I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 2 years. But, she isn’t out to her parents yet so we aren’t able to be out publicly. I love her and am trying to be understanding, but I am getting tired of living our life in secret and only being known as the “roommate”. How long is too long to be waiting for your partner to publicly acknowledge you?
Thank you for your help,
Hi Jen B!
Oh girl, this is SO hard. First, let me validate the pain of having to stay hidden. I imagine it feels like a huge rejection of your role in her life. I don’t believe there should be an official time line on when a person should come out to their parents, because every story and family dynamic is unique. Knowing that she hasn’t felt safe to be open with her parents, after a 2 year relationship, is telling of her genuine fear of their reaction. Acknowledging that they may not be able to offer her the love and support she wants, is something she may not be ready to face.
But, the fact that you have been with her for 2 years speaks volumes of your commitment. Mad props to you! However, as patient as you have been, there may come a time when you feel you need a partner who is ready to take the step of being public with you. If this is a need for you, then you must be honest with yourself about your limitations. We all have a breaking point when our needs are not being met. The real question here is: how much longer can you hold out without that need being met? If it is indefinite then, so be it. But, if you feel that you’re getting to the end of your rope, then a real truth-telling conversation may need to happen. Not because you are giving her an ultimatum, but, because you need to honor yourself and your needs.
So, my advice? Be realistic with yourself about your limitations. Share those with her and invite her to be real with you about her own limitations with her parents. Once all the cards are on the table, you can make a well-informed decision of how to move forward while honoring you both.