I Just Found Out She Is Gay!

By Greg Baer M.D.

November 28, 2012

A woman wrote to me: "For a couple of weeks now I've participated in a workshop with eight other women. It's been a moving and bonding experience. One of the women, Lorraine, invited me to her house for dinner in a couple of days, but since then I have learned that she is gay.

"I have not had a particularly happy life, so over the years I've come to the conclusion that if something good appears to be happening to me, it will fall apart, or it has strings attached. So I can't shake the feeling that this dinner invitation is one of those good-but-not-good things. If Lorraine hits on me, I wouldn't know what to do, so now I'm afraid to even go to dinner."

I have a great many gay friends, of both sexes, and I never feel uncomfortable around any of them. Why? I choose not to feel uncomfortable. Why should I even wonder what the sexual orientation or intentions of another person are? When I eat dinner with someone, I don't wonder if he's ever been in jail, or abused a child, or robbed a bank. There are enough real and present dangers in the world without my creating them in my mind.

So, go to dinner. Beforehand, make a decision that you will not even think about your dinner partner being gay. If you sense any sexual tension or advances---at any point---simply state your question or concern immediately and clearly. Following are a couple of things---among many---you might say:

* "I don't believe I've ever had dinner alone with a woman I knew to be gay. I need help in my ignorance. If you had any sexual attraction toward me---or sexual intentions---would you tell me straight out, or would I have to figure it out?"
* "I just learned that you're gay, which makes me uncomfortable, mostly because I don't know how to interpret sexual interest from a woman, as I might from a man. I'm not accusing you of a thing, just asking for your guidance here."

If Lorraine is a genuinely loving person, she'll probably laugh and teach you more about gay relationships and dating than you ever knew before. She will not be offended. If she IS offended, you'll know she's probably not capable of genuinely caring about you or being your friend. At that point, if you're comfortable, finish dinner, and you'll probably avoid being alone with her again. If you're too uncomfortable, just excuse yourself from dinner. There's no risk in any of this. You'll either get closer to a friend or discover that she never was one.

Don't make assumptions about people or situations. Don't worry about what might happen. That approach creates only fear and confusion, never happiness. Enjoy life, making the best decisions you can with the information you have. If something happens you don't understand, gather more information until you have enough to make a confident decision and remain happy.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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