Artwork: Tess Emily Rodriguez
She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
I've been with my boyfriend for two years, and I love him, but I'm not sure if it's love-love or how I love my dog.
Recently, I've come out as bisexual (mainly just to close friends and some family). My boyfriend introduced me to a girl because he thought we were similar. She is really interesting and fun to talk to, and I've started to like her (I've never met her IRL), and she likes me too.
I dumped my boyfriend, but then I changed my mind and got back with my boyfriend. Then I dumped him again and got back together with him again (I'm a terrible person I know).
I know that if I stay with my boyfriend, I'll be happy, and I could see myself staying with him forever, but I keep questioning my sexuality and thinking about this girl.
I don't know if it's just a crush, and if I want it because it's all so new and different. I'm really struggling, and I don't know what to do. I don't want to make anyone unhappy, and I can't put my boyfriend through basically a fifth breakup.
It's just a big decision to make, and I want someone else to make it for me, haha. It's gotten really draining and gets me so down. I hate making people unhappy, and I don't want to hurt either of them. :(
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I get dozens of similar questions each month, usually in similar situations where they care for and often love their current partner, but are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality and possible feelings for someone else. I understand how hard it can be to let go of what you know. The future with this girl or with anyone else is a question mark. But there is something abundantly clear.
You should end the relationship with your boyfriend, in the best interest of both of you.
Whether you are wavering because you are coming to terms with your sexuality or because he is not the right person for you is irrelevant. I have seen very few relationships last or not devolve into unhealthy patterns when there is so much breaking up and getting back together.
You know, in your heart, what you should do, but it’s scary. I get that. Imagine being in a relationship in which you didn’t feel conflicted all the time, one in which you were sure of your feelings. For your boyfriend, letting him go allows him to find someone who is sure of their feelings. This current situation is not healthy for anyone.
It’s not about this specific girl. It’s about wanting to explore other relationships.
And that’s exactly what you should do. It’s a healthier decision. I promise that the thought of making a clean break is a lot scarier than actually doing it. You need the freedom to discover what you want and where you feel comfortable with your sexuality.
Lastly, as you venture into this new chapter in your life, I want to make sure that you feel well-supported. Certainly, if you have friends and family members you feel safe sharing with, please do. But beyond that, it would help to process what you’re going through with a therapist and, even more importantly, with someone who has been there—someone who has gone through coming out as bisexual and exploring new relationships. The Trevor Project lists the following resources which looks like an excellent place to begin connecting with others and get some support.
- Bisexual Resource Center
- glaad – Bisexual
- HRC – A Resource Guide to Coming Out as Bisexual
- Planned Parenthood – Sexual Orientation
The information within Ask Erin should in no way be interpreted as medical advice because I’m not a medical professional. But I am here to help — to share with you the wisdom I’ve gained after years of making mistakes. If you have a question for me about relationships, addiction, dating, friendships, depression, parenting, sex, consent, what I’m watching, what I’m reading, what I’m listening to, Aquamarine, or anything at all, use the contact form below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden.
Did you know I wrote a book about my 15-year struggle with heroin addiction? It’s called STRUNG OUT: One Last Hit and Other Lies that Nearly Killed Me, and it’s on sale now!
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