I'm a straight guy, but I met a beautiful, wonderful transwoman a year ago. We started dating (or at the very least, fucking) a couple of months ago, and I was falling for her pretty hard. I thought the feeling was mutual. We both seemed pretty infatuated, and I thought everything was going great.

And then tonight hit me out of nowhere. When she said, "I can't do exclusivity," I braced myself. I knew that all her previous relationships had been open or polyamorous. I'm a pretty inherently monagomous guy, but I really like her, and I understand exclusivity is a difficult and perhaps even ridiculous thing, and I was a disciple of the great Dan Savage to boot. So, hell. I liked her. Maybe we could try to work out some sort of open relationship? Figure something out? Salvage it a bit? That is when she says, "I can't prioritize one person above anybody else." And that's when I realize we're talking about two different things, and about when the bottom of stomach falls out.

I'm just confused and feel blindsided. Is that normal? Is that a normal thing to say? Is that how open relationships typically work; not prioritizing one person above anybody else? Is it crazy that I want to have a special connection with this woman, to put her first and maybe have that reciprocated? This is the first I've encountered this particular line. "I can't prioritize one person above anybody else."

Do people like this really exist? Unable to "prioritize" love? Unable to or uninterested in having a primary person in their life? Also, I really think I need to hear this from somebody, and it'd be extra-final coming from you... I was just dumped, right?

About To Go Drink Myself Into Oblivion

My response after the jump...


Yes, ATGDMIO, people like this really do exist—meaning, people who aren't just disinterested in sexually-exclusive relationships, but people who don't want to feel more beholden to any one sexual or romantic partner than they do to any other.

Your girlfriend isn't interested in having a primary partner, as the poly kids say. As heartbreaking as hearing her say that was for you, ATGDMIO, at least your girlfriend had the decency and self-awareness to tell you after two months and not, say, after two years. Or twenty. She deserves some credit for that.

But it doesn't sound like she dumped you, ATGDMIO, not exactly. She doesn't the same things you want, or she doesn't want you the same way you want her, but it sounds like she wants you. The ball is in your court: you can keep seeing her, on her terms, or you can get out there and find a woman who wants you and wants what you want. Which means...

If anyone's gonna be doing some dumping, ATGDMIO, it's you.