Tell Me About It: I still love a gay woman
The object of my affection is moving in with another woman: should I persevere or just walk away?
Q My first girlfriend left me in her 20s when she admitted she was gay. We didn’t see each other for 15 years. I got married and divorced. She had a number of relationships with women but we met up at a friend’s party a few years back and really clicked.
We have spent a lot of time together since then, gone on holidays and weekends away and so on. There has been some sexual activity between us but not intercourse. She asked me last year would I consider marrying her. However, recently she has met another woman and has spent little time with me, and is moving in with the other person. She keeps emailing and texting to say she still loves me and that nothing has changed in her mind regarding nights out, holidays and so on.
She’s being honest, as I’ve always known she was gay, and it’s my decision as to whether to cut her off or not. Any advice as to how to handle this? I do love her but feel she’s just done what she wants and expects me to pick up the pieces. Should I persevere or just walk away?
A You’re allowing this woman to abuse your devotion. You’re also enabling her indecisiveness around her sexuality by being her emotional lover, always kept in reserve. As long as you have her filling your need to be loved, you won’t meet anyone else.
Does your old girlfriend’s new love know that she is still texting and emailing you to say she loves you and wants to spend time with you? This other woman is moving in with her, which is a serious commitment; she’s unlikely to be happy if your friend continues to take holidays with you. You say your old girlfriend is being honest about her sexuality, but that may be the only thing she is being honest about.
“I think this lady wants to have her cake and eat it,” says psychotherapist Tony Moore, of Relationships Ireland. “She is moving in with her new partner, so one would assume she has established a fairly deep and intimate relationship with that person. She cannot have a relationship with you both.”
“You need to be clear with her that you cannot be played with in this manner. She says she loves you, and she may well love you. But loving you means treating you and her present female partner with respect,” he adds.
You seem to be keeping the door open in case this new love of hers doesn’t work out. If the new lover were to discover that her partner is sending you love messages, she would likely interpret this as infidelity and it could end the relationship. Is that your secret hope?
Maybe you would have your old love back, but for how long and on what terms? She rejected you 20 years ago. Now she’s done it again. This relationship could go around in circles forever, preventing you from meeting anyone else.
“The emailing and texting has to stop. Distance yourself from this person before you all get hurt. Keep a platonic friendship, by all means, but ensure those boundaries are not breached,” advises Moore.
You love her, but the love of friendship is not the same as being lovers. Your loyalty is being abused. It may be easier to cut this woman off, or to minimise contact with her while you seek out others to take her place.
Imagine the sort of lover you want. Perhaps she would have many of your friend’s qualities and interests, but be available to you in the many ways she is not. Knowing what you are looking for can make it easier to find.
Your bond with your friend goes back a long way, and this is reassuring, because the older we get the more difficult it can be to open up to the new. But you have many years ahead to fulfil your loving nature, and if your friend loves you she will see that.
There are many single women out there worth knowing. A lot of them are into men. You are missing out.
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