After my first few dates with girls, I became very confused and again began to reevaluate my sexuality. I simply wasn’t attracted to the few girls I had gone out with, and as each date ended, I prayed with all my heart that no one would lean in and try to kiss me. So after this happened a few times, I began to wonder, am I gay?
I sifted through memories of the way certain girls had turned my insides over the years, thought back to my female celebrity obsessions, to my inability to hold an interest in any boy I tried to date. I recalled how deeply I fell in love with another girl only a few months earlier, how when she left me it felt like I’d dissolved into a million grains of sand. I couldn’t be straight. So what was going on?
It took me a minute to figure out that not being attracted to every girl I go out with doesn’t mean I need to reassess my entire sexual orientation. What it means is that I am a person, and like all people, I will not be attracted to a lot of the folks I meet throughout my life. Beyond that, I was still working on getting over someone, and having that third presence hovering over the table while you try to get know somebody else is a bit of a nuisance to say the least.
My crushes rarely begin instantly. I generally have to know someone for a bit and feel some sort of emotional connection before I realize I’ve developed feelings. This is why I almost always leave dates these days thinking, “yeah, she was cool…and I’d love to be her best friend.” I think for me it generally just needs to start out that way, which of course is incredibly annoying.
I’m pretty sure whoever I really fall for next won’t be someone I am actively trying to find. Like the first time, it’ll probably happen before I can even notice it has. For now, though, I will keep dating because you just never know, and I have decided it is okay to let myself go on multiple dates with a person before I decide if I want it to turn romantic. Life is not a television show, where everyone always seems to fall into a romantic embrace at the end of a first date. Chemistry has to build and form, and it takes more than one meal with a relative stranger for that to happen–especially if you’ve met that stranger online. For those I have initially met in person, I find the chemistry does build more quickly.
The cool part is, though, that if chemistry isn’t there, I’ll usually have just found myself another friend. Gay people always seem to be looking for more gay friends, especially we twentysomethings who can’t seem to stay still, who keep moving to new cities and constantly find ourselves socially starting from scratch.
I remember a while back talking to a friend about how frustrated I was when I hadn’t found someone I liked yet, and she instantly responded, “Molly, you’ve been out for three months. People date for years before finding someone they really like. Be patient.” She was right, of course. These things take time, and I am lucky enough to have since found a girl or two who I did want to kiss. And as it turns out, it doesn’t always take time for an attraction to build. Sometimes you do just know.