Tuesday, October 1, 2013

To Straight Girls: Dating women isn't "easier" so stop saying dumb things.

My new twitter friend Effi Mai over at "F is Forr..." (follow her! Read her blog! Hilarity and smart things everywhere!) wrote a post a few days ago answering a reader's question about why so many straight women seem to think that being a lesbian would be "easier." Her response is totally on point, so I won't bother going into that part of it--just go read it--but one specific thing she said got me thinking.

She said: "Straight girls seem to think that being in a lesbian relationship would just be like dating their best friend."

Right. So let's dive in here, shall we? I have several things to say about this. 
  1. Straight women saying that switching teams would be great because then they would be dating their best friend presupposes that dating your best friend is ALWAYS A GOOD THING.
  2. I actually do think that it's really good for your partner to be your best friend. When I was married, I never really felt that he was my best friend. Ever. And I didn't like that and it felt like something I wanted to do differently if/when I had a serious relationship again.
  3. When I met Elle, we definitely became best friends first.  But, I have to admit, on the regular I wonder if this was the ideal order of operations.
We got to know each other, and came to love each other, as people, as friends (and if i'm being honest, yes, as two women with undeniable sexual chemistry) over the course of about 5 months before we started dating.  During this time, we talked about pretty much everything, and I was the kind of friend to her that would say things like "um...what are you doing? Stop being weird about this, don't freak out, just DO it, it's gonna be fine." And I know that Elle appreciated that in me, me being a friend who kind of kicked her in to gear about a few things and helped her to be a bit braver. I feel good about that, and am glad I could be that for her.

But then...we started sleeping together. And, please comment/tweet me/whatever if you feel like you can still say the kinds of things you'd say to a friend, even a best friend, to your girlfriend. Or boyfriend.  I mean, COME ON NO YOU CANNOT. Not EVERYTHING, and certainly not ALL THE TIME. I just really, truly feel like it's different. At least for me, even though Elle is my best friend.  But--I also am her girlfriend, and she is mine, and an added layer of vulnerability comes along with that. Like, now, if I were to editorialize about something that--if I was her bff-- she might be a bit stung by, but ultimately glad she heard from me, I know that--as her girlfriend--there's a heavier significance if I say something blunt or harsh now, and I also know more how much she might be hurt by something I say. Because I know her so much more closely now and love her so much.  And I also don't want to hurt her, even if it's due to the kind of ribbing a friend would do.

And then there's the point I was making in my comment on "F is Forr...", specifically about the idea that dating women is EASIER. LOL. Here's what I said:
Regardless of whether you date men or women, you’re still dating ANOTHER PERSON, which is always hard as fuck. And I actually sometimes feel that dating a woman is harder, because when someone is your lover and your best friend, things can get a lot more complicated. Like, do you tell her that shirt looks bad, like a best friend would? But then, will she still want to have sex with you later? That is not a problem if you are dating a man. IMHO.

And so it's VERY DIFFERENT is what I'm saying. Best friend love is different than romantic love. There's a different vulnerability and a different level of...I don't know, holding. Or at least trying to hold that other person's heart more gently than you would if they weren't your lover in addition to your friend. And I think this is a great thing. An AMAZING thing. But it is NOT amazing because it is "dating your best friend." It's amazing the way any good, healthy relationship should be amazing. And your partner should be your best friend. How lucky are you if you have that. But they shouldn't be your only best friend. And straight girls who say that being gay would be like dating their best friend are saying a dumb thing.

Is what I'm saying.

That's what I think anyway. What do you think? I'm really curious what people's ideas are about this--I know you're out there, tell me what you're thinking, lovelies! <3

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