Ask Alan about love, romance, and relationships (and anything) else here! *All private information is kept confidential
Dear Alan, My boyfriend and I have been together on and off for two years. We are in our longest time span together now and things were going great until last week. I was using his computer and stumbled upon some pictures of me and of naked women. I freaked out and asked him about it. He said that he used to want a traditional family, with a wife and kids, but that he doesn't anymore. He told me he is in love with me and that is all he needs. He also said that sometimes he likes to masturbate to naked women. But thinking about it, I realize that he never bottoms or reciprocates during sex with me. I left his apartment and haven't talked to him in 3 days.
Am I over-reacting? I've heard dating bisexual people is way more complicated and have vowed never to do it. I don't know what to do, what to say to him, or how to get past this.
I can imagine how frustrating and confusing this must be for you. It is good that you asked your boyfriend about what you discovered. Sexuality is very complex and sexual orientation is influenced by many factors, including sexual/erotic attractions, sexual behavior, psychological and emotional attachments, sexual fantasies, and community affiliations. Everyone falls somewhere across a spectrum of how they identify their sexual orientation and all of these factor play a role in that. (Have you heard of the Kinsey Scale?) It appears that your boyfriend falls somewhere in the middle range of the scale but that is for him to figure out. There are many ways that partners who don't fall exactly on the same point of the scale create a sexually harmonius relationship. What you need to decide for yourself is what your tolerance is for a partner whose sexual identity doesn't exactly match yours.
Now in my opinion Craig, there are bigger issues that may be going on with you and your boyfriend that are about honesty and trust. I'm curious about why you guys have an off and on relationship, how it is that you "stumbled" upon those pictures, and the nature of the communication that goes on between you both. I recommend having conversations together about this as these relationship qualities are more likely to determine the longevity and mutual fulfillment of the relationship than the specifics of your respective sexual orientation identifications.
My best wishes for you and your boyfriend as you explore these very important issues.
Alan Irgang, LCSW is a psychotherapist and “dating coach” in private practice in Chicago. He is also on the faculty of the Loyola University School of Social Work where he teaches graduate level courses in Human Sexuality. Alan has been in private practice since 1998 and has been facilitating groups for singles about dating and relationships for seven years. Check out his website www.alanirgang.com for more information about his practice and his upcoming seminars for singles. Questions may be submitted to Alan at email@example.com; all private information will be kept confidential.
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