Lesbianing with AE! Second-guessing a move

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Today on Lesbianing with AE! writer Lindsey Danis answers reader questions about moving out of a blue state in the Trump era and dealing with vaginal dryness during lesbian sex.

Last year, my partner decided she wanted to go back to school and get their Master’s in Social Work. She applied to several programs, including one in Boston where we live and two online-only programs. I told my partner I would move with her if she wanted to attend a program that’s in another state, if that’s what she thought was best for her. I meant it at the time. But after the election, I started feeling really blue (no pun intended). And I’m not sure anymore that I really do want to move – I’ve got a lot of family and friends near me and would be starting over from scratch if we move for my partner’s program. She also applied to a few programs in states that went to Trump, and I’m especially not sure if I want to move to those places. I’m having trouble sleeping, because I’m worried about what could happen to lesbian rights under Trump and to my partner and me specifically if we move to a red state. I know you’re probably going to tell me to talk it out but… any other advice?

-Fear of Moving On

Getty Images

Getty Images

 

Hey FOMO,

Deep breaths, you’re gonna get through this.

First off: The election threw 86 percent of the gays into a tizzy (14 percent of LGBTs voted for Trump), so you aren’t alone in freaking out back then/right now/for the next four-or-less years. Your partner is probably freaked out too, and she might be having some of the same worries as you are.

When you talk to her, be honest about how the election has changed things for you. Your partner will be weighing a lot of variables in determining where to go to grad school, not least of all financial aid packages or LGBT hospitality or specific strengths and focuses of the programs. If you have a hard-and-fast list of places you aren’t willing to live, she deserves to know before she turns down a place at a good school.

BUT before you talk to her, it sounds like you need to spend a little more time reflecting so you can be clear when you have the conversation.

You say you aren’t sure whether you want to leave your supportive community. You say you also aren’t sure if you can subject yourself to life in a red state for the next two years. Can you get some more clarity on what you are and are not willing to do? Talk to a good friend, get a tarot card reading, meditate, do whatever it is you usually do when you are trying to tease apart difficult feelings.

Do this BEFORE you talk to your partner, even if it feels icky to keep your change-of-heart a secret (it’s not going to stay a secret for long).

Why? Well you’ve already put yourself in a pickle by telling her something you thought was true, and she went ahead and started making MAJOR LIFE PLANS based on what you told her. If you originally said you would not move, maybe she would have applied to more online master’s programs or more programs in Massachusetts. She can’t go back and do those things suddenly because you’ve had a change of heart.

You’re writing in a moment of panic, propelled by the turbulent fucking crappy stuff that’s gone down since January 21. And honestly? Who can say what the future will bring? You can’t predict what our tweeter in chief will do, but you can find clarity in charting your course. Once you get over the shock and get in touch with what you want, you need to go to your partner and say, “Remember when I told you I’d move for grad school with you? I’m not sure I can do that right now and here’s why.”

“Who can say what the future will bring? You can’t predict what our tweeter in chief will do, but you can find clarity in charting your course.”

Then you can explain using logic and not emotion (this is super-emotional me channeling my super-logical wife here) why you’re hesitating, what you think is the right move, and what you’re willing to do.

Are there some blue-bubble-in-a-red-state college towns on their list you might be willing to move to? Would you feel better if you took a road trip to check out those places? Are you no longer willing to leave Boston at all due to election fears/family/community/even just having a good job with actual health insurance because the ACA might go away? (Seriously, my home state had health care coverage for everyone before Obamacare was a thing, so if you’re freaked out about leaving Boston and quitting your job and then not having health care at all, that’s a totally legit worry.)

Then, allow your partner to take the information you provided and make the decisions that’s right for her – even if this means going anyway. Even if this means having a long-distance relationship for the next two years, or getting dumped because she (or you) can’t commit to doing the long-distance thing.

You’re allowed to change your mind. Your partner doesn’t have to change hers, and she might not. Prepare for all eventualities, then give yourself and your partner the time and space you each need to make the decision that’s right for each of you individually, if not also for you as a couple.

“You’re allowed to change your mind. Your partner doesn’t have to change hers, and she might not. Prepare for all eventualities, then give yourself and your partner the time and space you each need to make the decision that’s right for each of you individually, if not also for you as a couple.

 

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