Dear Graham Norton: ‘I am in a relationship with a woman but I think I’m in love with a man’

Graham Norton
Dear Graham Norton: ‘I’ve drifted into a relationship with a woman but I think I’m in love with a man’ Credit: Andrew Crowley/ALAMY

Dear Graham

I am a 22-year-old bisexual man. I have been in a relationship with a woman about my age for two years now. We met while I was studying abroad and decided to keep the relationship going, on a fairly un-serious, long-distance basis, upon my return to the​ ​UK.

Fast-forward a few months: I graduated from university and landed a great job in a new area, which brought about many new opportunities – an unfortunate side effect of which was the ability to further explore my bisexuality now I was no longer under the watchful gaze of my housemates.

This led to a handful of one-time-only flings with both men and women, and one more serious relationship: a man with whom I was sure I was falling in love. At which point, my girlfriend moved to the UK and in with me.

My girlfriend is oblivious

The man, not wanting to destroy my relationship (though feeling much the same as I did), abruptly cut all ties, blocking my phone number and ceasing all contact for over three months. Until, sitting in the pub one evening, I received a text asking how I was.

We’ve been messaging ever since. He is seeing someone too, but says he still has strong feelings for me, as I do for him. My girlfriend is oblivious. I know what I should do (and I think I know what you’re going to tell me I should do) – but I can’t shake the feeling of “what if?”

Is there any way I can stay in touch with this guy as a friend? If not, how do I move on and embrace a choice I feel like I’ve drifted into?

Anonymous,​ ​Liverpool

'It is time to take responsibility for your actions and the emotions of others', says Graham Credit: Andrew Crowley

Dear Anonymous

I’m not sure what you expect me to tell you, and I want to stress that you must feel free to mess up your own life in any way you wish, but do not play fast and loose with the happiness of others.

Be honest with yourself. You aren’t “drifting”, you are making decisions that have consequences. It is time to take responsibility for your actions and the emotions of others.

First, you need to have a very difficult conversation with your girlfriend. Even if you don’t admit cheating, you have a duty to tell her about your mixed feelings. If she decides to stay with you, then you can look each other in the eye and get on with your lives. Relationships can’t work if one partner has all the facts while the other is blinkered.

If you are bisexual then own it. These issues are not going to go away. Being honest now will cause huge upset but it will be nothing compared to the emotional carnage that will follow if you allow things to continue unacknowledged.

A controlled explosion can still cause damage but has to be better than a random bomb being dropped on the lives of those you care about with no warning. Tread carefully.