in: Dating & Relationships

Loving the Person, Not the Gender

Historically, our definition of a “normal” sexual orientation has been rigid. But what if we saw past gender? What if we start loving the person, instead?

—This article was originally published by our friends at elephant journal; we’re republishing (with permission!) because we love it… and them. Enjoy.— 

This is not a tale of a woman’s struggling sexual orientation.

This is an account of a natural progression in the order of my Universe that was a straightaway (no pun intended) on my path of life.

This was not a turbulent time—not at all. In my peacefulness, I set my feet upon new ground and followed my heart, moving forward into unknown territory with a comforting feeling of déjà vu.

There was no grand fireworks display marking the moment of my decision to have a relationship with a woman. I felt more grounded than ever—even more comfortable in my own skin. There are times when you become more yourself and you settle a bit further into your own being. This was one of those times.

When I was 25 I lived in an apartment in Boston with a male roommate. I remember him telling me he was seeing a woman who had previously been in relationships with women. He explained that she was seeing him because to her, attraction was about the person. The gender didn’t matter as much as who that person was on the inside. She and I became friends.

We went out to dinner one night and she told me (I remember as if it was yesterday, and it was 16 years ago) that she was attracted to the person, not the gender (as my roommate had mentioned). Although she admitted the sexual experience was very different depending on gender, it wasn’t what mattered most to her.

It made perfect sense to me, but at that point in my life it was a closed door that I didn’t even realize had a handle. I couldn’t access that concept for myself. I wanted to have children and my Christian upbringing would never allow for such thoughts, let alone actions. I didn’t think more of it.

Fast forward to my 40s.

In the past six years, I’ve grown more through therapy and self-development than in the prior 35 years of my life. I feel extremely fortunate for my understanding of self and life and I consider every living, breathing moment a magical gift. I know how to live well and I’m flourishing as a woman and single-mother.


Follow us over to elephant journal to continue reading “Loving the Person” and have a happy day.

About the Author

Celeste Shea is a contributor with elephant journal. She is a connector of dots and people—a deep thinker with a light heart. She loves writing, yoga, food, wine, hiking and travel. She is passionate about mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing and believes that everyone should live for the moments and in the moment, because life is short. Follow her celestial thoughts on Instagram.

About the Author:

Guest Contributor

MeetMindful is the first online dating site to serve the mindful lifestyle. As part of that service, we’re bringing you a library of content from some of the most knowledgeable contributors in the areas of love and mindful living. If you have a story to tell or a lesson to share and you’d like to contribute to our site as a guest, please email us at [email protected]. If we’re a great match, we’d love to tell you more about joining our family of writers.


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