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taking baby steps ...

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by CatWho, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. CatWho

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    Hey everyone! I need some help/support. I am not at all out but have recently taken some steps to come out, or maybe not come out, but meet people in the lgbtq community. I volunteered at a photo shoot for lgbtq rights (I don't think I can say the name on here) in a nearby city and while I was nervous to go alone, it was really cool. We took a group pic of all the volunteers in front of a big rainbow flag, which is posted on a public social media page. I loved it and so wanted to post it on mine or tag myself, but feel like that is kind of like coming out publicly... although there were straight allies that participated. I guess I'm still torn between the excitement of realizing and being my true self and the fear of it.

    I also have been on a couple of dating apps. That's been fun too and there is one woman that I have been chatting with everyday for the past week. We've been getting along really well. I feel like we are past the superficial chatting. We both make it a point to say that we want to chat more later or the next day when we leave off, which seems to indicate interest. I don't know. I'm so new at this. I feel like we are at the point where we should meet, but I am so nervous and not sure how to make it happen. I mean, I've done some online dating with men. It never went well, but in hindsight, I guess I really wasn't interested. The thing is, I always had someone to talk to about it and I'd let a friend know where I was going and with who, for safety. The fact that I'm not out to any friends is making me feel alone and unsure. I don't need friends to tell me what I should do exactly, but I am missing having someone to bounce stuff off of and just talk to about this stuff. I mean, I'm 45 years old and feel like I'm 14 and trying to figure out my first date, but alone. While we haven't spoken about it, I'm guessing she (woman I'm talking to) isn't in the same boat. Do I tell her before we meet that I'm not out? Is that something someone would want to know up front? I don't think I'm worried about actually being out with her, more just the meeting her part and going out with a woman for the first time. I feel like I'm making a bigger deal of this than I should. Nothing may even come of it, but it is one of many hurdles I need to get over.

    Any tips or advice would be super helpful! Thanks!!
     
  2. LostInDaydreams

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    Congratulations on the steps you’ve taken. :slight_smile:

    Sometimes I think that I overthink things...I wear a rainbow badge at work, a lot of people do and I expect a lot of them are straight. I was a bit nervous about requesting one, but nobody has even looked twice. I know that’s not quite the same thing as tagging yourself in a photo, but so many people don’t really think anything of people being gay. It’s all easier said than done though, I know.

    Are there any lesbian or LGBT groups near you? Perhaps you could join one and try to develop some friendships. I’ve joined one, but not attended yet - the dates have always fallen on the weekends that I have my daughter. I hope to go to one soon.
     
  3. CatWho

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    Thanks! I definitely overthink things but I also agree that most people probably won't think anything about it. I guess it is just getting past the fear of the initial reaction. I do look for LGBT groups near me. I think an activity, like hiking, might be more comfortable than a social group. Unfortunately, it is winter and those groups aren't really having meetings now. I will keep looking though because I think that would be a good way to meet people. I hope you get to one soon too!
     
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  4. silverhalo

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    Who doesnt over think things. She may or may not be in the same boat but it shouldn't matter. It's natural to be nervous before a date even if it isn't the first with a woman but once you are on the date it will get easier.
    As far as telling her I would be honest about it, I mean it doesn't have to have a massive build up and reveal but I'm an advocate of just being yourself and being honest and either that will be something she likes and great or it wont and then she obviously isn't the right person for you.

    Sounds like you have been doing a great job so far though.
     
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  5. Quantumreality

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    Hey @CatWho , I agree with both @LostInDaydreams and @silverhalo . Who doesn't sometimes overthink things?

    For a Bi-male persective on your situation, I would throw this out there for your consideration. (Especiially since we are older adults - you said that you are 45 and I am 54.) I would simply advise you to just do with the flow. If it feels right, go with it. Your lifetime of experience with other people, even if it may be most from a professional standpoint, should stand you in good steed in terms of evaluating how to conduct yourself or how 'real' this relationship is. I also totally agree with @silverhalo that you just have to be yourself - open and basically honest. Noone can establish a serious long-term relationship (be it romantic or a serious friendship) without openess and honesty.

    To that end, just being yourself and focusing on having a good time with her should speak for itself in the longrun. I.e. just going on the date with an open mind should tell you everything you need to know. Don't worry about it in advance. Nor plan anything significant in advance (unless that is the type of person that you normally are). Just let it be.

    Being nervous is normal. But, when first establishing a potentially romantic relationship, it isn't normally a deciding factor in the longrun - at least in my experience.

    QR
     
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  6. CatWho

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    Thanks, Silverhalo! I always appreciate your advice :slight_smile: I know once we meet it will either go well and I can relax or it won't and I'll move on... like any other date I've been on. As far as telling her I'm not out goes, I wouldn't lie, but it almost feels like saying it is sort of like coming out. I know it seems silly since I am talking to women on an app to meet other gay women. That direct acknowledgement of saying or texting someone about it is scary to me. I know it will get easier. It already is in a lot of ways. Having people to talk to on EC is really helping a lot.
     
  7. CatWho

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    Thanks QR! You made a good point. I have to talk to/interact with people all the time professionally and do not have any problem doing it. It is definitely something to remember when I am nervous in personal interactions. I am trying not to overthink the planning part, but I am someone who finds some comfort in having a plan, even if I don't stick to it. Once I feel comfortable in the situation though, I just go with the flow. I agree that openness and honesty are important to establishing a relationship. I guess it's just breaking the ice that is the hard part. Thanks for the advice. It is appreciated!
     
  8. silverhalo

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    Yeah talking really does help. There are many little milestones and first times for everything when you figure out your sexuality and start coming out and dating. Some can seem small and insignificant and others bigger.
    You will get there you just have to keep moving along your path :slight_smile:
     
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  9. CatWho

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    Okay, update.... I met up with the woman I was talking to on the app and it went really well. Planned to meet for a drink and hung out for like 6 hours. What I was not prepared for was her telling me about her past relationships, including a marriage, and that she was only dating casually (specifically said there was at least one other person she was currently dating) because she doesn't want anything more right now. Maybe I should have thought about that, but I was more concerned with getting out, not being too nervous and trying to have a good time. So, I just thanked her for her honesty and then she said, "I guess if I met the right person that would change." When she asked about me I told her it had been years since my last relationship and it was with a guy. She seemed a bit surprised but said there was nothing wrong with that. Then she told me to be careful on the dating sites and that I could ask her anything that I wanted, if I had questions and if I was still figuring stuff out we could be friends. Although it was a bit awkward, I think it was good to get that stuff out. The rest of the night we listened to live music, drank and had a good time.

    She texted me the next morning and we continued to chat daily. We went out a second time 6 days later. Again. we had a great time, closed the bar/restaurant. We kissed and she said she wasn't sure when she'd see me again because she was having surgery in a few days and wouldn't be able to drive for a week. I said that I would drive to go see her and she seemed to like that. We keep texting daily... On the day of her surgery, I text her in the morning and say I'll text her again later. I figure I'll reach out to her in the evening, when she is settled back at home. She texts me at 6:30 in the evening to let me know she is okay. She also says the surgery wasn't until 4, because it was delayed. So, I know I may be reading too much into this, but that means she texted me as soon as she got home.

    My head is spinning a bit here. I don't know how I feel about the casual dating thing. I'm trying not to think about it too much because of where I am with myself. The thing is, while it may not matter too much to me right now, I feel like it will if we continue seeing each other. I clearly like her and feel like we really clicked. I also feel like the fact that we interact every day, throughout the day, telling each other our plans for the day etc., feels more than casual. Plus, texting me as soon as she got home from the hospital. Am I misreading all this? I realize that I may be. I've never dated more than one person at a time. If I like someone, I keep seeing them and move forward. If I don't like them I stop seeing them. Never anything in between. So, I really can't tell if she is giving me some mixed messages or if it's just me??
     
  10. silverhalo

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    Hey congrats on meeting her and telling her your story that is all massive.

    It's really difficult to say, maybe she tells people she just wants casual stuff because of her own fears towards things getting serious or maybe its just the truth. Sounds like that would change for the right person but it can be a difficult time.
    I think if I were you I would give it a bit more time to get to know each other and then just be honest with her and if you think you will get to attached with a casual thing then just explain and at that point she will have to make a decision. Sounds like you are doing well though.
     
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