Dear Dr. Romance:

For several years, I’d been a self proclaimed lesbian who was only attracted to women and only involved in intimate relationships with women (the idea of intimacy with a man, even when one hit on me in public, literally made me nauseous)The one exception was my childhood sweetheart I was married to for two years. When he found out I was a lesbian he didn't seem to care and later we agreed when we reach our 40's if we haven't married, we’d marry each other; we saw each other occasionally over the years, and even slept together although I was in committed lesbian relationships the whole time.

He called me several years ago to say he was going to get married. A month before the wedding I went to his state to visit him and his mom and to meet his fiancee. I arrived before she did,
and we ended up in bed together. I believed I was a lesbian and could not give him passionate hetero love and be the wife he so deserved, so I left and they married.

We still kept in touch, with him visiting LA from time to time, same dinners and lunches, talking
about our relationship woes and laughing together and his wife began to show a great deal of dissatisfaction, and contempt toward him, his family, and his young son. He invited me to visit without telling me his wife was out of town) and we had the most wonderful romantic week just spending time together. He told me he wanted a divorce, but then he and his wife had a child. We texted and sent emails and pics about every other day for months until his wife caught on and told me what we were doing was inappropriate and it was ending now. We connected off and on flirting and seeing each other from time to time over the next several years.

As drawn out as this seems, this isn't my only issue, and I am having a situation with two men, one of whom might be getting serious. And there are still my feelings for my childhood sweetheart making me wonder: If I moved on and began a relationship; and finally got ready and wanted me, I honestly cannot say what I'd do or wouldn't do. I don't want to hurt anyone or get hurt but I also don’t want to miss out on something wonderful because I can’t put out a (seemingly unrequited) torch for someone else.

I’m also confused because I have absolutely no attraction to women I would have normally got all gushy about before. Will I change again?

Please help me before I totally screw up the remainder of my life and my chance for happiness.

Dear Reader:

I understand why you're confused. Sexual orientation is not necessarily cast in stone; I know several people who have changed in one direction or another.

I also understand your attachment to your childhood sweetheart. However, he does not appear to be available for a real relationship -- what you have with him is mostly fantasy. Romance and sex, with no real experience spending extended time together, doesn't make a relationship. I don't think he'll ever give you a definitive answer, because he's enjoying the romantic ideal of your relationship while he's living his real life with someone else. This is a twelve-year-old's dream. You have to grow up now, if you want to have a real life.

Let him go, he's not giving you anything but misery. If he really doesn't want you to end your connection, he'll have to do something real about it. If he doesn't, you'll know for sure he doesn't care enough.

Stop worrying about how you'll feel if he ever comes around. If you develop a good relationship
with someone else, when he comes around you'll no longer be interested. Let go of him, he's
keeping your life on hold. Learn how to make a real commitment and work on the relationship
you have with your whole heart. "10 Reasons for Not Falling in Love" will help you explore your reluctance to commit.  "Creating Unconditional Love" will teach you some basic relationship skills you need to get your relationship out of fantasy and into reality. "The Freedom of Maturity"  will help you get the most out of your stage in life. The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty helps you make appropriate decisions to create a fulfilling life.

After 40 cover

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Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.