Feeling Guilty about Liking Girls
Q: I'm 20 and I feel confused about a lot of the feelings I've been having lately. Well, it goes back further, actually. I've never had any real crushes on guys for long periods of time. But it used to be that anytime I looked at a girl, I got all nervous. I still have feelings like that from time to time, but I've learned to shut them out because I'm going to church, and they say thoughts like that are wrong. I need to know if you have any advice for me. -- Rose
Dr. Susan: Some religions have always tried to inhibit people's natural sexual feelings in the interests of encouraging strong families with children. I'm not going to tell you to throw yourself headlong into lesbianism just because you get "nervous feelings" about women, but I also need to warn you that experts have found that when you try to repress a specific thought, you usually end up obsessing about it more than ever. You're only 20 and not everyone develops strong sexual feelings at the same time. It's possible you've simply never yet met a guy who excites you, but that doesn't mean you won't at some point. Finding certain women attractive doesn't mean you need to do anything about it. But denying your feelings and reactions won't help either.
Therefore my advice is to spend more time with potential boyfriends and see what happens, while not feeling guilty if you end up finding only women intriguing. If you're bisexual, it's probable that you can make the choice to hitch up with men when you're ready, but if you're truly and purely lesbian, you'll only make yourself utterly miserable if you deny what your brain and body are telling you. There are some churches that are more understanding, and you may need to consider switching if your own is telling you your inclinations are evil.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.