5 tips for finding your perfect lesbian partner
My friends (and partners) know I am a big fan of the self help book. When I was a very young girl, I asked to read my mother’s copy of Dr Spock so I could determine if I was “normal”. Now, of course, I know the answer to that is ‘no’. But I have continued to turn to books when I confront the big questions like: how the heck do you date when you haven’t been single for years?
The book I turned to was ‘Wired for Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology and Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate’. My hope was that through the magic of science, I could figure out how to make good choices. How to find and love women who would be steady eddies, loving, stable, loyal, affectionate, and sexy as Xena to boot.
Here’s what I learned, from this book (and a few others….), adapted here to be of help to single lesbians looking for a long term partner.
Hormones lie. Ask your friends.
We all have blind spots. The outrageously sexy vibe she’s emitting can mask many qualities that make a woman a bad girlfriend for you. Get yourself some seeing eye friends to look your potential future wife over. Bring her to dinner, activities and family functions, and then ask your peeps what they really think of her. Ask them what they think about how she treats you and of her general character. If more than one of them don’t like her, watch out.
If you and your date have been out of the closet a long time, chances are you might even know some of her exes, or friends. Ask around. Find out what her dating history is like. People will be happy to warn you about the ones with a string of unhappy exes who never want to see her again, and also to glow about the nice ones. She may be friends with her exes (a good sign) or have several that will no longer talk to her (a really bad one).
Be a detective of love
Pay attention to the woman you are beginning to get to know. Watch her mannerisms. Does she avoid eye contact or invite it? Does she casually touch people or hold herself separate? What things seem to make her comfortable or uncomfortable? Is she open about herself or more private? Does she give you mixed messages or express clear direct interest? Does she dress more casually or formally than average? Is she kind? Does she treat you with respect? Does she seem honest? Be a detective, not through interrogation, but observation.
Pay attention to her attachment style and yours
Adult attachment science says that about half of all adults have learned the emotional skills needed to form and maintain close relationships with others. Psychologists call that quality a secure attachment style. They invite and maintain closeness easily, and don’t get anxious about it. The remaining half are either anxious about connection (so they avoid or limit it), or anxious about that connection disappearing to a degree that it makes connecting difficult (so they chase and cling). It’s good to know what kind you are, and what kind she is.
In brief here’s what you need to know.
- Secures are the universal dater. Secures are the type O blood type of dating. Everyone is compatable with them, and they are compatible with everyone.
- The other types of attachment styles don’t blend well with anyone but others of the same type or secures.
- Security is contagious – you can become secure by partnering with a secure. Avoidant or anxious women who partner with secure women tend to become more secure over time, earning security for themselves.
- Secures get rare as we get older, as they are already in long term relationships.
- Most people are actually a blend of more than one type, and that blend can change over time, based on what kinds of relationships they’ve been in over their lifetime.
Check her relationship history.
So how are you going to find a woman who is up for a secure, happy, long term partnership? The simplest way is to find out if she’s ever had one. A woman who is likely available for a secure long term live in relationship with another woman has probably already been in one.
Ideally, find a woman who has already been in a live-in relationship of over 5 years in length with a woman. Unless she is her 20s or newly out, she’s unlikely to be good at doing something she’s never done. For more info on how to spot how secure or anxious/aloof she is, I recommend the book referenced above.
Attachment dating is a no-uhaul zone. It takes time to figure out whether a new woman is a good fit for you. Your ovaries may be moaning yes, yes, yes! but your brain and your social network should agree. Giving it a year before committing can help you make a choice that comes from your brain as well as your heart and hormones.
Be prepared to be your partner’s team mate
Successful couples, according to Tatkin, are committed to the principles he calls ‘secure functioning’. They are one another’s ‘go to person’. All important information is shared first with your partner, before anyone else including your therapist or family. You have one another’s back in all situations, and learn how to comfort, excite and soothe one another. You are a team with one another, a team that together handles the kids, inlaws and anything difficult. This is the way to become more secure over time, and folks who are insecurely attached usually have at least some resistance to it.
Good self-help books point you to things that feel right and make sense, but are no substitute for trusting your gut. If you’re happy and feel relaxed and safe with someone, that’s a very good sign. Happy hunting!