No one is ever 100% compatible with you, therefore acceptance and appreciation is key in trying to make your relationship work.
Faking it: pretty much everyone has done it. By why? Who are we really protecting when we "fake it" - and what will it do to our chances for real love?
Dear CG, I am in a long distance relationship so I only see my girlfriend every couple of months. My girlfriend is most definitely a PEP, having issues around a smothering mother. Her mother made everything about herself and expected to be taken care of by her daughter. She feels like we talk too much. I on the other hand am most definitely a PAP. I grew up with a very domineering mother who was incredibly abusive, both physically and emotionally. I am learning I am worthy of love.
Dear CG, Help! I always end up with bisexual women who end up leaving me for men. This is the 4th time it’s happened! In the beginning they always gush on and on: “You’re so beautiful, you’re such a goddess” and I fall for it every time. Then later they’re like “Well, I’m sorry, I really like you, but…” My heart can’t take this any more!! What is wrong, and how can I fix it?? — S.D., Chicago Dear S.D.,
I rarely read the Craigslist women-seeking-women posts. Most of them seemed to be written by women who were home alone for a few hours and just wanted to fool around. Still, that night eight years ago, for some reason I couldn’t explain, I clicked on them. When I entered the key word “spiritual,” it eliminated 99% of the ads. And there she was. Her ad had a cheesy title – “Are You Out There?” But she was in my age range, and nearby. So I clicked to read it.
It’s pouring rain today, and our Internet is down – again. It doesn’t like changes in weather. But when I saw the telltale extra red light on the modem (3 red lights is a good sign, but 4 is a very, very bad sign) I felt happy instead of crushed – because finally, after 3+ months of constant outages, I actually ordered a backup internet service which got installed yesterday. I couldn’t get over my own wisdom and good fortune! I gloated! I basked in gratitude!
It all started out so wonderfully, as many lesbian love stories do. Mary was smart, cute, insightful and interesting, and we connected on many levels. We first met while working on a feminist newspaper together, and although we came from different class backgrounds, I could understand the ways she’d been wounded as a child. We were co-activists, engaged in many of the same activities. She introduced me to a beautiful pond nearby, and I could see how nature fed her, as it fed me.
When Michelle and I first started thinking about offering relationship tools to lesbians & queer women, we did a search to see who else was doing that kind of thing. And we found absolutely nothing. Well, that’s not completely true. Let’s say, almost nothing.
This astonishingly powerful guest post comes to us from Nicole Ditz (www.holisticdepththerapy.com), who sent it in response to my invitation for readers to send their worst breakup stories. When I asked if we could publish it, anonymously or with attribution, Nicole wrote back, “Ruth, please do post it with my full name and web link. I am no longer ashamed of my history, my struggles, or my vulnerabilities. I have earned my substantiality as a woman the hard way. Please send me the link. I want to see my truths look me in the eyes!”
Before I learned to SCORE, I felt pushed and pummeled by my emotions, and I pushed my girlfriends around with those emotions, too. When someone did something that hurt, disappointed or angered me, I rarely recognized that I was triggered, and that the intensity of my emotion originated in another time and place.
We've all been there. One minute life is going along as normal, and the next minute, some seemingly small thing has set us off. She left a dirty dish in the sink again! She's driving too fast, after I asked her not to! She never does her share of the cleanup! Suddenly, our anger swells, and knocks us off-balance.
Years ago, I was madly in love with a woman I’ll call Sarah. The first time I went to her house, I was won over by the huge unabridged dictionary that had a permanent home on her dining room table. When she took me to a raptor center, and then to see a rainbow out over a field of sunflowers at dusk, I knew she was the woman for me. It also didn’t hurt that Sarah was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, in a butch/tomboi kind of way.
In the first part of this series, we explored the reason why so many lesbians and queer women struggle with difficult feelings when our partner seems to get too far away – or when she seems to get too close. Because these feelings (which we call “primal abandonment panic,” or PAP, and “primal engulfment panic,” or PEP) have such deep roots in our brains and psyches, they can wreak havoc in our intimate relationships.