i’ve been dating this guy for about a year and a half now and i can’t stop worrying that he’s gay. it’s become an obsession, i can’t stop overthinking the way he interacts with other men and i snoop in his search history whenever i can. it started when i found gay porn he’d left open on his computer six months ago—he told me it’s just something he watches sometimes but he’s 100% straight. i really want to let this go but it’s eating me up inside, what should i do?
the timing of this obsession tells me a lot about the problem itself. first of all, you don’t mention this having crossed your mind before you’d made this discovery about your boyfriend’s porn preferences which leads me to believe that his attraction toward you—a member of a differing sex, i assume—was not an issue before that. so your boyfriend isn’t gay. it’s possible that he’s bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual or some other orientation that includes both your gender and other men. a lot of people—particularly men—who identify as such choose to keep it a secret out of fear of how their partner might react. a fear that, in your boyfriend’s case, might be justified. it’s also possible (probable even) that your boyfriend is, as he says, 100 percent straight. i know plenty of straight girls who are only interested in girl on girl porn. a gay preference in porn does not a gay person make.
you’d also been together for a year when you found this out. so it wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear that your sex life had around that time become a little less effortless, a little less frequent, maybe even a little less satisfying if an effort weren’t being made on both of your part to keep things interesting. this combined with the gay porn makes you think maybe your boyfriend would rather be with someone a little more… Michael C Hall-like, right? but who your boyfriend is lusting after is really irrelevant in this.
a monogamous commitment—which again, i am assuming you guys have—is something that is opted into by both parties. despite what certain (likely religious) people might have you think, being committed to a person doesn’t automatically eliminate your physical attraction toward others. the commitment is to not act on those feelings—not to get rid of them entirely.
you’re worried that you aren’t enough for your partner. well, you aren’t. no one person is everything for another person and if that’s the metric that you’re using the judge your relationships, you’ll always be disappointed. but the things that might be missing are things you both agreed to live without (you also don’t get to be with Michael C Hall) because the relationship you have is worth more to you than those things. your boyfriend hasn’t expressed to you that he needs these things. if it’s something he even wants, it’s something he’s willing to live without to be in this relationship with you.
if you can’t let this go because you’re worried you’ll lose your partner over it… well, you absolutely will lose your partner over it. you aren’t going to snoop the gay out of him—if there is any gay. if finding out for certain that he’s sexually interested in men is going to be the permission that you need to leave him, i give you that permission. he deserves better.
i'm not over my ex, not even close. i'm averaging about 3 good cry per day and found myself staring at a stain they left on my pillow from NyQuil the other day. i want to start dating again and seeing other people but everyone i talk to seems boring in comparison. i make steps even day to try to heal from the break up and get better and move on, but it feels like i can't. like i'm stuck and will be stuck forever. Should i just start forcing myself to see other people to help myself move on from him. idk what to do!
first things first, get a new pillow. there aren’t really any short cuts for break ups and the unpleasant feelings that follow them. that said, it sounds like you’re doing all the right things. being social and meeting new people who see you as the you that you are and not the you that you were in your past relationship is a great way to help reshape your image of yourself and of your future. and hopefully you’re spending time with some good friends who you can openly be sad around, too.
as for the later part of your problem: part of being single is meeting a lot of people who you don’t want to date. that doesn’t mean you won’t get anything out of meeting them, though. you can learn a lot about the world and also yourself from talking to people. i’d never heard of A Clockwork Orange or Jean Paul Sartre until people told me about those things. the people who told me about those things didn’t necessarily turn out to be super interesting, important, or dateable—but the things affected my life in a positive way.
it also might be this: have you ever eaten like, a lot of curry. like, just way too much. like a you don’t feel great kind of amount. and then someone texts you asks if you if you want to go to one of your favorite restaurants… probably not too interesting, right?
do you refuse to employ capital letters a statement against capitalism?
no, i just like the way it looks. but you’re welcome to that interpretation if it pleases you.
i’m insecure around other women and it's weighing on my partner. how can I boost my confidence to help improve our relationship?
i personally used to have a tendency to dehumanize the people that made me jealous. i’d find myself imagining them as completely immune to the problems, struggles, and feelings of loneliness and insecurity that i’d felt and this would make them seem super human and it would also make me feel less guilty about hating them. correcting these thoughts and reminding myself that the people who make me jealous have their own insecurities and are on their own journeys of suffering, happiness, disappointment and growth has helped me immensely with eliminating the negative feelings associated with jealousy.
but your message isn’t about jealousy; it’s about insecurity. and that’s, unfortunately, a topic that is probably too big for this answer. so let’s tweak the question a little bit. does your insecurity stem from your partner / your relationship or is it completely internal? it is your partner’s responsibility to treat your insecurities with compassion—is this the case? does your partner make you feel important? do they make you feel like a priority? if you answered no to any of these questions… then the problem might not be with you.
if you answered ‘yes’ to all of this, however, then i challenge you to investigate these feelings even more deeply. what do these women have that you feel you don’t? and why is it that you think your partner would give up what you do have for that?