DEAR DEIDRE: THE woman I love is perfect – but she’s a lesbian, and I’m a man.
I’m 28 and she’s 26. We are best mates, soulmates even. We met through friends four years ago and hit it off straight away.
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At the time, I was in a long-term relationship and although I found her attractive, I’d been told she liked women, so there wasn’t an issue.
But my relationship ended and, over the years, I started to develop strong feelings for her which became sexual.
I didn’t tell her, or anyone, and I tried to suppress them.
Meanwhile, she was in and out of bad relationships with women, which made her very unhappy. She confided her problems in me and I counselled her.
Last year, she was very upset after another fling hadn’t worked out, and I joked that maybe she’d be better off with a man.
We were both very drunk and ended up kissing, then having sex. It was everything I’d hoped it would be.
But, while she said she enjoyed it and didn’t regret it — she’d had sex with men before when she was younger — she preferred sex with women. She doesn’t think she’s bisexual.
I then confessed that I love her and want to be with her. She agreed we have a wonderful relationship and maybe she could try to make things work with me, but she didn’t want to hurt me.
She is confused about her feelings. I’ve said I’ll give her time to think about it, but I’m terrified she’ll say she’s a confirmed lesbian and can’t be with me.
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People who meet us and don’t know she’s gay often remark on how well suited we are. They assume we’re a married couple.
I’m scared of losing her.
DEIDRE SAYS: It’s clear that you love each other as friends. But now you’ve had sex, you’ve muddied the waters of your relationship.
I know you want her to choose you over her desire for women. But people can’t change their sexuality.
They can suppress it, but this usually leads to unhappiness.
Even if she decides to be with you, she will still be a lesbian and it is likely to come between you.
If things don’t work out, you could end up losing her as a friend too. Sexual feelings can and do fade.
Perhaps you’d both be better off looking for sexual partners elsewhere, while continuing to cherish your friendship.
If you want to talk to someone, contact FFLAG’s confidential helpline (fflag.org.uk, 0300 688 0368) which provides support to the friends and families of gay people.