QUESTION: I am recently divorced after 22 years in a lifeless marriage.
Towards the end, I found myself increasingly drawn to other women and spent fun evenings with a lesbian couple I met through my children’s school.
Now I’m single again, I’ve started wondering if I should explore the possibility of a same-sex relationship. What are the ground rules?
ANSWER: One of the key lessons I’ve learned over 18 years writing about human relationships is that sexuality is a remarkably fluid domain.
I have known gay women and men enter heterosexual partnerships and have children, and I have witnessed a far greater number of ostensibly straight men and women - particularly women - enter into same-sex relationships in middle-age.
This has sometimes happened because those people’s true inclinations were suppressed, but it’s also true that the nature of human desire can alter with time and accumulated experience or disappointment.
Perhaps the most crucial recognition of all is the fact we fall in love with individuals, not an entire gender.
This means that, despite one’s beliefs about your own sexual orientation, it’s entirely possible to be drawn to a woman, even though you’ve only ever loved men previously.
So I see no reason why you shouldn’t gently explore this side of your sexual make-up.
Although I would caution first that you take pains to discover whether you are truly attracted to women.
My gay friends are irritated when friends encroach on their sexual identity, in a gauche attempt to be a bit more unconventional.
Gay men and women have almost always fought hard to establish their place, so it can be offensive to see others toy with that sexuality. Why not talk to your lesbian friends about your desire to date women? They will give you great advice.
And the ground rules haven’t really changed - so why would your dating technique differ greatly from when you’ve sought out men?
My little sister is gay and her hopes and vulnerabilities in love are no different from my own.
Yes, this will be first time you’ve approached a woman, and you should be totally open with any potential date.
What defines us is not our sexuality, but our values, how we treat others, who we are, and how we love.
Don’t get caught up in categories, because they go only so far in helping us to navigate our lives. - Daily Mail