I am a lesbian in my thirties who has been is in a committed relationship for about three years now. My girl friend and I live together, we are very much in love, and we spend most of our time together, but - I’m missing time alone with my old friends. I miss just hanging out with the girls.
My girlfriend is a little insecure about me going out without her. I have tried to tell her it’s healthy for lesbians to hang out with other lesbians, but she believes it could lead to extra curricular sexual or romantic activities. I think it will lead to less co-dependency and more freedom to have, make, and keep friends. Can you help me try to convince her that a Girls Out Night is good for both of us?
Dear Girls Out,
I think Girls Out Nights are wonderful. I will call them Girls Out Night rather than Girls Night Out - because the girls are out and about! When I was younger the gay bars were the primary meeting places for gays and lesbians. Girls Out Night was usually on a Thursday, since that avoided the big date nights and drinks were half price. Some women brought their girlfriends, some women pretended like they were meeting their girlfriends for the first time and picked them up for a hot date. Some danced, and some just stood on the sidelines and stared.
If you are in a heterosexual relationship there is little or no trouble with girls or guys nights out. In homosexual relationships a girls out night implies hanging out with the very people you might be attracted to, which is why it becomes a more contentious issue with some. The solution to keeping lifelong friends is to hang out with them.
I moved from the gay bar scene years ago. I now make time to go out with my friends to the beach, plays, a movie, concerts, spiritual events, hikes, coffee, a beer or whatever else appeals to us at the time. I tell my girlfriend my plans in advance, how long approx I’ll be gone. I do not ask for her permission, as it is my human right to have friends and spend time with them. She follows her own instincts and time table as well.
Here’s a few friendly words of advice, be mature, don’t separate your friends into strictly yours and hers, but don’t expect her old best friends to become your new best friends either. When your girlfriend feels totally excluded or uninvited, you are asking for trouble. Encourage her to hang out with her friends as well. My girlfriend loves to hike with friends, see movies, play sports and spend time with horses. I love concerts, plays, and walks on the beach. I have about seven lifelong friends. They don’t all live near me but a few do and I love spending time with them, both alone, and with my girlfriend. It makes for a complete world.
Don’t be an old ball and chain, cut your lover some space and let her be her self. It’s healthier for all involved. Healthy venues include anything that interests you, and your friends, including; spas, shopping, recreation and amusing jaunts that make you glad you are alive and feel blessed that you have friends.
One of the best things about being gay is having gay friends, both male and female. Gay friends are campy and straight out fun. When gay people go out together it’s not like a cattle call or signal that you are available, but more like a celebration of life with friends. Enjoy being yourselves. If I was young and gay again - I’d start having Girls Out Nite sooner and make it last longer, and happen more frequently. Love is precious, but friends are gold. Have fun being gay, you won't get the chance to be gay in every life time you know?