So you’ve done the hard part – you’ve come out! First of all, congratulations for making it this far. You’ve been incredibly brave to do it, and you’re now in a position to go forward living your life in the open and being true to yourself. This is amazing, and you deserve to be happy in this.
So now, you’re out. And your mind might be turning to the possibility of having your first relationship now you’re out. The thing is, this can feel almost as impossibly intimidating as coming out in the first place. We have a few great tips and things you should remember before you jump head-first into a relationship.
Be open and honest with yourself and the person you are with
Communicating what you are and are not comfortable with with your partner is really important. It might be the first relationship after coming out for the both of you, in which case you will find yourselves in the same boat. However, if it is not, then being open about your boundaries and expectations from the beginning is going to help you feel more comfortable with relationships in the future.
And remember, if they don’t accept your boundaries or pressure you into something you are not comfortable with, then they are simply not worth being in a relationship with.
Take things slow and steady
It’s natural to want to jump straight in and accelerate the relationship because you’ve been hiding your true self. But there is absolutely no need to speed up the relationship just because of this.
Understand that this might be different to other relationships you might have been in
If you’ve been in straight relationships before this, it’s important to know that this might be different. Navigating your first relationship after coming out will feel like it’s the first relationship you’ve ever been in. Whilst the rules around good communication, trust and openness still apply, you might find that some elements feel entirely different.
Sometimes, people are going to stare
As much as we ALL wish this was no longer a thing, unfortunately, it is still a thing sometimes. But being comfortable with who you are and staying true to yourself is the best way to live. It’s understandable that it will bother you, but always make sure you put your safety first instead of immediately confronting someone about it. If you do encounter homophobia, make sure you report it, and talk about it with people in your life.
But this is an exciting time, so enjoy it.
This is your time to fall in love, to have some fun, to make memories. Most importantly, it is your time to do it all as your authentic self and that is friggin’ awesome!
Do you need help with coming out? Check out these:
What Do I Do If Coming Out Doesn’t Go Well
Top 11 Tips for Coming Out as Lesbian, Gay or Bi
Top 9 Tips for Coming Out as Non-Binary
Coming Out as Trans – By Lewis Hancox
For more relationship advice and support, discover our dedicated relationship hub here.