Friday, August 19, 2011

Ask a Bougie Chick - When Opposites Attract


Today we have a letter from Foxy who is struggling not only with the stresses of a long-distance relationship but a whole host of other issues as well. Yet she really wants this relationship to work. Take a look...
Dear OneChele and BougieLand, 
I am 28 years old and I had a lot of instability early in my life. I am at a point where I am ready to settle down and build a life with someone. I know that means I gotta get my ish together. I’m in counseling working on things from my past, getting my 401(k) and pension together, keeping the credit clean, and tying up all the loose ends so the past stays the past.  
Last year, I started dating someone six years my senior. We are long distance but determined to make it work. She is in the closet. I am not. Coming out is a process. I got that. Not everyone in my life knows and most of the people I work with don’t know, but I make no apologies for who I am. What hurts the most is the denial of our relationship. Even if we were hanging out with her friends that know she is bi, if I called her baby it was a big thing.  
Spiritually, we are in different places. I don’t think I am going to hell for being gay. She does. Socially, we are opposites. I like to go out and have friends. Her friends damn near have to beg her to hang out. I love to travel and keep my passport on me at all times. She is afraid to fly. My mother stays out of my life. Her mother runs her life.  
Don’t get me wrong, we have a lot in common. We love art and music. We both love to read. We write. We have a shared past. We both know the pain of having distant fathers and the emptiness of not knowing half of your family. We click. We have sizzle. But is that enough? Can love truly conquer all? Are our differences too big to be overcome? Am I holding on to what could be rather than seeing what is?
Foxy - This is a lot. The in the closet/out the closet issue is huge. The spirituality is huge. The divergent views on life and familial interference are no small obstacles to climb either. Broken down, sounds like you (although younger) are ready to be true to your authentic self while she isn't there yet. So how badly do you want it and is it really worth it to you in the long run? To answer your question - unfortunately love doesn't conquer all, but it sure helps a hell of a lot. 

BougieLand, what do you think Foxy should do? Hold on to the dream or let it go? Thoughts, comments, insights?

71 comments:

Kneebiez said...

Foxy, you're right! Click and sizzle are super important to making any relationship work.  But you've identified a MONUMENTAL issue in the great closet debate alone. The fact is, you're asking yourself if you're "holding on to what could be", and that's a big sign that the Foxy you've come to know and love smells a rat. Peace and Love!

sol_dier said...

Foxy, (huge hug cos this is hard)
1st, great job on getting your financial and emotional stuff in order. The lightness you will feel when all this is done will be unbelievable!. 

re: your lover. You love her, she loves you. You are incompatible and separated by distance. It's not going to work.  I can understand, not being ready to be all the way 'out' but if she isn't comfortable in 'friendly company', thats a problem.

Its not that opposites can't attract, Its more like at this point in your life, this particular opposite is not what you are looking for.
You want someone to have fun with, enjoy life, go flying, be spontaneous and independent out going, budget conscious woman. Cut your losses now. Otherwise, be prepared to run yourself ragged doing all the flying, begging for her to come out just the once with you all in the name of love.

Sometimes when we are getting our house in order, resistance holds us back. This is your personal resistance. Let it go.
The love of your life is flying, dining out, hiking doing the things you like doing.. but you are too busy trying to persevere with someone who is showing you they will never be those things.

She is showing you who she is, believe her. She is not the one.
:( Sorry.

Court A said...

 I so totally agree with this whole comment. Foxy, let it go. I've been in this situation and in the end it just hurts worse. Your person is out there, she isn't it.

BlackButterfly said...

I completely cosign.  No need for me to add anything!

Sasha Iman said...

Since there's not much of a response yet, I'll throw my $0.02 in.

I'm sorry but the the lots you two have in common are a dime a dozen. Who doesn't like art and music? Check out the post from Monday, see how many put down music and reading as the love of their life. Check out the Father's Day posts on this blog and see how many of those same people shared not knowing their father or that side of their family. I'm not trying to belittle these things you two have in common, I'm just trying to point out that they aren't that hard to find in others. And that ability to click and sizzle clearly isn't doing all it needs to do for you, or her, if you're writing this letter and have to keep things on the low... even in front of the people she's out with.

As Chele already pointed out, what you two are trying to over come is a lot.We're not talking about milk and closet space here, we're talking religious beliefs, levels of independence, and comfort in one's skin. You can always travel by yourself so the flying thing can be over looked, but what happens if she finally comes out and her Mom wants her to end things with you? With her father out the picture, her already thinking she's going to hell for her actions, and the fact that she's bi and not a lesbian, what do you think the outcome is going to be? And what happens when the relationship is no longer long distance and keeping things hush is more difficult and stressful? Hell, how certain are you that a part of the reason things have gotten this far isn't because you two are long distance thus not really forcing her to reconcile her feelings about being bi?

From what you've written here, I'd set aside your commonalities and truly reflect on the issues you've brought up. Not liking art, or music, or having a father and a relationship with that side of one's family has never single-handedly brought about the end of relationship. Any one of "My Momma don't like you", "I'm afraid I'm going to Hell", "We can't let anyone know about us", has single-handedly whooped Cupid and broke all his little love and glitter filled arrows.

I'm a Democrat, she's a founding member of the Tea Party. I'm a white collar professional with a Phd, she has a cosmetology license and works at Lisa's hair salon. I'm 5'10" and Black, she's 4'11" and Asian. Those are opposites. What you've listed above are varying shades of red flags.

Mykeia said...

Foxy,
Love does help but sadly it does not conquer all.
My friends that are gay tell me that being with the person that is not ready to come out is extremely difficult because you can't be true to the relationship.
It sounds like you two are on a different path...
I applaud your therapy efforts, big hug.
Be well.

blackprofessor said...

Foxy,
Kudos to you for getting your emotional and financial house in order.  I think soldier pretty much nailed it below so I have nothing more to say.

I will leave you with my motto - Opposites may attract but likes stay in love.

blackprofessor said...

Cosign!

The_A said...

Foxy it sounds like you have everything you need to do what is best for you. Serious kudos on getting the life together! It is because of what you have already done that I offer this perspective to you-

Sometimes we use other people
in our lives as the perfect obstacle to hold us back from having what we really want but
aren't quite ready to receive.

IMO the toughest thing about growing as a person is that not everybody
in your life can/will support you when you look for it. That doesn't make them terrible people. They are just in a different place. You've likely had enough of these experiences to know this is true. This kind of growth has got to mean enough
to you to walk way from whatever things/people no longer fit.

Sadly, we usually have to let go of what we have first before what we really want shows up. It's tough so be honest w/ yourself. If you're ready, make a move. If you are not ready for more change that's okay too. The phrase Ms Right vs Ms Right Now comes to mind. You already know growth is a process just don't allow yourself to stay in that same space too long.

When you are ready, what you want is out there & this current situation isn't it.

Brandon St.Randy said...

The bamma truly believes she's going to hell for doing what she do with you. HELL! With Hitler, Bin Ladin, Tyrese and 'em!  Forget coming out to the world, how can you be in a relationship with someone and truly and honestly believe that you will roast in the fiery lakes of Beelzebub's hot tub for all eternity because of it?

thinklikeRiley said...

If ya can't be "baby" in da streetz
Ya can't be "baby" in da sheetz

Grace said...

I think this is another case of "you already know, you just need the validation"
I don't think she's giving you what you need. I think her uncertainty and confusion are getting in the way of the feelings you have for each other. I suggest walking away for now.

Michele said...

Foxy -- The two of you just aren't in the same place -- literally and figuratively.  How much more time are you willing to invest in someone who is as deeply rooted in their beliefs as you are in yours?  Continue to be true to YOU and move on. 

MeetCharlieL said...

I think you've got one hurdle too many. The minute I was being denied in public, I would have to walk. I can't be in a relationship where you feel shame for being with me.

ASmith said...

Lord... I had to re-read that because that sounds like two of my really good friends right now. ::sigh::

I think it's great that Foxy and her girlfriend click in so many areas, but as you said Chele, sounds like they don't click on some really big areas.  From what I do know about the LGB (yes, I left off QTI for a reason) community, being out or not being out is a big piece of it.  It is such a struggle to come out and be comfortable but to date someone who isn't ready for that yet takes you right back in and then all your personal work is for not?

Maybe this is one of those "another time, another place" relationships.  Sounds like the girlfriend has her own issues to deal with right now.

SingLikeSassy said...

Does this relationship make you happy? This just seems like a whole lot of work.

I have no advice to offer here, but I will offer my sincere wish that everything works out for you.

tishatweets said...

Hey Foxy,

A click and a sizzle might get her in the door, but it's an altogether insufficient foundation on which to build the long term relationship you seem to be ready for. There are a few things that are dealbreakers for me--one of which is the spiritual aspect. I can dig everything about a man, but if we can't vibe there? Nothing else matters. Too, I think we have to accept that we aren't supposed to be with everyone we "click and sizzle" with. Maybe the relationship you want with her isn't the one you're supposed to have. Lastly, just from what you've shared, this relation seems far too emotionally and spiritually costly for you. Do you want to sacrifice that much of who you are to be with someone who can't even fully embrace who she is yet? Only you can answer that. Be sure to weigh the costs.

The Husky Bro said...

I agree.  It's one thing if its one of those "homie lover friends" (I like that better than "friends with benefits" that sounds like a no-profit organization) situation and you're just fooling around but if it's more serious and they want to put limitations on how YOU want to conduct the relationship while they don't want to meet you half way on what you want?  Nah, nah couldn't be me, not me.

JaymeC said...

From a strictly clinical standpoint, of the top ten relationship stress points you have : Distance, Honesty/Trust, Ownership, Commonality in Belief Systems, Familial Influence and maybe Finance and Self-Esteem on her side, not sure from what you've shared - that's 7 out of ten. The other three are Love, Sexual Compatibility and Ability to Communicate. On paper, it's not a good match. If you truly feel she is The One and worth it, just know that the battle is going to be uphill for a while.

SouthernWes said...

*writes down top ten relationship stress points*

Sasha in Stilettos said...

I don't even know if it's so much that you are opposites or that she's not ready for the lifeplan you've put together for yourself.

Sasha in Stilettos said...

The whole Lucifer thing threw me too. I can't be over here all happy about my ish and you blaming me for the eternal damnation of your soul. No. Can't do it. Won't do it. Ain't gonna happen.

Sasha in Stilettos said...

Not a petite Asian Tea-Partier working at Lisa's Hair Salon - done!

Sasha in Stilettos said...

This. All. Day.
Love me some Riley.
Where you say you live, boo?

Natasha Hunter said...

Very good well-rounded advice that fits into a variety of situations. I liked this a lot.

J B said...

I love the list, but what is meant by "ownership"?

JaymeC said...

When both parties "own" the relationship and feel that they can (for lack of a better term) "claim" the other person as their partner

JaymeC said...

When both parties "own" the relationship and feel that they can (for
lack of a better term) "claim" the other person as their partner

Mykeia said...

"Sometimes we use other people in our lives as the perfect obstacle to hold us back from having what we really want but aren't quite ready to receive."<<<<<<========FTW!  This is one of the best quotes of the day.  Co-sign on allllllll of this!

Mykeia said...

Now, I just have to know, why oh why is Tyrese going to hell?  Please give me my laugh for the day. :-)

Mykeia said...

Real talk.

Mykeia said...

You know that I am stealing "varying shades of red flags"...yes I am.

rozb said...

Foxy - you are in two different places. While you are comfortable in your skin, it seems she isn't there yet. And until she can reconcile publicly with her sexuality and love for you, she isn't for you.

Pure Choco said...

Isn't that where he's from? We're just sending him home... #notafan

Pure Choco said...

I always feel like I should take notes when Jayme comments.

Singlelif said...

I think you already know what you need to do.  The best advice that I can give you is to not live your life as anybody's secret.  You've already done most of the work necessary to make yourself happy. I say "most" because the last thing you need to do in order to gain true happiness,  is move on from this paticular long distance affair, and find someone appreciative and deserving of who you are. Clearly, your "girl" is not ready to be "your girl". Find someone who is.

Relationships are difficult to maintain when both parties are in the same city, and heterosexual.  I can only imagine the stress of trying to maintain a homosexual relationship with these issues,  that is also long distance.  She's not the one.

GrownAzzMan said...

"(I like that better than "friends with benefits" that sounds like a no-profit organization)"

D.O.A.

La said...

I didn’t give my advice on the situation yesterday because I have never lived with anyone or been married, so I didn’t feel like I had much of a say so in the matter. This tho? I could have written this exact same letter 2 years ago. All the exact same circumstances. All the exact same angst. Even the same doggone age difference. So here’s what I know…
You already know you need to leave. Deep down, underneath the love and the shared interests and the fear and the anger and the understanding, you already know you need to leave. You just aren’t ready yet. And that is perfectly fine.
But recognize this; this is NOT just about the distance or the coming out or the opposites or the mom or anything else. This is a FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE in your personal constitutions. It is a monumental chasm of POV in the way you choose to live your life. That is not to say that you 2 will never be on the same page, but it is to say that you are not now, will not be at any time in the near future, and maybe will never be.
There is a special kind of resentment that festers when you are forced to deny who you are, who you love by someone who should be lobbying for your freedom to live your life as you see fit harder than anyone else on earth. I have no words for how harmful and hurtful it is. And I have NO WORDS for what the cancer of resentment will do to you both the longer you stay.
Get out. Get out now. Get out yesterday. It is ok to be understanding and for you to support (from a far) her spiritual journey, wherever it may take her. But NOT at the cost of compromising your own.

The Husky Bro said...

.02?  That was more like $25...but it was worth every penny

JoycelynC said...

as am I.  Love that phrase

GuessImJay said...

I had a very inappropriate comment involving videotape and Skittles but instead I'll just say this -
Everyone should be celebrated in their relationships. One of the plusses is being able to rock your boo on your arm and say- Look what I got, you know you want it, but you can't have it.
Real talk if she can't get into all your awesomeness, step to the next.
Now... about those Skittles...

maureen said...

EPIC.COSIGN

Singlelif said...

Wow..now I'm wondering if that would have been Tropical, Sour, Ice cream, Original Fruit, or perhaps Wildberry Skittles..and if that video would play in slow mo...?  *logging off now*

blackprofessor said...

Right!! This comment is the best of the day.

blackprofessor said...

I was thinking the same thing - what did Tyrese do, lol??

blackprofessor said...

I thought it was me taking notes!

maureen palmer said...

Our steps do not have to   be nsync, but we have to be stepping to the same direction.  Foxy, this sounds like parallel universe. I think you should let this  one go and find someone that is ready to be with you. Life is to short for this huff and puff.

SingLikeSassy said...

*Hard stare at Sasha* This here is MY man.

NY2VA said...

"But recognize this; this is NOT just about the distance or the coming out or the opposites or the mom or anything else. This is a FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE in your personal constitutions. It is a monumental chasm of POV in the way you choose to live your life. That is not to say that you 2 will never be on the same page, but it is to say that you are not now, will not be at any time in the near future, and maybe will never be."
This is essentially what I was going to leave as my own comment.  Well said, La.

Brandon St.Randy said...

have you never seen that man's tweets? Or the portrait he drew of Tupac with TUG LAFE getting baptized by Malcolm X (A Muslim) in the waters of Lake Minnetonka? I mean, he may not go to Idi Amin/ Uday Hussein hell but he'll at least end up someplace where all thy play is Ke$ha at full blast all day and night.

Natasha said...

*taking notes for the future*

OneChele said...

Lawd - that's got to be the sixth or seventh circle of hell right there.

Sarah said...

I can't really add anything useful to what others have said. I do think it is important to live your own story because life is short and sometimes that means letting go. Best of wishes with whatever you do.

sol_dier said...

^THIS^. 
And all the love in the world cannot get her there, cos its just the wrong plan for her right now.
Better to leave now when you can still look fondly backwards, rather than later.
Later will not be pretty. 

Page Bartlett said...

Wasn't there a sign-up sheet?

sol_dier said...

 I have NO WORDS for what the cancer of resentment will do to you both the longer you stay.
^THIS^
When it hits, it will not be pretty and will cut deeper than ever. By then, you will have invested even more time (yrs) and 'but I love her's in it'. No, no. This is not life, this is not your portion. Leave.

Page Bartlett said...

I don't see milk, shoes or toilet lids on this top ten list.
#shadethrowntofolksfromyesterday

Mykeia said...

Dead...
Okay...so I am not on twitter so I have not seen his tweets and now I am thankful.
Playing Ke$ha all day and night--NOW that would be hell for me.  
Dead today, just dead from laughter.  
First JaMarvin and Trekwando...you kill me!

Foxy Brown said...

as long as the skittles are wildberry and you are willing to sign a form stating you won't post the vid on the innanets...i'm game.

thanks for the advice, tho!

Foxy Brown said...

thank you so much for these words. they have not fallen on deaf ears.

Foxy Brown said...

well, i didn't wanna get in the self-esteem issues and didn't wanna put all my bedroom business on bnb (i remember a post about over sharing, lol).  i've to fight all my life. i'm tired of fighting.  a battle is  not what i'm looking for....

Foxy Brown said...

wow...just...wow

thank you

Foxy Brown said...

it is comments like this that made me not want to write in to begin with. i came with a genuine issue wanted real insight.  i do feel belittled. and that bold part really feels like you are making fun of me, like my concerns are some big joke.

Angel Blanca said...

Hello Foxy,

The key question is whether or not this woman is ready to grow and thrive with you, as you've taken stock not only of who you are, but who you want to be.  Moving on the trajectory you've begun, do you see this woman as a part of where you hope to land?

It can be hard to let go of someone who knows us and who knows our story, particularly when we've overcome challenges, but you're open to being fully, authentically who you are, which will be attractive to the right person, in the right location, at the right time.  Give yourself space to be you in this new incarnation and see what happens over the next few weeks, particularly as you're just starting on the road toward settling down.  If she grows with you, great and good luck.  If she doesn't grow with you, know that you're an awesome person, who can and will attract awesome in return.

It's not much by way of advice, but I do hope that as you think through these questions, you'll come to a decision that makes sense for where you are and where you're going.  Good luck to you!

Sasha Iman said...

Hmm, not sure how you came to that conclusion but I'm not treating your concerns like they're a joke. I'm saying they're a bigger deal than you seem to be making them. That your concerns should be more like major red flags, and the commonalities that you two share are neither enough to outweigh them nor on the same level of seriousness as the matters I focused my comment on.

AndreaPlaid said...

"Opposites may attract but likes stay in love."

This. All. Day.

AndreaPlaid said...

Foxy, I know you love her but, on the real, your friend really doesn't love you if she's not ready to tell her intimate circles she's with you. Really, she doesn't love herself if she think loving you will damn her soul.  

When you're ready--from reading your letter, I think you're more ready than you may be admitting here--get out of this relationship. Then find someone who's out and damn proud of it. You deserve that much.

Hugs, and good luck!

Crystal said...

Hey Foxy, I am late to the discussion.  I have read some of the comments and they sound like really good advice.  You may want to and need to move on.  Also, I wanted to mention, just in case someone else has not already, that the longer you are with the hard relationship with the not so right person, the longer you are blocking your blessing of being available for, letting in and being with the exactly right person for you, and from what you have written that sounds like someone who is open, comfortable and honest with their sexuality, outgoing and wants to build a life with you. Good Luck to you, I know you will find your match!!! 

Crystal said...

 * I meant to say the longer you are in this hard relationship....  and * being with the exact right person for you....

Brown Babe said...

This list and this conversation has got me re-evaluating some things...*le sigh*

Brittany Geneva said...

I love how Chele's response started..."Foxy, this is a lot." 

The only thing I can say!

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