I have had a few girlfriends in the past. But, I just officially came “out”. I have been in a relationship with a woman for the past 5 months. She treats me great and we enjoy being together. The problem is she was in an on–off relationship with a woman for 21 years. They live in different states and she has ended it with this woman. However, this woman still texts her and calls her all the time. She tells me they will always be friends. My concerns are: 1. She tells me not to label our relationship as “girlfriends”, 2. Don’t have expectations as you will always be let down, 3. She still has this woman’s toothbrush in the bathroom while I take mine back and forth. She tells me she doesn’t even think about it., 4. She will tell me, “Who is here with me? Who do I talk to and see everyday? When I start to pull away she gets worried. I feel like I am always on edge waiting for her to tell me she is getting back with her. I am afraid to say anything about how I feel as it always ends up bad. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have any lesbian friends to talk to about how to handle this situation. I tell myself just to take it one day at a time and enjoy it while it lasts, yet sometimes I feel I am wasting my time and I should move on and find someone who can commit to me. What should I do??? Wasting time in Warren
Dear Wasting Time,
It does tend to be a lesbian “thing” for exes to stay friends, even be close after a break up. You have to decide if you can tolerate this sort of friendship with frequent calls and texts with your girlfriend. Everyone’s needs are different, and OK. And about that name, “girlfriend”, it might be helpful to know what bothers your girlfriend about calling the relationship you two have as “girlfriends.” If she has a different label, what is it? What is the problem with being “girlfriends?” I would have problems with you not being able to keep your toothbrush at her home, yet her out of state friend and ex is allowed to.
Are you wasting your time with this woman? Perhaps. I tend to think you deserve a lot better. Just because a lot of lesbians stay friends with their exes doesn’t mean you have to accept this. Nor should her friendship with an ex preclude her from being girlfriends with you. It’s OK to have needs and to have limits. Just communicate them clearly, and if she’s not willing to give you what you need in commitment and priority, you might be wasting time. In that case, there are a lot of other lesbians out there. Start looking!