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Coming Out In a Relationship – How Do I Tell My Boyfriend I Think I’m Gay?

Mar 11, 2022

Coming Out In a Relationship – How Do I Tell My Boyfriend I Think I’m Gay?
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  • Coming to terms with your sexuality can be a difficult and confusing process on its own. Being in a relationship with someone during this process can make things that much more complicated – especially if you’re realizing you’re not attracted to your partner’s gender and may be gay. 

    If you’re in a relationship with a man and think you might be gay, know that you are not alone in this situation. Many women and queer folks have also had to come to terms with their sexuality while being in a relationship. Although it’s hard to let go and potentially hurt someone you love, remember that you deserve to live as your authentic self and find happiness too. 

    It’s important to acknowledge that this is a difficult situation, and whatever you are feeling is valid. Keep reading for some guidance on how to navigate this situation, including coming to terms with your sexuality, figuring out how to tell him the news, and dealing with a breakup.

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    Discovering Your Sexuality

    Although everyone’s experience is different, it’s common to experience confusion and mixed feelings when coming to terms with your sexuality. In the heteronormative society we live in, everything around us has been centered around straightness. This means most of us were raised in environments where it was assumed we were straight. So when we start to notice feelings of the opposite, it can be confusing

    Questioning our identities we’ve had our whole lives can be disorienting, but can also end up making perfect sense and feeling right. If you’re realizing that you might be gay, know that you deserve to live as your most authentic self and explore your true identity. This part of you, that maybe was repressed by outside factors, has been waiting to shine. Being queer is a beautiful thing, and your loving community is out there waiting to support you.

    It’s understandable that discovering your sexuality while in a relationship can make things more complicated. Know that you haven’t done anything wrong by realizing that you’re gay. It’s not something that you can control, and you don’t deserve to suppress it any longer! Sometimes being in a relationship with a man is what it takes to realize that it doesn’t feel right, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you can find the courage to be honest because he also deserves that from his partner.

    You Both Deserve Happiness

    While you deserve to start living as your true self, your partner also deserves the courtesy of being honest with them. The only way you can both find true happiness is to tell them about coming to terms with your sexuality. 

    Although you may be too afraid of hurting them, the truth is that prolonging the truth that you’re gay will hurt them even more. Although they will likely be hurt by ending the relationship, it’s what’s ultimately best for you both, and letting the relationship go on further may only worsen that hurt. Breaking up is hard! However, you both deserve to find your true happiness with partners who reciprocate your feelings. 

    There’s also a good chance this person who loves you will want to support you as a friend. Plus, this person will ultimately be grateful for your honesty in the long run. Although it’s hard, remember that you’re doing each other both a favor by telling him/them the truth about being gay.

    How To Tell Him You May Be Gay

    If you’ve gathered the courage to tell your boyfriend about coming to terms with your sexuality, we applaud you! It’s a tough situation to be in, but you’ve made the decision to do what’s best for you both in the long run.

    For help with figuring out how to tell him the news, here are some steps you can take in this process:

    1. Write out how you feel. Grab a journal and write down everything you’re feeling. This can help you initially sort your own emotions and understand the importance of going through with telling him.
    2. Talk to your therapist. If you have a therapist, talk to them about your situation. They can help you navigate this process and give you tips on how to communicate with your partner.
    3. Make sure you’re safe. Everyone’s situation is different, but make sure you’re safe as an LGBTQ+ person before coming out to someone. 
    4. Have honest communication. Sit your partner down and let them know that you have something difficult to talk about. Be honest and tell them how you’ve been feeling.
    5. Prepare for questions. It’s likely your partner may have questions or confusion about this news. Answer their questions and try to help them understand.
    6. Listen. If you’d like, be a safe space for him to tell you how he feels too. This way you can also decide together if you need to break up or try something new, like an open relationship, to explore your sexuality.

    It’s likely that after having this discussion you will need to part ways, but know you’ve done what’s best for you and your partner to find something more fulfilling. Although it’s possible they might be hurt or even feel lied to, remember that you’ve done nothing wrong by discovering your sexuality! It’s a hard thing to come to terms with while in a relationship, and hopefully, you will both ultimately be grateful for your honesty.

    Dealing With a Breakup

    It’s no secret that breakups are hard. Mourning a relationship can be a rough process with many ups and downs. Discovering that you’re gay at the same time can make that even harder. However, know that you will make it to the other side, and time really does heal all wounds.

    When you’re going through a breakup, here are some tips to get through it:

    • Cut contact. When breaking up with someone, it’s often best you cut contact with them for a significant amount of time, so you can both heal and move on. It can be hard when all you want to do is talk to that person, but it’s usually best in the long run.
    • Have a support system. Make sure to surround yourself with people who support you and can try to lift your spirits. Spending time with people who make you happy is a great way to heal.
    • Do things that make you happy. Also, make sure to do things that bring you happiness. It can be easy to want to crawl into bed and wallow all day, but getting yourself to do things you enjoy will help you feel better.
    • Go to therapy. Therapy is such a great tool in general, but it’s especially helpful when going through hardships. Many therapists even specialize in navigating breakups, and there’s certainly a professional out there who will know how to help you.
    • Journal. Writing down all your feelings can help you really sort through your whirlwind of emotions. It can also show you how far you’ve come as time moves on and you start to heal more and more.
    • Practice self care. Make sure to take care of yourself by doing whatever self care means to you. Warm baths, face masks, yummy food, moving your body, drinking water– these are all things you can do to take care of yourself a little more.
    • Get outside perspectives. Getting perspectives from friends, books, or watching videos about advice for breakups can be really helpful and help you get out of your own head.
    • Try new things. Try something new that you’ve always wanted to (perhaps something you couldn’t do while in a relationship!).
    • Put yourself out there. Meeting new people can also help you gain confidence and heal.

    Breakups are hard, but we hope you can take care of yourself with these tips. Some things in life just suck, and breakups are definitely one of them. Although it’s rough now, remember that someday ‘future’ you (living your best queer life) will look back and laugh at all that, knowing you’re now in a much better place.

    HER Can Help

    Find lesbians, queer women, and non-binary folks on HER, the dating app for connecting with LGBTQ+ people in your area. Your loving and accepting queer community is out there waiting to meet you (and they will be so glad you finally found them).

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    Katie is a writer and creative person based in Seattle who is passionate about the arts, environmental justice, and all things vintage fashion. She celebrates queerness as a natural yet radical state of being, and she strives to make the world a more inclusive place for all. You can find her taking meditative strolls in the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest channeling her inner Bella Swan, or just on IG @ktmarieeee.

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