Ask Ayana Iman is a weekly advice column where real women anonymously submit their questions about work, life, and love. In response, a certified life coach drops some much-needed gems. Check out this week's segment below.


I've been in two bad relationships with men in my adult life... the second being a marriage. I've always been put off being with women (one woman in particular) because I felt like deep in my heart, only a man can fulfill my needs and wants in a life partner. I'm starting to think that I've been so wrong; not just because of the hurt I've been through, but the energy and chemistry I miss from women. I want to know: after three children and two serious commitments with men, would it be hypocritical to date women exclusively? I'm not ready for anything now, but when I heal and decide to move forward, I don't want to limit my heart again.

You are grown; therefore, you have the freedom to date whomever you please. The pain you're experiencing can make you question the validity of previous relationships. Regardless of gender, you must make sure you're dating for the right reasons.

Is it hypocritical to date women exclusively as a mom of three? No. Is it hypocritical to date women exclusively because you were hurt? In my opinion: yes.

Previously, you felt only a man could fulfill your needs and now it seems you are making a decision based on pain, suggesting only then did women become qualified candidates. It's important that you understand how this could be problematic for future love interests. No one wants to feel like they're a rebound.

The resentment from your two relationships must be addressed so you aren't creating toxic situations. You say you don't want to limit your heart again but that is exactly what you're doing by restricting yourself to one gender. I know you have chemistry with women. Does this mean your feelings towards men have stopped? That's something you must clarify to reduce confusion with your emotional and physical attractions in the past.

The LGBTQIA community is inclusive but there is no pressure to claim a fixed sexual orientation. Sexual fluidity is not the same as bisexuality. Sexual preferences are not set in stone and can change over time, often depending on the immediate situation the individual is in. The Conversation shared the following:

Most people would say they have a sexual orientation. But the degree to which a person is sexually fluid is a separate variable that operates alongside sexual orientation. Some people are highly fluid, while others are less so.
Sexual fluidity can occur in people who are definitively heterosexual or homosexual, but simply experience a change in their sexual response. For example, you may have a preference for a more feminine type of person, but then discover someone who pushes your buttons in a new and exciting way. You may still prefer partners of the same gender with the same feminine leanings as before, but with more masculine features.
Bisexuality is defined as the romantic or sexual attraction to other people who identify as either male or female ("bi" meaning two genders). If you ask people who identify as straight, but then have sex with someone else of the same gender, this experience does not necessarily make them "bisexual", but it does make them sexually fluid.
Love is love. Just be clear with your intentions.

I agree that you need time to heal because that is most important. You're on the right track. The true path to happiness is finding love within. Let go of the pain you're feeling and replace it with gratitude for the lessons learned as those experiences have made room for your life partner to enter with ease. Once you see fit to date, I suggest talking to your children about love and what that looks like to you. They will adjust to your dating life accordingly.

Do you have a question about love, life, career, wellness, etc. that you'd like for life coach Ayana to answer in a future Ask Ayana Iman segment? Submit your questions here for a chance to have your question answered! Click here for past Ask Ayana Iman posts to see if your question has already been answered or to read past stories/advice!

Featured image by Getty Images.

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