Closet Case

Dear Dr. Darcy:

I’m a 30-year-old woman dating a woman for a few years.  Before this I’ve only been with men.  I’m not sure how I would define my sexual orientation and because of that, I hesitate to label myself ‘gay.’

My girlfriend has a big problem with this.  I didn’t know how big a deal it was to her until recently.  I sort of implied to her that I told my mother that we’re living together.  The other day my phone rang and my girlfriend saw that it was my mother and she answered it and not knowing, she basically outted me to my mother.  In the same conversation, she found out that my mother didn’t know and now she thinks I’m a liar and now both of the women in my life (mother and g.f.) are pissed at me.   I’m so pissed off at my girlfriend but she won’t even listen to me… so I can’t EXPRESS myself!

ANSWER

You have a way with women, Closet Case.  And frankly, you’re lucky you still have a girlfriend.

Lies are bad in any relationship, but lying to a woman about a matter of this importance and having her find out about it in the way that she did will likely render you in the doghouse for a while.  And though you may deeply wish to express your thoughts and feelings, make no mistakes – no one wants to hear from you right now.

The biggest lie is the one you told yourself.  You KNEW how important it was to your girlfriend that you come out to your mother.  And I don’t even necessarily agree with your girlfriend’s sense of entitlement to impose her need on you, but the bottom line is that you knew her feelings which is what propelled you to lie to her and ‘imply’ that you’d told your mother.  Substitute the word ‘imply’ with LIE and you’ll be on your way to honesty.  But even now you sugar coat your wrongdoing.

I don’t have a problem with you being in the closet.  I have a problem with you lying to your girlfriend about being out.  I have very strong views about the compatibility of an ‘out’ person dating a closeted person and at the very least, I think it’s fair that each partner know what she’s signing up for.  You robbed your girlfriend of that right when you lied to her about your status.  If I were your girlfriend, you’d be one single lady right now...