Your Dilemmas: 'I think I am gay'

In her weekly column, JOAN LONG, a Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist, answers readers’ queries
Your Dilemmas: 'I think I am gay'
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Dear Joan,

Please help. I think I am gay. I am 35 and separated from my husband four years ago. We have two older teenagers who are doing well.

I have a really good friend — Mary, I will call her. We have been friends since primary school. She is now widowed for five years.

We have been through so much together — through thick and thin. She is a really great friend.

The problem is now though that I think I love her in a sexual way. I had too much to drink one night a few weeks ago when we were together and I began to tell her how I am feeling towards a female friend but she started laughing at me and I felt so awful and embarrassed.

She went on to say that she understands lesbianism. I know that we had both been drinking wine and she was more tipsy than me but what she said gutted me. I said no more then and shut up.

Since then I have been devastated. I think I have fallen in love with her and I don’t know what to do.

She was on to me a number of times wanting to meet and asking why I wasn’t returning her calls and texts. Now I don’t know what to do as I don't know if I am lesbian or gay or what the hell is going on. Please tell me what I should do.

Dear Reader,

I can only imagine your confusion. Obviously, you and Mary have been the best of friends for a very long time and been a tremendous support to each other.

Because of the long investment you both have made into this long friendship, I think it is really important that you do not lose it.

You may be in love with her or you may not.

You could be confusing your feelings of genuine love for this very good with more intimate type of loving feelings.

I think this relationship/friendship of yours deserves time and effort to be invested into, by you going to a professional therapist to explore what is happening for you.

You both have positive feelings for each other and while these feelings may not be the same for both of you, they are still positive feelings of care and some kind of love.

I think you ought to get to see a therapist as soon as you can because if you have fallen in love with ‘Mary’ and she does not reciprocate your feelings, then you will need help and support to deal with the loss and heartache you will feel.

You also need to explore your sexuality and find out where your physical attractions, as well as your emotional attractions, lie.

You owe this to yourself, regardless of Mary. Otherwise life will be confusing for you and this would not be good.

I am sorry I cannot be more specific for you in terms of what your needs are, but I cannot do that from a letter, so please do give yourself the time and attention that you deserve right now.

Best of luck.

Joan

  •  If you have a dilemma that you would like Joan to answer in her weekly column, email features@eecho.ie

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