/u/captainsgirl71819 on /r/relationship_advice asks…
“I need some serious help. I am a 36 year old woman that has had mostly relationships with men my past. I hooked up with a few women in my younger days and was married to a woman for years. I always considered myself bisexual because of the fact that I date whoever I just happen to fall in love with or like regardless of their sex. It has always been a struggle because a lot of the LGBT community wanted me to say I was a lesbian when with my ex wife and the straight community says I should say I’m straight when I date a man. To me, attraction simply means who I WOULD be with if I was single, not who I AM with or that I’m taking any action to be with both sexes.
However, in none of my relationships have I felt like I was unfulfilled ONLY because I wasn’t with one or the other sex and I’ve never just run around sleeping with men and women at the same time. When I am in a relationship I am committed to that person.
I am now dating an absolutely amazing man that I love with all my heart. I cannot imagine being with anyone else for the rest of my life male or female. This is where the problem comes in… he thinks that the fact that I technically consider myself bisexual means that I cannot be satisfied with one sex and that he cannot truly be everything I need. I feel like he IS everything I need and more.
I have never had a poly relationship and never had any desire to. Most of my past relationships ended because of me being cheated on by men I was with. My boyfriend and I met during the end of my marriage to the woman and that is when our relationship began.
How do I make him feel better about this? I know he feels concerned that I will eventually leave him or want to leave him for a woman. How can I make him see that he is the only one I want?”
This is one of those times I wish I could speak to your current partner, to help him talk through his innate insecurity and help him understand your perspective. I so dearly sympathize with your struggle because it is something some of my dearest bisexual friends and partners have had to suffer. In specific, how others defined their bisexuality on their behalf. It is a truly infuriating experience.
I am really sorry to hear that you have had to experience such negative prejudice and misunderstanding from both the LGBT community and the straight community about your bisexuality. I have always wondered why both the homosexual and heterosexual communities have struggled with the concept of monogamy for bifolks. Straight folks especially don’t really worry in the same way about how they might be missing other potential opportunities out there. I suspect that some of that expectation of “missing out” is more rooted in the more distinct gender differences. If you’re straight/gay and monogamous, you’re already getting all your “specific genitalia” needs met with your monogamous partner. Kindly remind your partner that you chose him for your own reasons. His level of insecurity about what you “might be missing out” still applies to his gender too. So he should be able to apply the same sort of trust that he’s built with you that you won’t be cheating on him with anyone else regardless of their genitalia status.
I remember seeing this post from one of my bisexual connections on Celebrate Bisexuality Day last month:
And it is absolutely true.
The status of your relationship changes nothing about your orientation in the same way that just because you happen to be enjoying this cup of coffee doesn’t mean you won’t be enjoying your next cup of coffee.
I will add here that it ultimately is not your responsibility to help your partner become more at ease with accepting your bisexuality. You’ve been bisexual long before your current partner even came around. That responsibility to accept and help celebrate your bisexuality is his own emotional labor to take on. So stand and be proud of your bisexuality. Kindly remind the world that you are still bi regardless of your current relationship status.
Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.
I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!