Christine's Answers from the Big Book of Queer Girl Rules

Dear Christine,

I'm 20 and in my first year of University I was in a relationship with a girl for a little over a year. We became close friends at first, then began to date. It was all very secret, even though I was staying over every night. We were both always a little confused about how it happened, but we were so happy together. We never expected to develop such deep feelings for each other but we knew it had to end sometime because we couldn't live a 'regular life' if we were out. After she graduated and began her career, we could not maintain our secretive relationship together. She was very scared of her feelings towards our relationship but she was not willing to give up the idea of life she had in her head, with a husband and kids.

We broke up and a couple months later she started to date someone from work. While she was dating this man, who was about 20yrs older than her, she would constantly tell me she loved me and didn't want to lose me from her life. I waited for a year. While she was dating her co-worker, she and I hooked up about 3 or 4 times. She would always tell me she missed me and how hard the situation was for her.

They dated for a year, then a week or so ago she broke up with her boyfriend. She also recently bought a condo very close to my house.

When we were broken up I needed to talk to someone about it all. Only a handful of people know, but it does make me feel good to reach out to them about how I feel about her, and how I wish she could see it's okay for us to be together. They all say how ridiculous she is about pretending like no one has any idea, even though I've told her how everyone knows.

With her single should I just wait it out and see what she does? Were very close already so I don't know to take her inviting me over as a flirting thing or just a friend thing... although she does do certain things friends don't do, like hold me all night.

Any advice will help,
Love Goggles

Dear Love Goggles,

My friend, I've seen this one too many times and I hate to be the one to tell you that this girl is not about to come out of the closet for you or anybody else. If secrecy is this important to her, she will never give up all the perks of heterosexual privilege in order to have a fully functioning relationship with another woman. Some people are more concerned with the approval of others then they are with being their true selves. Society rewards us at every turn for 'being' heterosexual. It's very difficult for some to accept living without all that acceptance, no matter how conditional it is in the first place.

It sounds like you two are really in love and I'm sure you have an amazing bond. However, I don't think this girl will ever be able to be a supportive partner to you if she is this consumed with staying in the closet. It's obvious that you are the person she wants to be with and the fact that she is so resistant to her feelings about you is clear indication that she's nowhere near ready to come out.

If a husband and kids is what she thinks she needs, then that's what she's going to get. Of course, she is very conflicted and very much wants the benefits of the love and support you give to her despite that she's not being ready to be in a romantic relationship with you. You need to decide if you can continue to be her friend without having the relationship you want from her. It doesn't sound like you will be getting what you need from her in a friend if you stick around. It seems to me like she has shown you that she isn't in a place where she can respect you emotionally. To me, that seems like grounds to step away from the friendship in order to protect yourself from getting hurt by her anymore. I'm sure there is an LGBT activism or activities group on your university campus that you could join in order to broaden your circle of friends and meet more people who are comfortable being out. Perhaps the best thing you can do for the both of you is to lead by example of how positive it is to be open and honest as an out person!


Jul said...

I totally agree with Christine on this one....you've got to move along, and keep living your own life, however you see fit. Being around her, would seem to me, to be toxic. You might love her terribly, but likely she's never going to be what you need. Sucky situation, for sure.

You had some great advice given...it wasn't the easiest to listen to, I'm sure, but I'd take it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure. My first lesbian experience was very similar, although minus the honesty from the girl I loved. This girl has made it clear she loves you and wants to be with you. Some people really do, for reasons unbeknownst to some of us, find the idea of being gay very, very difficult. Even when their families aren't conservative, even if it's rather obvious anyways etc etc, it still incites fear and discomfort in them.

I would give her some time, definately don't push it. I kind of pushed it with mine, as I was hurt and felt she was stringing me along, and was so frustrated by contrast between all the secretiveness and uncertainty, compared to the strength of what we had.

Give it a go - think how good it could be if you could just give it a bit more time to progress. It may seem like a long wait, and that you're the one doing the waiting, but don't you think that if she's the one for you, it's worth the wait?