Originally Posted by KatieA
But how do I know for sure? Sex is one thing, I have no idea of I could live with a woman, but I like the idea.
You ask a good question. The only way I can even come close to an answer is to share my own experience.
I came out later in life. I was in my late 20's before I came out to myself and in my late 30's before I came out to close friends. It took me until my early 40's to be comfortable enough to be fully out. I say that because I think that the knowing for sure sometimes is a process of acceptance of oneself.
I knew I was a bit different from my friends since I was a small child. My kindergarten teacher sent a note home on my report card to my parents stating that if they did not do something I would become "one of those people." I have no doubt she was referring to gay people because I was a bit of a tomboy. That is not to say all lesbian women were tomboys as children or that that is some sort of sign but I think the teacher took it as such.
Then as I developed into a teenager and all my friends were developing crushes on the boys I was instead developing what I thought was hero worship of women at least that is what my parents called it as I am sure they did not want to accept it for what it was which was my first crushes. I did date in high school because that is what my friends were doing and that is what was expected of me. I did not know any gay people and gay was only discussed in the most negative of terms in the church that my parents made us attend every time the doors were open.
The church experience made me fully understand without a doubt that being gay was something horrible and at all costs I could not be that way so I spent many years trying to not be gay. I even married and divorced twice and had three children between the two marriages. It was after my first divorce, when I was in my mid 20's that I first started to question my sexuality. I started to think that maybe it wasn't normal that to get through sex with my husband I had always had to fantasize that I was with a woman not with him. That helped me to get brave enough to accept a blind date arranged by someone I worked with knowing that the blind date was with a woman. After that date I knew that I was gay. I was able to come out to myself.
The relationship lasted a few years and when it ended I came out to my sister who then proceeded to try and convince me I was not really gay just confused that all I really needed to do was look at the person not the sex of the person so I wound up while drinking having a one night stand where I got pregnant and then proceeded to marry the man because of the pregnancy. The marriage lasted 2 years before I left him. There was no doubt in my mind that I was gay before I have even been married to him for a month but I tried to make it work despite that thinking I could shut of that part of me.
I realize today that one can not shut off being gay any more than one can shut off being heterosexual. Being gay is no different than my eye color being blue. I can put contact lenses on to make the color appear different but I can never change the true nature of that eye color, the same thing goes for my sexuality.
It took my being sober before I could get to the point where I could dump the conditioning of my childhood and accept fully who I am so that I can be more fully out. Unfortunately my partner is not out at work so I do have to play a balancing game with how out I really am.
I guess there is no real test to know if one is gay or not. One question is do you feel romantically attracted (not just sexually) to men or women? Keep in mind you might fall somewhere in between the scale of heterosexual and homosexual which would make you bisexual so you could be romantically attracted to both men and women. Most bisexuals, from what I understand, do find they are attracted a little more to one sex or the other though so they lean one way or the other on the sexual spectrum. My partner is bisexual but leans more towards being a lesbian. Being bisexual does not mean there is something wrong with a person or that they can not be in a long term relationship. My partner and I have been together nearly 13 years now.
Being gay is not just about sex anymore than being heterosexual is. Our relationships are based on a mutual love, trust and respect. We do the same things heterosexual couples do, we go to work, we sometimes have disagreements, we clean house, we do yard work, we raise kids, we do mundane tasks like laundry, we shop, etc... Our relationships are not centered around sex anymore than any other relationship is. Sex is just one of the many romantic, loving and beautiful parts of the relationship just like it would be to a heterosexual couple.
I hope that I have been able to help you find some answers in yourself. Ultimately though only you know what the answer to your question is for you. Take care and I do hope you find the happiness you deserve in life. Sorry for the length of my response. I was trying to give you the best answer I could