Saturday, September 5, 2009

Am I bi?

Dear Edahn,

I've always known that I was attracted to girls and have even been in love before, but lately I've been having feelings for guys. Though I have lots of friends, I've only been attracted to a handful of guys in my life. I think about what it would be like to be with a guy, but I'm worried that I'd be totally clueless about what I'm supposed to do and feel. I don't feel that confusion with woman. I'm really confused.

Sex and romance are always tricky. There is an entire industry of self-help authors and speakers who, like me, make a living by counseling people with relationship dilemmas.

Part of the reason this area of life is so rife with confusion is because the desire for it is so strong. When you crave something and hang part of your self-worth and happiness on it, you become self-conscious about losing it. To tie that into romance, people start to believe that they need something to make them complete, and then hang their self-worth and happiness on its outcome. If they are able to attract someone, they are happy and see themselves as valuable, but if they fail, they are sad and feel that they are not good enough. So, they become self-conscious about their "performance" during courtship. Maybe you're feeling some of the awkwardness and discomfort that is a natural part of craving.

What I'd suggest is that you put aside the question of romance and sexual identity and just be open to making friends with either sex. You may find that one of these friendships is something special and you may find that you have feelings for that person. The question of sexual identity doesn't have to be decided just now, and it doesn't have to be something that never changes either. My hunch is that your preferences and attraction will follow your feelings of intimacy and care, which happens through the course of a simple but deep friendship.

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