Mental Health Advice
Rules for lesbian dating
I can’t believe I’ve never written a column containing my rules for lesbian dating. That ends today. Below is a list of my top five rules—comprised after countless hours of stories from both friends and clients, resulting in the five most common mistakes that couples make.
1) Must be equally out or equally closeted. You should only date people who are exactly where you are on the Coming Out spectrum. Dating someone who’s at a different phase of coming out than you are creates a power struggle. The person who is further along in coming out, invariably, will be dissatisfied with the more closeted partner. I’ve seen it hundreds of times and it’s always the same story, even though each couple hopes theirs will result in a different outcome. So often the closeted partner assures the out partner that she will eventually come out, but she’s just a “private” person. Then the out partner swears that she doesn’t care if her partner comes out or not—the important thing is that they’re together. This. Never. Works. Both partners become ingrained in their respective positions which results in conflict between the two, which then causes them to reach out to me for therapy. And since I’d rather walk through fire than deal with a couple, I send them to my wife, the Imago therapist.
Dr. Darcy Sterling is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her practice, Alternatives Counseling, specializes in LGBT issues and is located in New York City. Dr. Darcy’s clinical style is very direct, goal-oriented and pragmatic. For years, the media has been drawn to her unique personality. She has provided expert commentary for networks including E! Entertainment and has worked with television producers throughout the nation. Her blog, AskDrDarcy.com, provides free advice to members of the LGBT community. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-604-0144.