A conversation online last week has me thinking about women’s general approach to relationships. There are lots of things that are fairly unique to the lesbian community and then there’s stuff that’s just women’s stuff.
This is one of those things. It’s just double when it comes to us.
The conversation was about how to know the difference between when something was a red flag and when something was just a little thing that you have to learn to live with.
This conversation struck a chord with me because when Pam and I talk to lesbians about their dating issues, one of the mistakes women mention most often is ignoring red flags.
But that’s not exactly what I want to talk about. We’ll save the conversation about red flags for next week.
Right now, I want to talk about something that plagues too many women, straight or lesbian or in the spaces in between:
Why do we think that we can change people?
It goes something like this: you meet a woman that you really like. You like (maybe even LOVE) most things about her. But there’s maybe something she does that you don’t like, or that she doesn’t do at all that you would really like her to do. If she did these things, then you’d REALLY like her and things would be pretty perfect.
So you tell yourself, “Shoot. I’ll fix that.”
Hear this: you cannot build your perfect mate. And this is especially true the older we get.
That woman has lived a long life before she met you. Maybe she is happy with that life, maybe she isn’t. But she has known many people before she met you. If any of them could change her, then she’d be changed.
Only she can change herself.
Maybe you want her to be a homebody and she’s used to be out on the social scene. You can make suggestions. You can even entice her to stay home. But unless she wants to stay home, you will not convert her.
Sometimes you get what I’ll call a “false positive.” That is, she shows signs of changing. She stays home more. She dresses more femme or butch. Whatever it is you’re wanting to change, she does it.
But can or will she sustain it?
If this is not the change SHE wants, then she will grow resentful of you, and no relationship can be sustained on resentment.
Find the woman who is already what you want and need.
It’s ok if she’s less than perfect. We all will be.
But decide what you can and cannot live without. If that *thing* that you hope to instill down the road is super important to you, then this is probably not the relationship for you.
That’s when that lack or presence of that *thing* becomes a red flag for you. Heed it.
So many lesbians love a good home improvement project.
Your mate is not to be one of those projects.