I’ve been out for a grand total of two months, which I know is a tiny period of time and therefore—no matter how impatient I am–I cannot expect to have a girlfriend already. No matter how much I (desperately) want one. But in my explorations of lesbian dating, I have already run into quite a few problems. First, I fell REALLY hard for a lesbian friend, who liked me back, but not as much as she liked her long-distance childhood best friend who wasn’t out yet. She continued to flirt/become friends/hint at something more, however, allowing me to get my foolish hopes up until she finally sent me a random message about how the other girl was her true love and if she couldn’t be with her, she didn’t want to be with anyone. They are now together and living happily all over my Facebook. I’m over her now but my confidence has been shattered.
I’ve also tried meeting girls in all the places you’re told to meet them—OkCupid, PRIDE alliance, Pride Parades, roller derby, women’s studies classes, started my own LGBTQ book club, etc.—but, like girl #1, EVERYONE HAS A GIRLFRIEND. Even if they are listed as single. Even if they flirt with me for several days first before breaking the news. All the LGBT events in my area are currently wall-to-wall happy couples. All my new friends are in happy, mutually satisfying relationships. I know it’s pathetic, but I feel so horribly alone. All these blissful couples try to give me good advice: “You have to be patient; it’ll happen when you least expect it (what does that even mean?); you’re really cute and if I were single I’d date you,” etc. I know I’m being obnoxious when I complain about my lack of a somebody, and that I can’t be the only lesbian in history doomed to never have a girlfriend, but I’m really upset, all the same. I’m great at introducing myself, meeting new people, and getting them to talk to me, but the only ones who continue to talk to me (and don’t just randomly vanish) are the ones who have girlfriends. Was there a lesbian dating season and I missed it? Please help!—Confused and Desperate
Anna says: Lesbians mate in the wild primarily from May till September, allowing for a brief migratory period, then hibernation, followed by an awakening at Dinah Shore in April. So, as you see, we are in prime dating season.
You probably know what I’m going to tell you, Confused and Desperate, as it falls along the same lines your coupled friends have been telling you, but first, let’s squelch some of that self-negativity you’ve been holding onto. You’re not “pathetic” or “obnoxious” for wanting a girlfriend, nor are you “doomed” to never have one. You’ve managed to pack a wallop of activities into your two months of out-ness, and I commend you for your organizational capabilities, but two months is still not a long time, especially when you consider the average lifespan (horrifying life insurance billboards tell me that we’re expected to live until 104!). In two month’s time, you can grow 1/5 of a fetus. You can brew your own batch of medium-strong beer. You can finish a Tolstoy novel if you’re dedicated. But Love, that inconsiderate wretch, won’t be rushed. It comes when it damn well pleases and leaves just as easily.
While I can’t magically whip you up a girlfriend, I’ve been trying. So far all I’ve procured are some worn-down Converse sneakers in lesbian-friendly beige tones—I can tell you that you’re doing all the right things. You’re socializing; you’re being friendly and meeting new people; you’re putting yourself out there, online and in person. But now you have to let go of the attachment of “getting a girlfriend” and focus on enjoying the life you have now. That’s what your friends mean when they say you’ll find a girl when you least expect it. It’s when we let go of our expectations and the belief that we can control everything that truly remarkable things happen. Have goals, sure, have dreams and vision boards— whatever you want—but don’t fixate on the outcomes. Fixate on living. Fixate on being open to the possibility of surprise, and then forget all about it and enjoy your day. You don’t know where your next girlfriend is going to come from, though, for the record, mine came about from what was supposed to be a one-night stand. And this was after almost two years of being single. Two years. That’s two months times 10. That’s a lot of home-brewed beer, if you know what I’m saying (though I’m sure it won’t take you that long, considering your social calendar.)
As to your “everyone is happily coupled” complaint, I have this to say: People break up. Like, all the time. Somewhere, somehow a lesbian couple AS YOU READ THIS has been breaking up for the last several months. So buck up. In no time, your Facebook feed will be filled with tiny, broken heart icons, and a little later than that, Instagram pictures of your friends’ ⅕-year-old fetuses. That’s when the real fun begins.
Until then, I’m rooting for you.
Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley. Send her your The Hook Up questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.