#adventuresintryingtolesbian – Almost Out

When I was growing up I was thinking I was gay. Then I met Ryan and I became extremely confused. I figured I must be bi…but it never felt right saying it.

A decade ago Ryan and I were separated (happened quite a bit over 15 years until we finally called it quits for good). After awhile I decided to try dating. I put up a profile and, even though it made me feel queasy, I clicked “Bisexual”.

I had been struggling. I used to cry when I was alone because I couldn’t bring myself to say what I really felt. I was worried about the effect it would have on my kids. The younger three were going to have a hard enough time at school being on the autism spectrum and being beautifully eccentric…I couldn’t add *this*.

I mostly got messages from people who wanted threesomes. Once upon a time I would have been all over that. But I was older and just wanted someone to hold my hand and love me.

That’s all I have ever wanted – someone to love me. I sure as hell don’t make it easy.

The message from her surprised me. She was smart and funny and geeky and gorgeous. We chatted back and forth for a week or so before she asked me out. I said yes and went about trying to find a day and time when Ryan could be with the kids (he was working and for the first and only time he wasn’t living with us). Eventually I found a date that worked for everyone involved – 2 weeks away. It felt like a lifetime away when all I wanted to do was see her.

We talked constantly. I found myself falling harder and harder. She told me about the date she had planned. So romantic. It seemed unreal. I wanted to tell her that I wasn’t bi. I wanted to say “I am so gay and I can’t wait to make out with you at sunset on the roller coaster at Luna Park overlooking the water”. I had even told a friend I thought I might be gay. I couldn’t stop smiling, but the closer our date got the harder things got. I felt like I was tearing myself in two. How could I be the person I wanted to be: Openly Gay AND the person I was playing: Straight-ish and almost traditional woman (wife, mother, canteen duty, school runs)? There was no way I could see the two versions of me ever co-existing.

I longed for every message but I was starting to realise I would never be able to date her openly. I couldn’t be the gay mum.

I WOULDN’T be the gay mum.

The day of the date came and went. I did the cowardly thing. The horrible thing. I blocked her on everything and didn’t even tell her I couldn’t go.

I changed my profile to straight. Went on a few dates with men before eventually giving up and asking Ryan to move back in. I as working and it was easier to juggle all our commitments from the one house. Eventually were back together, though I don’t remember anything being made official. It just morphed back into what it had always been.

I cried myself to sleep for a long time.

Eventually I shoved it back down enough that I pretty much forgot about and much like my relationship just merged back into what it was, I guess I merged back into what I thought I had to be for my children, for an easier life for us all.

I came so close to almost being out. It would take almost a decade before I would be brave enough to actually do it.

Cate

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#adventuresintryingtolesbian – Her vs. Grindr

I am 35 and not only am I single, but I have never had a girlfriend. Ok…I have only been out just over 2 years…but I have only been on dates with 4 women. I was also married for a long time to someone who never wanted me. Petty sure cobwebs are starting to grow up my vaj. After a few years of separation prior to my coming out it was time to get my online dating on.

After getting frustrated with nothing but straight men contacting me on okcupid (regardless of the fact I was set to not be seen by them) wanting to fuck me straight I decided to try the HER app. I was curious about tinder but as I refuse to use facebook I couldn’t get a tinder account.

Around the same time my ex decided to get a grindr account (yup turns out we were both queer). This proved an interesting experiment at seeing the difference between the two sites…after all they seemed to serve a similar purpose. And by interesting experiment I mean frustrating me to the point of yelling at poor Ryan about it all.

I would go on the HER app and like a bunch of girls that seemed like we might have something in common based on photos. They would like me back. I would then start a conversation with “Hi. How are you” or they would say the same thing. But probably only 1 in 10 would move onto an actual message. Days after having the HER app and not having any luck in even talking to women Ryan opens grindr. He has a terrible photo (and won’t let me take a nice one) and profile (IMO) and once he is set up he shuts it. I swear all day I heard his phone go off. He would run in to give me a blow by blow of all the men that were talking to him, sending him photos and asking him out.

As time went on this is how it went for me. I would say hi and ask how they were. They would do the same. Rinse and repeat until a few days later when I would stop hearing from them and start all over again with the looking, liking and trying to start a conversation. Only a handful of times has it led to a discussion,  a few less to talks of meeting and just 2 dates.

Before the end of the first week Ryan seemed to be talking to at least a dozen people. A good portion just wanted sex, but some were really interested in him and he had great conversations and offers of dates and meet ups…except it became way too overwhelming for him and I haven’t heard anything about it since last year.

So if you’re wondering what it is like living with my ex as we both try and date…it’s hard. But not in the way most people imagine. The jealousy lay with his ease in finding people who wanted to date him, not in his actual dating. Yes we are weird. We share pretty much everything. I have lived with him for more than half my life. I love him so much and I am so relieved that the end of our marriage didn’t mean the end of us. I like being his friend and listening to his grindr stories….just not when I am feeling like there isn’t a single girl in the world for me.

Cate xoxo

I also want to stress that this is my HER vs. Grindr experience. Not queer women vs. queer men in dating.