(Originally posted on March 27, 2013 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)
I’m bisexual, and the prospect of dating a woman terrifies me. It’s probably the main reason I took ten years to finally accept myself and come out. I knew I wasn’t just straight-but-not-narrow when I was fourteen. But the few times I hesitantly reached out beyond the fear of rejection in high school, I was shut down – and painfully. It was easier to just focus my attention on boys and pretend I didn’t notice girls.
I also have the worst gaydar ever.
Honestly, I even have trouble sussing out whether straight men are hitting on me or not, so the idea of trying to read signals from a lady gives me serious anxiety. The awkward, hurtful experience of confessing a crush to a straight girl is something I don’t want to repeat at this point in my life.
Getting involved in LGBTQ events in Edmonton has been helpful, since I have met women I can say with certainty are attracted to other women, but not all crushes pop up at lesbian events. Sometimes they show up inconveniently at work, or at school, or at church. Men confuse me as it is.
Male friends frequently complain to me about the irrationality and confounding behaviour of women, which I disturbingly notice myself exhibiting at times. The logic in my head states that I shouldn’t confuse myself more by pursuing such mystifying beings as the womenfolk. But I haven’t found the right person amongst the men I’ve dated, so maybe my logic isn’t as sound as I’d like to think.
I’m slowly realizing my gender expression isn’t as definable as I’d like it to be. My frustration over not being satisfied with a wardrobe of similar clothes has been life long; I need a femme closet full of dresses and high heels and a butch closet full of men’s jeans and baggy sweaters.
I don’t want to fill a prescribed role in a relationship; my needs and impulses change day to day. Sometimes I want to bring you flowers, and give you my coat when you’re cold, and protect you from the scary drunk guy across the street. Sometimes, I want you to bring me flowers, and pick me up for our date, and hold my hand so I don’t trip in my high heels.
I’m going to want these things no matter who you are.
Men tend to have a problem with some of these things. It’s not their fault, really. It’s not considered manly to let your girlfriend change your oil or hold the door for you, and society is still very critical of the traditional gender role of heterosexual men. Potentially, I see this dynamic working a lot better with a woman.
But… what if it doesn’t?
I have avoided realizing crushes to the potential of dating. I have resisted romantic entanglements. Yet here I am, still bisexual, still single, still frustrated by my lack of success in meeting like-minded and like-oriented women. One of the best things about being involved in the community now, however, is the slow removal of that feeling of intimidation. The idea of flirting with a woman and even, God forbid, asking her out on a coffee date doesn’t seem as daunting anymore.
It’s still ridiculously nerve-wracking, but not completely out of the realm of possibilities.
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