I’m in a relationship with a man but I think I like women. What do I do?

I'm in a relationship with a man but I think I like women

First of all, you don’t think you like women. You do like women – and that’s amazing. Welcome to the club.

Or maybe you’re really, truly unsure. Maybe you’re as flaky as they come, and genuinely can’t decide if you’re sexually attracted to the girl next door, or just want to be her. This is a common dilemma, so know that you’re not alone. And know that you will, eventually, figure it out. Obviously, leaving a committed relationship to “explore” is a road fraught with danger. You could risk losing it all, and for what? A mediocre kiss that leaves you feeling more uncomfortable than tingly? Sure. Legitimate fear. But, there’s a flipside. You could risk losing what you know, and find something so much better. This is the essence of risk, my friends, and only you can decide whether or not to go for it.

The next step is coming to terms with your new (or maybe not so new) feelings. I’m a big believer in the power of reflection, so I wholeheartedly recommend taking some time to really delve in and unpack whatever emotional clutter you’ve been holding onto. Go for a run, meditate, take a long drive, whatever – just be by yourself and think.

Then stop thinking. If all you do is think, nothing will ever get accomplished and you’ll end up going crazy. Now is the time to take action. As far as I’m concerned, you have two choices. You can stay committed to your man, or you can end it. A third option is to take a break, but if Ross and Rachel taught us anything, it’s that this approach typically doesn’t end well. But hey, every situation is different.

Before I met Faith, I was engaged to a man. In the final years of our relationship, I started to wonder if maybe, possibly, I could kiss a woman if the opportunity presented itself. Those inklings soon turned into fantasies, and that was that. In the end, I didn’t leave him because of anything related to my sexuality, but the moral of the story remains – I got in tune with my emotions, figured out as objectively as possible that it wasn’t working, and made the difficult decision to end it.

It took me a lot longer than it should have, as it probably will in your case – regardless of what you choose. We’re only human, and that means we feel things like guilt and regret and love no matter how hard we try to harden ourselves. These feelings will delay your happy ending, and so be it. Once all is said and done, you likely won’t worry about how long it took you to make the decision – you’ll just be glad you made it.

My final advice in this regard is to make every effort possible not to be scared of what will come. That’s a huge waste of your time and energy, and it’s not helping anybody. Instead, spend your finite energy pursuing happiness. Right now, in this moment, you have a clear picture of where you want to be. So stop worrying and just get there.

A word about open relationships

Open relationships or “test runs”, as I like to call them, are another option for women struggling to come to terms with their sexuality. Essentially, this is a period of time – be it short or long – that gives you freedom to date other people without actually ending things with your current partner. Ask your man if he’s on board to give this option a try. If nothing else, it’ll open up lines of communication so you can talk about your needs and desires.

Emily WatsonComment