Cover Photo: Tallulah Pomeroy
Tallulah Pomeroy

Can I Be Happy With My Male Partner When I Dream About Dating a Creative, Intellectual Woman?

Deep fantasies aren’t fantasy at all. They can reveal who we actually are.

Welcome to End It Now?, a narrative advice column. In each installment, Alissa Nutting and Dean Bakopoulos will address a question from a reader who is thinking about quitting something: a relationship, a job, a habit, a project. Dean and Alissa will respond with stories from their lives and the lives of others, and then deliver a verdict: Should the letter-writer end it now, or not so much, and why?


Dear Alissa and Dean,

I have been with my male partner for some years now. I love him. I know he wants to marry me, wants us to have kids when we’re ready, wants to spend his whole life knowing me and loving me and being good to me. He is probably the most of the people I’ve ever been with.

I’m queer. I’ve yet to have a long-term relationship with another woman. When I look at women together in public, I ache. While my partner and I have a lot of fun together and enjoy some similar things, he’s not passionate about art and culture and literature the way I am and he’s not excited by intellectual things the same way I am. I’ve always had incredibly intellectual relationships with women and, while I have those with friends now, I’ve always wished I could have that with a partner too.

I’ve never lived alone and have always wanted to. My partner and I are both moving across the country so that I can start school somewhere new. I’m glad that he wants to move with me because starting over in a totally new place would be terrifying. But taking him with me feels like a commitment that I’m not entirely ready to give.

Do you end something this good? Or do you stay and understand that no one person can give you everything?


Tiny House Nation)

You love this person! You don’t hate this job! You’re fine giving up on your dream! Scooby Doo

Have a question for Alissa and Dean? Email us at [email protected] with subject header END IT NOW? Please specify in the body of your email if you'd like to remain anonymous.

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Alissa Nutting is author of novels Tampa (Ecco/HarperCollins) and the forthcoming Made for Love (Ecco/HarperCollins). Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Fence, BOMB, Elle, The New York Times, Conduit, and O: The Oprah Magazine, as well as the fairy tale anthology My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me.  

Dean Bakopoulos’s Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon was a New York Times Notable Book. His second novel, My American Unhappiness, was named one of the year’s best novels by The Chicago Tribune, and his latest novel, Summerlong made the independent bookstore bestseller list.