Queeriosity: Dating

So here you are with this crush of yours, this person for whom you have deep feelings. The only thing that is stopping you from pursuing your crush other than the obvious fears and qualms is your sexuality; you’re questioning where you might be on the sexual spectrum.

How do you reconcile the fact that you are attracted to someone, yet still trying to figure out where you fit on the sexual spectrum? It can be quite the bind because your object of affection might like to know where you identify on the sexual spectrum to see if a relationship could work or not. On the other hand, trying to figure out what your sexuality is will make it easier to figure out whom you actually ask out and pursue.

Where is the common ground? What can you do now if you’re questioning your sexuality? These are questions that a couple of my friends and I have discussed. It is scary going into a situation that has potential ground for a relationship to grow while having that “unknown” in your life on which people and society in general put a lot of emphasis. One does not want to be judged, put into a box or have certain stereotypes perpetrated upon him/her/zem due to one decision.

Having never dated nor been in a relationship, I am going to take a page from one of my close friends from home. Let’s call her “E.” She started questioning her sexuality when she was in high school. She was curious about her growing attraction to girls. She was concerned at first, and expressed her sentiments to me as well as a couple of other friends. I did not know what to say or to do for her, because at the time, I never thought that someone could question their sexuality or that sexuality was fluid. Plus I had never been on a date in my life. I shrugged my shoulders and told her, “Go with the flow?”

Looking back, I would have said, “Well, move forward, but be wise.” “E” ended up stumbling through the rest of her high school years figuring out who she was, going in and out of tumultuous relationships. Due to the attention that created, other girls started bullying her. It hurt to see her go through such difficult times. However, it also taught me much about how tough it can be when you are in this questioning state of your life, when it seems that others around you do not get it and there are few solid support systems and safe spaces to feel comfortable.

However, such people and opinions should not stop one from going out, socializing and connecting on a romantic level with others. You should not feel afraid, different or marginalized for questioning your sexuality. Experience life with these questions in mind so that you can figure out where you are on the sexual spectrum or at least clarify where your preferences lie. However, do remember that when going out to date, some people might not be so open to you being this question mark. Take that in stride and move forward; they do not define who you are as a person. It will hurt, I know, but hopefully you do have the friends or family that will be there to back you up as you go through this transition. If not, you should make the effort to find a mentor so that you do have a safety net whenever obstacles push you down.

On the flip side, be understanding of those who are accepting of you but might still struggle with the fact that your preferences in sexuality might change, leading to a shift in the dating relationship. It’s a learning process for all those involved. Yet make sure that you, too, are given that understanding and respect as well.

Moreover, if you are questioning your sexuality, being in a relationship or dating does not have to be filled with conflict. Though I used the example of my friend “E” while in high school, she recently graduated last year. She has moved beyond the past, and now enjoys healthy dating relationships with both men and women. No drama. Yes, there are times she told me that when she met someone and told zir about how she was still figuring out where she was on the sexual spectrum, ze was turned off. But hey, who needs them? Brush your feet off and look forward to the next person who might pop into your life.

Thus: go off, meet people and focus on portraying the qualities that you want to put forth. Yes, your sexuality does play a huge part in whom you approach and want to date, but ultimately, it is also about those qualities and idiosyncrasies that draw people together. If you find someone who can accept all of you with no exceptions, then there is nothing to worry about. So keep following the questions, but do not stop interacting with people who give you great joy.