On a modern bromance.

So I’m having this problem with my sexual identity, which I don’t know if you can specifically help, but I might as well ask.I’ve been having a lot of sex that doesn’t mean a lot with girls lately, and that’s fucking great— I’m a 20 year old man and I’m decently OK in bed and whatever. That’s beside the point.

The problem is, every time I’ve tried to be in a relationship with a woman or even move towards it I’ve found it incredibly unsatisfying and I just have none of those feelings, but I’m still sexually attracted to women. I find myself really not sexually attracted to men, but romantically very attracted to them— to the point where I’ve been drifting into a relationship with a very nice guy lately but I can’t really see myself being sexually satisfied by it at all.

I guess the poorly worded/presented problem here is, my sexual and romantic attractions are ill-suited to each other and it’s really tearing me up inside because lately I’ve wanted something more from both sides but it’s starting to feel really incomplete. Short of a complete overhaul/psychotherapy, what the hell is wrong with me and how can I fix it enough that I can be happily with someone in some meaningful way?

Dude. You’re twenty. Don’t get ahead of yourself with all this “man” shit. You’re still very much a boy. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with being a boy. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with you at all.

You’re not broken. You don’t need fixing. You’ve just got some inner conflict due to a shitty set of external guidelines about male homosociality in Western culture combined with your own internal expectation of romantic perfection upon which people your age consistently and unreasonably insist.

The kind of male romantic friendship you describe is really no big deal. I know it doesn’t fit neatly into the boring, binary, middle-minded modality of normative relationships, but shit dude, Abraham Lincoln had the same kind of bromance.

In other words, you don’t need to make this about your sexual identity. This isn’t about gay or straight. Sure, it might turn out that way, but you seem pretty earnest about the difference between your romantic and your sexual attractions.

Don’t worry about the labels. Just be emotionally present and brutally honest with yourself and with the people in your relationships. You’ll be fine.

One other thing, please get rid of the notion that one perfect, magical unicorn of a soulmate is going to come along and provide you with all of your emotional, intellectual, and physical needs.

That kind of thinking is crippling. It borders on insanity, and it single-handedly accounts for an overwhelming majority of all the bullshit relationship issues out there. Seriously, quit it.

What I’m saying is, get your sex from people with whom you’re sexually attracted. Get intimacy from people with whom you’re romantically attracted. Get companionship from the people with whom you just plain attract.

Get meat from the butcher, man. We’ve all got our roles to play.


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