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I'm a 28-year-old lesbian from Toronto, Canada and I have a question for you concerning lesbian relationships. I'd like to know why they don't last very long? In the lesbian community, relationships seem to be filled with drama, cheating girlfriends, sleeping with exes, flirting with other women's girlfriends etc.

Since straight women usually want stable, monogamous relationships with men, I thought that lesbian women would want the same thing with other women. I was under the impression that gay men were the unstable ones and lesbians were into long-term commitment but as strange as it sounds, I'm now seeing more gay men in long-term relationships than lesbians.

Can lesbian relationships really last or am I wasting my time?

Dear Anna,
First of all, youíre writing to someone who is in a 15-year relationship. As you can see, from my point of view, lesbian relationships DO last a long time.

It seems to me what youíre really asking is not why canít lesbians form long-term relationships, but ďWhy canít I find a long-term relationship?Ē Itís not a universal problem, but a personal one.

Instead of looking outside or yourself for the solution to the problem, I suggest you look within. Are you not having long-term relationship success because youíre doing something wrong? Or is it simply that you havenít found the right woman yet? What are the secrets to long term lesbian relationship success?
© Photo by Kathy Belge

Comments
November 2, 2007 at 3:32 am
(1) wondering says:

to the poster, i think that kathy is wholeheartedy corrct and is theoretically right, but to kathy, why do you insist on ignoring the rest of the lesbian popluation that candidly asks you questions?… you seem to be in denial of the reality that lesbians face and you enforce the chilches that exist about us. Why do you constantly ignore the reality that so many of us encounter? I have never understood that about you, who incidentally seems very down to earth and , well, smart.

November 2, 2007 at 7:16 am
(2) Acquafortis says:

I think that there is the same percentage of women who won’t ever grow and settle down in both “worlds”.
A relationship, any kind of relationship, is not easy to build.
Past the first months of head over heals falling in love, differences emerege and it is there that slowly the sorts are decided.
The more we know ourselves as individuals, our limits, our pros and cons, the more we can interact with others.
The more we know what to expect from oursleves as individuals and from others, the more we know what we want and what we do not want.
Enduring love and respect(including oneself) is not built in a day but through days. Daily leveling of sharp angles and crossing bridges.
Growing is an everyday process and sometimes it means shedding away habits, things and even persons who have helped us grow but now we need to walk our own road.

November 2, 2007 at 10:49 am
(3) Euyas says:

There are lesbian women who are looking for long-term relationships and there are straight women who have flings.

November 2, 2007 at 6:50 pm
(4) Marie LeClare says:

I never thought that I would be fortunate enough to be in a long term relationship, if you call almost three years a long term relationship.
I believe what keeps us together is that we truly enjoy each others company. We can talk for hours on many subjects, and it doesn’t always have to be about sex.
When I went through the cancer scare, she was at my side 24/7.
I would suggest that you settle on a subject that you both have an interest in, and go from there. If you enjoy hearing about each others day, then I would say that’s half the battle.

November 3, 2007 at 12:12 am
(5) Tracy says:

I’m a lesbian and I will be honest from my point of view. Alot of lesbians move too fast, alot of lesbians are emotionally unstable – which should not be that surprising given the emotional issues with coming out and strained family ties. Alot of women in gay relationships or experimenting with gay relationships are not gay. point blank. Alot of women in gay relationships are married so of course the relationship can;t last. Like any relationship or friendship you have to choose wisely and treat kindly. Take notice of the red flags you see early on and don;t make excuses. Lesbian relationships like all other relationships can last if both women are healthy, compatible, mature and truly committed.

November 3, 2007 at 4:57 pm
(6) Cathy says:

I Agree very much with Kathy. Let also say this tho. I have been in a long term relationship for over 13 years. I do NOT know if this reationship will last much longer. Yu see, things happen in life, maybe things we have NO control over, and it changes everyting! We lost out 19 year old son just 5 months ago. His birth mother, (my partner) has pulled out of reach. I cannot help her, if she will not speak with me about anyhing…….
It doesnt mean that there are no long term relationships out there, things happen, and sometimes one partner cant/wont let the other be there.

November 4, 2007 at 7:26 pm
(7) Jackie says:

Sometimes it takes practice. After three short-term relationships, I took stock in what I want in a relationship. When I did that, I found someone who wanted the same things. Stay away from the U-haul syndrome. I have been in my current relationship for 22-years and cannot thank my lucky stars enough. jrs.

November 8, 2007 at 10:19 am
(8) allie says:

Lesbian relationships do last if you work at them. I’ve been with my partner for seven years… most of them great but some have been awful… life sucks sometimes… but if you remember to communicate and keep the romance alive it does work!

November 8, 2007 at 10:42 am
(9) Jersey Girl says:

Both women even considering a long term relationship must talk more than make love. If the relationship can last without regular sex inside or outside of the relationship then it will last. We have been together for 17 years in January. Sex isnt regular but her love and understanding is more than enough to keep me around for alot longer.

November 8, 2007 at 12:23 pm
(10) ~Jordan~ says:

I’ve been with my girl for 10 years!!! And, I’m happy to say we’ve had waaaayyy more good times than bad…I never really knew what “real love” was until I met her…She’s intelligent, ambitious, successful, Not to mention “Sexy”!!!..lol..Just everything you could want in a person…And, aside from all of those things I just mentioned..She’s Amazing In Bed!!!…lol..Even after being together 10 years…When we’re intimate it still feels like our “first time”…The newness is still there…That’s what’s so mindblowing to me…I always thought that once you were in a relationship for a long time that yes, you still love the person but, the sexual aspect of it kinds of fades…But, with her that hasn’t happened!:) I’m a very lucky woman!!!:)

November 8, 2007 at 3:33 pm
(11) Joanie says:

I was a bit frustrated with your response this time, Kathy.

There are quite a few differences between being (or at least perceived as) heter vs homo-oriented. To start, there are sooo many situations that could be mis-interpreteted by one’s same-sex partner (such as regularily in nude/ semi-nude public change rooms etc) and many situations that in which a unhappy-but-coupled person could be tempted (because lesbian women, by their very nature, are able to express affection more easily). As a long-hidden/married-in-the-straight-world lesbian who is just starting to come out, I see soooo many situations that are as the questioner mentioned. Yes, it is trust and how we want to walk in life — but I really do think we need to acknowledge the unusual dynamics that we have in this gorgeous world of being out as a lesbian:)

November 8, 2007 at 3:53 pm
(12) Katie says:

I kinda have to agree with Kathy on this one. But also with the writer, Anna.

Everyone has different experiences and no group of people can be summed up entirely into one category or another. Not all lesbians are drama filled and sleeping around etc. and not all can find a stable relationship while others do. I’m in a four year relationship but that took a while.

So I guess there is really no right or wrong look at this.

November 8, 2007 at 8:14 pm
(13) The Voice of Reason says:

Is this even a real letter? How can anyone be so stupid?

November 8, 2007 at 11:07 pm
(14) Jenn says:

I have been in a relationship for almost 7 years with a wonderful woman. Before her, I would hop from one 1-night stand to another … with a few short=lived relationships in between. She was a close friend of mine before we began dating. She was there for me when my late partner was murdered, and I don’t know what I would do without her. I think that, like in the hetero world, you have people that are good with commitment, and people that aren’t. When we start putting things like, the lesbian world this, the lesbian community that, we are simply creating yet another stereotype … and don’t we have enough already?

November 9, 2007 at 12:42 am
(15) Pat says:

If you love each other it will work.

November 9, 2007 at 1:17 am
(16) Adik says:

It is true that you can find someone to love for the rest of your life. I had some years with many women but now I really found my true love. It has been 25 years now that we had met and it is still going very strong. We are there for each other, in diffecult and good times. We still kissing and making love. I like to thank the Lord for giving me a wonderful person. My heart still skip when I see her. She is kind to everybody and she will be also very sexy to me. Thanks and good luck

October 16, 2008 at 11:27 am
(17) Sandra says:

I don’t agree with the poster. My girlfriend and I have been together for almost six years. What ever temptation comes along, you need to ignore it. It happens in all relationships–the question is will they take an action to it?..

March 25, 2009 at 9:12 am
(18) Lain says:

To the poster:

Can lesbian relationships last? Absolutely, but just like straight relationships, it takes a lot of soul searching, and a lot of hard work. Even two people who come together who share the same relationship values will find that there are many obstacles along the way.

Why don’t they last, you ask? I have two theories about this that I will share with you. Please keep in mind that these are generalizations and not to be taken as insults.

Firstly, I think that every-day life has taught us how a male and female couple interact. We see in on tv, in movies, in our own homes. We take a LOT of our understanding of relationships from our parents, who are most likely heterosexual. With this understanding, then, we realize that we as lesbians have not been raised with the skills to maintain the emotional balance present in lesbian relationships. This is something that will take years, and requires both you and your partner to be incredibly self-aware.

Secondly, I believe that you will find many gay youth and young adults have turned their sexuality into their lifestyle. They find acceptance in the gay community by acting like the majority of the gay community. And somewhere down the line, this is what it has turned into… drama rama.

Luckily for you, there are many individuals out there asking themselves the same question you have. You will meet them one day, but when you do make sure that you both agree and understand from the beginning that to make the relationship last it is going to take a lot of hard work and -honest- communication.

I hope this helps, best of luck in life,

Lain

October 16, 2009 at 5:00 pm
(19) Victoria Rico says:

I just want to get the relationship I once had with my girlfriend back to where it was I love her so much… She is my life I eat think and breath her all the time I would give my life to make her happy… No one or nobody will ever take that away from me…. It just seems like anything I do it’s not good enough for her… Like I should be doing more than just cooking cleaning and washing and taking care of her illness…

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