This weekend’s Pride parades have reinforced the notion that same sex relationships continue to be largely misunderstood by mainstream society. While the glitter, rainbow flags and campaign fliers are swept from the streets of New York and San Francisco, here at Hello Beautiful we try our best to interpret some aspects of a typical female-female relationship of which you might not have been aware. We also ask you this: Can lesbians teach us anything about relationships?
But first, there may be a number of questions you still haven’t had answered.
How Much Variety Is There In The Lesbian Community?
In case you didn’t know, there is a huge degree of variety in the lesbian community. You’ll find women from all ethnicity, religious affiliations, and professional and social backgrounds.
But a word of advice: Don’t watch The Real L Word on Showtime if you want to learn about diversity in the lesbian community because you won’t find it (the cast is made up of mostly professional white women).
In terms of personality type TheFrisky profiles 9 types of lesbians according to traits and behaviors:
1. The Sophisticate: Usually an artist or academic, this well read member of the intelligentsia is socially conscious without smelling like patchouli. An important public person, she’s a wise, loving role model. Example: Melissa Etheridge
2. The Tomboy: She’s strong enough for a man, but made for a women. This gal wouldn’t be caught dead in a skirt! Naturally chivalrous, her attitude and outfit often make people question her gender. Example: Daniela Sea and Samantha Ronson.
3. The LUG (Lesbian Until Graduation): Maybe she’s stuck in an all-girls’ dorm, maybe she’s just experimenting because she’s at a small private college, but no matter what the impulse is, she’s just learning. Example: The kiddie you see just kissing another girl in a bar for 30 minutes straight without trying to slide into 2nd base.
4. The Lipstick Lesbian This girlie-girl is so girlie she likes girls. She isn’t afraid of attention and follows trends to a tee. Being a lesbian doesn’t make her look or feel like an outsider. She’s comfortable being her feminine self and that is why she is the dream girl male lesbian fantasies are made of. Example: Portia DiRossi and Lindsay Lohan.
Click here for more from TheFrisky’s list.
Why Do Some Lesbians Chose To Be With Masculine Women?
In March last year Oprah spotlighted the lesbian community and asked a guest psychologist, “Why Do They Date Women Who Don’t Look Like Women?”
The answer is complex and varies from woman to woman. What is certain is that no matter what, these women are women. The level of attraction to particular ‘masculine’ features exists on different levels in the straight community also.
What Do Lesbians Have In Common With Straight Women?
The Gottman gay/lesbian couples study, which spanned a period of 12 years, concluded that same sex, long term relationships shared a range of similarities with heterosexual relationships.
The study found that even in the face of social resistance to same sex relationships, lesbians followed similar paths to relationship stability and battled against many of the same hurdles as straight couples.
When taken seriously, both types of relationships are characterized by the resilience of members of a couple and the level to which each member attempts to keep the relationship in working harmony.
What Do Lesbians Do Well In Their Relationships?
The Gottman study also found that lesbian women in particular were more “upbeat in the face of conflict” and played fewer emotional mind games with their partner. It was also found that lesbians, even more so than gay men, did not take conflict personally and were therefore well equipped to break down particular issues in the relationship before a point of no return.
Of course relationships in themselves are unique and the lesbian community could never be fully understood from one study to the next or from one point of view to another.
But, knowing who and what you know, what do you think? Can lesbians teach us anything about relationships?