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Is change in sexual orientation possible?

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I am sorry for my ignorance, I would like to ask a question:


I am a man and my girlfriend left me for a woman. Is it possible for someone, who lived 34 years of her life as a straight girl, to change her sexual orientation?


We were in love for years and when I proposed her she accepted without any hesitation. Then suddenly, she sunk into depression for a longtime.


Finally, she told me that she lost her desire towards men. She told me also that she doesn't feel like lesbian. However, she is neither into men nor into women but she loves a woman now (?!). She left me for her.


I respect her decision, I am not mad at her. I am just deeply sad and heartbroken. I try to understand. That's why I am asking this question. I would appreciate any answer.

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I saw this happen with an acquaintance of mine. We went to high school together, and chatted briefly a couple years ago, so I wouldn't call us "friends." But she's on my Facebook, so I've seen her go from dating two different guys to suddenly dating only women. She dated a male acquaintance of mine, then some time after they broke up, she was dating a different guy and actually living with him. Plus she has a kid with a different guy from her past. So as far as I can tell, it went from all men to now all women. She's in her late 30's. So yes, it can happen. I don't personally understand it, but yes, it doesn't happen.

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Most definitely.


There are many reasons why someone might change orientation... I'm sure you can imagine lots of reasons but some of the common ones are that they maybe naturally preferred one sex but social pressure dictated they should like another, general curiosity, gradually being put off by one sex only to fall into the arms of another, trauma... you get the idea.


I have actually been where you are! - Granted, it wasn't over such a long relationship but she said she preferred girls... she left me, and then once she had her fix, she went back to guys. It's hard not to feel in part responsible and betrayed for it but the heart wants what it wants.


I guess all I can advise is try not to dwell on the *why*, rather just hope that she is now happy with who she is with now.

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Yes, of course it is. Most people believe that sexual orientation is not a choice, but something is in a person and cannot be controlled. But a lot of people try hard for many years in their lives to be straight because they fear the ridicule and hate they can get from the many ignorant people who do not accept same-sex orientation. People are also capable of being attracted to both sexes (bi-sexual). In short, if someone has done it (changed their sexual preference), then clearly it is possible.


Nothing is black and white: She probably loved you, and she met a woman for whom she developed feelings for, and while that is difficult and painful, it will be easier for you in time if you can accept that these feelings are real and valid.

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Each individual person has shades of grey when it comes to sexual orientation. It's not normally strictly black or white. It depends on the person though whether they act on it or not. Some people are comfortable in choosing to be with the opposite sex their whole life, while others meet someone of the same sex, and develope that side of them that already existed.

None the less, it's not easy at all to see someone you still have feelings for end up with someone else, same sex or not.

I hope your heart can heal and move forward from this.

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Thanks for the answers. As far as I understand: When we talk about sex, nothing is black and white (thanks to leseine7 and sherrysher) even though it's the first time I experience this situation as the abandoned part. Yes she loved me genuinely, now she doesn't. She loves someone else and this time she loves a woman. And maybe in the future, who knows, she will love a man (as in case of beternal). Or maybe she will stick to women (as in the story of lostlove).


It's really hard to accept that she will never love me back. This is the hardest thing that came to me.

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Take the time you need to process this. It is painful for absolutely ANYONE to lose someone they love, and ten-fold when that person leaves them for another. Adding to that an element of her having a different sexual preference than you knew before is a whole new level of confusion and pain. It's completely normal for you to be struggling with this, but it will get easier in time and you will be stronger. Try to hang on to the fact that, regardless of the outcome, her love for you was real and just because this has happened does not invalidate the relationship you two shared.

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Sherrysher and Leseine, this time I feel different. Maybe that's because we were fiancee or because I had a dream of a life together with her. I don't know. I was attached to her and I was thinking that we would get older together. I am still in love with her. I genuinely believe that I made her happy. If she had not this change in her orientation, she would have stayed with me. That's the difficult part.

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No I don't think people change sexual orientation, I believe they are bisexual, though it's likely they have a preference one way or the other.


I'm convinced that all women are bisexual but typically prefer men. I don't think I have any female friends who haven't at least kissed another woman.

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mrtango and I have already talked about this a bit! Though many particulars are different, I was dumped by a mid-30s woman for a woman, so there is that similarity.


I regard myself as an LGBTQ ally, so it's not at all, abstractly, an issue for me. And the vast majority of my feelings, which are still raw, have to do with the shock of the breakup, the way that it occurred, and the withdrawal of love, not with who her new partner is. I have tried to be empathetic toward her and expressed that I respected her decision and so on. She has been dealing with it all, I guess, with anger, and has not really given me too much information (which I didn't push too hard for, though I desperately wanted to talk more and understand). Hence, I'm left to speculate quite a bit, which is really hard (for a ruminator like me, anyway).


Was she always totally gay and unable to address it (for understandable reasons)? Is she bi and exploring? Is she bi and changing preference? Is it simply the woman that she met, whom she became so infatuated with that even if she was 90% het (whatever that means), she fell for her in a deep way? I didn't know her long enough and she wasn't open enough for me to know, so I can only guess. It does me no good to guess, but I have a problem with ruminating, as I said!


What has surprised me, never having been in this situation, is that I feel even more insecure about it. I used to think the opposite would be the case when I would hear stories! I certainly understood that it would be painful, say, to learn that your longtime husband was gay. But I felt like if it were I, I might be helped a little by thinking: well, there was nothing I could do, it had nothing to do with me! Instead, I feel: she has parts I don't have! I'm so jealous of their connection that I can no longer have with her! Somehow, it has increased the feeling of rejection that she has rejected me as a man.


Of course my mind has wandered to things like sex. One can always be wrong, of course, but I do think she enjoyed it with me. So, obviously, one would think she's at least bi. And yes, we do seem to have evidence that women are at least a little more fluid in this regard. Also in my speculation, I know that some issues in her background, if I were her, might make me more wary of men, you know? That's not 'sexual' orientation or preference, but if one already has some fluidity, well...


Anyway, I 100% respect anyone's sexual orientation, or even preference. I even respect their desire not to be with me. It has been interesting, though, this experience: it's more evidence that it's really hard to predict one's feelings at times. Which is a small good thing: increasing my empathy toward others. I now know what's it like to love someone who (well, may, anyway) not be 'oriented' toward me!


I guess I ended up using the way the thread is going to mope some more about my own situation. To answer the original question, no, I don't think orientation changes – some are more fluid than others, and as mentioned lots of pressure mean people have traditionally been tracked one way or another.... and later in life, they may be interested enough for experimentation or after years of already deliberating really feel they want to go that other path. Your partner (and mine) might have always had the capacity to love a woman and just not both met that woman and had that woman be gay or bi and open to her (lots of variables there). Ultimately whether we see the 'change' as occurring at 36 or in youth or in the genes, though, shouldn't matter relative to how we respect their feelings and decisions, of course.


The change that appears so drastic from the outside does, however, make it harder, in some ways, on the first partner to witness the change (move, whatever), I'm kind of realizing!

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The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual–Homosexual Rating Scale, is used in research to describe a person's sexual orientation based on their experience or response at a given time. The scale typically ranges from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual. In both the Male and Female volumes of the Kinsey Reports, an additional grade, listed as "X", was used to mean "no socio-sexual contacts or reactions".


Men: 11.6% of white males aged 20–35 were given a rating of 3 for this period of their lives. The study also reported that 10% of American males surveyed were "more or less exclusively homosexual for at least three years between the ages of 16 and 55" (in the 5 to 6 range).


Women: 7% of single females aged 20–35 and 4% of previously married females aged 20–35 were given a rating of 3 for this period of their lives. 2% to 6% of females, aged 20–35, were given a rating of 5 and 1% to 3% of unmarried females aged 20–35 were rated as 6.



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