My Daughter Doesn’t Need to Explain Her Romantic Choices to Me

Last summer, my adult daughter decided to put up a profile on a few dating sites. We were sitting in the car after shopping one day when she told me about it and she started showing me her matches. To my surprise, she’d matched with both women and men.

My daughter hasn’t dated a lot, but she’s always only had boyfriends, and she had never talked about dating a woman. We have very open discussions in our home about all things, especially relationships, sex, and love. My kids know it absolutely doesn’t make a bit of difference to me who they bring home. I want them to fall and love and to be happy with the person of their choice.

My young adult children do not have to explain their sexuality to me unless they want to. (Shutterstock Antonio Guillem)

My daughter said that she wanted to date both men and women

She was very nonchalant about wanting to date both men and women, and so was I. Of course, it was a little surprising and I had a few questions, but I didn’t want to be reactive. After a few minutes, as we chatted, I started thinking that I didn’t want to seem dismissive or like I didn’t care. Because in many ways, I think my daughter was simply sharing something very private about herself with me without wanting to talk about it.

She’s always been very shy and talking about her feelings has never been easy for her. Even when she was a little girl, it took her a long time to say how she felt. So, instead of flooding her with everything that was on my mind, I simply asked her if she had had any dates with a woman. She said no, but that she was talking to a few of them and then when she changed the subject I followed her lead. 

I have told my children that their sexuality is not something they need to explain to me

I told my daughter, and all my children, that their sexuality wasn’t something that had to explain to me unless they wanted to. I told them that I never wanted them to feel like they had to come out or make an announcement to me, or anyone else in the family. 

Being a teenager and young adult is hard enough without the added pressure of feeling like they have to define themselves. I always want my kids to know they have unconditional love and support from me. Because as a straight woman, I’ve never had to explain who I’ve dated or fallen in love with. And I can’t imagine what life would be like if I had to give reasons for who I wanted to spend my time with or who I fell in love with.

My kids’ relationships are their own business

It doesn’t seem like something someone should have to do, and I never want my kids to feel like they have to explain themselves before they introduce me to someone. Not only is it not my business, in my opinion, ‘coming out‘ to anyone isn’t necessary. I’ve always taught my kids to be who they want to be, and to live their life according to their own rules.

My daughter is now committed to another woman. She’s the happiest I’ve ever seen her, and I get to spend lots of time with them both. There was no announcement or long talk. She simply brought her girlfriend home one day after talking about her for a few weeks and we had a great dinner together.

Now, the two of them are here all the time and seeing my daughter in love warms my heart. Her girlfriend is amazing. They treat each other well and the two of them are genuinely good friends. Isn’t that all we want as parents? To see our children choose good partners.

Even if it’s not going to last forever, we want our kids to be with someone who brings out the best in them. Nothing else matters. Not how they met, not what they look like, and certainly not their gender. 

My family asks me how I feel about my daughter’s relationship

I had a few friends and family ask me how I feel about it. And the truth is, the only feeling I have about my daughter dating a woman is that I’m glad she’s happy. And, the way I feel about it doesn’t matter anyway. The way my daughter feels about it is what matters.

Right now, she’s good with it, and even more importantly, she’s very comfortable being around me. And that makes me happy that I reacted the way I did.

The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous.

More Great Reading:

Coming Out: 12 Ways We Can Help Our Gay Teens

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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