How to Keep a Girl for 10 Years: 5 Steps To A Better Y’all!

What makes a relationship last? I’ve been with my GFF (girlfriend forever), Natalie, for 10 years as of April 24th 2014, and we are often asked how we got here. I guess there is just something mysterious and possibly more treacherous about a long-term queer relationship. I am not sure what the mechanics are but I liken it to 19th century bridge building; a painstakingly rewarding process of learning the landscapes, suspending cables with caution and care to align just right in the middle and not collapse under the weight of the world. In this column I will attempt to breakdown the ideological construct of my healthy relationship with the hope that through my experiences that you can build your bridge with less casualties.


 

According to a 2011 study by The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, 3.5% of the US adult population identify as gay, bisexual or lesbian; 1.1% of women identify as lesbian and 2.2% as bisexual. If Jerry Seinfeld is accurate, and of course he is, 95% of that percentage is UNDATEABLE — that’s slim pickins. While one school of thought might say this would ENCOURAGE fidelity, most of us know quite the opposite is true. For every one of you, there are twenty other rad chicks sewing locks of your hair into voodoo dolls and writing haiku on their typewriters for your girlfriend RIGHT NOW thinking she’s the one. When there is less of anything, “the one” may actually come along as infrequently as one time.

Think about it, I haven’t.

 What defense do you have against this endless cavalcade of grand romantic gestures, you ask? In my first installment of How To Keep A Girl For Ten Years, I explore the notion of solidarity through individualism, selflessness and creativity. Below are five things I’ve done in my relationship to ensure a reliable bedrock no amount of unwelcome haiku or Thai soap carvings could shatter.

1. Do Not Merge Your Closets

A go-to for slushy straight girls attempting to identify with lesbian relationships is, “hey, at least your wardrobe doubles, hehehe.” As if it were some sort of consolation prize for all the vagina I’m going to have to endure. Natalie and I never merged our closets (though we do borrow on rare occasions) and we have always had the mutual understanding that personal style correlates to our sense of individuality. Do you really want to be the Jennifer Jason Leigh to her Bridget Fonda? This is a gradual descent into losing your identities and becoming creepy carbon copies of each other. Avoid.

 

2. Say The Nice Things You’re Thinking

Natalie is the Camille Doncieux to my Monet (if my accomplishments extended past acquiring a taste for sashimi, that is) — she is exceedingly charming and attributively blessed, she encounters the kind of casual fanfare I can only daydream about with every floral denim print I employ. This initially attracted me, then intimidated me, followed by a sense of grief, insecurity and hopelessness — what can I tell her that she hasn’t already heard? Come to find out, when I don’t tell her the positive things I am thinking about her, she naturally assumes I am not thinking them at all. I don’t know what I was afraid of, maybe there is a sense of vulnerability in offering someone a compliment, or an implied submissiveness in the gesture. However, we are no longer deprived of flattery; there is not an inch of her person, intellect or accomplishments I don’t applaud with the vigor and vim of a caffeinated mascot. And she roots for me, too — she’s got the Robyn commemorative pen, the laser etched money clip, the tote, the scarf, the jersey, the decoder ring and the sapphire earrings. Jill Scott said it best — “You can never be too stingy with compliments.” What are you waiting for?

 

3. Say Goodbye To Exes As Friends (Also, Friends Who Are In Love With You)

A controversial subject, as I know many folks who champion their friendship with the ex as though it were a cherished miracle in the canonization of their relationship sainthood. However, I guarantee their very presence in your life is like a gelatinous toxin congesting the very heart of your relationship with every slurred sentence your ex finishes for you at parties. I included “friends who are in love with you (FILWY)” here as well, possibly even more carcinogenic than the ex. FILWY regenerate like flatworms with every kerfuffle between you and your girl — renewed by the potential demise of your union. That’s some bad ju-ju and who has the time for the sort of ceremonial drumming it’s going to take to clear that mess? I know it isn’t easy to let go of them, they adore you and that’s nurturing your giant ego but it’s time to set them free.

This means YOU, Julia. Via

This means YOU, Julia.
Via silvereagleexperiment.blogspot.com

 

4. Don’t Stop Creating

Contrary to what you may have heard, being happily in love shouldn’t stifle creativity. A recent study by Jens Förster, Kai Epstude, and Amina Özelsel at The University of Amsterdam found that being in love alters our pattern of thought, triggering what is referred to as “global processing.” Global processing encourages big picture, “long term” thinking and inhibits logical thinking (local processing, short term) — like, maybe I should dramatically lay in the middle of the road over a small fight. A global thinker may see an odd piece of glass and consider writing a song about it, a local thinker would just avoid stepping on it. People don’t lose their creativity in a happy relationship, they just gain someone to do more fun mindless crap with; Twilight Zone marathons, giant mazes, cooking, carnivals, Disney World, mini golf, Mario Kart, shots of tequila — this stuff is easy and the best in pairs, it’s refined sugar and we overdose on it. Designate one day a week to be creative together or apart and don’t bare down on your happiness like a crutch destroying the very soil that nourished the person she fell in love with in the first place!

 

5. Shut Up

“To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; Whenever you’re right, shut up.”
-Ogden Nash

I know you’re dying to calmly inquire if she’s trying to make as much noise as possible when putting the dishes away but let it go.

Via

Special Note: This is the experience of just two people in a great big world and doesn’t necessarily reflect what will work for you and yours. Add to the discussion — if you are in a long term healthy relationship, what has worked for you?

feature image via vintage lesbians

Avatar of RobynC

Robyn resides in Raleigh, North Carolina by way of sunny Syracuse, NY. She loves her girl, her self, her two canine heartthrobs & witbier Sundays. Oh, and her family — hi, family!

RobynC has written 6 articles for us.

91 Comments

  1. Thumb up 40

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    FRIENDS WHO ARE IN LOVE WITH YOU. Those are literally THE WORST. My last girlfriend had a bunch of those and new people who had crushes on her and would play me slam poems her ex who is now like her sister wrote about her eyes and it was just really weird and uncomfortable because she was the one who wanted to be exclusive very quickly but I kept having to hear about all these other people.

    So, that didn’t work out.

    • Thumb up 8

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      YES! It’s so important to move away from people that are in love with you and just think everything you say or do is perfect. Wreaks havoc on relationships and also is pretty sucky for the person in love with you – I definitely think you should take space away from that person so that they can get the hell over you instead of taking advantage of them to feed your self-esteem / ego and in the process destroy your real relationship with the person who you’re really with and loves you despite knowing your flaws – which let’s be real – the person / friend who loves you – probably does not. i have feelings.

  2. Thumb up 13

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    Can’t agree with never being friends with exes. Some of my closest friends are people I’ve dated. I liked them for reasons before we started making out, those reasons didn’t magically disappear when we stopped.

    • Thumb up 3

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      Yeah, not sure I can do that either. I mean, we’re not like besties or anything, but I can’t imagine how that conversation would go. “So, I can’t talk to you anymore because I want my new girlfriend to eventually be my very long-term girlfriend, and you’re bad for that.” Um… no.

    • Thumb up 13

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      Yeah, I agree with this. Me and my lady are varying levels of friendly with our exes, and it’s worked really well for us. (In fact, one of her exes was at our wedding!)

      I think the key here is to have appropriate levels of friendliness. See each other at parties and occasionally catch up over drinks or coffee? Go for your life! Over at your place every day? Danger zone!

      • Thumb up 11

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        I think it is more about the boundaries too, and sometimes it can really depend on the relationhip you had with them too. Someone you dated 10 yrs ago for a couple months and decided you were better off being friends is not the same as someone you were in a long term relationship with. Not to mention, in a small town setting where the queer community is very small, it is going to be very hard to avoid all of your exes!

        • Thumb up 0

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          “Someone you dated 10 yrs ago for a couple months and decided you were better off being friends is not the same as someone you were in a long term relationship with.” I agree with this!

          I have an ex that was more serious than most, and I was willing to be friendly with her, but she still insists on talking about the fact that we are exes every time I see her, and also texts out of the blue at certain times that are just a little TOO coincidental. Like when I was visiting my gf. “Oh yeah? You’re on vacation?” We were just waiting for her to be like, “Georgia? What are you doing in Georgia? Are you visiting HER?” I mean luckily she didn’t. Probably she chickened out. But anyway. It just makes things uncomfortable!

    • Thumb up 0

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      My ex is my BEST FRIEND EVER… I mean, we dated a loooong time a go, we were really good friends before that and thought it might work as a couple, we found out we were wrong but the friendship is still there… My girlfriend gets along with her just fine, and I’m friends with her girlfriend too… No akwardness, jealousy or anything like that. I think that it’s about boundaries and that you BOTH are over each other.

  3. Thumb up 25

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    I love this new column! So cute!

    Also: 5. Shut up. “I know you’re dying to calmly inquire if she’s trying to make as much noise as possible when putting the dishes away but let it go.”

    :/ This is basically the hardest thing for me to do ever, but it’s so necessary. Fiiiine.

  4. Thumb up 1

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    3 will be hare for me. I’m friends with 1 out of 2 of my exes and the only reason she’s an ex to begin with is because she only saw me as a friend so we broke up. Shes a cool person and we were only together for 2 weeks so that probably doesn’t count.
    My other ex is a souless witch that likes to yell and cheat on people so I’ll never have that problem with her.

  5. Thumb up 16

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    Talk, communicate. I find things get big in my head and what I assume she’s thinking usually isn’t true or is worth so much less worry!

    Also really agree with the creating, but moreso along the lines of having alone time. Time to do stuff for yourself.

    • Thumb up 5

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      The trick is to not let things get to the point where they are huge and feel impossible to deal with them. And when that happens anyway, you still need to deal with them.

      Without going into details, I had an issue (actually made up of a few smaller sub-issues, as these things often are) that I let fester for YEARS. After crying at my therapist about it for a while, I knew I had to talk about it with my wife. The conversation didn’t go as well I would have liked, but god, everything was so much better after we had it!

    • Thumb up 6

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      Bahaha, we share a closet too but it does become problematic because we’re always like, “ugh, I was going to wear a button-up with a cardigan today! No, no, it’s fine (maybe a little passive aggressively)…I’ll just wear this hoodie instead.”

  6. Thumb up 3

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    “You can never be too stingy with compliments.” but you can say “Sorry” too often, #5 applies here. I’ve met a few folks who have this problem and I’ve been prone to apologising spuriously after making a mistake, like verbal diarrhoea of the mouth. It just gets annoying. If they care they’ll forgive you. :)

    • Thumb up 1

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      YES YES YES!!!! If you are trying to have a for real talk with someone and all they contribute is “Sorry” it is SUPER FRUSTRATING!!!! I can’t even express how much this just pisses me off and makes the whole situation that much worse!!!!

  7. Thumb up 20

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    Related to 2: gratitude! I thank my wife for everything, whether it’s doing the dishes or putting up with me when I’ve had a bad day. I’m sure this could get annoying if overly-applied, but a little gratitude goes a long way. I’ll bet some of the “sorrys” from the comment above mine could be transmuted into meaningful “thank yous!”

    • Thumb up 7

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      No really this is such good advice. We do this all the time, and even if it’s totally unnecessary like “Thank you for cooking supper” = “thanks for putting a box in the oven and making sure it didn’t set on fire”, it’s a very very simple way of positively acknowledging each other’s contributions.

      Also, thank your partner for doing whatever you’ve been nagging them to do sincerely. Just because you each have X set of chores to do, doesn’t make you entitled to their labour.

        • Thumb up 0

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          Actually, phone typing is just about as bad for me, but I think that’s a weird combination of phone + browser + keyboard software. (Does anyone else have words randomly disappear while typing on your phone? Did it on the old website, still does it now!) Phone *reading*, on the other hand? Much more comfy :)

  8. Thumb up 15

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    On the exes issue – well, on most issues, I think it’s important to differentiate between what’s okay and healthy for you, the once-single individual, and what’s beneficial/survivable for your relationship, which includes another person whose entirely valid feelings are outside your control.

    I get how you might feel your friendship with your ex isn’t harmful to you. You might feel the friendship causes absolutely no direct harm to your partner. Okay, I’ll allow you to be right on these points (see #5 in the article!). But the harmless-to-you friendship can still be toxic to your relationship, which is an organism in itself, and your righteousness is not an antidote, sorry.

  9. Thumb up 1

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    I agree and disagree with the ex’s thing. I am still friends with my ex. She is now dating and man and is not into me AT ALL nor will she ever be. Nor me to her. On the other hand my gfs ex’s that she is still friends with (both of them) are both still attracted to her and like her deep down. Sometimes this bothers me. I def don’t have any self confidence problems but sometimes I gotta admit it can be just a little weird. I never ever tell her that though.

    • Thumb up 3

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      So what you’re saying is that you being friends with your exes isn’t a problem for you, but your girlfriend’s exes ARE sometimes a problem for you, secretly. Our own exes are never the problem, only our SO’s exes! It’s not our responsibility, it’s hers! My wife and I had a lot of fights about this until we *both* took responsibility and *both* let go of our exes. It’s not about whether you and your ex are still attracted to each other in reality. It’s about whether your current partner is uncomfortable.

      • Thumb up 1

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        Very very true! And when I put it that way in my mind , I’m not ready to let go of my friendship with my ex. We were friends first had a coming of age dating sorts thing messy breakup back to being very good friends. But like you said I can’t really say anything about my gfs ex’s while I do the same thing I don’t like. It really only bothers me 2% of the time but it is indeed a sticky situation

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        With that being said, I think it’s important to note that not everyone is going to have icky feelings about their partner’s exes (or about certain exes but not others, etc.) Hell, *I’m* friends with my partner’s ex! ;) Again, it comes back to that whole communication thing.

    • Thumb up 2

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      My first thought is that this conversation should maybs take place. why not be open with your feelings and start compromising, ya know? That’s just me, though. Honestly, I can’t keep my feelings inside ever which is problematic in itself sometimes.

  10. Thumb up 19

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    I will confess that as the resident cantankerous curmudgeon, when I read the title of this piece I had an eye roll moment expecting some fluff advice. Sorry. But this was actually really good advice. Nicely done. I like being both surprised and smacked down by you Autostraddle.

  11. Thumb up 7

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    With the kind of person I am, it would be important to designate time away from each other. I don’t mean go on a break or anything but I hate being around people ALL of the time. Even with people that I love, I just need to take some time off. I randomly ignore my best friend for a day or two at a time (not during important events) and we’ve been friends for 8+ years so she never holds it against me. I just need time off from social stimulation before I’m ready to indulge again.

    • Thumb up 4

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      This is me too! I go as far as to disappear to other countries sometimes to do this. My partner strongly objected to me living on my own because she was afraid that if anything happened to me people would simply assume that I was on another spontaneous trip/taking a break from people, and no one would notice for like, a week. But yes. Me-time makes me so much a better partner and human being.

    • Thumb up 1

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      I do the same thing. After a week of hanging with people, I might disappear for 2 or 3 days to recuperate and be alone. I’ll usually end up playing video games or binge watching tv during recovery time. I love being around people, but I can’t do it all the time

  12. Thumb up 12

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    I am so excited about this column! Excited enough to make my first (!) comment. GF and I have been together for 8 years now.

    #1 happened almost immediately after we moved in together. Really it was less of a closet merge and more of a closet agreement. I have more work appropriate clothes and she has more weekend appropriate sweatshirt situations going on. It was beneficial for everyone.

    But #5, ohman we are bad at this.

  13. Thumb up 2

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    Really though. Being friends with my ex and very dependent FILWM was shitty for me independent of being in a relationship. It was really difficult to sever those ties because in high school, it’s slim pickens’ for queer friends.

  14. Thumb up 2

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    Aww, is the closet thing really true? I’ve never had a girlfriend (I don’t even have female friends, really) but I love wearing my guy friends’ clothes. I’d imagined it’d be as amazingly comfortable as that and intimate.

    Sad story: one time I borrowed a sweatshirt from a girl (friend) I was hopelessly in unrequited love with. I wanted to keep it forever.

    • Thumb up 3

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      My girlfriend and I swap shirts and tops all the time because we wear similar styles and sizes of t-shirts. It’s actually worked out in a pinch because I have a larger selection of work-appropriate shirts that she can use if we’re behind on laundry. We’ve also made permanent swaps with certain shirts. I personally like having that kind of flexibility “Oh honey, can I borrow that shirt you have in that one shade? It’ll go perfectly with this outfit I’m throwing together”, but we still maintain separate closet and wardrobe spaces.

  15. Thumb up 12

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    Yes to the comments above about the need for good communication and occasional personal space.

    Also, don’t try to resolve fights when you’re still angry. Go away for a while and simmer down. Remind yourself that you deeply love the person you are angry at, and that the relationship is worth fighting for.

  16. Thumb up 3

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    Officially my new favorite thing on AS! Although this April will be 4 years for us, I look forward to 10…and a million more! It’s funny how much this rang true for us, the similarities (right down to the 2 pups and Witbiers) are uncanny. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series. And please, ladies, keep separate closets (it’s for the best)!

  17. Thumb up 15

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    Just hit 15 years here, and my biggest thing would be “pick your battles”. Sometimes it’s just not worth fighting about. Obviously the things worth fighting about differ between couples, but it’s always good to remember that your partner is a human with quirks too, and that’s why you love them.

  18. Thumb up 8

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    GOOOOOOOOOD ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, this should be an awesome installment! It’s nice to see how other people look at relationships too. There’s always room to learn =)

    No on totally merging your closets til you’re wearing the same exact thing but I wouldn’t say no to going out with kind of matching outfits once in a while. Blue on me, some blue on her kind of thing. And shutting up. Yup, I think that’s where men fail the most. Sometimes, they don’t know when to stop talking.

    I’d like to add that you should also learn WHEN to put your pride aside. Having your own personal interests are also something my wife and I have picked up over the years. You don’t have to have everything in common. For example, I LOVE HARRY POTTER. Her, not so much. Never even read the books. So while I read and re-read the series she plays Candy Crush. And we never stop trying new things. Things we thought we’d never even think about when we first started going out.

  19. Thumb up 3

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    I’d like to hear more thoughts about #3, saying goodbye to exes as friends and friends who are in love with you. While I agree with your argument to some degree- there are certainly some friendships that are toxic to romantic relationships and should be abandoned- my main issue is simply that nothing can be this cut and dry. I don’t think that cutting out exes and people who are in love with you is the right move in every case, but it should be determined by the context of the relationship that you have with the friend/ex in question.
    Having friends who are in love with you seems like an especially difficult area, because there are so many unclear cut-off points. For example, how could you determine with certainty if your friend is in love with you if they aren’t willing to tell you? How can you say with certainty that your friend’s love for you is going to be toxic to your romantic relationship? Are you going to completely abandon the friendship, or are they still allowed to call you sometimes?

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      I agree that it might not be the right move every time ans I would probably put this as case to case basis. But to answer your questions….

      1. how could you determine with certainty if your friend is in love with you if they aren’t willing to tell you?
      -For me this is one of those ‘i have a feeling…’ things. I think it would be hard to ignore the way someone feels about you esp if its obvious. If its not i’d say talk to the person whether they’ll admit to it or not and tell them youre in a relationship and you want to clearly define lines.

      2. How can you say with certainty that your friend’s love for you is going to be toxic to your romantic relationship?
      - I hate to be clichè but nothing is ever 100% certain. One day everythings well and good then you say one thing your friend takes it the other way and a fit of jealousy may ensue from your other half etc. I think you’ll find out over time if a friend is conducive to the relationship. Id like to go back and say clearly defined lines. There will be things a best friend would do vs someone who has strong feelings for you. Theres a lot of types of love ouf there.

      3.Are you going to completely abandon the friendship, or are they still allowed to call you sometimes?
      - Good question. Well are you? This is goiog to be a call you might have to make over and over again. Like other things in life, theres a process on letting things go. You could try to abandon it completely only to find somewhere down the road youre the one who initiates contact again. Then you have people who give an inch to who want the whole damn ruler. Allowing them to call from time to tjme might give them false hope etc.

      PS
      Written at 2am, couldnt sleep. Not sure if my answers make sense. LOL.

    • Thumb up 1

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      With friends who are in love with you-
      I personally start throwing up boundaries, and I also give them space to get over it. I can deal with not seeing a friend for a few months- if they’re really a great friend, they’ll move on and still be your friend.

      With exes-
      They’re exes for a reason. I have friendships with my exes, but that’s long after both of us have moved on. It’s not a thing where we hang out everyday, or call each other during important life events (come on, you have Facebook for that), but I visit when I’m in town and occasionally write letters. Some exes I’d be happy to never deal with again for the rest of my natural life. I’ve also given up talking about past relationships while on dates- it’s in the past, so why dig it back up?

  20. Thumb up 6

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    Well thanks for the feels. I just gave my ladyfriend a cupcake for making it 4 weeks…wanted her to think of it as a “thank you for not leaving me yet and continuing to enjoy making out with my face” present. Every Monday I smile that we’ve made it through another week. Woohoo. <- Sorry I'm gross ugh couples are gross relationships GAH <- the perennially single person inside of me.

    • Thumb up 0

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      Haha I feel you on this!! I’ve just hit 4 months with my girlfriend, and the perennially single person inside of me still reacts to pretty much every cute thing we do for each other or together with ///grosssssss stoppppp not in front of everybodyyyyy/// But dangit if I don’t like being that cute!

  21. Thumb up 18

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    My fiance and I got together 26 years ago here in San Francisco – she was 31 I was 22. On paper we are extremely different but somehow we complement each other perfectly. Find your companion- the girl who makes you laugh, who adores who you are, who lets you do your thing. Be that person to her. We do a lot of things separately – we are the least merge-y couple I know, people think we’re weird. (I go on snowboard vacations with my snow posse without her- she’s to send me off b/c she hates the cold.) Have some separate friends and interests. We’re not big arguers, esp. about petty stuff. No one curses at each other in our house. Give in about the toilet paper, who cares! Hit a rough patch? Get some couples counseling and fight to keep it afloat. Attracted to someone else? Thats normal, just keep your hands to yourself. Argue about money? Have separate accts and a mutual acct for household. (Nobody wants to ask permission to buy a pair of boots!) Give each other some time alone, some privacy and autonomy. Find your complementary person and youll consider yourselves lucky in love like we do.

  22. Thumb up 5

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    “I know you’re dying to calmly inquire if she’s trying to make as much noise as possible when putting the dishes away but let it go”

    So true! My girlfriend years and I have a plan every single night worked out saying that whoever cooks doesn’t clean the dishes. But every time I cook and she cleans it takes FOREVER. I decided to just let it go and instead of getting frustrated and taking over the cleaning myself, I just shut up and let her take 45 min cleaning one plate. Sometimes, letting go of the little frustrations help to not start adding up to big problems.

  23. Thumb up 6

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    I love this and can’t wait to read the next installments!

    My honey and I wouldn’t share wardrobes if you paid us – her style is “preppy man,” and mine is “city high school art teacher lady.” We like to quote that double-your-wardrobe aphorism to each other and then cackle hysterically.

    TBH I do borrow her socks pretty often though.

    Sometimes when we’re upset at each other but can’t find a way to resolve it in the moment, we agree to make up now and talk about it later. It helps to remind us how and why we love each other, and pave the way to a supportive and constructive resolution once we do have that talk. And we always have that talk. We’re celebrating three years together at the end of the month. :>

  24. Thumb up 3

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    YES to being creative together! I cook with my girlfriend regularly and try out new recipes. This week, I picked up crafts (gingerbread house, wreathes, etc) to do with my girlfriend after finals. I’m not crafty, but she is. Plus, it is mad fun getting to know each other creatively and seeing how we both tackle hands on stuff.

  25. Thumb up 2

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    GF and I share cardigans and tights, but everything else is separate. We’re both librarians so those are major parts of our wardrobes. We’ve been together 2 years and it’s taken me about that long to remember to create. I finally got back into theatre and that’s been really good for our relationship.

    So I think merging closets can be ok, so long as there are hard limits.

  26. Thumb up 0

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    ugh you people disgust me with your long term relationships where is my soulmate ugh

    this is why my AS profile says “Forever Alone”

    ∞ever alone

    bluhhhhhhhh

    now I need to go read some stupid romantic fanfiction or watch porn or something

    is it time to rewatch The Crying Game or In the Mood for Love? it might be

    ugh at all of you

  27. Thumb up 0

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    We share socks, and that’s about it. However, even sharing the socks used to cause some distress — she works outdoors and I swear it takes no more than a week for every pair of new, pristine socks to look like a small child has crawled through a mud pit in them. I have since switched to buying black socks; problem solved.

    I think the secret to a successful long-term relationship is to find someone who complements you and be honest with your yourself when you find someone who doesn’t(even if you really like them). You can never (and should never try to) change a person…and forcing a relationship only works for so long.

  28. Thumb up 0

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    This is so wonderful. Looking forward to more of this column. I would say in addition to being flexible and staying excited about each other and what you have, don’t buckle under pressure to be a brand of radical anymore than you shouldn’t feel pressured to be mainstream or “normal” in your relationship. I have personally found that sometimes as a queer woman this tide can sweep me up in a way that is unhealthy for the two of us or just myself. Be true to yourself and each other because there are enough ideals to go around that you’re probably already working on without the external pressure.

  29. Thumb up 0

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    The ex thing is so complicated but I don’t think it should ever be a hard and fast rule. If that applied in my relationship I’d be denied an absolutely fantastic friend. My GF’s ex is her best friend, and has become one of my best friends. There’s nothing more to it than that, I often forget they were even together.

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    My ex is my friend but she is also one of my girlfriends best friends. When you live in the rural bible belt if you forsake your ex then you are cutting ties with a 10th of the lesbian population up in her’

    But my ex doesn’t finish my sentences so its not awkward like that

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