I'm a late bloomer. When it comes to major life accomplishments, I always have been a late bloomer. I definitely was late to lesbian life and gay girl dating! But when I came out, it was a fresh start and I was full of faith and hope that I would find love. It has been quite an adventure.
Many of my clients have walked out of the closet a little later in life and are dealing with being single and struggling with dating. Some of my readers have been telling me they are recently out. I want to share a little about my own coming out story and a very big "ah-ha" moment that changed my approach to "being out".
I always knew I was attracted to girls but was never able to make a love connection with a girl. Finally, I decided I could and would make it work with a guy. Let me also include the fact that I grew up in an Irish-Catholic family with all the assorted craziness of alcoholism, abuse and neglect that you've read about in the epic Irish tales like Frank McCourt's book, Angela's Ashes. I felt like I finally understood so much about my father when I read that book.
That's another story, but you get my whole "Irish-Catholic guilt, going to hell, God is a mean man with a big stick and I'm a bad girl" story. Enough said.
Compared to friends, I married late, at 26 years old. I also had kids late in the game at 27 and 38 years old. I started college right out of high school but didn't have the emotional stamina or a personal vision to help me see it as something I should stick with at that time in my life. I quit after a couple of years and focused on "doing what I want."
Going back to school at 40 years old to finish up my bachelors degree isn't so unusual these days. I'm glad I finally did it. It changed the entire direction of my professional and personal life. How's that? My personal life was changed dramatically. While finishing college in my 40s, I started to meet some amazing lesbians and I could no longer deny who and what I was.
I was also finally in a position where I realized that I would be able to support myself and my young daughter on my own; not being able to support my kids on my own was honestly something that had scared me for a long time and had kept me married.
All of this is to make the simple point and to say that we all have our coming out stories and then, we have our "being out" story — that particularly sweet and often bitter period when we are first exploring what it means to date women, love women and make love to women.
If you're seeing a really good therapist, she is telling you things like go slow in dating lesbians, don't change what doesn't need to be changed in this period, important dating tips and, the big one: you're like a 14 year old learning to date gay girls!
More advice about starting over from YourTango Experts:
- How To Move On From A Painful Breakup
- How To Save Your Marriage
- Dating After Divorce? 3 Pitfalls To Avoid