Dear Dr. Darcy:
I’ve been with this girl for just over a month and I really like her, but there’s one problem: She’s only been with guys before she started dating me. I feel like I could be in a real relationship with her, but she refuses to identify as anything but bi. As recently as two weeks ago she called herself straight! My friends all tell me that I should just end it now because bi women don’t ever change. Do you think it’s worth working on and staying with her?
–Not bi-ing it
In general, I am not a fan of changing people. I can imagine that sounding ironic given my profession, but here’s the difference: When people walk through my office door, they do it with an understanding that they are signing up to change something about themselves. They’ve made the conscious decision to change. Trying to change someone who didn’t sign up for it is, to put it mildly, inappropriate.
You knew she was bi when you started hooking up with her. You, of your own free will, made the decision to be with someone who, if history is an indication of future behavior, is more apt to be with men in the future than with women. Wanting her to change her sexual orientation or how she identifies sexually is akin to her wanting you to change yours.
If you can enjoy your time together without imagining the day that she’ll come to you and admit that she’s been fantasizing about having straight sex, forget her label and be in the moment. If, however, being in a long-term relationship with a bisexual girl is a deal breaker for you, it’s time to end it.
Dr. Darcy Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her practice, Alternatives Counseling, specializes in LGBT issues and is located in New York City. Dr. Darcy’s clinical style is very direct, goal-oriented and pragmatic. For years, the media has been drawn to her unique personality. She has provided expert commentary for networks including E! Entertainment and has worked with television producers throughout the nation. Her blog, AskDrDarcy.com, provides free advice to members of the LGBT community.
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*This column is not a consultation with a mental health professional and should in no way be construed as such or as a substitute for such consultation. Anyone with issues or concerns should seek the advice of her own therapist or counselor.