Tales of a wandering lesbian

Do you view men as competition for the women in your life?

Reason I ask….no matter how much I try to be nice, I just view other women as enemies that must be dominated, belittled and outdone in all circumstances.  And I never put anything past other women when it comes to my husband.  Do gay women have to deal with competition from men?  So curious if this is even an issue, or if by definition gay women are completely immune to their charms.

With most questions about gay relationships, I find myself answering that the experience is much the same as straight relationships.  Yes, we bicker about money.  Yes, we like to hold each other and watch tv.  Yes, we get nervous when we meet the in-laws.  But this question has had me thinking for a couple of weeks about how different the experience of being a woman dating women is.

NOTE: As always, I’m answering this question from my personal perspective.  I’m not speaking for all of the gays – just one of the gays.  And this is something I’ve had experience with lately.

Dating. First of all, it seems to be a common issue for women who are dating women to be unclear whether and who they are actually dating.  Is a coffee date a date date, or just coffee? If you’re not kissing, but want to be, is that a date?  What if you haven’t communicated that desire to the other person?  Date?  For two single women to go out to coffee, or even dinner and a movie, isn’t necessarily a date.  For two single lesbians, however, it can be unclear.  Seriously unclear.

Maybe it’s the same for straight people, I’m not sure.  But I’m learning that, in order to make sure everyone is on the same page, it’s a good idea to be very clear up front about whether you are on a date, or hanging out as friends.

Men. As for men as competition, the women that I date or am interested in dating are lesbians.  Which means that, by and large, they aren’t attracted to men.  So, when it comes to seeing men as competition, no, I don’t see them that way.

However…

Competition. And this is where it gets interesting – I can see a lesbian as either a potential date, or as potential competition.  The same woman.  Which brings me back to the issue of knowing whether you are dating someone.  Because, if you are interacting with a woman based on an assumption that she’s a potential date, and it turns out she’s actually competition, it can seriously change the dynamic.  A woman can be one moment someone I might be on a date with, and the next moment someone who is dating someone I’d like to be dating.  It’s even possible that she can be both – at the same time.  Which makes my head and heart explode a little.

For example:  Recently, I found myself in separate, undefined dating-type situations with a couple of fantastic women.  We’d meet for coffee, or bike to pie, or just hang out and watch tv.  A couple of times a week.  I liked them both, found them attractive, and enjoyed spending time with each of them.  They knew that I was spending time with other women, and I knew the same about them.  I saw each of them as potential dates, and interacted with them as though I might like to date them.  But, as we started to define what it was we were doing (whether it was actually dating), we discovered that the three of us were, in fact, dating each other.  Yikes.  Unexpected.  Very quickly, I found that my interactions and feelings about these lovely women shifted and twisted.  I saw one of them as a date and one of them as competition.

And yes, I realize that seeing women as either quarry or competition is seriously limiting, but I think it’s something interesting to consider, nonetheless.  Especially given my reaction.  Yes, it’s time for me to examine the way I view women.  But it also illustrates a dynamic that I hadn’t noticed before.

And I think it’s very different from straight relationships.

So the short answer is, no, I don’t see men as competition.  I kind of think that would be easier.  Right now I feel like every coffee is a scene out of James Bond where I’m trying to figure out whether the beautiful woman across the table from me is a foreign agent about to trade my secrets for a chance at a new life.

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1 comment

1 Ce'licia TaTiana { 03.15.12 at 11:33 am }

hmmmm, that was really an interesting perspective I never considered. I myself am hetero but your take on that question intrigued me. 😀

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