Making New Friends

Yesterday I met up with two women from the secret Facebook group. I was kind of flabbergasted when one of them reached out, unprompted, to say that they were going to be in my area to attend a local gay happy hour and invited me to meet up. Are people really this nice?! Since I’m so not ready for the gay bar scene yet, I asked if we could meet for coffee instead.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m a major introvert, so arranging to hang out with two people I’ve never met before was way outside of my comfort zone. But here’s the thing that I’ve realized from listening to and reading others’ stories: if I’m ever going to have a hope of meeting a like-minded woman someday, I’m going have to start putting myself out there. All my life I’ve just sort of fallen into relationships with men, with little to no effort on my part. But I know it’s not going to be that way anymore if I want to start dating women. And yes, I realize this wasn’t a date or anything (the two of them are actually a couple), but it felt like a pretty big step in the right direction.

So when Saturday morning rolled around I was actually feeling a little nervous. Would it be totally awkward? Would I do my weird introvert conversation-killer thing and leave us all sitting in uncomfortable silence? Would they take one look at me and think, “Yeah, definitely not a lesbian”?

It wasn’t. I didn’t. And if they thought that they certainly didn’t show it.

They were so nice. It felt amazing to talk face to face with sweet, down-to-earth people who understood exactly what I was going through. Their own stories gave me hope, and their responses to my story gave me reassurance. If you’re reading this because you’re going through something similar, I cannot recommend enough that you take any opportunity you can to meet people who have gone through this too. It’s reaffirming and well worth stepping out of your comfort zone.

As great as the meetup was, I felt a lingering sadness when I got home, since I did not tell Mister about it. I had tacked it on to the end of a work event, thus avoiding any questions about where I was going or who I was with. It wasn’t a lie, per-say, but it was a pretty significant omission. There’s a reason I’ve grown to be a truthful person, and I know that keeping secrets like this will chip away at me over time. I’m beginning to see that I may have started down a path with an inevitable outcome. Certainly it’s only a matter of time before I’ll be compelled to break the silence.

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