Lesbian Splits

Many lesbians remain good friends with ex-lovers, but there are plenty of not-so-smooth partings, too.

By Claudia B. Manley

wo of the most popular lesbian relationship myths involve U-Hauls and the ex-lovers as best friends. Rather than concern ourselves with the hook-ups here, let's think about break-ups. While it's true that many lesbians remain good friends with their ex-lovers, there are still plenty of not-so-smooth partings out there.

When your girlfriend of four years says, "I'm having a tag sale," you don't immediately worry. However, Moira thought something was amiss when she came home
What's not a surprise is that the two don't speak anymore.
from work and found all of her girlfriend Amy's belongings on the front lawn. Included in this stash were all the gifts Moira had ever bought her. The tag sale was a smashing success, and a week later, still reeling from Amy's lack of sentimental attachment to belongings, Moira was surprised when Amy broke up with her. What's not a surprise is that the two don't speak anymore.

How could this break-up have gone smoother? First off, don't give gifts that have any resale value. Stick to flowers (perishable) or expensive dinners. She won't be able to sell the pounds she's gained being loved by you.

Seriously though, the lack of subtlety displayed by Moira's girlfriend is stunning. If Amy had wanted to leave Moira without trashing over four years of a life together, she should've talked to her first. This would have saved Moira the agony of having the entire neighborhood, as they add now-meaningless symbols of her love to their own collection of junk, realize it first.

While Carol and Beth had only been dating for a short period of time, they fit into an easy rhythm and spent most nights together. Beth's (gay) friend Kevin came over one evening and the two of them swapped bad jokes. Kevin got on a roll telling
One way to make that transition smooth is to communicate.
tasteless lesbian jokes that kept Beth in stitches. ("What's the difference between a killer whale and a lesbian? Fifty pounds and a flannel shirt!") Although Carol seemed fine when they went to bed a few hours later, when Beth woke up at 5am, Carol was gone. The next day Carol called and told Beth that she was "a cruel and insensitive person" and that she never wanted to see her again. While definitely a rude awakening, as Beth was still chuckling over the previous evening's jokes, she just said "okay."

While this break-up doesn't seem so rough, it's good to check out your date's sense of humor before you invite your comedic friend over. The best thing about Kevin's performance is that it allowed Beth to see that Carol didn't really share her sense of humor.

Despite the popularity of e-mail as a form of communication, you'd think that we would know that it's not the way to break-up with someone. Even after Erin received an e-mail that said "FYI — we're not girlfriends anymore," it took her three weeks to realize it was true and not some kind of joke.

When you're reeling from a sudden break-up, it's hard to think about dealing with any of the other details of time spent together — friends, animals, property, etc. One way to make that transition smooth is to communicate. It may take some time, but once your eyes are free from the daggers they're shooting or the tears that blur them, you might be able to see your ex as someone you can, once again, communicate with. And then maybe, you can join the mythological lesbian pantheon of "Ex-lovers, Best Friends."

Claudia B. Manley is a freelance writer.
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