It's no secret that learning how to be in a relationship is hard — but it can be even harder for people in the LGBTQ community.
In a new Humans Of New York post, one guy eloquently pinned down not only why dating can be harder for queer people, but why it's just plain hard.
“I’m turning thirty in July. And I’m still working out a lot of childish things in my dating life," he said in the post. "I’m learning how to communicate. I’m learning to ask myself: ‘What do I want?’ instead of ‘What can I take?’ I’m learning that another person can never ‘complete me.’ And I’m learning that in certain moments it’s OK to not like somebody—even if you love them."
All of that can apply to pretty much anyone, regardless of gender or sexuality. But learning these things have taken this guy longer, he said, because he is gay.
"It’s taken me longer to figure this stuff out because I had to hide my identity for so long," he said. "I know that nobody ever fully arrives, but heterosexuals definitely have a head start.”
Although there are definitely some straight people who reach 30 before figuring out any of the things this guy talks about, straight people do often have a head start when it comes to learning how to date or be in a stable relationship.
Queer people fall behind when it comes to learning to be in a committed relationship both because it often takes longer to actually be in a relationship and because we don't have the same resources as straight people.
Many LGBTQ people come out after their hormone-fueled teenage years, meaning that they miss the years in which almost everyone else was learning how to date. And even after coming out, they then have to navigate dating as a queer person when everything they'd learned about relationships from health and sex ed classes, their peers, and the media was focused on straight relationships.
There are, of course, some similarities between dating as a straight person and as a queer person. Everyone needs to learn the things mentioned in this guy's HONY post, for example, but there are also a lot of differences.
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