Coming Out of the Closet at an older age and finding a partner
Coming out as gay or lesbian can often be hard. Doing so later in life, perhaps having lived a heterosexual life, even married and had kids, can make the process even trickier. However, with the right approach and attitude you will be able to cope with the transition and go on to have a fulfilling life being true to yourself.
Take your Time
You don’t have to rush. Make changes in your life as and when you are comfortable with them. Indeed, it can be worth recognizing that you are likely to go through stages in your feelings about your sexuality. Many older people coming out of the closet are scared – fearful of upsetting the equilibrium of their life so far, whether that be closeted or heterosexual. This is perfectly natural. However, as your feelings about your sexuality become stronger, you will probably feel more confident. This is when you can tell those close to you.
You don’t need to make a big announcement. Talk to your closest friends about your decision. Chances are they will be supportive, and if not they probably weren’t a true friend anyway. Your sexuality is an important part of who you are, and a friend should accept it.
It can be hard telling your parents about your sexuality. Arrange to meet them face-to-face (this is not information to give over the phone), be calm and be prepared to answer questions. Remember that most parents react positively when their children come out. If you are married and have kids, they are likely to be the hardest people to tell, but take the same approach. Be honest, be calm and explain that this is an important part of your life. There may be a few hiccups along the way, but persevere and you’ll get there.
Get out there
When you’re ready – usually when you feel something akin to ‘I’m gay, I’m out and I’m proud of it’ – get out there and meet people. There are likely to be clubs, groups and societies in your local area for gays and lesbians. Look online for your nearest group. The Internet is also a major tool if you are looking for love. There are dating websites where you can search or and connect with many other people, often in a similar situation to yourself.
If you are looking for love think about the qualities you want in a potential partner. Just as with heterosexuals, the whole gamut of humanity is out there, and it can be worth spending some time considering the qualities and values that you would seek in a partner. Perhaps you want someone for whom life is a series of adventures, who might push you out of your comfort zone occasionally. Perhaps you are looking for solidity and calmness. Of course, everyone is unique, so you won’t get everything you want in one person – but chances are you’ll get a lot of positive things you’d never even thought about.
Everyone who comes out later in life will have his or her own individual journey to make. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Take the time to feel comfortable with your decisions and to adapt to what is a new way of life. Then get out and meet people. Love could be just around the corner.
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