I’m a lesbian female and I’ve been dating a girl who’s three years younger than me on and off for about five years. We’ve had some tough times – she’s cheated on me a few times in the past, and every time it was with a male. Every time we break up, she gets with a guy. Now we’re back in a serious relationship, but I’m having some serious doubts and issues. She still claims to be straight and won’t admit she’s a lesbian. She has only identified as bi a few times. I’ve tried numerous times to talk to her, but she just shuts down and says she cares about me and wants to be with me… but when I bring up my fear of her leaving me for a guy, I push her away. She posts pictures of us on Facebook, but the captions say “besties for life.”
I’ll be honest, that and other things, as well as the past, make me super insecure. I love her so much. I don’t want to lose her because I think she could be the love of my life. We always find a way back to each other no matter what! I’m deeply in love with her, but I sometimes feel like she doesn’t feel the same way. Help! What do I do?
This is definitely a complicated issue. On the one hand, coming out can be a personal and extremely difficult journey, and someone should never feel pressured into it (as I’m sure you know). On the other hand, dating someone but not being honest about dating them isn’t fair either. And let’s not forget that cheating on you more than once is disrespectful and a terrible way to treat someone. It sounds like this girl really needs to figure a lot of things out.
From an outsider’s point of view, here’s what it seems like: your girlfriend doesn’t know what she wants, she may not have figured out her sexuality just yet, and she isn’t ready for a commitment at all – if she even sees your relationship as a commitment. Maybe she hasn’t come out yet because she’s not sure what to come out as. It’s possible that she might be feeling confused on how to identify, and if that’s the case, it’s not fair to drag you along with that. It’s also possible that she knows she likes girls, but she isn’t ready to go completely public with that just yet. It’s totally fine to feel that type of confusion either way, but what’s not fine is that she clearly isn’t communicating that to you.
If she spoke honestly with you and told you that she isn’t ready to come out yet or be honest about your relationship, that would make this a slightly better situation, because at least she’s talking to you. But she’s not communicating at all, and that’s why this isn’t fair to you. Not only is she leading you on and sending mixed signals, she’s also pushing you away when you try to be open about things. Communication is a huge part of a relationship, and if you guys can’t have that, it’s going to make things almost impossible.
You’ve stuck by this girl through a lot! You deserve someone who is proud to stand by your side, or at least someone who can be honest with you about how they feel and the conflicts they’re facing. You don’t deserve to be cheated on, or to be lied to. I understand that you care about and love this girl, and I know this is hard to hear, but I think you need to step back. She obviously needs to figure things out, and I don’t think she can do that while still staying somewhat committed to you.
I think it’s time to lay down the law. You should never say anything like, “Tell people you’re a lesbian or we’re breaking up.” The conversation should be more like, “This back and forth isn’t fair to me. I love you and want to be with you, and if you can’t come out yet, I can accept that. But you won’t communicate with you, you’ve betrayed me several times, and I feel like your public insistence that we’re only friends is so hurtful. Until you can be honest with me about how you feel, I can’t do this.” You see the difference? In the first scenario, you’re threatening her. In the second, you’re supporting her, but also asking for respect.
As hard as it might be, you have to have that conversation with her. If she can’t start being more honest with you, I think you should think about ending things. Maybe it will be the push she needs. Good luck!
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org