Red Responds: Still Attracted to Men

Markeilsha in Syracuse writes:

I am recently separated and pending divorce from my husband of 10 years. In the meantime I’ve met someone online that I have a good feeling about and who seems to like me as well. There are concerns we both have, but we both really hit it off and have been flying high from the beginning. Recently there has been a change in how she regards me and I am really not sure how to react to it.

She explains that it is based on my sexual orientation, basically the fact that I am still attracted to men. This is all new to me, especially considering that I have only just come to terms with these feelings. My question is: does this sort of relationship I have with this woman have a future or are we destined to just be friends. I am really confused right now. I really like her and I know she really likes me, but she is starting to sent a lot of mixed signals based on what I told her and I’m just unsure of how to proceed.

Dear Markeilsha,

Many people are attracted to both women and men. Even though there is a definite attraction and compatibility between you and your friend, she seems to be threatened a bit because you still find men attractive. For her, this removes much of the safety zone that she looks for in her personal relationships. In her head, if you can still be attracted to men, then there is a possibility that if you two were more formally together, you may decide to leave her for a man, or be with one.

Your friendship with this woman can survive her insecurities, however, her insecurities are putting a limitation to how close she will allow you to get to her. She is not intending to send you mixed signals, and really doesn’t seem to be aware that she is adding to your confusion. She simply doesn’t want to find herself involved in a situation that could ultimately end up being painful to her, but also can’t quite suppress that she is interested in and attracted to you.

This relationship is going to remain confusing for awhile, because each of you are struggling with your own inner feelings and fears. Even though it will be hard, you should do your best to take an emotional step back and focus on the friendship. While the two of you are likely to share an intimate moment or two, this relationship has romantic limitations, which leads to a future as friends rather than as a couple.

Good luck!

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