I am a 20-year-old female, still living at home with my parents due to financial reasons. I do not have a boyfriend, but I have quite a few gay friends and deeply support gay rights. As a result, my father is convinced that I’m a lesbian. This isn’t the first time that someone has thought I’m a lesbian so normally I just laugh it off and move on. However, I live with my father and speak to him every day. Ever since he came to the conclusion that I must be gay — which he’s asked me about and I’ve outright denied — he analyzes and over-analyzes every single thing I do.
Because I live at home, I respect my parents rules and when I go out, I tell them where I’m going and when I’m coming home. When I say that I’m going to a female friend’s house, he asks if she is gay, if she has a boyfriend, who else will be there, what exactly will we be doing together, whether it’s at her house or out somewhere in public, etc. If I’m going to a guy friend’s house, he will just wink and let me go, no curfew enforced.A close guy friend has said that he will pretend to be my boyfriend to get my dad off my back but I don’t want to lie and pretending someone is your boyfriend never really works out…
Recently, my father asked why I don’t have a boyfriend. One reason is I’m really shy. I have a hard time meeting guys that I am compatible with. Another reason is that I don’t want to have a boyfriend simply for the sake of having a boyfriend. Part of me wants to let my father think whatever he wants. I’m OK with who I am and who I surround myself with. But I don’t want this to snowball into something it isn’t. My father is very intolerant of gay people. If I could afford to, I would move out and just deal with him in small doses. What’s a girl to do? — Not a Lesbian
While I sympathize with your situation, I’m really curious about one thing: what are you afraid will “snowball”? What do you mean by that? Your father thinks you’re a lesbian. Obviously, he has a problem with that. That’s annoying. But how would that snowball? What would that even look like? Are you afraid of him refusing to let you out of the house? Do you think he’d force your to therapy to “cure” you? Are you worried he’d start fixing you up with eligible young men — sons of his friends (hey, maybe that’s not such a bad thing?)? Might he begin blatantly offending any female friends you bring over? What? I mean, my imagination is going wild here and without knowing your father it’s impossible to know what he’s capable of and what your real fears here are (and whether they’re founded or not).
What I can be sure of though is that the sooner you get out of your parents’ home and out from under their rules and aggressive nosiness, the better you’ll feel. But you know that already, right? Hopefully, at 20-years-old that time isn’t too far off. If you aren’t already, I’d recommend you work as hard as you can, save as much as you’re able, and begin researching other housing options. Depending on where you live and what housing costs are in your area, sharing an apartment with a couple of friends — or friends of friends — could be a very affordable alternative to living with the ‘rents.
In the meantime, you need to decide for yourself how dangerous this potential snowball is. Maybe it’s worth a little white lying to keep him off your back. But if it’s simply a matter of being annoyed by him and having to answer more questions than you’d like or getting an earlier curfew than you think is fair, just suck it up. Them’s the breaks when you live at home — you gotta deal with rules and behavior you don’t necessarily like in exchange for a free place to crash. If you don’t like the rules or people being all up in your business, get a job and move out.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wend[email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.