55 Questions to Obsessively Ask Yourself After a Lesbian Breakup

by the autostraddle breakup buds collective

Dear friends, within the past year, a large number of Autostraddle writers and friends have experienced breakups of various intensities and complications — so much so that we have an entire Slack channel devoted to the topic. There is no shortage of emotions to process, including so many dark, disturbing questions about the future. Here are some of the things one might ask oneself about your breakup, as brainstormed by various thriving souls who are totally okay at various points over the past month or so. If you are anybody’s ex and you are reading this, whichever question you think is about you is not about you, it’s about somebody else’s ex or actually about a breakup that happened way before we even met you. Okay cool.


1. Which unexpected gender presentation shift should I do first

2. What if they were right about [thing they accused me of being during a really bad fight]

3. Where does “learning what you like in a relationship” begin and “being conditioned to like a thing by your first relationship” end?

4. Do I get a robe and a cigar when my divorce paperwork goes through or do I have to self-supply?

5. Will I ever have sex that good again?

6. Will I ever have sex again?

7. What if I forgot how to do [specific sex act she didn’t like]

8. What if I forgot how to do [sex]

9. Wow, how could I have been so wrong about [the type of sex it turns out I like to have after all]?

10. How many years until The One Who Got Away gets divorced and comes back to me, do you think

11. Would I always feel this empty after a breakup if I had a better relationship with my Mom

12. When’s the cheapest time of year to fly to Portland

13. How do I know when somebody is flirting with me?

14. Is every relationship just a reaction to the relationship before that

15. Am I just stuck in a cycle where each relationship I attempt to overcompensate for mistakes made in the prior relationship, therefore creating new problems I then feel unequipped to deal with due to them being caused by an intentional rather than innate personality shift?

16. What if I was just a single mom and never had to consult with ANYONE about ANYTHING and just raised my kid around a bunch of other queers and relied heavily on my mother for free child care?

17. [After looking at face in mirror] AH WHERE HAS MY WANTON MAIDENHOOD GONE AND WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME, AGING, YOU CRUEL MISTRESS

18. [After looking at face in old photograph] WHY DID SHE ROB ME OF MY HOTTEST YEARS

19. At what point is it inappropriate to still be on a post-breakup casual-sex, drugs and alcohol bender?

20. What if I’m the crazy one?

21. What if we’re all the crazy ones!

22. What if she’s totally sane and it was just me who made her crazy and I’ve been doing everything wrong this whole time (I mean probably not, but)

23. Is this the part where I freeze my eggs?

24. Is everyone else settling or has everyone else somehow found their soulmate while I’ve been dating these fools

25. Will I ever stop talking about this?

26. Will topping more people make up for not being over her?

27. If arranged marriages have the same success rate as love marriages then really what are we all doing here, if you really think about it

28. If we went through everything we went through to be together and it didn’t work out, will anything?

29. Will I ever be out of therapy?

30. Do they miss me

31. When will I stop missing her so much

32. Why am I so much more okay than I thought I would be?

33. Do I want to date someone else because she’s dating someone else or because I genuinely want to be dating someone else?

34. How do I stop from swinging hard in the opposite direction and avoiding those patterns so hard or trying to emotionally correct so much that I stay in situations I shouldn’t?

35. Why am I still in love with this person who left!?

36. How long were we dead before I noticed the silence?

37. Am I truly a non-monogamous person… or did I just not like monogamy with her?

38. Am I truly a monogamous person… or did I just not like non-monogamy with her?

39. How do you know what /is/ real?

40. Can I actually afford to live here?

41. Can I actually afford to move?

42. What if I did actually move here for her even though I said I wasn’t moving here for her…

43. If I end every relationship with a fresh list of everything that’s wrong with me, how long until there’s nothing left to like about me?

44. Should I text her before Pride just to like, talk about what we’re going to do if we run into each other or whatever

45. How do I see what’s happening in any new relationship for what it is without bringing all my baggage along the way?

46. Does anybody have baggage that goes with mine

47. When is it okay to try to be friends with her friends again

48. Do her friends already hate / miss me

49. Is she lying to her friends about me

50. How much Fiona Apple is too much

51. Is it appropriate or childish to say “I’m never dating [ex’s sun sign] ever again”

52. Will I lose all the cool things I’ve re-discovered about myself as a single person if I get into another relationship? How do I not do that?

53. Is she really as happy as she looks on social media or does she feel exactly like I do (bad) despite how happy I am pretending to look on social media

54. Anybody know a good place for a dramatic haircut around here

55. What if I just buy a chunk of land on a south-facing hill and dig a cave and live in that and grow succulents to be my friends and never talk to anyone else ever again? That’s okay right? I think that’s okay. I think that’s the best thing to do, considering.


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Riese is the 36-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2568 articles for us.

54 Comments

  1. Number 55 seems like the right response to all problems, tbh.

    Kennedy’s retiring? To the cave!

    Global warming? To the cave!

    Lady problems? To the cave!

    Grocery store is out of beans when you want to make chili? Fuck everything. To the cave!

  2. #51 is totally appropriate to feel and say cause your feels are valid but then the universe is probably gonna dump someone with that same sun/moon/venus sign into your lap tbqh

    also this is extraordinarily relatable and a+ content, keep feeling & healing, everybody! <3 GROUP HUG

  3. My fiancée and partner of five years left me very, very recently. And it does feel like breakups are in the air/a storm is coming. Maybe it’s just that the queer women you can meet, friendly or otherwise, the easiest are just as heart broken as you are.

    Bottom line, thank you for this list. I feel like I identify with each and every piece and it makes me feel the tiniest bit less broken/less alone.

    • <3 <3

      i have a theory that a lot of couples who were sorta lukewarm last year stuck it out because of the terror surrounding trump, and now that terror has become just a part of being alive and so people are thinking about other things besides just that terror and that’s part of why there are so many breakups this year! that’s not the case for me but it’s my only theory (also b/c i am old, i remember right after 9/11 everybody suddenly got into a relationship immediately or clung tighter to the one they were in)

      • OKAY THIS FEELS REALLY RIGHT because my, as of 6/1/18, ex (previously partner of SEVEN YEARS) and I almost broke up last August, but it seemed too scary so we waited 10 wonderful months.

  4. 57. Will I be able to afford to live by myself?

    58. Should I feel guilty about not wanting her to have our cat?

    59. Should I feel guilty about wanting her to have our cat?

    60. Do I have to tell my mother? No, really, do I have to have that convo out loud with her?

    61. How can I make it ok for her?

    62. How can I stop just worrying about how to make it ok for her?

    63. How can I not feel guilty about wanting to feel good now?

    64. How do I just breathe and let it be?

  5. S/o to all the people going through concrete breakups, but ALSO s/o to all the people who are going through unofficial breakups with people you sort of dated but not “technically/actually,” so you can’t super process because it wasn’t “official” and therefore isn’t, like, “recognized” as a thing you should/could/would be upset about. I SEE U I FEEL U IT’S ALL SO HARD BEING A PERSON IS HARD!

  6. I NEEDED THIS SO BADLY THANK YOU.

    Numbers #3 #14 #15 #32 are so incredibly relatable. And also, how is it possible to feel and think all these contradictory things at the same time?!

    Other questions I find myself constantly asking:

    “Should I text her to see if she’s okay after [terrible thing happened in the world]?”

    “Should I warn her I’m coming or make a plan to see her or do my best to entirely avoid her when I go visit the city I left that she’s still living in?”

    “Is it okay that I feel like I can’t talk to my new girlfriend about [thing that I used to talk to my ex-girlfriend about]?”

    “Just because I liked [that part of relationship with ex-girlfriend] does that mean I need that in any future serious relationship?”

    “What does it mean that I’ve now been with my new girlfriend longer than I was ever with my ex-girlfriend?”

    And most importantly:

    “HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN I’M FINALLY NOT IN LOVE WITH HER ANYMORE?!”

  7. yess but wait what about the “I’m deep deep deep in a hole pls help” one: “what if everyone I date from now on would secretly prefer to be with her [CAUSE SHE WAS PERFECT]”

  8. 49 has been on my mind for a long while. #19 depends on how the breakup went and if u-hauling was involved. If the breakup happened while u-hauling(middle of the move or a few days after) I’d say about a month.

    #65 It’s over but we kissed(on the lips) wtf does it mean?

    #66 Am I looking at certain types who are similar to them or is that what I really want?

    #67 Will I ever forget what could have been.

    #68 Is it normal to blacklist a part of a city we or they use to frequent?

    #69 How can I stop replaying mistakes I or they made in my head.

  9. My ex is a writer and internet-famous. An article I was reading included takes from various people and a certain topic, and hers was one of them. I was kinda of like “Oh look some great hot takes! Oh look they quoted [ex] let me be all upset now.” So I read this list several times over.

    (I’m really here for #1)

  10. These are TOO relatable but I’m obligated to yell about #46 because I’m 98% sure it’s a RENT reference and not just a coincidental wording choice, and I played Mimi earlier this year so that was MY LINE

    AND the show opened two weeks after my earth-shattering life-ruining breakup, so instead of therapy I just blew out my voice singing all that angry shit. 10/10 recommend theater for all your breakup woes! No time to be sad when you’ve got 90 hours of rehearsal this week!

  11. #72 Is her refusal to deal directly with me re: divorce papers because I’m a cunt or because she’s a cunt?

    #73 Will I ever be able to say her name without grimacing or feeling physically ill?

  12. #46–Finding someone with compatible baggage is just as important as finding someone who does what you can’t do, like taxes or plumbing.

    #50–Only with Billy Holiday. I call it “crying in your beer” music, and I might have made a mix tape or two by that name.

  13. #55, just sitting in a lawn chair in that red terrycloth robe, nursing a tumblr of Bailey‘s, watching the sun set and wondering, #85, so to speak, „DO you need to water succulents, and how often really?“
    Plants are friends.

  14. I love you Autostraddle but like why are you coming for my life like this …for reals this list is so healing. #1 (aaahhh what? how did you know?? didn’t even know this was a thing but it’s happening to meeee?? I’m about to get rid of half of my wardrobe because I haven’t worn it since the breakup), and #85 why don’t my feelings match my logic EVER???

  15. When I was married to a man, he cheated soI took the kids and left. I made a playlist on my amazon music app and would play it late at night as i quietly sobbed into a pint of Guiness. Fast forward a MONTH and he texts me one day saying “can you pls stop playing music on my Alexa.” It never occured to me it would play on another device. Fucker listened to my god damn broken heart music, at our old home, and waited a MONTH to tell me. That honestly was more violating than the cheating…

  16. Okay so I went through a breakup 6 months ago that broke me so hard and I relate to this content so MUCH but what is also so great is to realize that I actually Am over it now? So now it makes me laugh but actually feel really powerful and resilient to get though it. Time is magic, y’alI

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