Ask A Lesbian: 5

Originally posted on Thought Catalog September 24, 2012

Disclaimer: This is an article written in a satirical manner, meant to entertain only. The opinions and views expressed are only that of the author – nobody else. The author is in no way an expert, nor is she speaking for the entire LGTBQ community. If you have serious questions, including but not limited to gender heteronormativity, sexuality in general, or ways to assist in the LGBTQ community, please research organizations that are meant to answer those questions. If you have a story or experience that is different, please share in the comments below! Thank you!

–My apologies for the hiatus! Starting graduate school and going on vacation trumped y’all. Hope you weren’t too lost without me!

Should I feel guilty that I ask for a monogomous relationship with my bisexual boyfriend? Is it unfair of me to ask, especially because he may want a relationship with a man down the road?

Hey girl. Cheers to you for asking this, and I’m sorry I’m just getting to it. Here’s what I think:

No. You should never feel bad for asking for monogamy. Contrary to what many people believe, the LGBTQ community is not a bunch of open relationships and polyamorous relationships (not that there’s anything wrong with those relationships, they just don’t work for some people and vice versa). Monogamy has nothing to do with sexual orientation, period. That being said, I think it’s important to discuss boundaries.

When you first became “exclusive” with your partner, what were those guidelines? For example, my girlfriend and I started dating and I told her I wanted to use the term “casually dating, while still seeing other people.” Immediately upon saying that sentence, we hung out for 72 hours straight, mostly in bed, as new couples do. After that, I waited a day or two and then showed up to her house. I told her I know I said casually dating, but the thought of being with someone else didn’t interest me; and the thought of her being with someone else while with me made my tummy feel a little sick. She said the same thing, thus we engaged in a monogamous relationship, which we are still happily in. Did you do something similar? Did you two just fall into sync, sans discussion? How did it all come about? Because you need to trust in your partner if and when they say that they’re ready to be monogamous with you. That is something true, coming from their heart, and even if you’ve got that little person named Fear sitting in your heart, smacking the walls every once in a while to let you know they’re around, that doesn’t take away from that person’s truth to you.

If you haven’t had said conversation, now would be the time to do it. If you’re legitimately worried that your partner will stray, ask them! Ask if they’re interested in sleeping with the opposite sex in the future — and don’t get mad when they tell you their answer, even if it’s not what you want to hear. You asked! If they say they are, then you need to work through that. Where are you two now? Is it someone that exists right now (and if so, are their plans to act on it)? Are you able to entertain the idea of an open relationship and/or polyamory? If those last relationship questions are a non-negotiable, then you may need to rethink your situation. If not, then godspeed, sugar! Let us know how it goes!

How do I bring my first queer partner home for the first time?

I wanted to answer this question fresh off of coming back from doing just this. It’s so hard! Maybe it’s just me, but the entire being engaged to a dude for a while then coming out thing really threw my family for a loop, therefore making this situation intensely terrifying.

As you may be able to tell, I am typing this, which means I am still alive (and very well, thanks for asking)! It can be done, no matter how nerve-wracking. Here are a few tips from me to you to ensure both your sanity and safety:

1. Maybe don’t surprise your family. I think the idea of going in and saying they’re your friend, waiting for your family to warm up to them, and then springing it on them is not a good idea. You’re not only starting off with dishonesty (my number one no-no in relationships of any sort!), you’re being tricky. And why be a trickster with your family, unless it involves hilarious practical jokes on siblings (hand in a bowl of water, anyone)? Go into it open and honest, which is what you’re going to want them to be when you ask what they thought of your new lovahhh. The worst thing is having your family fall in love with your friend, then dropping the “he/she’s more than a friend, y’all!” bomb and having them immediately associate them with something negative. That’s not fair to your partner, your family, or you in the end.

2. Have a neutral zone to stay at. This one was important for me, because my family didn’t take to my coming out too well. If yours did, this may not be that huge for you. I decided to stay with a friend a few towns over and introduce my lady in a public place, which was a nice reminder to my family that we aren’t in fact cast on the Real Housewives of the Midwest (why isn’t this a season yet?) and are civil humans. For me, I wanted to know that if things got weird, I could thank my family and excuse myself to a place that was safer and more harmonious for my lady and I to be in. And who knows? If things go swimmingly, maybe your fam will explicitly ask you to stay with them the next time you two come to town. Live in the same town as your family? Maybe that’ll extend to a personal dinner in the home.

3. Remember who you both are in all of this. Don’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of introductions and commitments, especially if this is a long-distance trip for you. For me, I traveled over 1,000 miles for a wedding, and had the weight of seeing every single human I had ever become friends with on top of being a reader in a wedding at a church I worked at while still engaged to a man. I had a lot on my plate already, and introducing my lady got me a little frazzled. At the end of the trip, she reminded me that she had taken comp time from work and would really appreciate coming home, decompressing, watching a movie, drinking a little whiskey, and getting back to us. That’s something that I will never compromise — I won’t lose who I am and who I have become for the sake of making things picture perfect for the family introduction. It’s going to get bumpy, and that’s okay. No relationship, queer or not, is perfect for all parties involved at all times. Remember that! You’re gonna do fine, tiger! Go get ‘em!

What are your thoughts on getting back together with an ex? What about salvaging a broken relationship?

I want to scream “no” so loudly right meow, y’all. But I won’t. There are those success stories that you hear of. There are couples that I knew in high school who did the whole on again/off again thing and are now married. Cheers to them! I suppose this question hits home for me in a few ways. My lady attempted this with her ex, sort of, well…maybe more along the lines of salvaging the broken relationship. I kind of feel like if you’re in something and it hits a wall of a major screw-up, i.e. cheating, lying… then maybe it’s something worth letting go of.

The Best of The Price is Right

I once took this course on interpersonal relationships, and the one and only thing that stuck with me (other than eating a dip that someone brought in on the last day and getting violently ill…thanks for ruining artichoke hearts for me, random girl!) was that you can never go back. Let me repeat that: you can never. Go. Back. See, romantic relationships are on this mountain ride; it’s like that Price is Right game with the yodelers and climbers. There’s a mountain that you climb, from beginning in the relationship as friends to something more, from something more to deciding to be together… and from there, you either plateau into happiness or you start the downward fall. It can go into this part of not communicating effectively, which turns into a sad, slow downward slope. Or, you can have one of the big no-no’s mentioned above, and BOOM, you’re off like the little dude and his pick-axe. And some couples will try to recreate the magic that once was the beginning. You hear of the whole “But he/she/ze’s changed! Seriously! They’re like a whole new person!” A – false, that’s just not gonna ever happen. B – why would you want to date that same person then? If they’re all shiny and new, why not just date someone shiny and new?

I see it as impossible to not bring back that old baggage, no matter how hard you try. I brought up my ex cheating for years after it happened and we stayed together, because even though I was over it, it was still something that was there. And yes, that might not have been a mature move by me, but we’re not together anymore and it’s not something I deal with now. So there.

I’d say that if you decide to ignore my advice and do it anyway, go in with caution: there’s no telling what will happen to you and the shade that will be thrown on you by others. Understand that you have people who are looking out for your best interest and probably watched the misery that was your breakup, and they only want you to be happy. Best of luck either way!

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