Ask Amy: Woman has questions about her orientation

July 7, 2014 

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together for five years. We were long distance for four years, and then last year I moved to Florida to be with him. He has always said he doesn't want to live anywhere other than Florida.

Initially, I didn't think that would be a problem but now I'm wondering. My family lives thousands of miles away, and I miss them terribly. I resent that he's unwilling to compromise about things — like where we live, for instance.

To top it off, I don't feel attracted to him. Sometimes I feel attracted to women. I've never been with a woman, but these feelings really confuse me. I'm 34 years old. If I were gay, wouldn't I have known it before?

People are beginning to ask us if we will marry, and the thought makes me feel queasy. My parents had an acrimonious divorce, and I thought I was opposed to marriage because of this. Now I wonder if there is more to consider.

I worry that I run away from good things when I have them. Despite the fact that I'm not always happy here, sometimes I am, and my boyfriend is incredibly supportive and loving. I love him, but I'm not sure I'm "in love" with him.

We live together, I have a job here and any real change would have to be a big one. What should I do?

— Unsure

Dear Unsure: In the news business, we call what you just did — "I'm not sure about moving and by the way I might be gay" — "burying the lead."

So let's go back to the part of your narrative where you wonder about your sexual orientation. This is the part of your story that is truly about you.

There are no rules about sexuality. The current thinking is that sexual orientation happens along a wide spectrum. You can discover or uncover different aspects to your personal and sexual identity at any point in your life.

You have a lot to sort out, ideally with a therapist's help. You need to peel this onion, be ruthlessly honest with yourself about each and every layer, and make some changes (perhaps even big changes) — knowing that in life the thing that matters most is not whether you make mistakes (or change your mind about things), but whether you act with integrity toward yourself and other people.

Dear Amy: I liked your response to "A Mom," who worried about other parents' reaction to her partner sleeping over on the weekends.

Parents have a right to know about all adults in a household if their kids are spending time there.

— New fan

Dear Fan: Thank you.

 

Contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@tribune.com, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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