I love as much as her, but I hope I will, and I hope you people can offer some insight.

 

Your post seems unbecoming and brash for a 49 year old man. To call me a "breeder" sounds perverse and divisive, as if lesbians use straight men for children and nothing else. Frankly, I think I would be happy to give her a kid, but that's not all I'm going to be good for. I have no illusions about Chasing Amy etc. It's not going to happen. I got it. I just want reassurance that everything is still going to be great, that I will still want and cherish her as a part of my life even though I can't have her as a lover. I will say it once and I'll say it again-- we're soulmates, and the thought of not having her be there for me is terrible.

 

So please, if any of you have any experience with this, let me know. Perhaps your husband realized he was gay, and now he has a partner and you've remarried. Anything.

 

Thank you.

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Not many of us have been lucky enough to have a relationship such as the one you describe. And, even fewer have the maturity and imagination required to try to make such a friendship work.

 

Every relationship is an entity unto itself. You and your friend have to work out who you are going to be to each other, and it will probably change over time. I've seen some enduring friendships develop out of similar situations--of course it can be done. I think that you both possess tremendous courage and insight. I know quite a few married women who married their soul mates, only to be very stifled and miserable because they didn't understand that there is no requirement to marry a soul mate. You can share an intense connection with someone, and love them deeply, but still not have between you the kind of qualities that would make a good marriage.

 

I wish you both the best. Listen to your own advice over any other (is my advice).

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Hi free,

 

I haven't quite been in your situation, although I have friends that have been. The closest I've been to your situation was, back when I was completely closeted, one of my best female friends decided that she wanted to date me and basically asked me out. I was forced to tell her that I was gay, first time I've told anybody. Our relationship was a bit awkward for a while and we had a bad fight about a month later, but we made up and remained friends. I can't say we've ever had the friendship that we did in the beginning, but so it goes.

 

I do have a question, and you don't need to answer this if you feel uncomfortable, but it could help me to better diagnose what's going on. Did the two of you have sex in any form? If so, was it enjoyable? If not, was this a problem, did you want to have sex and she didn't? Are either of you virgins? Again, if this makes you feel uncomfortable you don't need to answer.

Despite her sexuality, our relationship was practically perfect. I knew something was wrong the entire time, but I couldn’t imagine not marrying this girl until that day she told me.

 

Here I've bolded the first contradiction. Your relationship was NOT perfect, not only was it not perfect, but you knew it wasn't perfect while you were in the relationship. You may have not known what the problem was, but you knew there was a fundamental, major problem with the relationship.

 

Step one to recovery means accepting that this, in fact, was not a good relationship for either of you, and if marriage had resulted it was have been severely dysfunctional and the two of you would have been profoundly unhappy.

 

Yes, there were good aspects to your relationship- you are very close friends, you share similar interests, you care about each other, etc. etc. But good relationships are made up of rather different elements than good friendships- namely, there has to be an element of passion or romance in a good relationship, and this was necessarily lacking from your relationship since your friend is gay. You can be friends, but nothing more than that.

But of course we can’t, despite the fact that we are very much in love with each other, albeit in an unconventional sense.

 

Here's the second contradiction- you are in love with her, but she is not in love with you. Step two to recovery means accepting that she does not and cannot love you in the same way that you love her.

 

Your friend will always be your friend, and will always care about you, but she can't love you in the same way that you love her. This is one of the most difficult things to realize, but it is an important step. It will hurt a lot, but you can take some consolation in the fact that the reason that she doesn't love you doesn't have anything to do with any fault of yours, but simply the fact that you are a boy, which isn't something you can control.

 

If I could have loved my friend in the way she loved me I would have- I liked her very much, thought about how happy and convenient our marriage would be, but the truth was, I wasn't attracted to her in the same way that I was attracted to boys. The same is true with your friend.

I really want us both to be incredibly happy and best friends—more than best friends, but I get the sense there will be a lot of pain ahead of us. I feel like I’m not going to meet someone who is as special as her and heterosexual, and if I did, that it would break her heart. Spending time with her is bittersweet. She’s the most incredible person I know, and for that reason I love being with her, but because I know we’re not going to be “together” in the conventional sense, I feel sad too. Is there a way I can get over this sadness without finding someone else?

 

The third step to recovery is moving past your feelings of love for her and looking for somebody who can love you back in the same way. This step takes the most time of any of the steps.

 

The more time you think about her, fantasize about her, and spend time with her, the more miserable it is going to make you. I can assure you that you will in no way break her heart if you start dating other girls. With my friend, I actually tried very hard to set her up with guys because I thought it would make her quit following me around (not that I didn't like her company, but just because I was unhappy because I couldn't give her the love she needed). I would've been overjoyed if she started dating somebody, and your friend will be too if you start dating a girl.

 

I would stop texting and calling her so much- try and get it down to once or twice a week. Every day is too much and is only going to delay the process for you. I would tell her that you need some time by yourself for a few days or a week.

 

You're not going to be able to get over her instantly, but it is something you need to start moving towards for recovery.

 

Oh, and for the record, I guess she's not my "girlfriend" anymore, but we don't know what to call each other. Friend doesn't begin to describe the connection, and ex doesn't seem right either.

 

I think friend is the best word. Friend has a lot of different meanings, and is a very nice word.

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Hey Pianoguy,

 

Thanks for the reply. I'm getting the sense after reading your post that I'm not quite in the situation you think I am.

 

Yes, we had sex. This is how I knew things were wrong. The sex wasn't good. A couple weeks before we broke up I told her the sex felt like work. And frankly, while we were in the relationship, I was always entertaining thoughts of breaking up with her because this crucial element was missing, but it seemed so impossible, because I thought in doing so I would end every possibility we had of remaining friends. When I remember about those thoughts, its easy to see her lesbianism as almost a blessing, a gift that explained away the only negative part of our relationship.

 

But human nature is a * * * * * . Now that we're best friends I want more. And the reason I'm here is I want reassurance that that feeling will fade and I'll be able to move on. And I think it will. Do I think that I could expedite the process by not contacting her? Possibly. But I don't think that's a possibility. Maybe we do need to talk less. I certainly don't see her in person that often-- maybe once a month since we broke up. But we still talk every day. We still say our "love you's".

 

I hate to admit it, but I think perhaps I do need less contact with her. That's really, really hard to say. I'm pretty withdrawn from my friends right now, and I think maybe part of that has to do with me holding on to her.

 

But make no mistake about it, this girl is my best friend. And that's what I want her to be. The sex wasn't there. I can't be her husband. I know. But everything else, everything else is there. How can I not have someone in my life like that? And this why I think unabashed's post is helpful. I think it's great to hear that marrying your soulmate, even in a hetero relationship, doesn't always work. There isn't some divine decree that I should be with her. But I do want to love her. And I use that word, love, in a sense that I want to cherish her as someone who is my best friend.

 

I don't fantasize about her. I really don't. She's a gorgeous girl, make no mistake about it, but I don't really see her in a sexual light. She was my first too. Perhaps when I have a sexual experience with another hetero girl I'll understand what I was missing and it will be easier for me to see her as just a friend.

 

I think, in typing this, I realized I really just need to try to remember those feelings of wanting to morph our relationship into a friendship. That is what I wanted all along. And I need to embrace it. I'm going through that transition right now, and its so tough. And I don't know how to do it in the best way. I have moments where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I do. I just gotta reach it.

 

Please keep the replies coming. Thanks

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Hi Free. My best friend is gay, and she dated a few men before she found the strength to come out....I remember it well (I had an unshakeable feeling she was gay before she ever admitted it) and I remember the struggle she went through, both accepting it herself and acknowledging it, and then allowing others to be aware of it too. Her boyfriend at the time gave her a really hard time about it, out of anger I think. What he didn't realise, was that this was as difficult for her as it was for him. She is now loved up with another girl (a golf-playing PE teacher can you believe??) and happier than ever. She is a totally great girl.. compassionate and sweet and kind, and I think her ex-boyfriend really lost out when he couldn't bring himself to be her friend when the dust settled.

 

I can tell you love your friend very much, so all I think is that you weather this as best you can, and try not to put any more pressure on your friendship by trying to make it turn into something else as fast as you can...friendships evolve and change and deepen...in time, your friendship with this special girl will too, at its own pace!!!

 

I don't think you need to cut contact...she came out as gay - she didn't bash you or cheat on you!! She could probably do with a good friend right now, and the support that you as her friend can give her. If you are there for her to lean on now, you two can get through this together, and in time, move onto the next, deeper stage of a wonderful, lifelong friendship.

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Man! i can't pretend i know what you're going through cuz i don't. only to say this, that friendship is purer in a way. 2 people are always there for each other, to 'pick up the pieces' when each others relationships fail. an unending entity, a certainty. You get these positives that you would never get in a relationship. And i think you two can turn around what you have into something positive so that one day you find your relationship with her is actually better now as a 'friend' than ever before. "True friendship is the sort of love we might imagine between angels." (C.S.Lewis)

 

 

 

 

Ohh Brilliant!!!!!

 

 

OBJection!!!!!! Gays can 'breed' too! Juust unconventionally...

 

 

 

 

Thats so beautiful!

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Beautiful, but not really true. Most people have at least ONE person that they consider a real, true friend. Someone who cared deeply for them...even if just for a short time.

 

Really? I'm glad that's been your experience. I'm not really talking about having someone who cares deeply. This isn't so uncommon, I guess. But, the depth and maturity of the OP's relationship is rather uncommon, in my experience.

 

What is your reason for needing to negate my comment, anyway?

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I hate to admit it, but I think perhaps I do need less contact with her. That's really, really hard to say. I'm pretty withdrawn from my friends right now, and I think maybe part of that has to do with me holding on to her.

 

I think that would be wise. I don't think you need to cut off contact from her, but I don't think talking to her every day is doing you any good. It's also going to prevent you from developing interests in other, more suitable (straight) girls.

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  • 2 weeks later...

you want a romantic friendship with her!! a friend who you can snuggle with, who you can confide in, a friend who is the first stop when trouble hits, a friend who has a very special place in your heart... but does not replace the need for a lover. its a wonderful to find such a person.

 

i think you can do it, i'm going through something, sorta kinda similar, where life has separated me from someone.

 

our situations are similar in the fact that you and i both knew that something was "missing" eventhough everything else (the person) was perfect. i believe that because i already knew something was missing, i didn't let her have all of me, but she still became very special to me... and i'm hoping that can convert to friendship. If your situation is similar, I hope you can do it.

 

good luck

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I think you're misunderstanding. A 'breeder' is what gay people call straight people.

 

Here's the thing. It's very very difficult to throttle down a relationship. Either it's there or it's not. In this case it might be different because she turned out to be a lesbian. But will you be able to move on when you see here all the time, when you're constantly reminded about all the things you love about her? And what about future relationships? Will your future girlfriends be able to accept that your best friend is an ex? Honestly, I would find it difficult.

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This was my exact situation a few years ago, when my best friend/boyfriend told me he was gay. I had thought I was going to marry him and it didn't even occur to me to think otherwise till he told me.

 

It's been a few years, but he's the closest friend I have. He knows me better than anyone and it really is like having a platonic soulmate of the opposite sex. I don't know what you'd call that, other than the blasé best friends. Yes, you can still continue to love her as you do now. It's almost better this way, I think, because now you won't have to worry about that niggling "not quite right" feeling that (probably? it did for me) permeated the entire relationship.

 

You two will be just fine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

whowins, if you want to talk about this you need to start your own thread, we can't discuss this on this thread unless it pertains to the OP in some way. I'm sure there's many of this that would be happy to talk with you about this if you start a separate thread.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Free,

 

I'm a straight woman, but I've been in this exact situation some time ago, and I really feel for you. Unfortunately, I probably don't have any of the kinds of answers you're looking for right now, but I could lend a sympathetic ear or share my experiences if that would be helpful at all. If you want to get in contact, email me at email removed.

 

Best of luck to you.

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Hey, one of my friends was in this exact situation, at your same age too. He dated a girl for 2 years and they had thoughts they would eventually get married. He lost his virginity to his g/f and about 2 months later, their relationship was over. He found out she was gay through myspace a couple of months later and was absolutely torn up. He was sad and also very pissed off at her. Its been 2 years now and he hasn't moved on and still doesn't talk to her. He is fearful of getting hurt like he did with her.

My advice would be to move on and find someone who can give you all of themselves. You can be "friends" with your ex- that is what she is- your ex, but its not going to be easy. It might be better for you to cut all ties. Yeah, it will hurt, but it may not hurt as bad as having her in your life everyday if you will be always be wanting more from her. You can't ever have all of this girl, you need to realize this. You will be a lot happier in the long run if you can find someone else to date. Also, I don't mean to sound condescending or anything, but when I was 19, I was in my first serious relationship and when it ended I thought I'd never get past it, but you do get past it in one form or another. It may take some time though.

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