For this post I’ve decided that I want to set a few things straight (or maybe not so straight!). Some of you may know this, some of you may not, but I have been in a relationship for just over two and a half years, and my partner just happens to be female. Being in a relationship with another woman has many positives, but unfortunately it can also come with negative assumptions, opinions and judgement from others. A lot of ideas that people have about same-sex relationships are actually very wrong, and even damaging, so having gained knowledge and experience being in this type of relationship for a good couple of years, I wanted to lay out the facts for you all. I want to tell you all the truth about what it is really like to be in a same-sex relationship with a woman:
So, who is the man in the relationship?
Well, I can tell you it took a bit of figuring out, but I can now confirm that there is absolutely no sign of a male person in a relationship between two women. We are both perfectly capable of living together and loving each other without anyone needing to alter their looks or behaviour to that of a stereotypical man’s. We can both change a lightbulb, do DIY, and enjoy watching and playing sports without suddenly sprouting a beard.
But surely one of you is typically more masculine and the other more feminine?
Honestly no, and to be honest why does it even matter? We both have a mixture of different interests that stereotypically, society likes to align to a particular gender. My girlfriend enjoys watching rugby and playing Call of Duty, but she also likes wearing jewellery, having bubble baths and flowers. I like clothes shopping and making an effort with my hair and make up, but I also enjoy gaming and playing football. Everyone should be free to have a variety of interests that make them the person they are, rather than being confined to a made up rule book of how they ‘should’ look and act. That isn’t what life is about! Life is about freedom of expression. Gender stereotyping is so restrictive and oppressive, how do people not realise this?
If you’re in a long term relationship with a woman, does that make you a lesbian?
Absolutely not. As I explained in My Coming Out Story post a few months ago, I identify as queer, which is a general term for someone who doesn’t identify as straight. I have been attracted to genders other than women, and this hasn’t changed just because I am now with a female. So no, just because two women are in a relationship, doesn’t mean they are both lesbians; other sexualities are available, please see terms and conditions.
Does your girlfriend ever worry that you will leave her for a man?
My girlfriend and I have a healthy, communicative relationship. If I wasn’t happy with her, or vice versa, we wouldn’t be in a relationship. I could ask the same of a heterosexual couple – might your boyfriend leave you for another woman? I hate the stereotype that if you are a person who is attracted to more than one gender, it for some reason means you are more likely to cheat/ be more promiscuous. I believe that’s down to personality, not sexuality. I personally am a monogamous person, as is my girlfriend, and we are both content in the knowledge that we are happy being in a relationship with one another, and no one else.
Do you hate men?
As we have an abundance of male family members and friends that we love and care for, I’m going to have say no to that one. I don’t believe queer women wake up one morning and think, you know what, I hate men, I’m going to spite them all by being with a woman! Ponder this, if my girlfriend and I hated men, why would we get a male cat? To be fair, male cats are better than most male humans. I know, the truth hurts.
I bet you moved in together straight away didn’t you? All gay women *u-haul.
Personally, I think we did what most people do when they first get into a relationship, no matter if they are straight or gay. When my girlfriend and I first got together, yes, she spent a lot of time at my house, and we pretty much saw each other every single day. Bare in mind, we met in my second year of university which made it very convenient to see each other a lot as we lived in the same place. However, we wanted to move at our own pace, and so we didn’t officially move in together until after university. A lot of couples I know have done the exact same thing as us, and so I think this particular stereotype about queer women is frankly ridiculous. Every couple moves at the pace they want to, and it isn’t up to others to judge and shame them for that.
Do people assume you’re just friends?
Yes they do, and it can be quite disheartening. I remember when I had to take my girlfriend to A&E once and the first thing the nurse said was: “what a nice friend you have, coming to the hospital with you.” It’s a hard feeling to describe, because on the one hand it’s an easier life when people assume that you’re friends because there’s no risk of discrimination, but at the same time, the fact that we even have to worry about the risk of abuse is awful. It sucks to either feel like you have to hide who you really are and who you love, or worry that if you do correct someone, you’re going to get a disgusted expression or a change in behaviour towards you.
Do you share clothes?
We do, and it’s great! We’re pretty much the same size in both clothes and shoes, so it can be really handy if we both see something we like in a shop; we can just share! This saves a lot money, and if I’m having a day where I hate everything I own, I have an extra wardrobe to choose clothes from!
What’s one of the things you appreciate most about being in a relationship with another girl?
There are so many brilliant things, but one of the things I appreciate most is the comfort and safety of able to share and relate to things with my girlfriend that a man might not necessarily be able to understand. For example, periods. If I’m having a particularly horrible one, my girlfriend is going to immediately empathize and understand how I’m feeling and how to help, and if I run out of products I can guarantee she’ll have some spare!
Some of the questions I’ve answered might seem hilariously ridiculous to some of you, but these are genuinely among some of the most common misconceptions and stereotypes I’ve heard and read about female same-sex relationships. I want to spread positive messages, and as this is a topic close to my heart, I want to help to dispel the negative myths and assumptions out there regarding relationships between women.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post! If there are any common stereotypes I’ve missed out that you wish I’d discussed please let me know and I can cover it in a future post!
Until next time!
*U-haul is a term to describe when two women move in together within a very short period of being in a relationship. The word ‘U-haul’ refers to the rental vans used for moving house in the USA and Canada.