Girlfriends, Forever! Your Lesbian LTR Guide

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Hello, my name is HELP ME.

Hi, my name is Caitlin and I’m a relationship-addict. To be specific, I’m an LTR-addict (long-term relationship). But why wouldn’t I be? If I like you, I’m going to want to hold onto you—really tight forever and ever. It isn’t that crazy. I mean, you’re clearly interested in being with me forever, too. You bought me a coffee and gave me your business card, so…it’s OK. I can see right through that leather jacket. Let’s just move in together, babe. Is it cool if I call you babe? Amazing. Ah! I feel like I love you!

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I never even knew that I liked relationships, or people in general, before I figured out that I liked girls. Back in high school, when I thought guys were the only option, I loved being alone. Being alone was amazing. People would ask me if I had a boyfriend “yet,” and the use of the word yet always really bothered me, as if dating a guy was both inevitable and long overdue. “I’m just not a relationship person,” I’d tell them. And I believed it. “I’m so independent,” I’d think to myself, “Good for me! I’m such a modern woman.” The epitome of my singleness was probably when my brother drove me to junior prom because I didn’t have a date. I remember dancing by myself in my prom dress and thinking, “it’s cool, this is just who I am. I’m a loner.” Cue sad music. (Note: not all single people are sad, just the ones who feel sad about it.)

In college, I tried to date a few guys, just to avoid being the kind of loner who seemed like a serial killer. I met some random dudes in coffee shops who I heartlessly asked out for sushi. During dinner, I would refuse to make eye contact while shoving tons of food down my throat. “Being alone was so much better than being with these dufuses,” I’d think in between my fourth and fifth dragon roll, dreaming about the hermit cabin I would one day build in the woods.

When I was 21 and fell for a girl, everything I thought I knew about myself changed. Turns out I’m not independent or modern or a loner or a cabin-dweller at all. Turns out I wanted to move in with any woman who so much as glanced at me. Turns out I wanted to buy a woman flowers and write her cutesy relationship notes and leave them in her shoes before work in the morning. I wanted to hold hands for no reason. I wanted to call a human person by a slew of animal nicknames like “bear” and “hippo.” I couldn’t believe it. It was horrifying. In addition to thinking, “Omg, I like girls?” I was thinking, “Omg, I like people?”

Fast forward seven years and three LTRs and here we are. I’m engaged to an amazing woman who I’ve been dating for four years and I feel seriously lucky. Guaranteed cuddles every night, someone to share everything with, a person who gets me…and all of that being said, I have no idea where to go from here. I’m discovering that there is a lot more to a long-lasting relationship than cuddles and animal nicknames and cutesy notes. You have to know how to talk to each other and not kill each other and make each other happy. And, to be honest, I’m mostly clueless about those things. Probably because I spent 21 years alone in a corner hating everyone, I am starting to realize that I have kind of limited relationship skills.

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I wanted to start a column about LTRs not because I am an expert, but because I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. Instead of preaching to you about what you should do to make your LTR work, I’m going to be asking you about your lives, your relationships, and what you have discovered. I want to interview lesbians across the globe for their amazing stories and real-life advice. I’m hoping we can all learn from each other. Then maybe, just maybe, we can build a big house out of baby butterflies (I guess those would be caterpillars) where all of the elephants can live. Maybe not, but we can try!

There is so much advice on the Internet and in magazines about how to get into a relationship. But here I want to ask the question: you are in a relationship, NOW WHAT? From borrowing her shoes to planning your wedding to meeting her family, let’s talk about LTRs.

Have ideas for topics you want to hear about? Know a great LTR couple we should interview? Send your cool stuff to LTRadvice@gmail.com. Please send hate mail to spam@CanadianTurtles.com.

Caitlin Bergh (@caitlinebergh) is a stand-up comic. Find out more at www.caitlinbergh.com.

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