"The jealous bring down the curse they fear upon their own heads."

~ Dorothy Dix (1926)

Mind Caviar, Vol. 2 Fall-Winter Issue, 2001

Taming The Green Monster
by Jamie Joy Gatto

A Mind Caviar reader is concerned about dating a bisexual woman. Is the real issue jealousy or bisexuality? 

"I have been struggling with thoughts and emotions regarding a new girl that I'm interested in, even though I am still at the beginning stages of our friendship. During our first real discussion, she mentioned she is bisexual and that fact has bothered me ever since. I suppose the more I am educated on the matter, the more I might understand how she sees herself as bisexual, and how to accept her for that choice."
Read on for the whole story...

Reader's Question:

Hi, Jamie Joy. I saw your advice column, and I really need some input, advice and guidance on a topic I feel I cannot speak to my friends or family about at this point. 

I have been struggling with thoughts and emotions regarding a new girl that I'm interested in, even though I am still at the beginning stages of our friendship. During our first real discussion, she mentioned she is bisexual and that fact has bothered me ever since. I suppose the more I am educated on the matter, the more I might understand how she sees herself as bisexual, and how to accept her for that choice. The problem I have though, is more based on fears regarding if she and I become emotionally committed in a dating relationship that I will have this nagging uncertainty of whether sheís looking at other women. Itís hard enough for me when a woman Iím dating is talking to another guy-­ I tend to get jealous. Every woman I have ever dated, as far as I know, was heterosexual. So, I never thought twice if they were talking with other women or going out with the girls. 

To date a woman who is bisexual brings a completely different challenge to me. I have never dated a woman that I felt I would have to struggle with jealous feelings whenever she was talking with another woman. It feels like a double whammy to my emotions. In addition, if we were only friends, seeing her with a woman who was more than a friend would put me in a situation I've never been in before. I wouldn't know what to say or how to act. 

I find myself having a hard time knowing how to feel or what to do. Should I set her aside in my mind and let the whole thing go? Should I pursue only friendship? Should I pursue dating if it heads that way? The problems, though, are that I am attracted to her physically, attracted to her personality, and I donít want to miss the chance to begin a great friendship (at the very least). But I donít know how to keep my emotions at a balanced, mature level. 

I would greatly welcome your thoughts and insights into this scenario of mine. It is all new to me. Thanks! 

Jamie Joy Says:

Dear Reader,

Thank you for having the courage to write. I realize itís not always easy to talk about relationship issues, and itís even harder to admit when thereís a problem. I appreciate your honesty. 

Here is my first bit of advice on the matter. It stands to reason that sexual adults who are interested in sex are attracted to other humans, be they gay, straight or bisexual. Aren't you looking at other women, too? I hope so! It's natural to feel sexual, and to find other people attractive. I really don't understand why the gender of those other people to whom your potential mate might be attracted really matters. If your current lover ever happens to leave you for a woman, a man, or a transgendered person, or even a hermaphrodite, the reasons are likely because of relationship problems, not gender issues related to bisexual or other sexual preferences. If you are afraid your mate might prefer women to men, regardless of that fact, if she decides to be with you, that is a decision based upon you as a person, and most likely not your particular set of genitals. 

Some people are afraid of and believe that bisexuals must always have one mate of each gender in order to feel sexually, romantically and otherwise fulfilled. While this may be true for a small percentage of bisexuals, it is simply an over-generalized myth. Bisexuals are quite capable of having loving, monogamous relationships with persons of either sex. Most bisexuals tend to look more for a person that meets their relationship needs, rather than a person of a specific gender. In other words, bisexuals do not necessarily need to be non-monogamous in order to be happy. They just happen to have a bigger choice of mates from which to choose. Still, you should never assume that any person is interested in a monogamous lifestyle. Non-monogamy or polyamory is a personal choice, and one that has been becoming more freely accepted and even expected in todayís society. Itís better to ask in an appropriate situation than to assume anything about any personís sex life or sexual preferences. 

You must remember, this woman who is now your friend is a person, a human being, whether or not she appreciates the sexual attraction of more than one gender. Her sexuality does not fundamentally change her as a person. You need to learn to see past sexual orientation, and forget about it to some extent. It seems as if you are nearly obsessed with the idea. If you decide to remain only friends, and not to pursue dating, and she becomes involved with a woman romantically, why do you feel you must act any differently around her than you do now? She is still the same person inside. Who she dates should not change that friendship or your perspective of her. If you are uncomfortable being around a woman-to-woman relationship, then it is likely due to your lack of experience in being exposed to this sort of affection, either privately or publicly, or even as healthily portrayed in media. Donít worry, youíll be able to handle it. I have faith in you. Itís not as strange or unnatural as youíve obviously been led by society to believe. 

On Jealousy 

Ok, so you freely admit that you tend to get jealous. Jealousy is not a healthy, entirely natural, perfectly normal occurrence, regardless of how many John Wayne movies you've been subjected to. Jealousy is destructive, dangerous and causes a lot of stress and grief to individuals and to relationships. 

  • Jealousy is an emotion based upon what you are not getting. 
  • Jealousy is not about what others are getting. 
  • Jealousy is about protecting the self. 
It is time for you to take a long hard look into your personal, emotional insecurities and to try to outgrow this immature part of yourself.  While I agree some jealousy is natural, meant to protect invasion into relationships from outside influences, I believe for the most part that treating our partners as if they are possessions, belongings, is fundamentally and morally wrong, and leads to nothing but disrespect, anger, rage and fear, none of which are likely to nurture a relationship. 

The first step to overcoming one's problems is to admit them. Good for you! I am proud of you. Now is the hard part, taking control. I suspect that if you are jealous often enough to cause panic, anger or other personal and relationship issues, that the roots are somewhere in your past relationships. In my experience with dealing with this sort of situation, if you have trust issues, they could run very deep. In order to have the tools to deal with a problem as deep as personal insecurity, I suggest counseling from a qualified, board certified social worker or psychotherapist, someone who specializes in relationship issues. 

Through learning ways to cope and deal with the root of the problem, you can overcome amazing obstacles. You owe it to yourself to work on this. You deserve to be able to have happy healthy relationships, filled with love and trust. And you owe it to yourself to secure this possibility for your future. Best of luck with your new romance, and please remember if you can't handle those feeling of jealousy, there is help available to you. 

Copyright © 2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or post in whole or in part. 

Got a Sex Question? Ask Jamie Joy
Sex Noir by Jamie Joy Gatto AVN praises Jamie Joy's latest collection: "Sex Noir... delivers a sexy, yet moody slice of erotic fiction that should please fans of the genre. Gatto's tales range from sexy to harrowing, from tragic to optimistic, and from hardcore to sugary sweet-- sometimes all within the same story."

Click on the book to learn more about Jamie Joy Gatto's collection of dark erotica, Sex Noir published by Circlet Press.

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