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Question
Posted by: Rachel | 2003/03/03

Sexuality - what is it really about ??

Hi,
I am writing because I feel extremely confused. The cause of this confusion has to do with the way in which I've started seeing relationships. I'm 27, and about 2 years ago, came out to the world as a Lesbian.
I can remember questioning my sexuality as a teen, so when I came to the decision to tell my family, I felt certain that this was who I was. I had been out with a few men (before coming out), which didn't work out, and after each relationship, it just seemed to take longer for me to recover from them. I reached a stage where I could no longer see a man as a potential companion or mate. To me, they had just become really good friends and nice people. I no longer saw them in a sexual light and have never wanted anything physical with a man since.
Since coming out, I've had two girlfriends. The first one was an absolute nightmare. It seemed to start off alright, and then it just became incredibly intense and emotional. I rationalised that first loves never work in reality.
I started seeing my current girlfriend about 6 months ago. We have had a lot of very good times together. But, it seems like we've hit a bump, and it feels like I'm in for another 'emotional rollercoaster' ride.
My girlfriend has a lot of baggage which is not her fault, she has been unlucky with the cards that life has dealt her. Sometimes, I feel out of my depth concering her problems. I love spending time with her, but I'm the type of person who needs my own time too, whether it's with friends or by myself. It seems that she has a hard time accepting this sometimes and it also feels like she gets incredibily jealous and possessive with me. I've made it clear to her that i will not accept this, but now i am wondering if her behaviour really is a reflection of her being jealous and possessive or whether it's something else.
I'm really tired of having to go through all this emotioanl crap all the time, yet I think that we have something that is worth trying for. I thought about the very real scenario of us breaking up. I don't think that I would want to go out with another woman after this, as i already feel my perception of women has changed. I'm afraid that I'll end up closing myself off , like i have done with men and I don't want this to happen. I don't understand why this is all so hard. Please could you offer me some thoughts. Regards, Rachel

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Our expert says:
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Dear Rachel,
I wonder if you maybe "came out" a bit too soon ? Because premature decsions that imply a committment to a certain life-style, which you may then feel awkward about changing, may not be the wisest choice. It sounds as if you had a few unsatisfying relationships with men, and concluded that the whole species was not one you wanted to mate with. Then you apparently decided ( you don't describe being led by strong sexual feelings for women ) to switch to an assumption that you would be lesbian, and announced the results, ( like a general election ?) Then you had a disasterous "nightmare" of a first lesbian relationship, and a second that is fraught with problems -- but apparently without concluding that women, too, were unsuitable for you, for a sexual and intimate relationship.
Maybe it's more important to look at the nature of these failed relationships, perhaps with a gay/lesbian friendly therapist, to see what you can learn about yourslf and the reasons why the relationships have failed and proved unsatisfying --- that could, surely, form a better basis for deciding where you're heading in a relationship sense ?
Isn't the true situation one in which you have found, to your dismay, that relationships, with man, woman or cat, are complex and difficult ; need exprience and working on, and can then be satisfying ?

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