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I've been getting to know her for awhile. She is bi. She is not out. (I am out) Her ex-boyfriend is back in her life. (she had broken up with him months ago) She told me that she still has feelings for him. Yesterday she told me they were over, it's done for sure. I called her tonight, and guess who is having dinner with her? Yep...him. I don't know what the heck is going on. I feel like I've been punched in the stomach. I feel humiliated!

 

I feel confused about what to do. How on earth do I compete with an ex-boyfriend that she still has feelings for? She isn't out, so odds are she'll go back to him. I keep thinking they're probably having sex right now...and it is ripping my heart out. I thought she cared about me. I thought she and I were doing really well together. She was always so happy with me.

 

She and I are supposed to get together this week. I am thinking of cancelling. I don't know if I can handle seeing someone who is going to be dating her ex at the same time!

 

Help!

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She is really confused. I agree.

 

She is usually the one to call me, she also shows up sometimes at my door. I thought she was interested...but then she goes back to him. I just don't get it.

 

Do you think if I distance myself she might make up her mind?

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I remember you posting about this girl a while back, and someone else observed (correctly I think) that this girl is being somewhat manipulative of you. By telling you about her ex, she gets to keep her options open and not make a decision. Meanwhile you're standing on the sidelines of her life, waiting for her to hopefully choose you, all the while humiliated.

 

Is she stringing you along? Yes. You shouldn't have to wait for anyone to hopefully choose you over someone else. No one is worth that pain and humiliation. Moreover, you should never become involved with someone who isn't completely over their previous partner to begin with. So even if she did choose you, you know she still has lingering feelings for this other guy that may well complicate things in the future.

 

Move on.

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I'm not a 'confused woman', but it seems to me that this is closer to the more general practice of 'rebound' relationships, perhaps, with a twist in that she is bi, so she chose a woman for a relationship rather than another man. The psychology of rebound relationships is fairly simple: people feel alone and sad and depressed due to the breakup (particularly if they still have some feelings for their ex) and seek out another relationship quickly to fill that gap in their lives, so that there is someone there to support them, to be with them, so that they don't have this big hole in their lives where their ex used to be because now there is someone else fill that place. It's a coping mechanism some people use.

 

Clearly she's conflicted about her 'ex'. If he really is an 'ex', she wouldn't be having dinner with him. At the very least it seems she is not over him. She may want to see if she can get back together with him, or at least explore whether that's possibility that is open to her, or something she is even interested in pursuing if it is open. It would appear that she would like to have you around, as well, while she is exploring this ... perhaps as someone to fall back on if she decides not to get back with him or can't get back with him, or perhaps because she really does prefer you to him and wants to meet him again to make sure that she really does prefer you.

 

In any case, it's up to you as to how you wish to be treated here. Either way, she's kind of treating you in a way that I know I would not want to be treated. If you want to keep her around, it's something worth discussing with her, if you have that comfort level: tell her, hey, what is going on with your ex, I'm concerned, I thought we were together, can you help me understand what you're thinking ... and see what she says. The other approach -- simply going NC -- could work as well, but is also in this context maniupative rather than communicative. In other words, you would be doing it to elicit some kind of response, or not, rather than the real NC of breaking up (I assume you haven't made that decision to break up yet).

 

I hope things work out as you would like them to.

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thanks nova

 

this very well could have been a rebound for her, I don't know...put certainly I have to consider that possibility

 

at one point she assured me that it was over with him, and that she was no longer in love with him, then he found out about me, and he started to pursue her again...and it seems she is responding...when he started to chase her again, she told me that she still loved him (ouch!) She didn't say "in love" but still, those are really strong words.

 

I have communicated openly and honestly with her all along, but I am not certain I am getting the same level of respect. I sense that she is hiding something from both him and I actually...just a vibe I get. Maybe she really doesn't have a clue as to what she wants or needs right now, and we are both being strung along to some extent.

 

I haven't made any decisions yet...I'm trying to figure out if I can deal with her going back and forth between him and I. I don't want to be manipulative. I feel like I am nearly at my wit's end with this though, which is not a good place to be!

 

I am wondering how much time it will take to figure out who she really wants? She may not really want either of us. Also, I am concerned that by continuing to see her, I am in effect enabling her to stay with him...sort of like being the "other woman" in a way...except this guy knows about me (so she says...I cannot know for sure)

 

I think I am going to talk with her tomorrow. The problem is that her answers keep changing. *sigh*

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when he started to chase her again, she told me that she still loved him (ouch!) She didn't say "in love" but still, those are really strong words.

 

Well ... it could be that she meant that in a non-couple sort of way, you don't know. What could be more concerning than those words is the fact that she is actually seeing him again, I think.

 

I sense that she is hiding something from both him and I actually...just a vibe I get. Maybe she really doesn't have a clue as to what she wants or needs right now, and we are both being strung along to some extent.

 

It could be that she just doesnt know what she wants, as you say. It could be that she doesnt know what she prefers. You say that she is bi but not out. It could be that she wants to remain 'closeted', really, and she could be weighing the risk of staying with you, and perhaps becoming out at some point, against the risk of going with him, remaining 'closeted' and the relative comfort that this offers, but getting back all of the problems that caused that relationship to break up to begin with. In other words, a part of her wavering here may very well result from a latent5 discomfort with being actively bi and/or openly bi. It certainly sounds to me like she is at least somewhat confused about what she wants because of how she is treating at least you in this scenario.

 

I haven't made any decisions yet...I'm trying to figure out if I can deal with her going back and forth between him and I. I don't want to be manipulative. I feel like I am nearly at my wit's end with this though, which is not a good place to be!

 

Well, you have to give yourself permission to be upset by this ... it is upsetting when your gf is having dinner and so forth with her ex, after all. That kind of contact with ex's is going to be upsetting to virtually anyone.

 

I am wondering how much time it will take to figure out who she really wants? She may not really want either of us. Also, I am concerned that by continuing to see her, I am in effect enabling her to stay with him...sort of like being the "other woman" in a way...except this guy knows about me (so she says...I cannot know for sure)

 

I guess I would think that you have to decide what you really want. If you really want her to be with you and not with him, then the next question is what to do to get there, and that would suggest a more direct approach with her, finding out what is going on with her, making it clear how much you want her, how important she is to you, etc. If you really want to wait and see what she does, then you have to decide how to protect yourself while you are waiting and seeing .. yes, it is enabling her to play both sides of the fence at once, but if that is what you want (ie, you want her to decide first), thenk you ought not be worried about that enabling, but instead focus on how to protect yourself if she does something hurtful as a result of the space you've given her. Either way, the outcome is out of your control because it depends on what she does, but each approach reflects a different mindset on your part, and will feel different in terms of playing it out. You just have to decide what you really want and then that will help you decide how to proceed.

 

I think I am going to talk with her tomorrow. The problem is that her answers keep changing. *sigh*

 

Yes, that's frustrating, but if you find it frustrating you should call her on it, in a gentle way. Point out that, hmmm, I thought a few weeks ago you said "x" and not "y" ... that's okay but I'd like to understand what you're really feeling about this ... and that kind of thing.

 

Again, all the best with this. It's a hard situation you're in, no doubt.

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I'm sorry for you.

 

I hope you learn a lesson from this. If you can, always avoid becoming involved with someone who still isn't over an ex. And if you're already involved and you see them doubtful/confused because they have lingering feels for their previous partner, then walk away.

 

Don't be completely surprised if she comes calling again though. If she does, you really shouldn't get involved with her romantically.

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I've learned a lot.

I chose a very risky relationship.

I have no idea if she'll call again.

My walls are up now.

 

I'm sorry that things happened this way. It's not fair what she did to you, and yes I do think she was 'stringing you along', unfortunately.

 

You're right, it was risky. It's always risky having a relationship with someone who is coming out of another one ... somtimes it's okay, but it's risky because you don't really know whether they are rebounding or not. It's also risky, imo, to have a relationship with someone who is not 'out', because that adds a whole level of complexity to things that doesn't really need to be there ... the person who isn't out may be comfortable with a casual relationship, or with a relationship that is new, but once things get longer and more involved and more serious, the prospects of remaining 'not out' get smaller, and that can cause a lot of stress on the 'not out' person because she (in this case) can feel torn between her desire to maintain her relationship with you and her desire to remain 'not out' ... and in these situations the latter desire often wins because it is more comfortable in many other areas of the person's life (which is why the person is not 'out' to begin with, generally) .. so paradoxically the closer and more involved the relationship gets, the more pressure that puts on the issue of being 'out', and that can help things unravel too.

 

All of that is so unfair to you! Blech. If I were you I would stay away from this person moving forward. Given her personality if things don't work out with this guy (again) she may come calling on your door again, but I think you're right to have the walls up. She's too much of a risk and not worth it... you can do much better than that.

 

I know it's hard, what you're experiencing now. Go out and do something nice for yourself. Call a friend. Go to the gym. Keep yourself involved during this hard phase of things.

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I am sorry for what happened to you.

I understand what your going through I am in a smilar situation.

The woman I love is confused as well.She is not seeing a ex but rather dating /seeing other guys.while I am waiting..still waiting for her to decide what & who she wants in her life.

I feel this is very hurtful for me and it breaks my heart.

But I do love her and she says she loves me but I feel I am playing the part of a fool.I see her everyday and we are always together.But Although I believe her to be Bi she will not put a label on herself she says she doesn't want to,says she is on the fence.I don't think she can stay away from the men,even if she does really love me I think there will always be a part of her that wants them..even if it is just in a sexual non-relationship way.But either way my heart will be sure to be broken.I know for a fact she some day wants to be married and have a family and I doubt that will be with another woman.Why can't I find someone who is just happy to be with me? I am ready for a LTR that will last hopefully a lifetime.I am asking anyone this question who reads this: Is there any gentle way I can approach this issue with her? and tell her I can't wait around forever for her to decide if she wants me or not,although I love her I can't take not knowing..it is like I am playing russian roulette and my heart is in pain.She says she loves me and she cares about me ..but how can somone do that to you and not understand it hurts you? and she does not understand why I get a little jealous of the guys she sees.

I am totally puzzled about all of this.

 

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I am ready for a LTR that will last hopefully a lifetime.I am asking anyone this question who reads this: Is there any gentle way I can approach this issue with her? and tell her I can't wait around forever for her to decide if she wants me or not,although I love her I can't take not knowing..it is like I am playing russian roulette and my heart is in pain.She says she loves me and she cares about me ..but how can somone do that to you and not understand it hurts you? and she does not understand why I get a little jealous of the guys she sees.

I am totally puzzled about all of this.

 

 

I'd recommend having a calm, but straightforward discussion with her about it. The basics of it are not complicated or uncommon: you want a LTR with someone you love ... you love her, but you need to know if she will be there for you, because you want to love her that much more, and if she can't be there or isn't sure about it, you may need to move on so that you can find that love who will be there for you ... I think it's not an uncommon conversation to be having. The key to making it gentle is to not focus on how hurt you are by what she is doing, but focus instead on your desire for a LTR, and your need to know where she stands and so forth so that you can make some life decisions.

 

I hate to say it, but as I said above in response to the bad situation Patience is in right now, I think this is always a risk when someone who is 'bi', and even moreso when they are not 'out' about it because in a way they may have already made a decision that they prefer the benefits of being in the straight world, and it's almost to be expected that they will continue to make decisions consistent with that preference going forward. Of course, some people are simply exploring theis sexuality, or are unsure of their sexuality, and won't come out until they are more sure ... and with these there is a different risk because you're the exploration! But either way, it puts you in a bad spot, or at least a vulnerable one.

 

In your situation, I'd think you ought to have a chat with your love as I've written above. It's not fair to you to be 'on the side' while she tries to figure things out by dating various men. I hate to say it, but if you tolerate that, she will never stop it, and it will only lead to more pain for you down the road. At some point you have to make it clear that she has to make a choice ... and if she makes that choice to stay in the straight world (which she very well may), that will be painful, but better than being strung along further, in my view.

 

I wish you well with this.

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Thanks for the responses everyone. I agree that someone who is not 'out' will probably chose the straight world, due to ease and comfort, and the benefits of having a relationship that society will accept.

 

Kleo...after what I've been through, I know I won't put myself through this sort of relationship ever again. If the woman is not 'out' to herself and to at least some friends/family/acquaintances, the odds are really not in your favour. Also, it sounds like your friend doesn't care very much for your feelings, and that won't suddenly change.

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