Home' LOTL : December 2005 Contents 45
By Dawn Cohen
QFor the first time in 10 years a girl I like is actually interested in
me. I am 40, and freaked out of my brain. I have got so used
to my own company, sharing breakfast terrifies me, never mind
sharing my body, a home or a life. I must be the most neurotic of them
all. What is the point of starting something if I can’t imagine it without
shaking? Nervous Nellie.
AThe good news is you are in touch with your feelings. Most
people frightened of intimacy unconsciously sabotage new
relationships before they let themselves know how scared they are.
You are in front! Your imagination, however, is way ahead of you. You are
picturing getting married before you have even dated. The fact that you
are attracted to someone who is available is a sign that you might be
ready for a relationship, but your mind is terrifying you by going too far.
Pull it back. Take the relationship very slowly. You are not going to move
in together, you don’t have to kiss, let alone have sex if you don’t want
to. All you have to do for now is spend time together. Think only about
having fun a day at a time.
LEAVING THE FOLD
QI don’t want to be a lesbian any more. I just want an ordinary
life with a bloke and a dog and a baby. What is so wrong with
AThere is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I am curious
though, why you need my permission to go with it. Perhaps
part of you feels worried you are betraying yourself in some
way. It sounds to me like you are suffering the pain of being outside
the social norm. There are two scenarios where lesbians often tire of
the upstream battle against homophobia. The first situation is when
we have been disappointed in a relationship, and we are single and
despairing. The rewards of lesbianism don’t feel worth the struggle.
The second situation where we often suddenly hanker for a straight
life is when we are getting closer to a partner and our internalised
homophobia hits the panic button that this lesbian thing might be for real.
You have the right to choose how you want to live your life, but if your
situation is the second one you could lose out big time by dumping your
lover for the sake of a heterosexual fantasy.
QWe have broken up, and it’s a nightmare. We have divided up
the house. We worked out who would keep what friends, but it
isn’t working. They want to be friends with both of us, but it’s too
painful. I just want to leave town and start again. D-Vorced.
AYour friends don’t like being treated like a CD collection being
divided down they middle. Your mates are reminding you not
to objectify them. They sound like good value, but in your pain
and your loss you are willing to toss them. Don’t. I know seeing them
reminds you of the loss of your relationship, but bear that pain with the
support of your mates, and you will commence healing. Toss them out,
because you feel tossed out by your partner and the short-term relief
will be followed by long-term loss. Think about what support you need
to get through the agony, and talk to your friends about what they can
The opinions expressed in this column are the personal views of the writer.
They are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. If you need
medical or psychological help please see your local GP or psychologist.
“When we have been disappointed in
a relationship, and we are single and
despairing, the rewards of lesbianism
don’t feel worth the struggle.”
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