Closet, meet world. If you’re dating someone who just came out as gay/lesbian/bisexual, it’s easy to forget how difficult and complex and stressful the process might be for him or her. The best way to encourage those insecurities to vanish is to simply be there for your partner and be as supportive as possible. Here are three ways you can help your partner get used to the wild, wonderful world of GLBT dating:

Take One Step at a Time

If your partner is newly out, they may not feel 100% comfortable with being gay/lesbian yet and that’s perfectly okay; big life adjustments take time.

The best way to show support is to ease your partner into the GLBT scene one step at a time.  Introduce your partner to a couple of your GLBT friends one day or encourage him or her to join you at a GLBT-friendly place. Share your own experiences and encourage him or her to always share feelings.

There’s nothing wrong with taking your dating adventures one step at a time, either. Start by taking your partner to restaurants, theaters, and bars where you have more privacy so he or she can get used to being seen in public as a couple.

Never Discourage

Maybe your partner is unsure about whether to label himself or herself as bisexual or gay/lesbian. Sexualities are often fluid, and it important for you to recognize and cultivate an environment that fosters personal growth and exploration.

Become Involved

One of the hardest parts about coming out of the closet is knowing how to tell friends, family members, and coworkers. Be available to help your partner share the news. Be patient with the process while also stressing the importance of being honest with loved ones.

Dating someone who’s newly out can seem like a game of patience at times, but by encouraging your partner, becoming involved in their acceptance process, and learning to take the relationship one step at a time, you can nurture a healthy relationship that’s capable of growth, plenty of love, and a bright future. The wait is worth it.