Once you have come out to yourself as a lesbian, the next step is to contemplate the big decision. Do I come out to others? In my opinion, that question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
Did you recently realize you are a lesbian? If so, you first need to complete the process of coming out to yourself. This drastic change in a woman’s perception of herself — no matter if she has always known, recently experienced an epiphany or if she is a late bloomer — coming out to herself can be frightening and confusing. And it means she must face many stages of discovery and development before she will feel confident in herself again.
At first there is excitement and a sense of finally understanding yourself. This time can be compared to life as a small child. Everything, no matter how small is wondrous and note worthy. You examine memories of childhood and teen years and slip the pieces of the puzzle together, understanding feelings as if for the first time. The sensation is quite romantic and exciting.
If part of your coming out to yourself happened when you fell in love with a woman, it will be easy to extend these feelings onto the woman and the relationship. Imagine the feeling of your most exciting crush amplified one hundred-fold. Burying yourself in those feelings, added to the feeling of the new relationship and soon you begin to feel the two of you can do/be anything. No one would dare to threaten the strength of your emotions. And as you feed into each other’s fantasy of lifelong love and excitement, the feelings grow ever stronger and more solid.
Enjoy those feelings for inevitably the excitement will fade. You will be asking yourself tough questions. Questions of How could I have had that crush on a man if I am a lesbian? How could I have married a man if I am a lesbian? Have I been lying to myself my whole life? And then the big, scary question hits. If I am not who I thought I was, who am I? Do I know? This is no time to try to answer the questions family and friends are bound to ask. You have questions of your own to face first.
Now is the time that you need to take for yourself. You took off the blinders when you came out to yourself — but that was just the first step. Now it is time to test the feelings and memories against each other, understanding your motivations and senses so you can feel comfortable within your own skin again.
We have to learn to walk before we can run. You took the first step — this is not the time to break out into a run.
Until next time…