To Top

LGBT Relationship Tips: How To Come Out When Your Partner Is Not Ready

Between celebratory parades and LGBT parties, it would seem that the community is getting better. While it is certainly less stigmatized from before — and many people continue to fight for equal rights — sometimes, problems exist within LGBT relationships itself. What do you do when you are in a relationship with someone who isn’t out yet? How are you supposed to handle your emotions when you know you need to take a step back every time?

LGBT Relationship Tips: How To Come Out When Your Partner Is Not Ready

Knowing that you’re gay is one thing, but telling the world about it is another. For some, at least. If you are dating someone who isn’t fully out yet, problems may arise and you may feel that you’re being put aside. Just like any other crease in any relationship, you and your partner need to talk about this pronto. For now, you have to be understanding with him/her. Remember: People’s “outing” process does not happen all in one go.

Being with someone who isn’t fully out yet requires a tremendous amount of patience. Sit down and be honest with your partner about your situation. Keeping one’s sexuality in the closet stifles so many things between you and your partner. That said, you need to come to an acceptable compromise.

If you’re partner isn’t out, chances are, there won’t be any holding of hands, there will be less public date nights. You may feel unwanted when other people are in the room, and that could start a strain in any relationship. Whether gay or straight, it makes one feel good with public displays of affection so you have to be ready to give that up and wait until your partner is ready to declare that he/she is gay.

Coming Out Is An Individual Processs

If you haven’t come out yet but you’re worried what will happen to your partner if you admit to the world your true orientation, then you have to talk it out again. Communication is key. It must be remembered that coming out is an individual process, not something you do or don’t for another person, even your partner. In fact, you can come out without being in a relationship. Once you do this for yourself, a partner who truly loves you will decide what is best for the both of you – together or apart.

LGBT Relationship Tips: Exercise Patience Or Walk Out The Door

In hindsight, there will also be a lot of suppressed emotions between you two. Let’s say your partner’s family will be on vacation. You very well know that it will be awkward if you tag along as so and so’s friend. And in similar situations, the already-out partner opts to just stay behind and miss out all the fun.

Staying in the shadows for so long is definitely not healthy. You will be forced to have two personalities depending on the situation and often, as the “outed” partner, you will feel ignored. Ask yourself if you have the patience to be with your partner as he/she goes through the outing process. If you feel that as something too much, tell him/her why you’re walking out the door.

Ask yourself if you are willing to cut yourself short in the expense of love, and experience but short-lived bliss. Or, you can patiently wait until he/she can face the world and say that he/she is proud to be a part of your life.

Remember, not everyone’s coming out experience is the same. What worked for you may not for your partner. Coming out of the closet is entirely your partner’s choice as much as it is your choice to stay or leave.

Read More: When We Rise Series: Why Everyone Should Watch, LGBT Or Straight

More in Culture