How do I know what my sexual orientation is?

I'm a girl, and I can't tell whether I'm bisexual or gay. I like girls a little more than boys, but I don't really know.

David Klein
David Klein
Humanistic Psychotherapy for Individuals & Couples

I would ask you, "do you feel like you need to come up with a label?" Is there something about identifying as one or the other that would be helpful for you? From what current science has told us about sexual orientation, it's a spectrum. There are people on the spectrum who are clearly gay, or clearly heterosexual, and then there is everyone in between, which includes being "bisexual" (which I guess in the spectrum would be smack in the middle?)

It may be too early for you to identify as any one thing on that spectrum (as you say, "but I don't really know"), or maybe as you move through life you just won't identify as any one thing, and that's totally okay. The most important thing, in my professional opinion, is to accept yourself, fully, for whatever it is that you are. The second most important thing, in my professional opinion too, is to be honest with yourself and your partners about however you do identify your sexual orientation.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

Sexual orientation is not always something that is clearly definable. Some people look at it on a continuum where being attracted to only boys is at one end, only girls is at the other, and bisexual is in the middle. Anywhere in between those points can be any amount of attraction to boys or girls.

If you don't know whether you are gay or bisexual, that is okay. A lot of people don't know for quite some time. In addition to that, after people do know who they are attracted to, a lot of times they do not use the terms "gay" or "bisexual" for quite a while.

It's okay not to know.

Think about what sorts of expectations you have for your ideal relationship. Some examples may include trust, respect, availability for conversation or connection, etc. Whatever it is that you find important in a relationship is likely what matters most.

If you are struggling with learning what it is that you would like in a relationship or any other feelings connected with what you are thinking and feeling, I would suggest connecting with a local therapist so you have a place to talk about what you are experiencing.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

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