(Originally written on March 9, 2014.)
I am a bisexual woman engaged to a woman. A wonderful woman who has made me happier than I’ve ever been before. There is that saying that, someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else. This is what I have, and it’s phenomenal. I feel like I’m the luckiest person alive! But of course, all my exes are men, and my fiancée is a woman. So the question always comes:
“Do you think it’s working out so well because of who she is, or because she’s a woman?”
Inquiring minds sometimes want to know if I think I might’ve found a man who was right for me eventually, if Mo hadn’t come into the picture. And that’s where things get tricky, because I honestly can’t say yes. I’ve done a lot of reading and also a lot of self-analysis. I know that as a bisexual, I’m not attracted to men and women in a strict 50/50 ratio any more than I’m attracted to every single man and woman I meet. I’ve read about the concepts of sexual orientation and romantic orientation, and how they aren’t always geared the same way. Those concepts come up repeatedly when I read about asexuality, and how not having an interest in or desire for sexuality does not necessarily mean one does not have an interest in or desire for romance and relationships. One can be sexually bisexual and a romantic homo at the same time!
So a bisexual’s attraction ratio may not only be not a strict 50/50 split, but may also be different on the sexual and romantic scales. Looking back, I see that the romantic aspect with men was always a challenge for me. I generally lead a busy life, and I never seemed to see my male partners often enough and was always left craving their company. But when I would get to see my male partner for the “ideal” amount of time that I had come up with, time and again, they would leave and I would feel relief. I would need a distinct absence from them to recharge.
My fiancée and I live together, spend a lot of time together after work and on weekends, and we text and email all day while at work. I feel like maybe part of that is being in a new-ish relationship, but somehow I don’t think that’s it. That desire to be around my partner all the time, in my longer relationships with men, faded rather quickly. It could be argued as an introvert thing; I am quite introverted and perhaps only The One will be the exception to my recharge needs, regardless of gender. Part of me thinks that I am just more romantically compatible with a woman. Some of this theory is based on what interacting with men in a relationship is like for me: I always tend to feel the need to prove myself as an equal, always felt like I was being far more emotional, and frequently felt like I could not connect to or understand my male partners. I have had many male friends come and go over the years as well, yet it is my friendships with women that have endured decades.
A part of me refuses to believe that because my fiancée is a woman, that is the reason we work, and the reason that I am romantically super-attracted to her. But could Mo exist, as she is, if she was a man instead? In a different society, and with different gendered expectations, perhaps. But in our North American society, people are still heavily influenced by traditional gender roles, whether you are conforming to them, or bucking them.
I generally brush this big question off as unimportant. Why does it matter? We’re together and it’s fantastic. Part of your identity is your gender; that’s why it’s your gender identity. Whether you identify as male, female, or somewhere on the spectrum between or beyond, it impacts who you are and how you interpret and experience the world. So saying that things work with my fiancée because of who she is – separate from her gender – really doesn’t work. Wondering if it works simply because she is a woman – well, that would be like saying it would’ve worked out with any woman, and that definitely isn’t true.
So do I think it’s working out so well because of who she is, or because she’s a woman?
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