Dealing with my gay ex who no longer identifies as gay

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  • This topic has 4 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Mark.
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    Hello all,

    Right now I am in quite the mental dilemma. This situation is complex so I will try to be as detailed as possible.

    So, in high school my ex and I began dating. Before that, we had been best friends since 7th grade. We stayed together all the way through the middle of our sophomore year in college. We lived together in that time as well and were engaged. About 1 year into our relationship, he came out to me as bisexual, which didn’t bother me because I am as well. However, when our relationship ended (after 2.5) years it was because he came out to me as gay. You might be able to find my previous discussion post when I was going through this for extra detail.

    When we broke up, I moved out and lived on my own for a semester. In that time, we remained extremely close. He was able to experiment with his sexuality and so was I. Once I had finished grieving our relationship, hearing details about him with other men never bothered me because I knew there was nothing I could do & that I could not provide him an experience with another man. I was completely content with this and with how our friendship had grown.

    At the end of the spring semester, I moved back in because we decided to be roommates (as friends) this time. When I moved in, we would stay up super late, smoke weed, and just chill. This became a fun thing we’d do every now and then. It was completely normal until one night we hooked up and had sex. During this first time, he told me that he missed me and that he wished he could have married me, but that he’s gay. At this point he was realizing that he was bisexual rather than gay. But we left it at that, just another random hookup. Still didn’t think much of it.

    After that, we hooked up a few more times. Between each encounter, he started voicing his desire to date women more and more, basically describing his ideal woman (he was basically describing me). We had both talked about how we would be okay with open relationships, in general, not in reference to dating one another. He had explicitly told me that he liked the idea of marrying me. Still, I didn’t think much of it because he never executed his words into action. Keep in mind, these hookups occurred after I moved back in, during this current summer.

    Now, during this past week, he’s been stating how he would actually marry a woman if she was okay with him having a boyfriend and that this would be his preferred relationship type. He’s been indirectly commenting on how sexy women are, and talking about specific women in general (a coworker and a friend of mine). Although I have grieved our relationship, I did it on the basis that there was nothing that I could further do to save the relationship because I presumed that he was gay, like he said he was.

    However, now that he’s been specifically commenting about other women, I have noticed that it makes me upset. Like I could have done something different. Part of me feels cheated. Part of me feels confused, because I thought I was over our relationship. I expressed to him that these comments upset me and each time he plays dumb and says “why does it bother you? you’re like a little sister to me.” Keep in mind, it hasn’t even been a month since we last hooked up and had sex. So, not only do the comments arouse a form a jealousy in me, but the fact that he has basically friendzoned me now has left me dumbfounded.

    I sent him an email delineating why I feel bothered (emails help me gather my thoughts) in which we will discuss later. However, I just feel so confused. There’s so many emotions being created and unearthed, and I am not sure how to navigate them. If he were to date another woman (I’m the only woman he’s ever been with, however, he’s dated many men) it would greatly upset me. However, with a man I would not care.

    I have not explicitly asked “why have I been friend zoned now” yet because I’m afraid that will change the dynamic of our relationship. I am open to starting another romantic relationship with him, I just don’t know. I don’t see how he could say that he wanted to marry me and then weeks later say that he sees me as a little sister. I know this is a lot of information all at once, but could I get other perspectives? Either way, I want him in my life. But it’s really going to fucking hurt if he ends up with a woman other than myself. Should I just move on? Why am I feeling this way? Normally I can evaluate introspectively, however, this is causing me much headache.





    We had both talked about how we would be okay with open relationships… But you would be upset if the “open relationship” be with other women?  Now you have changed your mind about what you want from him.  You said you want him in your life but not if he is with another woman.  You ask if you should move on but I suspect if you get the answer that you should then you would not be able to.

    You said …hearing details about him with other men never bothered me because I knew there was nothing I could do… There is nothing you can do if he gets together with other women either.

    It sounds like he is confused himself.  He goes back and forth about declaring that he is bi or gay or whatever plus wanting an open relationship.  It seems that he wants to have it all without commitment for now. You and he enjoyed the friends with benefits relationship.  Are you two still living together and having sex?

    I know for myself, I would not want to be with anyone who is still exploring their sexuality and not wanting to be with me as a partner.  I don’t know why you are wanting to stay with a guy like that.  You have not mentioned any other romantic relationships in your life so I wonder you are hanging on to him because you have not really experienced anyone else in your life.

    You were given advice about this relationship at the end of last year.  You asked why you are feeling this way.  You are asking basically why you cannot let go.  I suspect there is a strong co-dependency element.






    Thank you for your perspective. I think now, I realize that I feel upset for my past self rather than my present self. Such as, I feel sad for my younger self who didn’t feel like she was enough to fix the relationship. And now that this is resurfacing, I am conflating the wants of my past self and my present self when they are indeed separate entities. Because if I’m being honest, a relationship with him does not sound like my ideal partnership.

    Allow me to clarify. I meant that him being with men didn’t bother me because if he was only exclusively attracted to men, then there would be no way to continue the relationship. However, the fact that he is attracted to women means that perhaps I could have, which is where I believe I am having trouble differentiating my wants.

    He actually does want commitment, which is interesting. From a friend’s perspective, I think he wants commitment so badly that he will do so with anyone he can. Which… becomes interesting because it sort of makes me seem like a last choice.

    Currently, we are still living together, but no sex.

    You are right. I have not experienced any other serious relationships. Only casual flings and hookups. Perhaps that’s another reason why I’m holding onto this idea of possibly being together? I have issues with opening up to new love interests, which can make the only “successful” one I’ve had seem like gold. I suppose sometimes it’s hard to see myself finding anything better…which I know is linked to my self-esteem.

    I have never considered it being a co-dependency issue, however, I see how that becomes blatantly clear. How could I work on this without dissolving the friendship any? Already working on clear boundaries (currently).


    I think it would be a much harder blow for him to leave for a woman than a man because YOU are a woman, too, so that may be what you’re experiencing as well. You didn’t have to deal with that issue before because he was dating men and you’re not a man, so like you said, that’s not something you could be for him. Now that he’s dating and interested in women again, though, you’re probably feeling more of a rejection from it because now he’s dating what you are but not wholely interested in being with just you.  The fact that you aren’t really interested in a relationship with him will likely help you get over this more quickly since it’s not that you want to be with him now… it’s just that your ego doesn’t like the thought of him not choosing you as you are a women and now he’s interested in women.  Does that makes sense?  You just have to rectify those thoughts in your head, and it sounds like you’re already almost there, recognizing that it’s your PAST self (or ego) that is feeling upset and not you with what your situation with him is right now.  He didn’t really reject you personally, it’s just very clear that he doesn’t know what he wants and hasn’t for a long time now. You are very clearly still a very important person to him.

    I agree that working on setting boundaries is important, too. It can be as simple as just setting the boundary to keep the relationship strictly a friendship… only do what friends do… hang out with each other, no kissing, no cuddling, no sex, but being emotionally intimate is fine (as in being a support system for each other). If you feel yourself developing romantic feelings, just back off from hanging out with him a bit. Dating someone else should help with this because lots of times we can feel romantic-like feelings for people we actually aren’t interested in or a match with just because we’re feeling lonely and want to feel that attachment/comfort/security… which could possibly be a reason why you’re holding onto the idea of possibly being together now… you haven’t met the right person yet, so he still seems like a good candidate. When the right one does come along, those feelings will likely disappear altogether.



    Good for you for working on boundaries.  Insofar as dealing with your co-dependency, I recommend checking one or more of the vast library of books and websites around that.  There are also support groups for that as well, CoDA.org.

    How could I work on this without dissolving the friendship any?  Put value on your healing first.  You assume that this will end the friendship.  Even if you part ways, nothing is permanent.  You may be able to reconnect as you get more healthy.  I am no expert but I suspect that even your question is a co-dependent concern.


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