Whether we want to admit it or not, it can be very difficult to be open about being queer.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who isn’t open about it, then you already know it can be a serious struggle. Even if you’re understanding about it, it’s hard not to feel somewhat slighted by it. Here’s how to handle being with someone who won’t admit they’re gay…
Step One: Is It Worth Staying?
You will have to be realistic about your relationship with your partner and figure out if this is a dealbreaker. Without a doubt, this is the hardest aspect of the relationship you’ll have to deal with. Being honest with yourself is a must here.
A person who remains in the closet is not going to go for a gay wedding. They’re not going to introduce you to others as your significant other. They won’t do PDA, they won’t admit to others you’re dating, and they may even date others they aren’t into to prove they’re “straight.”
This can be emotionally devastating, especially if you have been with them for months. Ask yourself if this is a dealbreaker, and if not, if you’re willing to give them time to come out. If it’s a dealbreaker, you need to break things off. The longer you wait to do it, the worse it gets.
Step Two: Remember It’s Not All About You
While it’s hard not to feel rejected, it’s important to realize their decision to stay in the closet isn’t about you. It’s about them. Trying to force them to come out may cause them to have to choose between you and their relatives. It may cause them financial devastation or put them in danger. Trying to force them to come out before they’re ready isn’t right.
The truth is, it’s a personal decision. They might not feel the time is right, or they may not feel like it’s something they need to advertise. It’s not your call to make.
Step Three: Realize That This Is A Common Problem But It’s Not That Bad
You are not alone when it comes to loving someone who is not ready to be out of the closet. This is an issue that is commonplace around the world, primarily because the stigma can be so intimidating. If you need to, it’s okay to reach out to someone to talk to them about how you feel.
It’s also important to realize that you don’t need to have a label on a relationship that people know about. There are plenty of people who have gotten married in secret, and who have spent large swaths of their lives together without being open about their relationship status.
Step Four: Talk It Out
Working on your mindset can be challenging, but it’s not something that you should do alone. It’s okay to feel conflicted about your partner’s choice to stay quiet, especially if relationship statuses matters a lot. You are not obligated to keep your feelings to yourself.
If it really bothers you, it’s okay to talk about it with your partner as well as with a therapist. This is the best way to make sure that you are able to let people know how you feel, parse out your feelings, and also possibly find ways to compromise on certain aspects of your relationship.
After all, being able to feel understood in your relationship is crucial, and that includes making sure your partner knows when something is bothering you.