Or when & how to tell your girlfriend/boyfriend that you are switching sides…
We know some of your are dating a person of the opposite sex while you finally come to terms with your sexual identity. We think the “right thing to do” is to let the other person know as soon as you are totally confident that you are gay/lesbian and realize that continuing the heterosexual relationship is not right for either of you. If your relationship has been very serious for a long time, the other person may have already begun to make choices in life and career that will forever lock-in their future professional and personal life.
Unless the feelings between you and the person whom you are dating are mutual, breaking up can be very hard to do. You may have already experienced rejection in a previous relationship and know how it can be bad news.
You will need to make the decision as to whether or not you should share that you are gay/lesbian. We think that for the majority of you, there are advantages by being totally truthful and few downsides. In an indirect way, your girlfriend/boyfriend was probably very much a part of your coming out to yourself, and they deserve the respect for having “helped” you through your personal coming out journey.
- For the other person, it can help them come to terms with their loss by knowing that there is not something wrong with them. Be prepared to answer the question “so how long have you known this?” If at all, they will get upset for you not having told them sooner, feeling that they have wasted their invested time, their love and life to nurture your relationship.
- By sharing, you can also let the other person know that you really do love them and care about them, but you are unable to provide them with the full love they deserve.
- If you don’t tell them when you breakup, if/when they later find out, you may not have any say as to who finds out about you.
- Just as coming out to others and coming out to your parents as discussed above, you can also ask them to respect your needs regarding who else it OK to share the fact that you are now gay/lesbian.
And unlike the dynamic of most heterosexual breakups, it is possible that you and your ex will become best friends forever.