Lesbian relationships are so often full of love, affection, talking about feelings (sometimes ad nauseam), and great sex (research proves we have better sex than straight people). But that doesn’t mean our relationships are flawless or without problems. Think about the most common issues we face as lesbians: U-Hauling it after the second date, only to realize that the person we shacked up with isn’t who we thought she was; lesbian bed death; sleeping with an ex turned best friend turned girlfriend turned ex again.
I recently asked lesbian relationship expert Dr. Ruth L. Schwartz for her advice for lesbians in both new and long-term relationships. Dr. Schwartz co-founded Conscious Girlfriend in 2013. A writer, healer, and teacher for over three decades, Schwartz has a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology and studied relationship coaching with world-renowned experts. She knows her stuff and was kind enough to share her wisdom with us to help us create happy, healthy love in our lives.
GO: What are some of the most common mistakes you see lesbian couples making? Both at the start of a relationship or in a more established one?
Dr. Schwartz: At the start, committing too quickly. During the first few months, and often for up to a year, most people in new relationships go into limerence, a fancy name for “the honeymoon phase.” If you feel stoned on love, it’s because you are! During this period, our brains pump out huge quantities of endogenous opiates, our bodies’ own version of cocaine or heroin. And the effects of limerence (which is the state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person) seem to be particularly strong in female-female couples. There’s a reason why no one jokes about straight couples or gay male couples bringing a U-Haul on the second date!
Either we don’t see our new girlfriend’s flaws, or we dismiss what we see, because limerence makes us think things like “I just know in my heart that she’s the one,” “It’s meant to be,” “No one has ever made me feel this way,” and “Our love will conquer all.”
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