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Lesbian Dating: Three Ways to Have More Fun

09 Jun Posted by in • Kim Baker | Comments
Lesbian Dating: Three Ways to Have More Fun

I am driving down the freeway during my lunch hour, leg propped up against the door, window down. It’s a beautiful afternoon. I should be having a coffee and walking along the beach, I think. I sigh, glancing over at my to do list for this hour: Target, Trader Joe’s, car wash. Glancing back at the road I can’t help but wonder if I have become the epitome of anti-fun. I used to be fun, I think. Five years ago I would have met a friend for lunch, gone for a run through the park, or met the girl I was dating for an afternoon delight. Today, I’m running errands for the household. Later, curious about why on the spectrum of fun my life seemed to go from one end to the other in just a few years, I re-read my journal from my wild summer, the time when my single life seemed to be the definition of exciting. Three hours later, I turn the last page, stretch my legs out on my bed and stare up the ceiling. It hits me then – I wasn’t having more fun back then; I was living in chaos. I did some cool stuff, and occasionally got lost in the moment and felt pure joy. But mostly, what I read in my own words was a vague sense of disconnection – of being at my own party but being lonely and detached from it all. I realized there is a big difference between having fake fun and real fun. Here are 3 things I learned about real fun in dating.

1. Fun is about letting go.

As a goal oriented person, when life gets difficult, I tend to dig in and hang on tighter. It seems logical, but ends up making things worse. For example, when a relationship is falling apart, my tendency up to this point has been to try harder – to attempt to connect more, to put myself out there more, to ask for less and give more. Basically, to make the relationship entirely about the other person’s needs. In the end, the relationship ends anyway and I’m left with a sense of exhaustion and humiliation over my semi-desperation. Today, when I am struggling in relationships, romantic or otherwise, I practice shifting my focus from the relationships back to me. I’m working on asking more empowering questions like, What am I learning from this? What do I need in this moment? This shift has helped curb the try harder habit and let go and have more fun in dating.

2. Fun is about balance.

In some past relationships, I have been drawn to women with a rough edge, instead of nice girls. Over time, I realized that my brain confused chaos and fear with excitement and passion. I recall, during my wild summer, the timeframe I was supposedly having so much fun, looking forward to feeling a little bored someday. Yet these days when I feel bored, I am full of self judgement for my stable life. What I learned over time is that authentic fun is all about combining spontaneity and practicality. I can’t help but wonder how to balance the turn up and down to earth parts of me. My goal this year is to do something fun daily, even if it’s small and silly, like doing karaoke in my living room. When it comes to dating, the more authentic and free I am, not only is dating more fun, but I’m more likely to find the right one.

3. Fun is about releasing the need to be cool.

Maybe the natural evolution of life is to worry about what others think when we’re young and then realize as we age that is no way to live and to just let it go. At some point, I accepted that I was spending too much energy worrying about what people thought, particularly in dating. I would let myself be free and silly but only under certain circumstances – like when dancing. Life is full of periods of heavy shit. Something difficult happens, we adapt, make meaning of it, and then have a period of less difficulty. But when self-judgment or fear about not being part of the cool kid’s club interferes with our ability to be free during the easier period, we literally trap ourselves into a box of others’ expectations. In dating, it’s easy to worry about what she’ll think and turn down the volume of who we are. These days, I’m working on being more present in my body and asking myself, What, if anything am I holding back right now? In a society where as women we’re socialized to defer and to be polite, it’s easy to lose our sense of passion and inner child. For me, it’s an ongoing process of practicing shifting from trying harder to balance and releasing others’ expectations. Have some authentic fun this summer with hundreds of other lesbians at Girlsplash in Provincetown. Join myself and fellow lesbian authors Renee MacKenzie and Lucy J. Madison at a book event July 19.

Kim Baker, author of Girls’ Guide to Healthy Dating: Between the Breakup and the Next U-Haul, is a dating columnist and writer whose writing examines healthier dating through the lens of mindfulness and self-care. Find her at www.girlsguidetohealthydating.com or join her email list by texting gg2dating to 22828, message and date rates may apply.

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