Dating A Celesbian

 

Dear Dr. Darcy:

My girlfriend is a very well known promoter in the [San Francisco] Bay area. Although I love her, recently I’ve begun questioning our relationship. I’m not a jealous person but she’s recognized everywhere we go. I’m finding myself feeling competitive with other women. I was a women’s studies major in college and I’m committed to supporting other women, however, when I see the constant attention and admiration she gets from strangers I feel myself becoming catty and turning into someone I don’t like. I’m all for this relationship if it helps me become a better person, but if it’s turning me into a negative person maybe it’s time to get out.

ANSWER

The thing about relationships is that they don’t turn us into anything that isn’t (perhaps dormant) in us. It would be very convenient to identify your partner as the problem because the solution would be simple – just pick better. But there’s a down side to placing responsibility at her feet: If it’s all her fault, you’re powerless to fix it.

I’m not hearing evidence that she’s doing anything to legitimately provoke insecurity in you. And believe it or not, if your relationship is kicking up issues in you, it’s a good thing. I believe relationships act as mirrors, reflecting our issues and magnifying them until they’re so big they can’t be ignored. It may be that you always had some jealousy inside you, and your education made it too difficult to face those feelings, so you detached from them. And I’m sure those feelings pre-dated your celesbian girlfriend.

Ask yourself how comfortable you are being the ‘supportive’ partner, rather than the one in the spotlight. It may be that your discomfort has little to do with feeling threatened by other women, rather, feeling overshadowed by your girlfriend’s professional success.

Here’s one of my tricks for managing my own relationship: When I’m hyper-focused on what Steph’s doing wrong or on negative feelings that she’s kicking up in me, I pause and ask myself, “Ok, what’s going on with me right now?” and I usually realize that she’s an easy distraction from negative emotions I’m feeling that have zero do to with her.

So do not ditch the girlfriend, because if you do you’ll find yourself with your baggage intact and no compelling reason to work through it.

Gender & Orientation: Female, Gay.

 

 

 

Just Say No

Dear Dr. Darcy: 

I just got married this past summer to my girlfriend of 3 years. She’s very close to her family to the point that we vacation with them every summer (just locally at the beach). This year, someone came up with the idea to vacation together mid-winter, which means we’ll be flying off to Aruba in a few weeks. I don’t exactly hate my in-laws. I mostly hate how much my wife loves them. And I’m not a fan of being cooped up with them on an island for 2 weeks. It’s tough enough when we’re just at our local beach but at least then I can hop in my car and head south if I need to get away. I’m feeling pressure to be a good new husband but I’m starting to loathe any time I have to spend with my wife’s parents. Do I just need to suck it up?

ANSWER

You definitely need to suck this vacation up. Future vacations, however, are negotiable. You do know that vacationing with your in-laws is optional, right? I’m not sure how you even wound up in this mess. I’m guessing you’re a really nice guy who doesn’t like to say no to his wife.  How are you going to feel when she asks if her parents can move in with you? Just painting some coming attractions for you to weigh against the pain of grabbing your balls and learning to speak your truth.

Resentment begins as a seed formed by saying yes when every cell in your body wants to scream no. Over time, that seed grows roots and the resentment comes out in passive aggressive ways – because there’s no way of muting your truth indefinitely.

My gut tells me that this is a small example of your propensity to be overly accommodating in your marriage, which probably means that she’s a very happy girl but that happiness is situated on a house of cards – it’s not stable or sustainable.

I used to be married to a man who told me everything I wanted to hear. When that relationship ended and I learned that the life I thought we shared was a series of beautiful stories spun to keep me happy in the moment, it sucked. I not only needed to mourn the relationship – I needed to mourn two versions of that relationship: The one he fed me daily and the one I later learned to be the truth. I can tell you without hesitation that I’d have preferred dealing with things I didn’t want to hear than feeling like I’d been sold a rip off instead of the Prada I’d proudly toted for years.

Go on this vacation because it’s what you committed to. When you come home, sit your beautiful bride down and tell her that she’s welcome to vacation with her parents, but that you’ll only be joining her on vacations that involve the two of you. She’ll thank you in the end.

Gender & Orientation: Male, Straight. 

How Soon Is Too Soon To Move In?

Dear Dr. Darcy: 

I want to move in with my boyfriend. We’ve been dating 8 months and my lease is up in 5 weeks. He doesn’t think we’ve dated long enough but if we don’t move in now, we’ll be dating at least another year before my new lease is up. It really feels like he’s just stalling.  There are so many legitimate reasons to do this now. Why should we be paying 2 rents for another year if moving in together is inevitable?

ANSWER

Because it’s not inevitable. Your guy’s buying himself some time – a smart move given that you’re likely still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship. You still see each other through a haze of love (click here to see how your brain responds to being in love).  Your drug soaked brains can’t decipher alarming data from charming data.  But like all honeymoons, yours will come to an end. Probably within the next 4 months.

I know that the lure of a bigger apartment in a better neighborhood – with half the rent and half the chores - is appealing, but the truth is you can’t possibly know who this man is yet – and he can’t know who you are. Your bodies are still producing neurochemicals that cause you to be on your best behavior while simultaneously diminishing your ability to accurately identify negative information. This is not a moment in your life when you should be making long-term decisions. Lucky for you, your guy knows this.

If you’re feeling like it’s too difficult to control the urge to push the issue further, schedule a night to sit down with your guy and ask him to answer the questions linked right here.  His answers will give you all the willpower you need. You’re welcome.

Gender & Orientation: Female, Straight.