21st September 2023

I’m a 29-year-old girl who has been courting a 30-year-old girl for the final three years. Till a number of months in the past, we lived in separate locations with roommates. My girlfriend did this to save cash to place a down cost on a home, and when she lastly discovered one which she needed to purchase, she invited me to maneuver in together with her. I fortunately mentioned “sure.” She is an excellent individual and I really like her very a lot.

Right here’s the problem: On the primary night time in our house we had determined to settle in on the sofa and watch some Netflix. She informed me she’d be a minute and went into the bed room. When she got here out, she was carrying nothing however her underwear with a white t-shirt tucked neatly into the waistband and a pair of socks. I believed that it was odd however figured that she was simply too heat from all the shifting we did that day. It seems that she does this each night time!

Proper after supper, she strips down and spends the remainder of the night strolling round the home in simply her undershirt and underwear. The opposite night time she even took the rubbish out dressed like that. I knew from the instances that we slept over at one another’s locations that that is what she wore to mattress, and I’ve to confess that I discover it cute when she does it, however that was executed within the privateness of our bedrooms. Now when she’s doing this so overtly, I fear about what the neighbors in our small city will assume in the event that they see her like that.

I need to discuss to her about my considerations, however I really feel like I is likely to be overstepping my boundaries. On one hand, it’s her place and she or he deserves to be snug. It’s not like a t-shirt tucked into a giant pair of cotton panties will be considered skimpy or revealing. Then again, I really feel super-conscious about being the one identical intercourse couple in our space and fear about unfavorable consideration.

She’s the primary girl that I’ve ever dated after years of solely courting males. I grew up in a home the place my dad walked round in his briefs all the time and by no means thought twice about it. Is it totally different when a girl strolls round in her underwear? Am I being too delicate? I don’t need to make a giant deal out of one thing that’s trivial. Any recommendation on find out how to deal with this could be appreciated. – Anxious Accomplice

This isn’t actually about what your girlfriend is carrying round the home or to take out the rubbish. You summed up the actual downside very succinctly in your second to final paragraph the place you wrote: “I really feel super-conscious about being the one identical intercourse couple in our space and fear about unfavorable consideration.” In spite of everything, you weren’t bothered by your girlfriend carrying a t-shirt and underwear round her home earlier than you lived collectively – you thought it was cute! – however now that your relationship has progressed to dwelling collectively, you might be self-conscious about what the neighbors assume. And it’s not your girlfriend’s apparel you’re self-conscious about, however the precise existence of you two collectively, dwelling as a home couple – a lone instance of same-sex love in a sea of heterosexuality. The highlight most likely feels evident.

So, what do you do? Effectively, that is the time to lean in on and strengthen the bonds of your neighborhood. First, it is best to have a queer neighborhood the place you’ll be able to really feel at house. Moreover your girlfriend, is there anybody else in your normal neighborhood who identifies as queer? These will be your individuals the place, of their presence, it is best to have the ability to droop any self-consciousness round feeling totally different. That is the neighborhood that will get the place you’re coming from and may assist you thru the varied emotions that come together with being a marginalized group.

However your queer neighborhood isn’t the one group that may love and assist you! There are allies – some who might dwell proper in your neighborhood. Perhaps you’ll be able to acknowledge them by flags or indicators they cling of their home windows. Perhaps it’s their heat and normal welcoming vibe that clues you in. These are people who find themselves glad you and your girlfriend are there and need you to remain. They’re your neighborhood too.

There’s additionally your girlfriend who can assist you. Does she know that you simply’re feeling self-conscious about being the one same-sex couple in your space? It is best to discuss to her about this. She might have extra expertise in same-sex relationships and may share her knowledge and recommendation with you.

I believe it’s additionally okay to specific to your girlfriend that you simply really feel humorous that she takes out the rubbish in her underwear, and ask if she might put on a gown or shorts or pants when exterior the home. This request ought to be separate from the discussions about your emotions round being the one same-sex couple within the neighborhood as they actually aren’t associated. It’s widespread courtesy to apply at the very least slightly modesty when out in public, and being exterior the house – even for a fast journey to take out rubbish or verify mail – actually ought to necessitate protecting one’s underwear. That is the case no matter one’s sexual identification or relationship standing.

Additionally, it’s essential that you simply really feel some company in your house, and I’m involved that you simply don’t. You seek advice from the home you’re dwelling in as your girlfriend’s place – a home she saved as much as purchase after which invited you to maneuver into together with her. Are you paying any lease? If that’s the case, you’re entitled to set some boundaries of your individual; you’re entitled to specific your wishes with reference to your private home – design selections, for instance, or your consolation ranges round all types of issues, from temperature to noise and every thing in between.

In case you are not paying lease, I might extremely suggest you begin, or that you simply work out a funds that requires a monetary contribution from you that helps stability the ability a bit within the relationship. When one individual in a pair owns the house they each dwell in AND pays a lot of the payments, the ability dynamic is skewed. If that is so with you, I might see why you’d wrestle with talking up about issues that may upset you. This isn’t a wholesome dynamic.

Lastly, as somebody who’s new to a queer life-style – your girlfriend is the primary girl you’ve ever dated after solely courting males – you may profit from speaking to a therapist in regards to the emotions you may have round your sexual identification. I’m pondering that dwelling in a small city the place you might be one in every of few queer individuals have to be fairly isolating and that you simply possibly haven’t had the privilege of your identification being embraced and celebrated in methods it is likely to be in additional gay-friendly communities. A therapist might enable you unpack the self-consciousness you’re feeling and information you to not solely acceptance however precise satisfaction in who you might be. (When you go this route, I’d recommend wanting on-line for therapists focusing on sexual identification – you might must look exterior your individual space for somebody who can discuss with you over Zoom or the equal.)

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