Love is, Love Ain't

Archive for the ‘Lesbian dating’ Category

So in just a few minutes, I was scheduled to get on a plane for a nice little trip to a corner of the Midwest. However, I’m going to miss that flight, because the trip on which I was to embark has been postponed, indefinitely.  Ok, it was cancelled.  A few months ago I mentioned that I was interested in a lovely young woman, and we seemed to be getting along quite nicely.  Rather abruptly, though, she decided that she “wasn’t the one” and didn’t think that “she could be the girlfriend I deserved” and just as quickly as it started, it was over.

While I’m not angry at her, I am a bit disappointed in her delivery of this message. It was by text. There is no doubt that we didn’t see eye-to-eye on a couple of issues, but I was still a little perturbed by what I see as the ultimate act of cowardice in this type of situation.  The failure to communicate in person or at least by phone, your need to end a budding relationship, is just as powerful as a slap in the face. It sends the message that you are unworthy of direct communication.  While I do not believe that about myself at all, I have to admit that it took a great deal of self-control not to call her up and demand an explanation. Why didn’t I call her, you ask? Because she’s right. She’s not the one for me. And although we had a wonderful time together and got along really well, our relationship expectations were completely different. Needless to say, we couldn’t work it out.

So in the spirit of catharsis and a keen desire to prevent my dear readers from making a similar snafu, here are a few ways that you can surmise whether or not your current honey is “The One” for you: (Not all of these are issues that we dealt with, but  some are things I’ve thought about since we’ve parted ways.)

  • You don’t communicate often or well.  If you like to talk a lot and your honey would rather not, you may want to reconsider how you plan to move forward in your relationship when you really don’t have much to talk about.  There is no doubt that sometimes life gets in the way: added responsibilities at work, family crises, or just plain exhaustion. But if you are really interested in maintaining a relationship, you’ve got to communicate often, and well.
  • Related to the previous point is the method by which you communicate.  Each time the Bunny and I had a disagreement, (if I recall correctly) it seemed to start with a text message.  There should be guidelines on the types of communication that can be had by text.  Tone, emotion, and intent are sometimes lost in those 140 character bytes, and once you hit the send button, you can’t take it back. So my advice to you is if it’s important, just wait for her to call you.
  • If you are in a long distance situation, consistent communication is paramount to the success of the relationship.  At the end of the day, it’s all you really have to stay connected to each other until you meet again.  Now, folks have varying opinions on how that should happen, but I have friends who Skype every night, or spend an hour on the phone catching up. Some even plan phone dates. The important thing is that you stay connected to each other and that you do it often.
  • Is your potential date really interested in a serious relationship, or is she looking for a girlfriend of the “add and stir” variety? By add and stir I mean is she ready to make you a part of her life, or does she just want to find a place for you on her oh so busy schedule? I’m being a little flip, but I think this is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me and the Bunny.  And as a matter of fact, about a month before we called it quits, I asked her if she really had time for girlfriend. She got pretty upset and we almost ended it then. In retrospect, I believe I hit a nerve. I NEVER expect to be placed before faith or family, but years ago, there was a point at which I realized that I do not want to be fifth or sixth down somebody’s priority list.
  • Related tangentially to that is the notion that at some point, you have to decide how to integrate the disparate parts of your life together in order to make time and space for all of the things that are important to you.  If baby girl gets pissed if you text or call her when she’s with her friends, then she may not be ready to tie the knot.  Or she’s got something to hide. Either way, she may not be ready to give up living the single life for the sake of the relationship. And if you are, then she is not the one for you.
  • Finally, if she is in the closet and you are not, it will probably become a problem at some point.  Now don’t get your panties in a bunch, I realize that coming out is a process and not everyone is able to do it. HOWEVER, if you are out and proud, or just out, this may become an issue down the road. One thing about this that bothers me (and I’m sure I’ll get some heat for saying it), is the notion that by living a double life (if that is what one is doing), then one has learned the art of deception.  And by that I mean that you’ve had to create smoke and mirrors for your family or whomever you aren’t out to in order to keep your secret safe. And to be honest, if you are able to do this, then how can I really know how you feel about me?  No doubt this does NOT hold true for everyone, but I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way.  For some, it’s easier to live the lie than to confront the truth.
  • And in the words of my girl M-Boogie, you don’t have to lie to kick it.  If all you want to do is have a good time, or just want a girl as an accessory, then just say so. There are lots of women out there that are cool with that. However, if you are really interested in having a serious, meaningful relationship, then you will actually have to put some work in. That may mean more than a date once a month or a phone call every few days.  You may actually have to make a few adjustments in your life. If you aren’t ready to or can’t do that, then not only are you not the one for me, you may not be the one for anyone.

So, for the past few months, I’ve been rather busy with work and my studies, but I did meet a couple of ladies and I’m actually very interested in one of them. But first, let me tell you about an interesting experience with a woman I met late last year. Sometime in late December or early January, I think, I met a woman from Chi-town, let’s call her Broke Down Betty. She was attractive although she seemed a bit sad, and we struck up a conversation and exchanged numbers. We lived about two hours apart, so you would think that getting together for coffee or dinner wouldn’t be much of an issue. It was. Because I am committed to taking my time to get to know a girl before getting all googly-eyed about her, I really wanted to make sure that we had ample time to chat and hang out to see if there was a spark. Welllllll, the first time Broke Down Betty and I had an extended phone conversation, she broke down crying about two losses she had suffered in the past few years.  I immediately felt bad for her, but I also was pretty sure that this woman was in no shape to date anyone on a serious level.  She seemed to still be grieving deeply over the loss of her mother and close friend, and even though it had been two years, she still couldn’t speak about the loss without breaking down. She really needed to heal emotionally, and take some time to take care of herself. But that is not why I called her Broke Down Betty.

At some point over the next couple of weeks, Broke Down Betty actually broke her wrist while helping a little old lady. No, seriously. This is why I call her Broke Down Betty.  However, we weren’t talking much, and seemed to be only be communicating by text. Now, I’m a talker, so although we chatted a little about her wrist and recovery, we didn’t seem to have much else to say to each other, so I assumed (which is never a wise thing to do), that she just wasn’t interested, and since I knew she seemed to be in an “interesting place” emotionally, I was pretty sure this wasn’t a love connection.  We weren’t connected in any meaningful way, and eventually I met someone else.  Well, apparently Broke Down Betty didn’t get the memo, because after about three weeks of silence (and remember, we never actually went out), she started calling and talking about getting together for coffee or dinner. Quite frankly, I wasn’t interested.  I told her that because we hadn’t actually TALKED in weeks, I really didn’t think she was interested in getting to know me and that I thought it best if we just became friends.

This is when she broke down on me.

Broke Down Betty didn’t want to take no for an answer, and I honestly couldn’t figure out why.  We never actually went on a date, and didn’t talk that much on the phone.  Still, she kept trying to convince me that we should go out, that she was ready for a relationship, and at some point she started to cry. I was completely shocked and could only wait patiently until she finished. At some point she got herself together and proceeded to tell me that she had had a lot going on in the past few weeks, (her wrist, her son was accused of a crime he didn’t commit, among other things), which is why she broke down crying on me. Well, I’ve got to be honest, and I know some of you are going to think this is harsh, but I told her (very nicely) that perhaps she needed to seek grief counseling, because she kept telling me that I didn’t know how it felt to lose my mother, and she’s right, I don’t. But I am a near stranger to this woman, and I am probably not the best person to help her deal with her grief. I was relieved when she told me that she had already signed up for group counseling, although I honestly thought she might need a bit of one on one.  I did tell her that I really thought she needed a good friend, and that I’d be happy to be that.  Do you think I’ve heard from her since? Not hardly.

The moral of the story is this: The first time I talked to this woman I had a feeling that she wasn’t in a good place emotionally, and I was right. However, I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, which is why I continued to communicate with her, even if only briefly.  So, go with your gut. I’ve been accused of being too hasty to jump ship with this kind of thing, but so far, my gut has served me well. The second thing I figured out is that I think this woman was being manipulative. To be honest, it seemed as if she cried on demand, because even in the conversation where she actually “broke down,” she seemed to turn it around so quickly that it was like it had never happened at all.  Although I think that if I had decided to go out with her, she would have seen her tears as a way to get what she wanted from me. That really bothered me, and although I had already decided that she probably wasn’t for me, I was a bit annoyed that she seemed to think she could “get to me” that way.  Either way, things worked out the way they were supposed to, because I’ve moved on, and trust me, I’m not looking back!

So, check this out.  A couple of weeks ago I got a message in one of my in-boxes from this woman who wanted to submit an application. (More about that later.) Now, I’m always respectful and polite when people send me messages, even when I don’t solicit them. Regardless, I responded to her and later on that day, we proceeded to chat on the phone. Well, as she began to tell me a little about herself, she made the comment that she was looking for a “dime piece.” She said that she was “vain” and wanted a certain kind of woman on her arm. I was rather stunned, first because I hadn’t asked her what kind of woman she was looking for and second, because she used such an archaic and misogynistic term that signaled the commodification of women and their bodies. Well, I sort of let it go, and the conversation proceeded onwards.

My problem, however, is the term in which she used to refer to the type of woman she was interested in dating. But first let me mention a bit about this wonder of a woman. From what I gather, she is newly out and continually referred to her lesbian identity as a “lifestyle.” I was offended, but figured she was only parroting the heterosexist terminology that is floating around in American culture today regarding lesbian and gay identities as a lifestyle choice, rather than as an ontological state.(But that’s another blog.) She mentioned that she had been out for five years which might explain her rather heterosexist attitudes, but who knows?  Either way, this chick has three kids, the youngest of whom is 12 and all of them at home and never mentioned a job.  I thought to myself, “She talkin’ ‘bout looking for a dime piece, what, pray tell, is she going to do with her when she finds her?”  It seems to me that she has her hands full raising her children, and might want to focus on that rather than searching for a woman who is only 1/10th of a 100 percent of a real person.

Finally, this woman wanted to talk about intimacy within the first one or two conversations that we had. Lady, I’m talking about work, not about the particulars of your bedroom behavior. Now, I’m a firm believer in having those types of discussions with someone with whom you have decided to become intimate. But suga, I don’t even know your last name. Is there any particular reason you want to know what I’m into behind closed doors before you even know my favorite food? Is there anything wrong with getting to know someone BEFORE the sex questions come up? Sheesh!

So the moral of the story is this: don’t refer to women as articles of currency. Not only is it crass, but it suggests that women are objects to be bought and sold based on physical attractiveness and according to whose standard of beauty anyway? And I thought we stopped selling sistas in 1861. Black women should be slapped up side the head (just kidding!) every time one of them mentions a “dime” piece  to remind them of their fore-mothers who were bought and sold on the slave market.

And lest any of you think I’m hating on beautiful sistas, I’m not. ‘Cause I’m one of them. But I just wish my sistas would think more about how we’ve internalized heterosexist attitudes towards women and stop engaging in behaviors and speaking in terms that dehumanize and commodify each other.

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