Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m well into my 40s and pansexual. Everyone who knows me well knows this — except for my parents. I never came out to them because every long-term relationship I’ve ever had has been "straight-passing" so I never saw the point.
Well, things are going really well with a guy I met on Grindr and he wants to be official. He doesn’t know I’m not "out" to my parents.
I feel like a teenager again, trying to avoid a hard conversation. I don’t know how my parents will react. My mom would probably be indifferent, but my dad is quite religious, and while he seems like a progressive guy, our religious texts don’t allow for the acceptance of "gays."
I don’t want to tell my potential boyfriend my parents don’t know, because what man in their 40s would want to deal with this "closeted" BS? He would be within his rights to just leave me to avoid this juvenile crap.
I’ve put off declaring our relationship publicly and now he’s starting to question why, and I don’t know what to do — but I can’t wait much longer. Help! — Back in the Closet, Wolseley
Dear Back in the Closet: Tell your mom first — since you think she will be "indifferent." You may need to explain the term pansexual for her — emotional, romantic and sexual attraction towards people, regardless of their gender identity.
Mom is the best one to first hear about your new man, and even meet him first. She can break it to Dad better than you can, and he needs to meet your guy after mom’s OK and he is well-informed and somewhat settled down.
Here’s a definition that may hit your dad more gently: Pansexuality is not feeling prejudiced against anyone as a love partner — no matter what their sexuality. It’s all about who they are as a person.
Dad may need a cooling-off period before you talk to him and Mom together. He needs her there, to gentle him down. Your official boyfriend should only meet your father when COVID restrictions have been lifted, so that gives you ample time to get ready for the introduction.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend and I have been trying to follow COVID rules, and because we both live with roommates, recent restrictions have meant we aren’t technically allowed to see each other!
Our roommates are adamant we follow the rules, as we’re all in close contact with each other — and I know darn well they still see one or two very close people in their families. They don’t have boyfriends right now.
Video calls are good and all, but my guy and I have physical needs and we have fallen in love. He cares less about the safety of his roommates than I do about mine, as one of my roomies is my sister and the other is my best friend. We really miss each other and long to be together again.
I can’t help but worry he will start to wander if we can’t fulfil those sexual needs. He’s incredibly good-looking and I’ve seen the attention he gets from other women when he walks his beautiful dog.
He’s a certified chick magnet, and if a girl who lives alone were to invite him over legally, I may be… — Unable to Compete, Osborne Village
Dear Unable to Compete: These are not normal times, so you and your boyfriend might think outside the box.
Some newer couples in your situation are moving in together (getting tiny studio apartments) for the duration of COVID so they can be privately romantic.
If things work out, great. But, if they don’t, there’s a pre-scheduled time (like the end of summer) for a re-negotiation of the relationship and an understanding they can go their ways again, without blame or recriminations.
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