My Girlfriend Hasn’t Come Out to Her Family. What Are Your Thoughts?

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Reader Question:

My girlfriend and I have been together for about a year. There is one major issue: her coming out to her family. In the beginning, I was fine with it since I understand the coming-out process is hard.

She said she can’t see herself claiming to be bisexual or lesbian because she just doesn’t know. She also told me we were fighting a lot recently and she doesn’t want to come out to her parents and then look like a fool in front of them if we break up. I think she needs to figure things out, but I’m not sure what my role should be in this.

What are your thoughts?

-Belle (California)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Belle,

This is a tough one. One of the imperfect trends in our culture is, now that gay has become accepted, bisexual people (a larger group, in my opinion) are forced to self-identify with one group or the other.

I’m sure she feels very confused. While I don’t have a clear answer for you, I do have a few questions that might help you make a decision:

1. Why is it so important to you that she come out to her family? Would that validate your own sexual identity? Do you feel insecure in the relationship because she is “hiding” you from important people? Are there other things she can do to help you feel more secure?

2. What are you guys really fighting about lately? Is she trying to create drama to underscore her confused feelings? Are you starting things because you feel resentful?

So what should you do now? Talk out all these questions together.

You might be surprised by what you learn about yourself and your relationship.

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