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Dating Someone Who Is Same-Sex Attracted


Kait Tomlin

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Dating someone who is same-sex attracted: yes, it’s possible!

This may seem like a nuanced topic but it’s actually more common than you would think. It’s possible but it does take a lot of work on both sides of the relationship. Dating someone with same-sex attraction has a lot of layers, but I want to help you get super clear on what it means and can look like, as well as open your eyes to the reality that this is for many. That being said, as we lean in I encourage you to dive into this conversation with loads of grace!

What does it look like to date someone who is same-sex attracted?

Though the idea of being same-sex attracted may be an absolute deal breaker to you, I’d explore you to ask why? Though someone’s past is an important part of what has made them who they are, it doesn’t define them. When you’re getting to know someone on a deeply personal level in a way that you’re hoping to pursue a relationship, you have to consider who they are TODAY. You have to choose to be more present and future-focused on who they are right now and who they will become. This is GRACE. When looking to date someone who is same-sex attracted, you have to be willing to show grace for their wrestling with God. The best way to bring grace into the equation is to try to understand what they’re going through without any judgment.

What does it look like to seek to understand what someone is going through?

As Christians, we emphasize “togetherness” but it’s not always played out. Togetherness is an area where I have really seen the LGBTQI+ community excel. They model what it means to love everyone equally, which we as Christians should feel encouraged and challenged by. My biggest advice to try to understand what someone in this community is going through is to simply just be human towards them and offer up kindness and compassion when given the chance. This may rub some people the wrong way but hear me out… being a kind and loving human is in no way exalting their struggle but rather a direct way to show the love and goodness of Jesus Christ as we’re called as Christians to do. That’s our main job!

What does intimacy look like when dating someone who is same-sex attracted?

We often over-glorify sexual intimacy in relationships when there are so many more buckets of intimacy waiting to be discovered such as emotional and spiritual intimacy. Your relationship can be DEEPLY intimate without all of the physical and sexual components. When you get a chance to know who God has created the person to be without all the other stuff, that’s true intimacy.

What about the fears of dating someone who is same-sex attracted?

Of course, there is going to be some fear when dating someone who is same-sex attracted. But those fears can also come with any relationship. All relationships have struggles and hardships that you have to overcome…it’s what you do with them that truly matters. This is where the true picture of grace comes in. The struggles of a same-sex attracted partner must be heard and understood by their partner for the relationship to be healthy and able to thrive. We all have struggles and are constantly looking for love and acceptance in those struggles, especially from our relationship partners. These struggles should encourage us to love them even more as God pursues and loves each of us so deeply despite our struggles. Even in relationships, we’re called to be constant models of Christ.

If you’ve found yourself dating someone who is same-sex attracted, here is some advice…

1. Their past shouldn’t be stronger than your love for them. 

I talk about this constantly because it’s true. People are not their past. When you truly get to know someone in the present and are encouraged and excited by who they will be in the future, that should hold more weight than their past. That doesn’t mean that their past doesn’t exist but it should in no way define their future in your eyes. If you truly love them, their past will simply be a stepping stone on their way to you.

2. Offer the same grace to them that God chooses to give you.

We are given unmeasurable amounts of grace every single day. We are in no way called to be judges. John 8:7 says, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” We all sin in different ways and we’re all offered grace through His sacrifice for us. We are called to give the same approach to others as we so undeservingly receive. 

3. Think about the long-time goal of marriage and the glorification of God through your marriage.

What’s the end goal here? Are you looking to pursue a long-term future with this person? If so, will it glorify the kingdom of God? Will this person be a partner in God’s mission for your lives? This is truly what matters! Our main goal in a relationship should be modeling and exalting the love of God.

4. Love unconditionally.

Our love for others should be just like God’s love for us: unconditional. This doesn’t mean you should continue to stay in a relationship that isn’t healing or healthy for you, but it does mean that love is the easiest way to show grace. I encourage you to have the mindset that unconditional love is one of the best things you can offer to someone, and we get it every single day through Jesus Christ.

This may be a touchy subject in the Christian world but it’s something that needs to be discussed. We often try to turn a blind eye to topics like this one, but by doing so we miss out on the opportunity to understand God’s heart for His people. No matter where you stand, I think we could all agree that love is the most important lesson to learn. If you have found yourself in this situation or one similar, you’re not alone! I hope this brings a little bit of truth to something that some would rather leave unsaid.

PS. Have you checked out season 7 of the HOD podcast? It’s our entire season dedicated to conversations around the church and the LGBTQI+ community. 

I highly encourage you to listen to THIS episode I did with Preston Perry!

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