Dear Dr. Darcy:
I'm 22 years old and I've been out to my family and the free world for about 5 years now and am very comfortable with my sexuality. My first partner and I were together for 3 years before splitting up, and I quickly found myself in a new relationship with a woman who had never considered dating women before she met me. She's 20 and I love her with all of my heart… We moved in with one-another, a brave new step in the relationship. My girlfriend identifies as bisexual, leaning towards the straight end. She's always had a lot of trouble being honest with her mother, friends and others about our relationship. Though her mother knows about us, (as do all of our mutual friends,) the two of them have only talked about me twice in the past year and a half. Once to tell her we were dating, and once recently to tell her we were moving in together. I've always been a very strong woman who is confident and sensitive, but my girlfriend is not as carefree towards possible confrontation. I'm concerned as to whether or not she will be able to make a strong commitment to me. Though we love each other dearly and are completely monogamous, I sometimes fear whether being with a woman is fulfilling to her. I love her, I don't want to hold her back -- especially if it's not what she wants. I know she loves me, but am I enough? I don't know what to do, and we're taking a big step moving in together. I just don’t want to wake up one morning with my heart broken. Please help...
Let me start by quoting you: “My girlfriend identifies as bisexual, leaning towards the straight end.” Then you go on to say, “I'm concerned as to whether or not she will be able to make a strong commitment to me.” Question: What type of commitment do you expect a straight woman to make to you? You’ve got 2 HUGE issues going on: 1) She’s not gay (and you are)… 2) She’s not honest about your relationship (and you are).
Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that you both shared the same sexual orientation…I’d still say that you were incompatible because she’s in the closet. I’ve never seen a relationship work long-term when one is in and one is out. Short-term, the closeted partner talks her partner into giving her more time, and she’ll rarely quantify the amount of time that she needs. When pressed, she’ll accuse her partner of ‘pressuring her.’ The out partner then gets manipulated into feeling like a douche for pushing her partner out of the closet, and this shuts her up. Temporarily. After a little while, the frustration of being with someone who isn’t out begins to wear on her. She gets tired of showing up at family functions and playing the role of ‘best friend.’ She feels invisible. And eventually she broaches the subject again, only to have the cycle begin again.
Your situation is made even more terminal by the fact that she does not identify as gay or even comfortably as bisexual. What she’s telling you, unfortunately, is that you are Mrs. Right Now. You’re fine for today, but there’s no future. And you should THANK HER. Thank her for her honesty, for not misleading you, and for not giving you any false hope of having a future with her. So let me ask you a question: Do you deserve to be more than Mrs. Right Now?
If the answer’s yes, sit the straight girlfriend down and repeat after me: “Baby, I love you. And I’ve loved being in this relationship with you. But I’m at a place in my life where I need more. I need to be in a relationship that has a future. You’ve told me that you eventually want to end up with a man, and I fully support you living whatever life will make you happy. So we need to work out a timeframe for one of us to move out and it needs to happen by Labor Day.” And that’s how you go from being Mrs. Right Now to becoming Mrs. Right.
Writer's Stats: Female, Gay.