Dear Margo: I am 17 and a senior in high school. My wonderful boyfriend, “John,” recently came out to me as bisexual. He has made it very clear that he wants to stay with me and is not interested in acting on his attraction to males. He also defines his bisexuality as being attracted to personalities, regardless of gender. The problem is that through a slip of the tongue, my father found out that John is bisexual. He’s an open-minded person, but he told me our relationship would not last because “people are attracted to what they’re attracted to.”
To me, it doesn’t seem any different than a straight guy cheating on his girlfriend with another girl. My mother is less open-minded than my dad, and I feel sure he will tell her. We both are headed to college next year, so that opens up a whole new population for both of us. What will happen then will happen, but for now we want to be together. How can I convey that to my mom while calming her down about John’s bisexuality? It’s a mess, I know. –Samantha
Dear Sam: You and your boyfriend are still in your teens, which is traditionally a time of high hormonal and sexual activity. Assuming you are sexually active, I suspect your father’s concern is — and your mother’s will be — that the possibility of STDs increases when a young romantic partner is active with both sexes.
For reasons I don’t entirely understand, bisexuality is disturbing to some people … often because they feel the self-declared bisexuals are actually gay but don’t wish to say so. (This is not my view.) I don’t know the level of openness you have with your parents, but I would tell them that you practice safe sex — which I sincerely hope is the case. In addition, tell your mother that you and John have agreed to date others when you both go to school, which is not all that far off. –Margo, individually
When a “Friend” Behaves Childishly
Dear Margo: Two years ago I belonged to a quilting group. We laughed and had fun while we worked. The group leader often invited my husband and me to dinner and cards with she and her husband. She said she ‘loved’ us and enjoyed having us as friends. Then one week after being invited to her home, she invited me out for coffee. Once there, she very loudly announced that I was “kicked out of the club.” She refused to tell me why, saying, “We’re not going to discuss it.” I said that if she were my friend, as she said she was, she would at least tell me why. She repeated that we would not be discussing it. This was devastating to say the least.
Now I find that this is affecting my ability to make friends or be friends with others. Even my relationship with my husband has changed. I honestly do not know of anything I did that would have caused this action on her part. Recently, I was at a gathering with this woman. She extended her hand and said she wanted to be friends. I said sure, if she’d at least tell me what had happened between us. She refused, saying, “I’m not prepared to do that.” How can I move on? Others in the quilting group want me to join various other things of which this woman is a part. I find I want to be nowhere near her, but doing that would isolate me from other people with my same interests. What to do? — Ambivalent
Dear Amb: This sounds like high school. I wouldn’t let this woman, who is behaving like a sorority president, set the parameters of your life, let alone affect your other relationships. I would rejoin the group that you enjoy, be cool but cordial to this particular woman and try to put out of your mind your supposed transgression followed by your reinstatement. There’s a chance one of the other women might tell you what went on, but I would rise above it, knowing that it really doesn’t matter. –Margo, maturely
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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