Dear Dr. Frankie, Am I Wasting My Time?
Dr. Frankie Bashan
Dear Dr. Frankie,
I have been "taking it slow" for a month and a half with a girl that was previously my friend. Several months ago she got out of a seven-year relationship; I know she still has feelings for her ex. She also slept with another close friend almost two moths ago. She used to always tell me she wants to be with me, but she treats the other girl she slept with like a princess compared to me. She recently got evicted and is living with her ex. She doesn't talk to me as often as she used to, and we live two hours away from each other. Ever since her best friend kept pushing her to ask me out she's been pushing me away. I know she has a lot on her mind right now with the eviction, but she can't tell me if she still wants to be with me or not. She keeps her feelings so bottled up it’s hard to get her to talk to me about us. Does it sound like I'm wasting my time? Should I stick it out and just try to be there for her until it’s over and she can figure it out? By the way she's never been in a relationship with someone who didn't cheat on her or beat the crap out of her, so she's not used to someone treating her right. I think that the idea of being with someone like me who can treat her right actually scares her—and ultimately makes her push me away.
Dear Confused and in Love,
It sounds like you are interested in someone who has a pattern of dating women who are emotionally unavailable. By this I mean women who are unable to love and care for her in a healthy way. People repeat unhealthy patterns because they are familiar and comfortable, even in spite of their better judgment. It seems as if this woman does not feel that she deserves anything better than what’s she’s experienced. The fact that you treat her well is unfamiliar, which means less comfortable, to her even though it is the healthier choice.
People who seek a pattern of unhealthy relationships get used to receiving very little. Some also feel they have the ability to heal their abusers by showing them unconditional love. This of course comes at their own expense, and creates an imbalanced and unhealthy dynamic in the relationship. They accept crumbs of love and respect rather than enjoying their own pie.
This woman clearly has a lot on her plate right now. She’s dealing with being homeless and is staying with her ex. She also happens to be two hours away, and has recently been involved with at least one other woman. To me these are all signs that you should focus on yourself for the time being and engage in activities that are good for you. Give her space and a chance to recognize that you are better for her than the abusive women she is typically drawn to. I suggest maintaining a healthy distance; this does not mean you need to cut off contact with her, just move on with your own life. If she is able to be your friend through this then perhaps you have a chance of having a more significant relationship. From my experience, when people are so deeply entrenched in this pattern of unhealthy relationships, it takes professional guidance to effect lasting, positive change.
Dear Dr. Frankie,
I haven't been in a relationship for two years. I feel like I am finally over my ex and am ready to date again. The only problem? I live in an area that has a very small gay community. It seems like the women who I seem to attract have all been married and have kids or are full of drama. Please, please help me!!!
Dear Lonely and Lost,
Have you considered having a long distance relationship? It might not be ideal, but if you met the right person in time one of you could always consider relocating. If you are open to a long distance relationship you will increase your changes of meeting someone to share your life with. Choose several online dating sites and post a profile. Preferably post profiles on a large, national website since it’s fairly slim pickings in your immediate area.
I strongly suggest you complete a profile at my company, littlegaybook.com, because I often search areas outside of Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York.
Women from all over the world have contacted me and I am working hard to expand outside these major metropolitan areas. The database is confidential and never browsed; it is only accessed by me and LGB staff as we make matches for our clients who work with us individually.
Do some footwork! Find out if there are activities, events or an LGBT organization with meetings near your town that you can start attending. Think of activities you could participate in that might not be specifically geared to lesbians, yet we are often curiously overrepresented in. Hmmmm...Consider a women’s softball league, volunteer at an animal shelter, organize an organic community vegetable garden. Yes, these are stereotypes but pull no punches!
Desperate times call for desperate measures!
The one thing I know for sure is that waiting around and expecting to meet someone in a small gay community isn’t the way to go. Step out of your comfort zone and start making new connections and relationships outside of your area. If all else fails then consider relocating. It’s a huge decision but what better motivation than the real possibility of finding love and human companionship?
Dear Dr. Frankie,
My partner and I have been dating for 2 months and we have become very close very fast. Maybe too fast? We met through a shared friend right after both of us got out of 10 and eight month relationships. We share very strong feelings, have an amazing sex life, and have healthy communication—so I thought. Recently she told me that she wants to slow down, not spend so many nights together, and not spend “so much time" together. She said she feels overwhelmed by school (we are both 24 and about to graduate college), work and life, and that she "just needs some space and time to herself". I told her that I understood her needs and respected them, agreed that yes, perhaps we do spend too much time together. I told her that I want her to be happy, so I just want her to communicate her needs with me and I will do my best to accommodate them.
For some reason I feel like there is something she is not telling me and I wonder if this is the end of our relationship. She says she doesn’t want to be with anyone else and she still kisses me and holds my hand. It has been two days since our talk and I’m giving her space. She has been over to my place but has not spent the night - and I haven’t asked why. Why do I feel like I have been so rejected? Why do I feel as if I have been torn apart? I feel as if she has been leading me on or something...and then I feel guilty for feeling that way.
I feel as if I should let go of her and let her do her thing, and hope she comes back to me. I have no idea how to handle this curveball because I thought everything was happy and perfect.
If your girlfriend has not given you any reason to doubt her intentions, then take her request for space as simply that. Don’t torture yourself by reading between the lines for hidden messages. Graduating from college and embarking upon a career path is a major turning point in one’s life, one that can be quite daunting. Take comfort in the fact that she still spends time with you and shows you affection.
And very importantly, when you submitted your question it was only two days after your “talk.” I think you were expressing concerns that the relationship was over and that maybe it was time to “let her go” extremely prematurely. Your girlfriend saying she needs time apart was a mature and healthy request. If for some reason your girlfriend is on the fence about the relationship, honoring her request for space will only work in your favor. Putting pressure on her to spend more time with you, especially after such a brief period of time, will come across as needy and inevitably push her away
In the meantime keep yourself active with healthy distractions. Spend time with friends, exercise. Exercise is the world’s best anxiety management tool in my opinion! Revisit your favorite hobbies or explore an activity or hobby you’ve been considering for years. The more you focus on yourself and respect her wishes, the more she will miss and want to be with you.
Single? Looking for your soul mate? Dr. Frankie invites you to share her Love Seat. Post your questions to lesbian matchmaker Dr. Frankie Bashan below or email her directly at littlegaybook.com and check back on here at Curvemag.com for her answers. If you choose to email her directly please be sure to indicate “Curve” in the subject line.
To learn more about Dr. Frankie's matchmaking and dating/relationship coaching services please visit her website at littlegaybook.com.