So I have a teen, let’s call him R, who is a regular in the space. He’s a smart kid, and sensitive and adorable.
Today he came to me asking why everything was so hard. Life in general, but especially dating.
Because, let’s not sugar coat things, dating is hard. It really is. Especially when you’re a teenager. And this is where I try to balance my roles as Pep-Talk-Giver and Dose-of Reality-giver. And in this, like most things, I think WWDD?
What Would Dumbledore Do?
So we talked about how dating is hard, but it gets easier as you get older because you learn more about who you are and what you want out of life and what you want in a romantic partner (which is mostly true and also I just didn’t want to crush the kid’s soul) but that you really don’t want to find your soulmate at 17, because you have a lot of living to do before you settle down and you should enjoy those years.
And also if you find your soulmate at 17 then you don’t have all those stories to tell at parties about ridiculous first dates and crazy exes and wierd roommates who were cleptomaniac-compulsive-lying-alcoholics. And those stories are what make me fun at parties, so without them life would be way more boring.
And then I mentioned that if I actually had married the first girl that I thought I was going to marry I would be living a very different and unhappy life right now and his jaw dropped open.
Me: What, what?
R: Did you say girl?
Me: Yup. I’m gay.
Me: I’m also short, irish, a librarian –
R: I’m just surprised. You don’t look like a lesbian.
Me: Well, what does a lesbian look like?
R: *thinks* Well, I want to say short hair, and pants, and.. but that’s really stereotypical isn’t it?
Me: *waiting face*
R: and also, you have short hair, and you wear jeans, and oh hey, you wear shirts with ties, and that’s kind of… but then, sometimes you wear dresses too….
Me: *waiting face*
R: So I guess there is no one thing a lesbian looks like.
Me: Exactly. Just like every other thing.
R: Huh. Yeah. ….*processes* … So you’re glad you didn’t marry your first girlfriend?
Me: So glad, dude. So. So glad.