Lesbian couples are different in many ways from their heterosexual and gay male couple peers. However, lesbian couples are not particularly different from one another.
There are some very common issues among female pairings, and I will be offering Relationship Advice for Lesbian Couples for five of the most common issues.
Despite the endless stereotyping about what a lesbian is, women who love women are impressively diverse. If you find yourself doubting that, it's because those who don't meet the lesbian stereotype go unnoticed. However, when it comes to lesbian relationships, we are remarkably similar in the types of issues we experience.
Unlike heterosexual women, lesbians do not have easy access to information about what a typical lesbian relationship looks like. Rare is the lesbian who finds herself in the break room at work, sharing stories about her wife and their relationship. Additionally, the experiences that heterosexual women describe are often not relatable for lesbians.
For example, how many heterosexual women do you hear expressing concern that her husband is best friends with the girlfriend he had before he married her?
Or, how often have you heard a heterosexual woman express concern that her husband is constantly trying to read her mind and worries non-stop about whether or she's feeling okay?
So, here is today's Relationship Advice for Lesbian Couples. Rather than putting our focus on the common relationship problems, however, we will get right to the fixes for these issues. After all, we move in the direction we think — so let's think solutions.
Relationship Advice for Lesbian Couples
Tip #1 - Allow Your Partner to Feel.
It is okay if she is experiencing sadness, hurt, frustration, or any other emotion that you find yourself wanting to fix or understand. As long as emotions are not used to communicate something (that's good old fashioned passive-aggressiveness), let her feel what she feels without making it about you.
The purpose of our emotions is to alert us to that which is joyful, dangerous, missing, violating, or any other situation that requires our attention.
When you personalize how she feels, you interrupt an important and necessary process designed to help her clarify things for herself.
Communicate with words and behaviors. Feelings are not a verb. We don't anger. We express anger.
Clarify what you are feeling. Then communicate with words or actions.
Tip #2 - Facts are Your Friends, Stories Not so Much.
I am sure you have a superpower. It's just not mind reading. Trust me on this. When you are certain, you know what she is thinking, feeling, wanting, or not wanting, fact check.
Believe her if she says you misunderstand her, or that what you are perceiving is wrong. They are her thoughts and feelings, so she really does have the final say about what is true for her. Even if she changes her mind later, believe her now.
Focus on your feelings and thoughts, share those, and let her do the same when she's ready.
Tip #3 - Keep Your Friends, Not Your Exes.
Independence is the first thing to go into lesbian relationships.
If you want your new relationship to be your best, invest yourself fully, and cut your emotional ties with your ex.
Tip #4 - Forgive.
If you are holding on to resentments that occurred more than one year ago, they have officially expired. Holding on to hurt as a way to protect yourself causes more hurt than good.
If you choose this relationship, you are choosing all of it, not just the parts that feel good.
Deal with old hurts and resentments, then let them go.
Tip #5 - Flirt With Her.
My research tells us that lesbians want to have more sex with their partner, but many women do not want to initiate it.
In the quest to commit - dating, flirting, romancing, and all the good stuff gets rushed and sometimes neglected altogether.
Time to go old school on your gal. Romance her. Flirt. Let her know you desire her.
So get out your pretties - your boyfriend briefs, boxers, or whatever does the trick for her and show some interest.
If you're struggling with your lesbian marriage or lesbian relationship, we're here to help. Check out our Imago Relationship workshops and therapy. We also have Online Couples Therapy and Online Couples Workshops right now!
Discover more about Imago with our Imago Professional Membership, Imago Professional Facilitators, Imago Professional Training and Imago Educational Webinars.
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This blog post was written by Michele O’Mara, LCSW, Ph.D.
Michele is an expert lesbian relationship coach and psychotherapist with a comfortable obsession with all things related to love and relationships. She is a Certified Imago Therapist, trained Gottman Therapist on all three levels, and a Certified Discernment Counselor. With a Ph.D. in Clinical Sexology, she is also skilled at and comfortable with addressing sexual issues in relationships.
She is the author of Just Ask: 1,000 Questions to Grow Your Relationship, which is available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon, as well as an app on Itunes /Google play.
In addition to offering online counseling and coaching to couples from across the United States, she also offers relationship boot camps which you can learn more about at https://micheleomara.com/lesbian-couples-bootcamp/