Dear Dr. Darcy:
I lived in the closet until I turned 42. I have finally chosen to live true to my identity and feel as though I lost time [which I] need to make up for. That being said, I may look straight or bi. For whatever reasons, I am having trouble meeting women. I’m not sure if I’m giving off the wrong vibe, or what, but I’m feeling lost trying to connect and find a partner. I get “checked out” by a lot of beauti- ful women—but don’t ever get approached for conversation. Last time I checked I wasn’t wearing an “I am straight” sign. Do you have any tips as to how to approach and make a con- nection with gay women? Is there a tattoo I need to get to prove my loyalty to the commu- nity? I’ve already lost at least 20 years without ever truly being in love.
Let me be the first to congratulate you on coming out. Now that you’re here, let’s try and get you connected with a woman.
Despite women’s advances in the world, the vast majority of straight women still expect to be pursued, i.e., approached when it comes to dating. In a same-sex scenario involving two women, one of them must grab her ovaries and make a move. Do not wait to be approached or you will live a lonely life.
I wonder what vibes you are giving off… Humans in general are attracted to (seemingly) happy, self-assured individuals. Do you look like you’re having a good time when you’re out? Has the bar scene worked for you in the past? Perhaps you should consider online dating sites, which, at a minimum confirm that the women you meet are looking to date. In your ad, emphasize your excitement to finally be out. No need to mention the 20+ years that you’ve wasted/need to make up for. Run the ad by a trusted friend and ask if you sound like a positive, self-assured woman (or send it my way for feedback).
I don’t think the problem is that you look straight. I think the issue is that you’re externalizing the problem instead of looking for ways that you can get your needs met. And if looking straight were a disqualifying factor I’d be among the first ex- communicated.
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Dr. Darcy Smith received her Masters degree from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from New York University. She has been a practicing social worker for over 10 years and is in private practice in both New York City and New Jersey.
*This column is not a consultation with a mental health professional and should in no way be construed as such or as a substitute for such consultation. Anyone with issues or concerns should seek the advice of her own therapist or counselor.