Nov 30, 2011
Q: My problem is that I’m just now struggling with my sexuality. I’ve had one relationship in the past. It did happen to be with a woman but I don’t think it was a traditional “meet someone attraction” relationship. We were best friends that ended up becoming sexual. I really think we filled a need in each others life at that time. Since then, she has moved on, married a man and has kids. We are still friends although the breakup was very rough on me. So at that point, I buried myself in my career. Well, now I’m struggling to discover myself. I have alot of shame about the fact that I’m doing this at such a late age and my lack of relationship experience. I feel “stupid” because most people discover there sexuality in there teens and twenties. It is very embarrassing for me and I struggle to find anyone to talk to because of that fact. How do I figure it out? I’m really not sure if I’m a lesbian/bisexual or if I don’t know because I’ve never been with a man. My previous relationship has me so scared to put myself out there that I struggle to even try. How do I find the right steps to take?
A: Dear Struggling,
One kiss doesn’t determine a person’s sexual orientation; it isn’t that simple for everyone. Some people just know their orientation, while others grow into it. It sounds like you are more afraid of getting your heart broken then finding out what your sexual orientation is. In fact it sounds like you haven’t entirely healed form your first relationship. Go find a good supportive therapist you can talk to. Join a women’s group that has both straight and gay women in it. Heal your heart before you try and determine your sexual orientation. You loved and got close to someone — how sweet and wonderful is that! If you did it once you can do it again. Whether it is with a man or a woman only time will tell. Don’t start another relationship until you have entirely closed the door on this one. Deal with your fear of intimacy. It sounds like that is the core issue right now. Once you do that, then you can begin to explore all the other unknown questions. Try seeing this as an exciting, fun opportunity. The healed, courageous you. That is the person you want to meet. I am sure whatever her sexual orientation is, she is loveable and delightful. Go have some fun.