Hey everyone, new here and I just need someone to talk to... Hopefully someone who has shared a similar experience because I'm kind of unsure where to go from here.
So, I'm gay. Definitely gay. No joke, I've had thoughts about men in highway rest areas since I was... Probably 13? But due to my Catholic upbringing, I never thought anything of it until I was 16. I always thought it was just a phase. I would get over it. I would have to like women at some point...
I read a lot of atheist literature in high school, and rejected the idea of god around the time I turned 16. It had nothing to do with my sexuality, but it didn't take me long to realize that yes, I'm actually gay, since I no longer believed in eternal damnation for who I am attracted to. My family had no problems with me becoming an atheist (weak Catholic upbringing, haha), and neither did many of my peers (despite attending a Christian high school). I was getting close to coming out to my parents but never did in HS.
I did tell one close friend though, via text messaging. It was funny because she told me that she was a lesbian. We became very good friends throughout my Junior year of high school after that. Never told anyone else though.
So my senior year of high school rolls around and I get massive senioritis after I was accepted into my dream college. I started taking a lot of drugs, drinking, partying, going to raves a lot. It was at this point that I started dating this one guy, also gay (and out), who was my age. Honestly, we had nothing in common other than we were both gay and 17. He wasn't even that attractive now that I think about it. I regret doing it, but it felt good to finally be in a relationship with someone.
My mom didn't take too long to find out. So I told her about it. She honestly had no problem with it at all, she was just concerned about the excessive drugs and partying at my age. Like the little rebellious teen that I was (thank god I'm over that shit now!) I ignored her warnings and continued to party. My father never found out about this (to my knowledge). My mom wanted me to tell him in person but I never did.
Broke up with this guy a few months after dating him. Here is where my story gets weird.
I messed around with a few other guys for a couple months, and then I started dating girls. I dated this one girl who knew I was gay, and we ended up having sex anyways (awful experience!). We broke up after about a week. I dated another girl who had no idea I was. This second relationship lasted about 6 months. We never had sex. I told her the reason we couldn't date anymore was because I was moving away for college and long-term relationships don't work, but my real reasoning was I was getting ready to finally come out.
Then... Nothing. I start college pretty much as a hermit. I'm majoring in engineering and the courseload is pretty rough. I want to focus on my studies and everything, and I feel like coming out would just be a burden. My closest friends, including my straight best friend who I remain in contact with to this day, know the truth, but my parents still don't.
So about a year and a half into college, I meet this one girl. She truly is amazing, in terms of her personality. And she's gorgeous. She gets hit on by straights all the time. We started talking a lot and were just really good friends because we shared similar interests. At one point we started seeing each other a lot, and then she asked if we were dating. I told her yes and we made out on my couch for about 20 minutes.
Worst 20 minutes of my life. I knew the truth the whole time and felt awful about it. I really wanted to date this girl because we connected so well, but I didn't know how to handle the fact that I'm not sexually attracted to her. So the next day I broke it off.
But she didn't leave me alone after that, and it was becoming harder and harder for me to admit my true feelings to her and myself. We started dating again a month after we first broke up. I hated myself for doing it but couldn't stand the fact that I really wanted to be in a relationship with her because we connected so well. My grades plummeted that semester (I was also taking a lot of difficult classes, involved in a lot of activities and juggling this emotional roller coaster). I broke it off by the end of the school year (last year). I told her I just needed space, but about 6 months later I told her the real reason. She's now one of the few people who knows. And would you know it, we're still good friends despite all the shit I put her through.
So here I am today. A few close friends know my secret. My mom knew I dated a guy in HS, but my dad has no idea. And, as my 21st birthday lurks near, I have no idea what step I should take next. I'm primarily concerned about two things: my father, and the fact that I went from guys to girls to guys again.
So here I am now. No idea what my next step should be. On one hand, I still feel awful about leading this girl on, especially when I cared for her so much (thankfully we never had sex). On the other hand, I'm getting tired of this shit and just want to move on with my life. The largest barrier I have is just my previous history with women. I guess, my main question is, how do you deal with friends/family after all those years of lying to them, when you knew inside the truth about yourself? I want to maintain my strong relationships/friendships, but I just feel really awkward revealing to people that I like men despite having girlfriends in the past.
Sorry for the really long and awkward post, but I just needed a place to get my feelings out there (I would ask my friends but none of them are gay and I kinda wanted some advice from people more experienced). If anyone has any experience that is at all similar to mine I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for any help you can give, it means a lot.