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The fast and the curious: Lesbian relationships and those who love them

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Aug 18, 2023

The fast and the curious: Lesbian relationships and those who love them

Congratulations on embarking on the journey of lesbian relationships! Whether you’re just here like, “Been there, done that,” currently on your inaugural ride around the block, or are shyly admiring the beautiful scenery, I must tell you, you have impeccable taste (and yes, I’m biased). Sapphic romance is some of the best there is, and I’m here to tell you all about it. 

Are you a newbie looking for a place to start? Yep, keep reading. Are you a lesbian wondering why your sexy lover’s toothbrush, slippers, and wardrobe are now taking over your home? Got you covered. Are you both ecstatic and terrified by the prospect of lesbian intimacy? You’re in the right place. Let’s dive in! 

U-Hauling 101: Why Lesbian Relationships Move Fast

The first thing you should know, if you don’t already, is that there are a lot of stereotypes about us sapphos. We hate men, we’re all butches or femmes, we fall madly in love with every woman we meet, we wear a lot of flannel, etc. (So what if I’m literally wearing flannel while writing this?… I have other clothes too!)

I’ll debunk some of these myths in the next section, but the second thing you should know is, it’s still absolutely true that lesbian relationships do often move fast. Don’t worry, “fast” in every relationship doesn’t necessarily mean U-hauling… But what’s this, you ask? 

Understanding the Lesbian Relationship Pace

U-hauling is perhaps the biggest lesbian cliche of them all and refers to the way that it takes roughly 10-20 hours of facetime (if that) before we decide to move in together. You know, “we had a fabulous second date together at the movies… and on the third, we were grabbing our U-haul moving truck.” 

Cute lesbian couple taking selfies of their lesbian relationship outdoors

Source: Elite Daily

Like I said, never fear – if that doesn’t sound like you, it very likely isn’t. (In fact, while we celebrate you dating the way you want to, we also encourage you not to rush into anything that might not be the right fit.

Still, if you’re aiming for some of that fine wlw (woman-lovin’-woman) love, you may be surprised by the depths you can reach in short time frames, especially if you’ve never been in a sapphic relationship before. 

In my personal experiences, the start of becoming a lesbian couple feels like the start of a lesbian best-friendship – we meet in the context of a mutual interest or activity, bond over shared ideals or passions, find lots of great conversational material, and then also realize we’d like to touch and see each other naked. Then, those desires stay consistent so that, by date 4, we’re basically also calling each other “girlfriend.” 

Don’t mistake me – I’m not a serial monogamist (in fact, virtually the opposite), and I tend to take my sapphic intimacy quite seriously. I simply find, together with my partners (and also many other wlw that I know), that there’s no reason not to experience, enjoy, and name a good thing – a new lesbian relationship – for what it is, even if the timeline is shorter than may be conventionally recognized. 

Lesbian Relationship Myths

As I said before, lesbians, sapphics, and wlw unfortunately bear the brunt of a suite of stereotypes… which has and does lead others (and even some among us) to get the wrong ideas about our queer love and love-making. Sure, these ideas are based on truths (flannel really is a functional and stylish choice on so many occasions!), but it’s not always accurate. Plus, no one person fits into any one box anyways.  

That said, here are a couple common misconceptions about lesbian relationships, and their corresponding realities:

Lesbians hate men

Wlw are as inclined to appreciate and/or distance themselves from men (or people in general) as any other person. Of course, some folks – men, women, nonbinary, inter, none, other – are easier to connect with, for any reason, than others, but that’s a people thing and not always related to who we love and who we fuck. 

We may not want to sleep with or date them, but plenty of sapphos also have no problem chatting, hanging out, or being friends with men. In general, you’re also not disqualified (or qualified) as a lezzie based on how you relate to them. The moral of the story is: let’s all be as kind as possible, regardless of what stirs our fires. To any men reading this: love you! 

Lesbian relationships are between butches and femmes

Butch-femme queer love in a lakeside embrace

Source: LiveAbout

Again, simply untrue. We should all remember that gender and sexuality exist on an expansive and evolving spectrum, and that there are infinite ways to be a woman, lesbian, and/or lady-lovin’-lady.

There are certainly wlw that do proudly find themselves in a femme/butch range, and plenty of butches who get together with femmes (and vice versa). However, there are also other women who love and date women that are neither butch nor femme, both butch and femme, or don’t identify as a lesbian and/or a woman at all (hello nonbinary, inter, and bisexual cuties)! 

At the end of the day, lesbian relationships are between anyone who identifies as a lesbian and we’re glad to keep it that way, even if there are no butches or femmes in sight. 

Are lesbian relationships more emotional and intense? 

Emotional and intense lesbian relationship between two femme lesbians

Source: Our Taste for Life

Honestly, a lot of times, yes. It’s not possible or accurate to make generalizations across entire gender categories (not the least of which because gender is fluid), but on average, women and other FLINTA* folks tend to be more empathically open and available. That means that when two people who have spent any time, in any form, living as a woman get together, that honeymoon phase is extra potent. 

Of course, there are many lesbian couples that struggle from beginning to end with communication, never open up, or simply aren’t a good match (though you can often find great matches using HER). However, on average, wlw have a respectable track record for sharing and experiencing their feelings with their partners, making for a strong emotional environment.

Don’t be intimidated! In fact, I can only encourage you to let that be part of the fun. Think of it as a chance to explore yourself more authentically and deeply, including the playful, spicy, goofy, inspiring, mischievous, and blossoming. If you and your partner are still going strong after experiencing all that, you can be pretty certain you’re in the right place. 

How can my sapphic partner and I keep things hot and spicy? 

Lesbian couple sharing a passionate kiss

Source: The Cut

Much to our dismay, there’s another lesbian trope known as “lesbian bed death.” As the name suggests, lesbian bed death refers to the point when a couple has gotten so domestic or vulnerable with each other, they don’t have any sexual fire left to enjoy between them. It sometimes also refers to a myth that lesbian couples have less sex than gay male or heterosexual couples, given the antiquated thought that women are less interested in sex than men. 

Now, I know that some of you reading this can already prove the idea wrong (and so can I). However, just like with any relationship, keeping your sapphic sex life smokin’ and fiery requires your intention and attention. 

How do you keep the spark alive? Here are a few thoughts: 

  • Go wild with the sex toys. Sometimes, it’s nice to mix things up by calling in the cavalry. Whether you’re a sex toy veteran or haven’t used any yet, there’s a wide range of options with something for everyone. 
  • Consider a polyamorous or open relationship. Polyamory isn’t an excuse to sleep around or avoid commitment; it is a legitimate way of relating to connection that allows for more nuance and authenticity in how one goes about that.
  • Create intentional time for sharing intimacy. This is as simple as it sounds. If sexy time is important to your relationship, make the space for it with your partner. 

Be sure to communicate with your partner beforehand (and get consent!), but don’t be afraid to really explore your wildest toy fantasies if curiosity arises! 

How do you know when your lesbian relationship is over?

A moment of emotional fighting in a lesbian relationship
Lesbian couple looking upset after having an argument at home.

Source: iStock

Although there’s a lot that’s unique about sapphic romance, a successful relationship is a successful relationship at the end of the day and a failing one is, well, not. I wish I could say there was some Lesbian Bat Signal that told us when it was time to move on, but in most cases, there really isn’t. 

That said, these are a few signs that may indicate your charming lesbian relationship is over: 

  • Little to no physical, sexual, or otherwise expressed affection. Complete lack of physical intimacy and affection in a relationship tends to be a common sign that something needs to be addressed. 
  • You think more about ending it than continuing it. This speaks for itself. If you don’t want to be there, you probably shouldn’t be.
  • Cheating, cheating, cheating. Polyamory is one thing; cheating is absolutely another (and yes, even couples in open relationships can cheat).
  • You’ve both been unhappy, for a while. As the saying goes, follow your bliss. Although I know it can also be hard to acknowledge the reality of unhappiness, your relationship certainly shouldn’t be an exception.

If you do find yourself in a break up, or are still getting over one, please remember to be kind and gentle with yourself. Sometimes, people aren’t a good match together and that’s nothing to be ashamed about. Break ups certainly can be painful – some more than others – and you may feel especially vulnerable after your first sapphic heartbreak. 

Defining success on your terms

Take time for your self-care amidst the emotions, because wlw deserve love as much as anyone else. 

Remember, every relationship is different and shaped by the individuals involved. The beauty lies in the diversity of experiences, perspectives, and love stories. 

So, whether you’re surrounded by cats, U-hauls, or none of the above, embrace your journey authentically. Remember, love is about connection, growth, and understanding — flannel optional!

So you see, there’s no designated “lesbian way,” no special (dress) codes or requirements to find yourself in “successful lesbian relationship” standing. Though, I mean, there’s always flannel 😉 But really, if you want some lady lovin’, it’s as simple as opening up HER, saying yes to the first date, and seeing what happens. The cats, U-hauls, and everything else will follow naturally 🙂 

Happy dating!  

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Jillian Gogel is a writer and editor living her queer futchy dream life in Berlin. When not writing for clients, she is sharing her poetry and building intimate, creative, queer-celebrating community on her Joy Journeys Substack publication (@jillianjoy). She cares about dogs, yoga, sexual liberation, and holding space for exploring self-intimacy in all ways.

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