Hi Stella, thanks for coming to us with your question.
I understand that you are feeling lost and stressed about the prospect of starting a romantic relationship with someone who is not only a friend, but also a woman. This combined with the fact that you are going through a tough time with your divorce is a lot for one person to take. I hope I can help you figure some things out.
First of all, you have been attracted to and dated men for probably most of your life so far, so it’s natural that you feel nervous venturing outside of that comfort zone. You might be worried that this is a ‘rebound’ situation or a phase that you are going through post-divorce. Maybe it is. I’m wondering what are your feelings for this woman outside of your friendship with her? Obviously you like her as a person and you have fun together as friends, but beyond that are there romantic feelings? Or is it purely sexual? Do you want to spend as much time with her as possible? Do you want to be dating her publicly, and sharing a life with her? Would you feel proud to introduce her to your other friends? Or is it a sexually charged friendship full of exploration? Even if the feelings are purely sexual, that does not necessarily mean you should not pursue the relationship further. It’s just important and interesting to be able to distinguish, identify, and be honest about your emotions on that level.
I’m wondering why you are being so limiting and hard on yourself by saying things like ‘I’d never be with another girl’? Life can be surprising and I don’t see why you would make such a finite statement. What would be so bad about eventually discovering that you can develop feelings for other women? Although you may never do so, having an open spirit and being less strict on yourself can only make this situation easier. I understand that labels can be intimidating and they often don’t fit just right. Labels aren’t for everyone, though they can provide a sense of comfort, belonging, and solidarity to those who identify with them. If it makes you feel uncomfortable to call yourself a lesbian, bisexual, gay, or homosexual then don’t! Does it matter how many other women or men you end up having feelings for in the future? Do you have feelings for this person, your friend, right now? Does she have feelings for you? Do you share the same ideas of what a romantic relationship would entail? Have you been honest with her since the beginning? Then what could go wrong in this relationship that couldn’t equally go wrong in another relationship? As long as you are respectful to each other at all times, and as long as you both want to preserve a friendship regardless of what happens in your potential relationship, then you can most likely work together to make it work.
Finally, no relationship comes with guarantees of long-term, pain free, love and success. Whether you start dating your friend, another woman, or someone of another gender, there is an equal chance of the relationship ending. Dating a friend obviously makes this a more important possibility to consider. All you can do is be honest with each other the whole way through.
Good luck Stella! Try to relax and enjoy this journey a little bit! Please don’t hesistate to come back to us with any more questions.
Hillary, for Alterheros