Will and Grace made us envious, but can life really be so good after getting left for another man?
By Morgan Vines, BounceBack.com Editorial Staff
Will and Grace made it look easy - your boyfriend dumps you for another man, and you just turn your romance into the closest friendship of your life. But everything looks shinier on TV. So how much does it really affect you when your partner dumps you for someone of the same sex?
Sometimes when a relationship breakup is too painful to face, we joke that the muscular heartthrob who dumped us must be gay. Otherwise, how could he resist this? This trick we play on our minds helps to soften the blow, but would it really be easier if he left you for another man?
The subject of the iconic male fantasy, Star Wars’ Princess Leia in the gold bikini, actress Carrie Fisher jokes that she has a superpower that can turn men gay. "It's not called upon very often, but yes, I can turn men gay."
Fisher’s ex, talent agent Bryan Lourd, left her for another man after they had a child together. While the breakup devastated her, the two have moved past it and manage to raise their daughter as friends. So does it make it any easier to deal with or that much more psychologically damning?
Fisher says it’s a lot harder than being left for another woman. “It's different because of how wrong I got it. Most everyone gets abandoned for a younger woman and replaced. Any fool can do that. But this is another kind of fool. When you realize what you've overlooked, it's astonishing.”
Hearing that your partner is actually attracted to the same sex as you are makes you call into question your entire relationship. On top of being left for someone else, you have to deal with the fact that he’s been keeping this monumental secret from you, and every moment you spent together was a lie. It also makes you feel stupid that you were so blind to the hidden desires of the man you thought you knew. And while you can’t “turn” someone gay, you might find yourself questioning your own sex appeal.
On the other hand, anyone who has been left for someone else agonizes over these same doubts. So does it make it any easier knowing that at least there’s no way you could give your partner what he wants? That nothing you did caused the breakup and there’s nothing you can change to fix it? The sudden finality of it allows you to begin to bounce back quicker. There’s no reason to replay the hope that you might one day get back together and let it gnaw at you.
Danielle Fishel, who played the gorgeous Topanga on "Boy Meets World", had no idea ex-boyfriend Lance Bass of N’SYNC was keeping his true sexuality a secret, despite her mother’s suspicions. Fishel only has love for Bass: “A lot of people thought I was going to take it really personally – like, ‘Are you mad? Do you feel like you were lied to?’ and I was like, ‘No, I don’t.’…I just would tell someone in my situation now just to not take it personally. It has nothing to do with you. They’re just trying to find their own way. The best thing you can do for someone is to be supportive and for that situation, to not just think about yourself.” Maybe that notion of Grace’s ex-boyfriend becoming her closest girlfriend isn’t so far off after all.
However, being in this scenario creates an undeniable doubt over whether or not every future mate is hiding something in his closet. Fishel admits, “I will say I don’t assume anybody is straight anymore. I’m always like ‘Hm, I wonder if he’s gay.’ I do think about that now, but I also don’t assume that every guy is gay.”
Liza Minnelli, on the other hand, has finally sworn off marriage altogether. Minnelli’s second husband Peter Allen left her for another man after seven years of marriage. She didn’t let it jade her though and remarried the same year. When it didn’t work out with fourth husband David Gest, Minnelli vowed she was done. Rumors circulated that Gest was really gay, reinforced by sexual harassment claims made by his male assistant. Gest continues to reject these rumors.
Of course, this scenario goes both ways. Men like Steve Martin and Scott Baio have been left for other women too. With such an emphasis placed on protecting your ego, is this a situation that’s just too low of a blow for men to discuss?
Morgan Vines works in publishing and resides in New York City. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BounceBack is helping people find happiness after heartbreak from a relationship breakup or divorce. It's a place to tell your story, get advice from experts, and share what you've learned with others in similar situations. Heartbreaks happen to everyone. And we believe everyone has the potential to bounce back to life and move forward. www.bounceback.com
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