“What are we putting out there when we ask someone to be our girl?”


“Hey, hey baby

(Ooh aah)

I wanna know (oh ooh)

If you’ll be my girl.”

When I started this column I said, “I don’t know how to date.” Apparently it’s still true🙄. 

I set out to “do the modern dating thing”, where you go on multiple dates with multiple people. I wanted to get my head around the whole, “we’re seeing each other, we’re dating, we’re in a relationship” thing.

I bemoaned the speed at which some queer women move saying: “I don’t want it taken as read that we’re girlfriend and girlfriend after a handful of dates. Why is there no grey area with queer women god-dammit? You’ve either all in with a U-Haul or labelled a massive player!”

Then I met Rose.

And after ONE MONTH of dating I, Cheeky Charmer, dating guru extraordinaire, inventor of the “lesbian power move” got swept up in a post orgasmic glow and laid the “lesbian landslide” on her.

“Will you be my girlfriend?” I asked.

To which she responded: “What does that mean?”

Cue record scratch. Romeo falling off the balcony. Balloon deflating while making a farting sound.

This has never happened to me before.

Normally the ladies respond in the affirmative. The CC was surprised, confused and a little disappointed. But then I thought: what do I mean? What are we putting out there when we ask someone to be our girl? (oooh aaa-I’ll stop now).

I couldn’t find the words, couldn’t get beyond it as a way of denoting our “relationship” to the rest of the world. Which. Does. Not. Cut. it.

So, I left it a couple of weeks, did a bit of navel gazing, thought “aha, I’ve got it now, she’ll definitely say yes this time”. I went back and mumbled something about trust, commitment and exclusivity.

And Rose said: “Is it ok for this to be an evolving conversation?”


Which makes total and utter sense. Yes, the CC’s ego was dented but Rose was on the money: how can you throw your lot in with someone no matter how cheeky, charming, charismatic, funny, intelligent, devilishly good-looking and unbelievable humble they are? (See what I did there? 😝) When you don’t know them properly or what they want from a relationship?

Rose said it best: “If someones asking you, ‘will you be my girlfriend’ but hasn’t necessarily thought through what that means, then what are they asking?”

She thinks there are hidden expectations behind the girlfriend label. Troubles arise when you haven’t established what each other’s expectations are. “Because we’ve projected these unspoken expectations onto our partner, ‘you’re my girlfriend, you’re supposed to do this.’”

I’m reminded of Ruth L Schwartz’ book Conscious Lesbian Dating And Love, where Ruth lays out a roadmap to finding the right partner and creating the relationship of your dreams.

Rose and Ruth are right, dating should be a conscious unfolding process where you keep checking in to see if you tick each other’s boxes (steady).

Or, as I said in an earlier column (before ignoring my own advice🙄):

“I suspect we’d save ourselves a heavy dose of lesbian drama if we dated like straight people. We wouldn’t have the, ‘She’s perfect, she completes me, she’s the love of my life. HELP! We’re not remotely compatible, holy fuck she’s insane but I can’t leave because we’ve lesbian-bonded and I’ll be thoroughly miserable even though staying makes me want to eat my own eyeballs’ scenario.”

Soooooooooo, if I can refrain from going all Top Gun (“I have a need for speed!”) long enough, we might enjoy the conscious, moment to moment evolution of “us” (as long as some of those moments involve lots of sex 😈).

DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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