Girlfriends, Forever!: How Close is Too Close in a LTR?

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This week, I chatted with real life girlfriends, Amy Jackson Lewis (@amyjacksonlewis) and Lindsay Hicks (@linzhicks), about boundaries. Amy and Lindsay are the creators and stars of The Better Half web series,  which follows a charming and totally relatable lesbian couple through their daily life struggles—like trying not to wear the same outfit when they go out, or trying to go out in the first place when their cozy, stay-at-home couple life is so comfortable. 

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AfterEllen.com: How long have you been dating?

Amy: In February we’ll celebrate three years!

AE: Are boundaries necessary in an LTR, or do you feel like there is no point?

Amy: I think boundary levels vary depending on the different personality types in the relationship. Lindsay and I are both pretty relaxed in the boundary department—we don’t have many. Honestly, there’s not much she could do that would gross me out or make me genuinely uncomfortable. She could fart on my head and I’d probably just laugh. (She would never fart on my head.) All that said, we do have one hard and fast rule: no pooping in front of each other. It’s never happened, and it probably never will. I’ll never know the face she makes when she poops! And that’s OK. 

Lindsay: Everyone is different, and needs different things to feel comfortable and happy. Instead of setting specific boundaries we just try to communicate clearly and often about what is working and what isn’t. I think it would be pointless to set overarching boundaries because not only is our relationship always evolving, but so are we as people. However, boundaries as far as keeping the romance alive might be necessary (number two times, gross eating habits, general gaseousness).

AE: Do you have any specific examples of failing/succeeding in creating boundaries?

Amy: The “No Poop Zone” has been working out really well so far. 

Lindsay: When I first met Amy, I had a lot of emotional boundaries that I had set up for myself. Amy is a very communicative person, and she was like, “Hell naw, we are talking about stuff even if it’s hard for you.” I am so happy that she did that though, because we have both grown a lot from it. Now we have gotten to a point where no topic is off limits as far as conversation goes. At this point maybe we should try to put up a boundary just for fun, because we currently don’t have any. 

AE: How do you explore this topic in your web series? Any favorite scenes?

Amy: When we were first beginning the writing process for The Better Half, the premise was to get a peek into the life of a couple who had been together so long that the lines of their relationship and their friendship had begun to get blurry. I think that’s definitely a real problem that especially lesbians can face. Your girlfriend is your best friend, and you’re both ladies! It’s like two for the price of one! But at a certain point, it’s important to make an effort to keep the romance alive. My favorite scene is in episode two: Lindsay interrupts a really important moment to go poop, and comes back to the kitchen table immediately after claiming the results to be “Instagram-worthy.” But don’t worry—she was gonna put a filter on it.

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Lindsay: In The Better Half, these gals are together all of the time. I would say their only problem is wanting to make the other person happy. The characters in TBH are pretty fluid, so boundaries wouldn’t do anything for them. They are a little clownish, and I don’t think clowns would know a boundary if it came flying at them in pie-form. A scene that really sums that up is in the fourth episode, “Pure Camp,” where the girls go camping. My character wants so badly to impress Amy with her camping skills, but fails miserably. They go with the flow, smoke some weed, and end up having a great time.  

Have ideas for LTR topics you want to hear about? Know a great LTR couple we should interview? Send them to LTRadvice@gmail.com.

Caitlin Bergh (@caitlinebergh) is a stand-up comic. Visit www.caitlinbergh.com for more info.

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