Releasing & Healing: I Dated a Woman for 5 Years
It’s national coming out day, but I believe it’s a day to call others in… into a world that may be different from the one in which they live.
I met a woman over seven years ago and we dated for about 5. When she approached me, I hadn’t realized how much I wanted her. I’d never dated a woman before. I’d never been in a same sex relationship. And yet I’d never wanted to be with another human as much as I wanted to be with her.
For a year and a half, I said, “I’m not sure if this relationship is my forever” and “but what about what other people will say if they knew” and “this is not how I planned to live my life — as a lesbian woman.” I knew little about the lesbian culture and community. What I knew for sure though was I was supposed to be the one in my family to do life “the right way…” the way that was traditional and replicable.
- College — check
- Career — check
- Travel — check
- Savings — check
- Never do drugs — check
I was on a roll. I was the poster child. How could I be gay!? It was messing up the story. And then there was church and church people. My church people. I spent years trying to make myself and my family matter to God. I spent years in church pleading for God to get us out of the projects and to make us not poor anymore. Being gay meant I was messing up the testimony, right? God wouldn’t want to help us anymore if I didn’t do things “decently and in order,” right?
We needed this win as a family and I was supposed to be the one to “be it.”
After a year and a half of my emotional crisis, I realized, I couldn’t stop loving her. I didn’t want to do life without her. But she was torn. Was the “ identity crisis” really over?
Her family had disowned her during that 1.5 years because she’d chosen our relationship. She’d chosen to be gay. They expressed their disgust and left.
Following that time, she and I spent the next 3 years together… unpacking our baggage from old tapes that played in our heads telling us who we had to be and how we were supposed to live. We traveled. We went to therapy. We hurt and cried. We lived together and made plans to be married and build a family together. We hiked and painted and covered each other in love.
But you know the feeling when you’re reading a good book, a really good and juicy book and you can feel the story coming to an end… and you resist it? You start reading more slowly or in our case, kissing more intentionally and softly and then page by page… word by word… letter by letter….
My ask of you is to let people have their lives. Whatever that is. Let people love freely and live freely. Release the need to impart your traditional thinking on someone else’s life and honor the one you’re being called to live.