I haven’t been in a relationship since I was in 9th grade, but contrary to my friends’ beliefs, that doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian.
My friends and I have an ongoing conversation or joke about my relationship status and love-life. While they relived countless stories of their past boyfriends and the struggles they’ve faced, I rarely ever had anything to add to the conversation, other than a laugh or ‘OMG’ comment. I am more of a secretive person when it comes to what goes on behind close doors, but that is not the complete reason as to why I never shared at story time. I don’t share because I don’t have anything to tell. I haven’t been in a relationship since I was in 9th grade, which if you haven’t already guessed, makes it a little harder to add any details of relationship drama to the convo. That being said, my absence of a relationship has never made me question my sexuality in any way; I am heterosexual and have an interest in only men. I must be the only one confident in my straight sexuality however, because the conversation that continues to arise during girl talk is that I might be a lesbian.
I’m not sure when a single, straight woman who is not in a relationship that demonstrates her interest in men equated to being a lesbian, but it is a label I have frequently faced. To get this straight, I can’t really put my finger on why I’ve been single for this long. I had my first relationship in 9th grade when I was a nervous and awkward kid. It lasted 9 months and due to my inability to show my affection and his impatience, our relationship quickly fizzled away. Although I’m still awkward, it’s hard to fully grasp what about being with some one doesn’t work for me. It might be a combination of my fear of relationships and getting hurt, or the belief that my awkwardness will prevent me from connecting with anyone on a deeper level. It’s something that I continue to work through as I get older, and as a result I have taken relationships off the life menu until I have figured it out. That’s not to say that I’ve eliminated contact with the opposite sex completely; I have dated and engaged in casual relationships with men since my high school love affair.
I’m not sure when a single, straight woman who is not in a relationship that demonstrates her interest in men equated to being a lesbian, but it is a label I have frequently faced.
People always try to make sense of something they don’t understand, and that’s what most of my friends try to do with me. Oddly enough, I have surrounded myself with girlfriends who are relationship oriented women. They adore the idea of fully committing to one person and seek relationships rather than flings and hook ups. I’m not the hookup girl either, which makes it hard to place me into a category. No one understands my issues with commitment, and I guess it’s my fault because I’ve never explained it in depth to anyone before. And since they don’t understand, they automatically jump to the conclusion that I’ve selected the wrong sexuality. It makes me laugh and irritates me when they suggest that I am a closeted lesbian who hasn’t realized it yet.
I don’t know how many times I can say I like men without sounding like I’m building a campaign against lesbians. That of course isn’t my case here, but I often catch myself laughing, yet secretly yelling that statement when my friends bring up the subject. It’s a very tough spot to be in because you don’t want to cut your friends off when they really are just joking, but at the same time, I wish I didn’t have to defend my sexuality because of a choice that I’m not sure I’ve deliberately made or one that has just happened to me. I’m pretty sure that I do want a relationship in the future and I know for sure that I want a family, but right now it hasn’t been my biggest focus.
The lesbian community isn’t made up of perpetually single women who have turned to loving and having sex with women as a result. I’m pretty confident that I’m not the only woman out there that hasn’t been in a relationship in several years. You would think that friends and other people know and understand that, but sometimes it seems to escape their minds.
I’m currently dating some one and we are taking it incredibly slow. My friends playfully ask me when we are going to make it official, and I truthfully have no clue. I’m more open to the idea of a relationship, but that doesn’t mean I want one at this moment. The new joke is that I must be a lesbian because I have a good guy and still can’t commit. I’m comfortable now with the progress I’ve made with myself and how I view relationships. Still, they say I will eventually come out as lesbian when the time is right. They’ll be waiting their whole lives.