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After a little bit of soul-searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m bisexual. (Despite my complete lack of experience with a same-gendered person.) Maybe part of me always knew I was queer, but it was confirmed when I started to develop a crush on my yoga instructor. She’s so pretty, it’s painful. (But not in a jealous way! In an “I want to kiss your face” kinda way.) But here’s the problem: I’m married.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband a lot. We’ve been together for eight years (we met in college). And I have no intention of acting on this crush. However, it’s brought up some complicated feelings. Is it wrong that I want to “discover” my queerness? What does that look like in my situation? Also, this is the kicker: how do I come out to my husband?
It’s not that I think he’ll be angry or hurt, but I’m sure he’ll be wondering why I’ve decided to bring it up NOW. The problem is, besides the silly crush, I don’t know why I’m suddenly obsessed with learning more about this part of myself. Ideally, I’d like to understand these newfound needs before I drop this doozy on our relationship. I’m worried I’m making a big deal out of nothing, and I should keep this new information to myself. But then, another part of me feels like I want to share all of myself with my husband.
What should I do?!
So Bi I Could Cry
Dear So Bi I Could Cry,
It’s not wrong to want to discover your queerness. Not even in the slightest. Your bisexuality is a huge part of you, no matter what your past experiences with a same-gendered person (or lack thereof) look like. This question makes me quite happy because, amongst your confusing thoughts and feelings, it’s obvious you’re beginning to unearth the little gay person who’s been dying to crawl out. BiCon Callie Torres would be proud.
I want to express how VERY common your situation is. Late bloomers — and I use that term loosely because there’s no schedule when it comes to sexuality — are everywhere. There’s something about being gay and behind schedule that coincides, I guess. Have late bloomers in monogamous relationships ever owned a clock in their life?
Research shows over 80 percent of bisexual people in long-term partnerships have a differently-gendered partner. I point this out to show you you’re not the only one that has experienced this. (If you don’t believe the research, go on Reddit.)
I would be shocked if excavating your sexuality didn’t bring up some complicated feelings. There’s nothing uncomplicated about realizing you may have a thing (or 100 things) for someone of a similar gender. Why are you just now going to yoga 10 times a week when you’re more of a 2-3 times a week person? That’s confusing and costing a lot. We have to figure this out.
Just because you’re in a committed lifelong relationship does not mean you’ll never find anyone attractive again. Truthfully, a “silly crush,” gender of the person aside, feels more than appropriate and allowed. Being married doesn’t mean you’ll never feel again; it means you will choose your partner over and over and over. You said it yourself: You have no intention of acting on this crush. I see no harm (other than those weekly classes on your credit card bill).
I think your trouble lies with wanting to explore your bisexuality but feeling like your marriage is a barrier. And sure, that can be true if you’re interested in having sexual relationships or non-platonic relations with women, but exploring your sexuality does not have to rely solely on sex. Exploring your sexuality can look like making queer community, going to queer events, reading queer literature or erotica, watching queer shows, watching queer porn, etc. All of this can help you learn and understand who you are a lot more. Except for The L Word: Generation Q, that show will give you nothing but a severe migraine.
I will assume (for the sake of science) that maybe you are the slightest bit curious about having sex with a same-gendered person, and if you are, don’t beat yourself up. I don’t believe fantasizing or curiosity is cheating. It’s 100% OK for your mind to travel there, if you ask me. If, over time — and I understand this is not your situation right now — those thoughts become true desires, know that no one in life will have all their fantasies fulfilled. Dare I say no one can live out all their desires? You can grieve those experiences the same way you might grieve other relationships outside of your partner. Try not to (so much easier said than done) let the what-ifs distract you from the loving relationship you already have. You do not need to have sex (or any romantic experiences) with women to be bisexual. Finding your yoga teacher hot is all it takes and, truthfully, should be a bisexual right of passage.
The number one thing that can help you lean into your sexuality and fully accept it out loud is telling your husband. You can’t be worried about making a big deal out of nothing when this is a big deal. It’s a beautiful big deal that any respectable partner would celebrate. From the sound of it, your husband will support you fully. That’s all anyone can ask for. The timing you chose to come out has nothing to do with him. As I mentioned, late bloomers don’t own clocks, so it’s not your fault.
In terms of how to come out, that’s entirely up to you. There is no right way. I understand you may want to sit with your feelings before sharing this with him, and that’s fine. Take all the time you need (a few more yoga classes may help), but there will never be a “right” time. It’s just something you can to spit out one day when you feel most comfortable.
Dating someone of a different sex does not take away from your queerness. Dating one person does not mean you’re only attracted to one person, and exploring “this part of yourself” is necessary. A future You will be so grateful.
A Betch Who Knows Best