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Dear Captain,

I think I’m bisexual. The problem is I’m not sure and I’m interested in finding out, but I’m in a committed yet rocky relationship with a man in the gay-unfriendly Midwest. I made an online dating account today to seek out other queer women in my area. There are like 5 of them. I feel simultaneously guilty about making the account, disappointed that my alternative prospects are so few, and frustrated about my relationship but not sure I should end it.

One problem is that I’m uncertain about my sexuality. When I was 12 I decided I was gay. I came out to my (male) best friend in middle school and later my mom. But later I had sexual feelings for boys. In college I have fucked men happily and continue to have satisfying but infrequent sex with my partner. I thought I was straight, though I’ve always had the occasional sexy dream about a woman. But I’ve had a lot in the last couple of years. It’s actually weird how often it happens. I never had this many dreams about men.

Now I think about women more. I fantasize about a romance of my own. However, I’m still afraid my attraction isn’t real. It really sucked to think I was gay for years only to have to admit I was attracted to men after all. I’m also afraid to break up with my boyfriend of four years, who shares an apartment with me, only to change my mind (although I’ve drafted a totally separate letter to you before about whether I should keep trying to save the relationship…). If I were in an urban area, I might be able to try out a chaste date or two to see if flirting with real women is something I’m into. But I’m not, and I don’t foresee being in a gay-friendlier city until I move away for a new job — probably with my boyfriend.

On problems with my boyfriend, a quick summary: lots of walking on eggshells on both sides. We both amplify the other’s anxiety. Just yesterday we fought about this and I told him if nothing changes, we need to break up when I get a job after grad school next year. For the record, he knows I’m bi but we are not in an open relationship. We tried counseling and the therapist was a bad match. I think Carolyn Hax would ask if I’m sacrificing too much to keep the peace and generally I would say yes. But things have also improved in the last few months. It seems clear that I should break up with him, but how do I kick him out when I’m not sure about any of this?

– Am I Even Fucking Gay???

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Dear Captain Awkward:

Since the new year began, I’ve been having some fairly serious life issues. I had a major panic attack in January, and then my house caught on fire at the end of February. I’ve been really struggling to keep my head above water. I finally started seeing a therapist, changed my work schedule to accommodate my needs, and moved into a new place. During this time, I definitely had some tried and true friends support me, but it felt really scattered and only as a response to the immediate incident, but not the after effects.

I ended up meeting up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years (we had a falling out, then reconnected on Facebook, but hadn’t actually met up and hung out together in about two years), and she was talking about some difficulties she’d had recently with an increasingly abusive ex-partner making threats against her and her new partner. She started talking about her community, and about how they rallied around her as a support system. One of my flatmates who was living with me in the house that caught on fire also seemed to have had a big community support system come out to help her through the emotional aftermath. I know that the former friend’s community is revolved around the queer community in the bay, which I’d love to be involved in, but again…I don’t know how, and then the latter friend’s community is largely built of lifelong friends and friends from her Aikido group.