Lies We’ve Been Told Pt. I: “Dating Women Is Easier”
NO! Just NO!
I wish that I could meet the person with whom this lie started and pick their brain. I’m suspicious about the simplicity of this myth and how is assumes that this is an either-or scenario in which woman and man are interchangeable pieces. Even if we completely ignore that gender is a social construct and exclusive of sex and even sexuality (which we shouldn’t) it must be understood that dating any human is a complex web of emotions, programming, values, and interactions.
Neither women, nor men as a group are a monolith in any way.
Additionally, if you identify as a woman and you are attracted to and want to date other women, that may be the easiest part– knowing what you want. Considering the emotional labor that can be part of the process in coming to that knowing, I fully acknowledge how understated that sentiment is. When we add to that the societal/familial/religious expectations around dating, it further removes us from the myth of simply dating someone who looks like you.
Basically, there is no basis for comparison. It’s like comparing peaches to eggplants.
They are not the same damn thing! I suspect that part of this myth is rooted in the belief that two women will function together better in a relationship because they will just know and understand each other.
I call bullshit! The relationships with the women in my life (relatives, friends, and lovers) are not just easy. It is through purposeful communication and interaction that we have fostered ease. In my experience because of all the things, experiences, and understanding of what women are, it takes work to be in relationships with one another.
Another factor to weigh against the easy lie is, that the woman-on-woman dating scene is easy. It’s not easier, it’s different.
While there are certain things to consider in the pursuit of dating anybody, in the LGBTQIA+ community, the possibilities that exist can make dating a bit more complex. For example, in Cishet (cisgender- heterosexual) relationships there is a man and a woman. While there is no “one size fits all”, there is certainly some clear delineation. Those lines can intersect multiple times for woman-to-woman dating. Gender/Gender Identity can and does influence preference and options. Do you identify as Femme, Queer, High-Femme, Boi, Masculine-Of-Center, etc.? Do you prefer Femme, Queer, High-Femme, Boi, Masculine-Of-Center, etc? While aesthetic preferences are considered in Cishet dating rituals, those same preferences can take on a more political tone in non-normative dating rituals between women. Some women’s identities are intricately tied to their politics.
As a womxn who identifies as “Fat, Black, Queer,” whenever I have encountered a profile that read “No Black, No Fat, No Bi, Only BBW, Only Latino/White, Only Black” I have always wanted to reach out to the person to get an understanding of their why. I understand, that we are entitled to our preferences and my intersections are curious about their beliefs. Are they racist? Fetishizing? Do their preferences leave room for the possibility of falling in love with someone who doesn’t fit into the boxes they have created (and maybe love/partnership is not even the goal)? This narrowing seems to create a smaller dating pool and limit the possibilities; all my opinion of course. Maybe folks just like what they like. Either way, I say it’s not easier or more difficult; more complex maybe and certainly different.
I combed through countless articles looking for other ways to articulate and dispel this myth, but it really is just a matter of it not being simpler… just different. In a recent conversation with my friend and scholar Giovanni Dortch, she reminded me of some of the ways in which people have shared their sentiments around when dating a woman was not “easier” than dating a man. As a matter of fact, sometimes it can be eerily similar. For example, while aggression isn’t an exclusively male trait, it is heavily accepted that men are aggressive by nature and have tempers. Yet women tend to be viewed as being generally sweeter or softer (passive). Really Sis?! Do you think women can’t have a temper? From the mid 2000’s until now, there has been extensive documentation on the trend toward same-sex partnership intimate violence. About 17-45% of lesbians report having been the victim of a least one act of physical violence perpetrated by a lesbian partner.
There are other toxic behaviors that exist and are not eliminated or reduced by engaging in same-sex relationships between women. It is possible that she can become jealous, possessive, or territorial. She is capable of going through your phone, getting mad at you for spending too much time with your friends, lying or cheating. While these factors may lead to you reconsider dating altogether, please be mindful that these examples are specifically highlighted to show it is not “easier” to date a woman, just because you are a woman.
It is possible for you to have and maintain a healthy and positive dating life as a woman who loves women. Just don´t expect it to be any easier than dating a man.
This was first published on Lesbionyx.
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