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Having major WTF how did I get to 45 and not even consider my sexuality until now ?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Jo Hannah, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. Jo Hannah

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    It's been over a year since my best friend of 15 years told me that she has been in love with me since an event in 2018, we were really best friends, soulmates I would have said, she was my world. We shared everything, helped raise each others kids, shared holidays, Christmas, other people remarked on how close we were, akin to a relationship without the sex. A lot of people assumed we were maybe more than friends, our kids questioned it, I just dismissed them as not being able to understand a deep friendship because back then, thats what it was.

    She usually always had boyfriends, long term ones over the 15 years, the last boyfriend she lived with had jealously and control issues so she had quite a bit less time for me and I did feel pushed out and didn't really like him as he was abusive to her, but I also wanted to see her happy. What was once common weekends away became rarer, and then what I refer to as pre covid January 2020 happened. We were away and I simply said how much I had missed her company and then it all came spilling out, drunk in the middle of the night she asked me to kiss her, I was shocked but went with it, and we took it further, next day we joined mutual friends and said nothing of it, and the next night it happens again this was a girls weekend away and the chance to speak about it wasn't until we got home. She backed right off, was cold and controlled the conversation, in hindsight I was in shock, she said it was not a mistake, she meant every word but wasn't about to change her life.

    Few weeks later she argues with her BF, theres a big drama and she gets me round to her house and I spend several nights supporting her, we made love every night but always after drinking and it was one of the most sensual experiences I have ever had. It felt like real love to me, and my body had never been so alive to another's touch even more so as I wasn't sober. I cant begin to put into words how "right" it felt.

    I wasn't anywhere near ready to tell the world and she recoiled just as quickly, the BF was pushing to return and she let him back and it wasn’t spoken of again, still hasn't been. A few months later and we both were struggling; jealously I guess on both parts, we tried to behave normally around our group of family and friends. Then we had an argument over her BF which I feel she pushed to cause a breakdown of our friendship; she said some really hurtful things, you cant really take back what she said and I lost my best friend and soul mate.

    Not only am I absolutely shattered to loose the one person I thought I would never be without but I am left feeling so confused about my own sexuality since and despite it now being over a year ago l can't enjoy the company of a man, I tried a few times, and I can go through the motions and occasionally achieve an orgasm but it's pretty meaningless.

    The experience with her was something | never thought I would do with a woman, my whole adult life I have never considered a sexual experience with a woman. I always considered myself heterosexual and have a ex- husband and adult children. I used to look away at lesbian scenes in movies, it just never appealed to me. I have been single for a lot of years though.

    I did grow up a “tom boy” and have a very male skill set but that in my mind was about being one of 4 sisters when my father wanted a boy and treated me like one.


    Somedays I am pretty angry at her, It feels like she had 18 months to decide to make a move and process how she was feeling and I had a drunken night to decide how to respond, the truth is that 1st time my body responded not my mind.

    I have researched a lot and would say that I am straight heterosexual but maybe have to consider I am fluid. It's really hard to know if I should try and explore this other side of me and date a woman or stick to a man. I have started to watch lesbian porn but only the loving variety.

    I don't want to be on my own and want a relationship/ partner. I have always struggled to trust Men and look for problems, but I easily trust my female friends, l am not homophobic and never have been but generally my friendship groups are all straight.

    I don't generally find women attractive and certainly don't look at my friends that way. But I have started to look at a few female TV characters and appreciate their beauty. I love Suranne Jones in gentleman Jack I find that whole thing tantalising.

    I can't get past how my body physically reacted to her, how do I ignore that intensity, was this just because I loved her? Was this just a thing I did because of who it was, my best friend who I loved very much and went along with or something she wanted or is it something more?

    I haven't had to see her since because of Covid but my general anxiety is very high, I dread the day we bump into each other again and am really struggling to just dismiss the whole experience as a series of drunken mistakes. We are in the same town and sooner or later I am going to come face to face it scares me to the point I am wanting to move area.

    l cant talk to anyone about it as I cant explain it to myself let alone cope with the reactions of those around me, although given how close we were as friends and considering my total heartbreak this year at loosing that friendship in such a hurtful way my nearest and dearest wouldn’t be too surprised if they did know. I am lucky to have a close and easily accepting family.

    Can I really get to this stage in life and be questioning my whole back story, re examining every sexual interaction I’ve ever had and pulling apart the very core of who I thought I was, is it just that my body reacted to the touch of someone I loved or is it that I am not as straight as I once believed myself to be!
     
  2. LostInDaydreams

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    Hi and welcome to EC. :slight_smile:

    I’m sorry to hear about what happened with your friend. It sounds like there was a lot going on emotionally for both of you, which is understandable. You can’t control how she reacted or continues to react to what happened, so all you can do now is focus on how you want to proceed with your own life.

    The short answer is yes, it can and does happen. I was around 28 when I started to question my sexuality and I’d had no awareness of being anything other than straight before then. You’ll find plenty of other people here who have been in a similar situation, so you’re not alone.

    Be kind to yourself. It’s overwhelming and confusing, but there’s no rush to come to a conclusion or rush to tell anyone else. Take some time to think about what you want your life to look like and who you picture yourself with...how does the prospect of only ever having relationships with men feel?

    You’ll probably also need time to process and move on from what happened with your friend. It would be completely understandable if you didn’t want a relationship with anyone right now. So, give yourself time to recover too.

    Last thing, porn isn’t generally a reliable indicator of sexuality because it’s designed to turn people on and ideally appeal to as many people as possible.

    Take care and keep posting. You’ve come to the right place. :slight_smile:
     
  3. Jo Hannah

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    Hi,

    Thanks for responding, theres a certain anxiety about actually putting things into print and posting them so getting an answer is a relief, and good sound advice. I am sure I am not alone in that feeling of anxiety when you post in a forum for the 1st time!

    The prospect of only ever having a relationship with a man isn't really worrying, the prospect of being lonely and never being able to love again worries me way more. The idea of never having sex with a man doesn't worry me as much as never being made love to again, it's that feeling of being so closely connected that I want and until her I don't think I ever had it before.

    In my world it would be easier if I could be in love with a man because that just saves all the explaining on how I suddenly switch at 45.. I simply don't know, it is all so hard to try and figure out.

    Thank you :slight_smile:
     
  4. dirtyshirt84

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    I’m also sorry to hear what happened with your friend, it sounds like she is struggling with her sexuality and that you both have a lot going on emotionally.

    Perhaps you might be bisexual? I agree with lostindaydreams, take some time to figure out how you feel and how you imagine your future. There is no rush to take any action.

    There are loads of good threads on EC with people in similar situations, hopefully some of those will resonate with you.
     
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  5. Jo Hannah

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    Thanks I’m just really struggling to unravel everything, one of my “failings” if you want to call it that is massively overthinking situations and a need to understand things .. I’m spending so much time working out all those times where I missed the signs, replaying things in my head, Just struggling to move on from it and had hoped that a year later it would be easier but in reality I’ve got more unanswered questions than answers.. hence I am here as I don’t know where to turn. I do appreciate you replying, I don’t know about bi sexual, maybe it will turn out that way, doesn’t feel like that but I could well be in denial. ‍♀️
     
  6. Suitsme

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    Hi Jo Hannah, and welcome!

    I am so sorry to read of what happened with your friend and how you ended up losing the friendship and closeness that you once had with her.

    You’re never too old to experience something that can change the way you’ve thought about yourself previously. Especially with matters regarding sexuality. Love is love, and it sounds like you had a pretty amazing connection with this woman. Feelings can develop.

    I was 38 when I came out. I’m 51 now. I still don’t really know who I am lol
     
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  7. LostInDaydreams

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    I think it’s normal to feel a little nervous when first posting, @Jo Hannah, but this is a friendly and supportive community so no need to worry!

    I think that reflecting back is normal, but what really matters is how you feel in the here and now. I appreciate that it can feel like you need to justify why you’ve suddenly changed preference or sexuality, but it’s not really anyone else’s business. If anyone does have a problem with it, then that says more about them than it does about you. Focus on what’s going to make you happy.

    Also, as this forum will hopefully demonstrate, it’s actually not that uncommon either. I recently found out that a friend from school is now in a relationship with a woman after leaving a heterosexual marriage.

    There’s also no rush or need to define your sexuality, if you would prefer not to define it. How would you feel about just seeing who interests you, perhaps focus on making friends first, and go from there?
     
  8. maybon

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    Hi Jo Hannah. First off, and I don’t want to be a Pollyanna, but when I read what had happened with your friend I thought how beautiful it was. To know the loving touch of someone with whom there has been friendship, intimacy and the happiness of getting to know each other.
    I guess in all the questioning, pondering, accusing even, hold onto this - you have known the wonder of a loving touch.

    What next though? Well first off I’d put aside any anxieties about age. I’m 49 and as my story around these boards makes more apparent it’s taken me awhile to acknowledge and some things I’m still acknowledging. We’re in it together.
     
    #8 maybon, Apr 20, 2021
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  9. Jo Hannah

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    Thank you all, I am feeling a little overwhelmed with the replies, and the care you show, I think I expected to be told that I was either infatuated, had a drunk fumble or just over imagining and somehow was a fraud to be on here.

    It’s going to take me a little time to process, it’s a bit like even being online and admitting what happened is such a big thing for me and I am struggling.

    I know I’m pretty heartbroken still and I did very much love her albeit I was slow to realise, the idea of trying to fathom what it all means, who I am sexually or who I see myself being with in the future is all just a bit much. I am curious though but to afraid of being hurt.

    I’m going to explore the forums some more in coming days and hope to realise that it’s not such a strange thing to have a later in life experience, it certainly seems that way !

    Thank you
     
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  10. Jo Hannah

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    Somewhat late to reply to you as it’s been a bit of a journey since joining the EC community, I just wanted to say that I really appreciated your words, they have stuck and have helped me in few last weeks to accept that through all the pain there was also a love to mourn.
     
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  11. Jo Hannah

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    It’s taken me a while but thank you for your words they really have helped.
     
  12. out2019

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    This is very good advice @Jo Hannah , sometimes it can feel like a tidal wave of hidden or suppressed thoughts and emotions are released for most of us it's a very freeing feeling but it can feel overwhelming and questions will pop 'why now? " if i really was" "well what about..."

    It's natural to feel that way. My hands were literally shaking the first time I came here and typed "I might be gay'.


    I was amazed how many 'later in life' people had thoughts and experiences similar to mine!
     
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  13. Jo Hannah

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    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond @out2019 your so right and the observations you make are spot on. it’s amazing and also comforting how many people in the later life forums have had something similar. Certainly makes me feel less alone on my journey.
     
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  14. Contented

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    I was older than you and always assumed I was straight until I meet the man who opened by eyes. I was stunned that I could be anything other than straight. However I could not deny the strength and depth of my feelings toward another man. I tried to convince myself I was bisexual. I thought that it would make it easier. In my heart however I knew I was gay. It took work with a good LBGTQ counselor to help me unwrap years of signals I missed. As that process progressed I was first able to admit I was gay to myself, and then to others. At the same time my attraction to women faded to zero. I could not longer visualize being with a woman in an intimate relationship. Slowly it became easier and easier to see that I needed to be with another man. Better late than never. Be easy on yourself but honest. By doing so you will find your way.
     
  15. Jo Hannah

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    I’m feeling just like this about being with a Man, I haven’t seen anything attractive in men for a while now, personality maybe, even the really handsome ones I don’t notice. My daughter was recently taking about a guy I work with after she 1st met him and was “ mum how did you not even tell me he was gorgeous” .. oops simply because I didn’t see it. I can’t imagine wanting to be intimate with a Man again, but I also don’t want to be alone.

    I’m sure i’ll figure it out, Thanks for sharing :blush:
     
  16. out2019

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    This happened to me too. Many gay men report this when they accept themselves. I think it's just that for gay men the feelings of being with a guy are so much more intense (Oh THIS is what everyone's talking about!) that by comparison any attraction or stimulation they had with women can't compare.


    I can tell you which women are attractive and beautiful, but I don't get turned on.

    Yes, looking back it was 'work' to be with a woman. I remember some 'maybe i am not so straight' moments, like when my girlfriend was performing oral sex and I realized I was jealous :slight_smile:
     
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  17. Contented

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    There is no question it would be easier to live heterosexually however for many of us it simply not possible. Societal pressures make us second guess our true sexual orientation by piling on shame. We start to feel we need to do what looks right rather than what is right for us. I struggled with this as well but in the end I could no longer imagine a life with a woman. The idea was so utterly depressing and frankly intimacy with a woman began to gross me out to the point I was not longer able to be intimate. That would have been a horrible way to live the rest of my life. I suspect as you become more in touch with what seems like a very lesbian side you will become more comfortable with your gay identity. Once that happens it becomes easier to get involved in the gay community and who knows find that right woman.
     
    #17 Contented, Jul 11, 2021
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  18. out2019

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    There are stages of coming out and one of them is 'negotiation'. Only you can decide but frankly almost everything you are saying I went through while 'negotiating' (i can't be gay because why now? I notice women are beautiful so I am not gay? )
    This sounds like you've acknowledged you're not into men "if I could"... no pressure- only you can decide! I just remember a lot language like that to myself!

    Yes this happened to me too, though looking back I often did feel that 'gag reflex' but just thought that was natural.
     
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  19. GrumpyOldLady

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    I can relate to these things so much, I'm amazed I never figured it out earlier because the thought of being intimate with a man again and pretending to like it feels repulsive to me now even though I managed to do so many times. I don't know how I managed to convince myself I was heterosexual except there were guys I admire, even find attractive and had crushes on, but come to think of it I don't think the fantasies included sex or touching at all and my fantasies about women feel much richer and more passionate.
     
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  20. Contented

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    I totally understand this feeling. I as well don’t understand how I pretended with women for so long. The idea of sex with a woman now just seems so wrong , so gross. When I think back on those times I want to scrub myself and just forget them. I find myself not wanting to even admit I was faking straight for so long. I tell new acquaintances that I have always been gay as I am still so embarrassed about living that lie of heterosexuality for so long. For me being with another man is so passionately and emotionally right I can’t believe I didn’t accept it until my 50’s.
     
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