YOU ARE THE ADVICE COLUMNIST: Am I A Lesbian?

I don't know how to tell if she likes me in a "let's be BFFs" way or a romantic way?

Nov 4, 2013 at 6:30pm | Leave a comment

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I'm in my mid-30s and have always identified as straight. I've had exactly one relationship, it lasted about four years in my late teens and early twenties, with a wonderful man who I loved deeply. I ended the relationship because after years of trying, I simply was not able to make myself feel attracted to him or enjoy/desire sex with him. My sex life in the decade-plus since then has consisted of a handful of drunken hookups that I found incredibly boring. It wasn't like I actively resigned myself to a sexless life or anything, it just kind of happened. I always sort of assumed that I just hadn't found the right guy and that someday I would meet one that got me all hot and excited.
Through one of my hobbies, I recently met a new woman. We hit it off instantly, and the more I've gotten to know her, the more I adore her. She is brilliant, hilarious, and accomplished. I think she's pretty much the most amazing person I have ever met. We've been spending a lot of time together recently, and I've started to feel intensely attracted to her. When we hang out, I can't stop smiling and laughing. When she touches me, whether it's when we hug to say goodbye at the end of the night, or a light touch on the arm while we're sharing a joke, or just accidentally bumping into me in a crowded room, my whole body feels electrified.
I am completely at a loss about how to process these feelings. Even though I've never really felt attracted to or turned on by a man, it has honestly never once occurred to me before I met this woman that I might be gay. Now that I've been thinking about the possibility, a lot of things about my past (like my complete disinterest in sex, and how gross I find male genitalia in general) make a lot more sense. On the other hand, if I actually was gay, wouldn't I have known that a long time ago?
How can I tell if I'm a lesbian? Or if this is just an infatuation with a specific woman? She's gay, and about 10 years older than me. She obviously really likes me (frequently initiating plans to hang out, tons of eye contact and huge smiles when we're together, pays me lots of compliments), but I don't know how to tell if she likes me in a "let's be BFFs" way or a romantic way? Do people have good books or websites they recommend to learn about being a lesbian? I have so many questions and have spent lots of time trying to search online, but I am having a really hard time filtering out sites/advice intended for straight people or men.

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