My job got really crazy — I worked almost every day and we rarely saw each other. During this time, I left him love notes almost every day to make sure he felt cherished. I left work at work and made sure to focus on him every chance I got. We still had sex regularly. We finally decided I needed to leave that job and that we wanted to get out of the city. We packed up our things and moved to another state.
Right before we moved though, a girl named Cathy, through my old job. She was gay and beautiful. I didn’t think anything of it–we were very good friends and I was happily engaged. I was not planning a wedding because we didn’t have money and marriage still scared me, but I was thrilled and felt so lucky. Cathy and I talked about my relationship all the time. She became my therapist. She knew me so well and could read my emotions and body language. I didn’t think anything of it until one night after a few too many drinks I kissed her. She tried to stop me multiple times, but I was persistent. So she gave in.
After my Craig and I started settling into our lives in our new city, I continued to talk to Cathy and soon I fell in love with her. I still loved Craig, but Cathy connected with me emotionally. She was so different than he was. We began seeing each other in secret. Craig and I continued to have a “great” relationship…good sex, laughter, motivation for life…but we didn’t have the emotional conversations I hadn’t realized I needed. I tried to talk to him about needing more emotion and feeling anxious about not knowing the inside of him, but he didn’t take me seriously. He called me silly. I wanted my mind simulated and my emotions fed. The guilt of my affair grew in my conscience. But, since I had never been with a woman, the affair was also so foreign, exhilarating, and incredible, and I told myself it didn’t feel like real cheating because she was a woman. She was just my best friend…whom I slept with (after having to learn what sex with a woman entailed) and I loved it. The guilt continued to grow and I eventually convinced myself, with her help, that I shouldn’t be engaged or be getting married if I was able to do this to him. I shouldn’t be okay with sleeping with a female behind my fiance’s back for four months. And I thought that, if he truly loved and knew me, he would have known something was wrong.
I finally sat him down one day and told him I had developed feelings for a female and I was scared. He didn’t flinch. We argued and talked for a month after this. He never shed a single tear. We ultimately decided to split, and he still didn’t show an ounce of fear of living without me. I came home one day from work to find that he had taken his things and our dog and had left. He moved to Seattle with his best friend. He didn’t even say goodbye. I decided to move to the beach once our apartment lease was up, two months later.
Cathy and I tried to date and are still trying. I love her very much, but I also feel very broken. I don’t feel ready to totally love someone else. I feel guarded and still very in love with and hurt by my ex. It’s been an entire year since he left and I still cry. I can’t seem to let go of the way he left — not saying goodbye or shedding a tear. I have put Cathy through hell with my confusion and hurt. I know I love her, but I don’t know if I want to end up with a female for the rest of my life. I miss Craig to my core. I know I felt neglected at the time and was filling the void with Cathy, but if she’s who I am supposed to end up with, then why has it been so hard for me to let go of him? Why did I have to fall in love with her? And why am I so scared of relationships now? She is willing to do anything in the world to end up with me forever, and I keep pushing her away because I don’t know what I want.
Please help. I’m going crazy and so tired of fighting with her and crying over him. — Fighting and Crying
You’re looking for someone you can have a well-rounded connection with and neither Craig not Cathy is that person. I suggest taking some time to be single. Take a year — at the very least, take six months — and just be. Just be by yourself. Learn how to be happy alone instead of looking outside yourself for happiness, fulfillment, and completion. No one is going to complete you but yourself. When you figure that out — when you learn to be comfortable and content in your own company — you’ll be ready to start dating again. If you’re attracted to women as well as men, date both. But be honest with yourself — if your only attraction to women is the emotional and intellectual connection they can offer, stick to being just friends with them. You don’t need to have all your needs met by one person. But the person you’re dating and in love with and think you might want a future with should be someone with whom you have a physical connection as well as an emotional one. You need both, and if you don’t have both, you’re not with the right person, no matter how great one particular part of your connection might be…
P.P.S. Stick to dating locally instead of this long-distance stuff. Distance is a great way to remain noncommittal and detached — two things it seems you already struggle with.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.