"Dear Thelma" is a relationship advice column that appears in The Star, a publication that is part of the Asia News Network.
I am a 28-year-old woman who is in love with a colleague. We have been dating for a while and I know he loves me very much. He cares for me and is very protective. He is romantic and constantly looks at me and tells me that I am beautiful. He checks on me often and we have our romantic times together.
There is one problem though. I am beginning to have doubts about his sexual orientation. He seems a little effeminate, and I have caught him staring at other guys. He has joked on a few occasions that he does not mind marrying a guy. If he is gay, why did he propose to me in the first place? Or is he bisexual? I once asked him if he is gay, but he denied it. If he is willing to admit it, I will still marry him because I love him very much. I just don't want him to cheat on me in the future. I want him to be truthful with me now.
He proposed to me in May last year, and I only accepted his proposal in July this year. He waited patiently for my answer all this while. We work in the same office, and he is my team leader.
The whole team consists of women and he does not seem to be attracted to any of the girls. He has an equal number of male and female friends. He usually goes out for lunch with the girls, and hangs out with them.
What am I supposed to do? I love him so much. How do I approach the subject with him again? Would he cheat on me when the time comes? - Doubtful
The question should not be whether he will cheat on you one day. Instead, you should think about whether the both of you can find fulfilment in a relationship with each other.
You build a good case to cast doubt on his sexuality. But gender and sexuality are complex issues and one cannot assume anything about others. The question of attraction is even more complex.
What you have as "evidence" is based on stereotypes. Stereotypes are not real or true. They are just some assumptions that are used to generalise a whole group of people. Most of these stereotypes are from the media.
You must understand that love and sexuality are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Just because he loves you, it does not mean that he is not gay. And even if he were gay, it does not imply that he will love you any less.
The best thing you can do is to sit him down and have an honest discussion with him. He should trust that you will not judge him. He should also know that you love him and are ready to marry him no matter what. With this, open the door to an honest discussion with him and be clear about your doubts and fears about him. Are you ready for the answers, though?
What is it that you want from him? Are you certain your love for him is the romantic kind of love? Could your love not be one of deep friendship? These are possible.
Why do you love him? How much are you willing to compromise, if need be? Would you be able to accept everything? Are there things that you will not tolerate?
Are you rushing into a decision because of your age and you think you have to settle down? Are you invested in this relationship because you think there is a lack of other prospects?
These are all questions that you have to give thought to before you can come to a conclusion about your relationship with him. Chances are that the answer to your question will not come from just one conversation. It will take a long time for both of you to be able to face each other and have a real and honest discussion about the situation.
It may even be that you may never know and will just have to take a chance and hope for the best. If you think it will help, the two of you can even seek the aid of a relationship counsellor to help address some of the issues that you have raised.
Like all decisions in life, this is a complex one that you should take your time to think about. The foremost concern on your mind should be your well-being and future. Nothing is ever known for certain as life throws curveballs at us. There is no way of knowing what the future holds. The best we can do is try and move ahead with our eyes wide open and be ready for any possibilities. The most important thing is the courage to do what we think is right. - Thelma