Break up Advice:  Dating Again, After a Breakup

Break up Advice: Dating Again, After a Breakup

When should I start dating again, after a breakup?

When a relationship ends, one of two things is typically happening.  One, you are being spared something (such as a life with someone who is not well-suited to be your partner); or you are being prepared for something new (learning lessons that will prove invaluable to you in your next relationship).

Unfortunately, though, no matter how good a break up might be FOR you, they rarely FEEL good to you. That’s okay.  Not everything that’s good for us feels good.  For that matter, not everything that feels good is good for us, either.

There is a period of natural grieving and heartache for both partners, even if you are the one who ended the relationship!  If you start dating again too quickly with hopes of sidestepping the pain (commonly known as a “rebound relationship”), this grief will find you later, somehow, often when you least expect it.  Sometimes a partner will grieve the relationship before ending it.  Which leaves the unsuspecting partner very hurt by her partner’s seeming “coldness” about the breakup.  “Why doesn’t she feel sad?”  “Why is she so cold?”  “How come I’m the only one feeling anything here?”  Typically this occurs when one partner does the work of grieving the relationship BEFORE ending the relationship.

lesbian break up, dating again

Contrary to popular opinion, when it comes to dating again, opposites do not attract. Like attracts like. Sure, she may like to play football and you might like to shop – but I promise you this: you are both equally broken, and you are both equally healed. At least you start that way.

 I like to say,

 “You deserve every relationship you choose.” 

 

You cannot attract a partner who is healthier than you.  Ever.  It defies logic.  No one is fooling anyone when it comes to love…we get what we are.  Like attracts like.  If you find this notion intolerable, or unacceptable – it’s probably time to take a closer look at your relationship.  If you are certain that you are healthier than your partner, ask yourself this:  “If I am so much healthier than she is, what am I doing here?”  Sure, sometimes we attract partners that do not mirror our emotional health – and that’s why those relationships don’t last. It may just take a minute to figure it out.

 Your issues may not be the same, but they are disabling to the same degree. She may drink and yell too much, and to the same degree she is not taking care of herself, you are also not taking care of yourself by tolerating or enabling this. The focus of your issues may be different, but the degree is always the same.

Humans are like stock in the stock market. Sometimes our value is higher than the others. When you are taking care of yourself, eating right, exercising, spiritually balanced, mentally stimulated, socially active, and feeling good – your stock values are at their peak. When you are heartbroken, sleeping a lot, or not sleeping at all, eating poorly or not at all, crying, drinking, under-performing at work, and generally not on top of your game your stock values are low, low, low.

Relationships are the best vehicle around to help us become the best version possible of ourselves.  The very best thing you can ever do for your relationship is to focus on how to live your life with as much health and happiness as possible.  There is no greater gift you can give your partnership than a healthy you!  Before you break up, because you think your partner is too unhealthy, work on getting as healthy as possible yourself and see if he or she rises to the occasion with you!  Lose the judgment and criticism and help one another grow.  If you give it your best shot and it still doesn’t help, then it’s time to dig out that life vest and swim for the shore.  Some times the choice to break up is the best choice available. The point is, do your work first, then decide.

People often ask, “How long should I wait before dating again?” I think about dating again in terms of healing, not time.   You are the very leverage that you can rely on to attract a partner. If you are not feeling good about yourself or about life, then work on getting your game back before you think about playing the field. No matter how recent or distant your breakup, when you feel good about yourself, genuinely good about yourself, get out there and start dating. Until then, do the next right thing that will lead you to feel stronger, more interesting, more alive, and more loveable.

When you start dating again at your lowest point, you are attracting a partner who finds your low-point desirable. This is not ideal. The risk is that your low-point is her high point. As you start to heal, she will become less appealing to you. This is what accounts for many “rebound” relationships. When you “rebound” the issue isn’t the speed with which you move after your breakup, it’s where you are emotionally and what you have to offer when you start your relationship. When we are broken, we attract broken. And broken doesn’t last as long as whole.

In a nutshell, when you feel good about who you are and what you have to offer to get out there and begin dating again. Until then, don’t worry about the amount of time it takes – focuses on your next step to feeling better. When the time comes, you’ll be oh so glad you waited to dip your toe into the pool of dating.

______________________________________

❤️ Michele O’Mara, LCSW, Ph.D. is an expert lesbian relationship coach with a comfortable obsession with all things related to love and relationships between women. She is particularly fascinated by lesbian couples in blended families, issues of infidelity, lesbian sexuality, and recovery from lesbian breakups. She is the author of Just Ask: 1,000 Questions to Grow Your Relationship, which is available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon, as well as an app on Itunes /Google play. Lastly, she and her wife Kristen host Lesbian Couples Retreats in various destinations, and you can learn more about those here.

 

How House Shopping is Like Lesbian Dating, Or Not

How House Shopping is Like Lesbian Dating, Or Not

Lesbian Dating and House Shopping

One of the things I love to do in my spare time is peruse new houses on the market, visit new model homes, and drive through new and different neighborhoods.  And of course I also enjoy HGTV house shows.

Lately I started thinking about the ways in which house shopping is, and isn’t, like relationship shopping.  I can’t help myself.  All of my neural pathways seem to lead right back to relationships.

What I have come to realize is that shopping for a relationship has one significant advantage over shopping for a house.  Dating allows both parties the opportunity to try the relationship on – to  assess the other’s suitability as a partner before a commitment is necessary.

With a house you are pretty much expected to make the second largest investment you’ll make, with just a couple of visits, an appraisal, and a 3-4 hour inspection. You might seek approval from friends and family, then just like that you commit.  No sleep over, no test drive, no mowing the lawn or cleaning the house to see how long it takes, and no trial run to see if your life fits well in the new house.  Wait, maybe that isn’t much different than lesbian dating afterall?

If a house is the second largest investment, what’s the largest investment we make? Right – our primary relationship!  And like houses, they can be difficult to maintain, and even harder to renovate.

The good news about lesbian dating though, is that dating allows you the opportunity to not only try on one relationship, but to try on as many as you’d like.  There’s no penalty for shopping around, and in fact you may even be able to rule out some potential partners who are not comfortable with your wish to do so.  Women are not houses.  You are allowed to have more than a couple of visits, and a 3-4 hour inspection before you commit.  The appraisal? Well, that’s on you.  Which is why it is important to spend time dating.

lesbian datingHow do you appraise a new potential partner?

When we shop for a relationship, we are looking for a partner with whom we consider suitable to share our life. 

My Realtor is big on the importance of liking the layout of a home.  He says you can change the colors, carpet, landscaping, and improve the appliances, etc… but the layout is the layout.  I think the translation for this when it comes to dating is, be sure you are investing in the kind of woman that you like, just as she is.  Do not invest in potential. When lesbian dating, be sure to invest in a relationship that is already what you appreciate and desire, rather than what you think it CAN be. 

Unlike houses, fixer-uppers do not make good relationship investments.  Be sure the relationship you are attracting is already good enough.  Do not be lured into a commitment by the potential of what could be.

So spread the word, ladies.  Share this public service announcement with as many lesbians as possible.

P.S. People are not like houses – so never, ever, ever invest in a fixer-upper, unless it’s a house.

 
Lesbian Sex FAQS:  How many times weekly?

Lesbian Sex FAQS: How many times weekly?

Lesbian Sex:  Frequently Asked Questions Series

How many times does the average lesbian couple have sex per week?

This is a question I asked 496 lesbians whom I surveyed in 2011 while working on my dissertation for my PhD in Clinical Sexology.  The topic of my dissertation was lesbian sex and relationship satisfaction.

Lesbians were asked to report how frequently they had had sex within the six months prior to taking the survey.  If they were single, they were asked to reflect on the last six months of the last relationship they were in.  Clearly, self-report is subject to memory and as a therapist who works with lesbian couples on a daily basis, I can attest that self-report varies among lesbian couples when asked, “How often would you say you have sex per week?”  Not surprisingly, the satisfied partner often recalls a higher number of sexual encounters with her partner than the unsatisfied parter.

Here’s the lesbian sex chapter of my dissertation regarding how often lesbian couples are having sex.

However, here’s what was reported by the 496 lesbians surveyed.

lesbian sex, times per week

When you add up the top three options, no sex, once per month or less you have 49% of lesbians having sex 0 – 1 times per month.  On the other end, you have roughly 32% having sex 1-4 times per week.  In the middle, there is 20% having sex 2-3 times per month.  So, it would seem that lesbians tend to fall into two different camps – sexually active at a fairly regular rate or minimally sexually active.

Summary of how often lesbian sex occurs with lesbian couples:

  • 49% = 0-1 x’s per month
  • 47% = 2x’s a month to 3x’s a week
  • 5% = 4 or more times a week

 

Read : 11 Erogenous Zones – tips for Lesbian Sex

 

Strategy 16 for Lesbian Couples: (What do all five love languages require?)

Strategy 16 for Lesbian Couples: (What do all five love languages require?)

Strategy 16 for Happy Lesbian Couples:  Do you know what the five love languages have in common?

While there are several different languages that communicate love (Gifts, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation), they all have one thing in common – GIVING ATTENTION.  When you give gifts, give attention, give time, give acts of service, or give words of affirmation, you are giving your attention.

By the way, if you have not read the Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman, I view this book as required reading for all couples, and lesbian couples are no exception!  I just checked, and there are 10,652 customer book reviews with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.  So, yep, it’s a good one for your happy relationship reading list.  If you don’t like to read, get the audio version here and listen to it together.

I do not know of a more basic method of expressing love, than that of simply giving someone your full
lesbian couples, five love languagesattention. Your attention may simply be listening, spending time together, or holding your partner when she needs held. Or, it may involve calling to check on her when she is feeling sick, or asking her to talk about her feelings when she seems blue.  Maybe you pick up a special treat from her while you are out, and bring it home.  Leave her a note on her car seat if she leaves after you do.  The possibilities all include the five love languages, and they are endless.

Happy lesbian couples know that attention comes in many forms, and when you intend to let your lesbian love know she’s your priority, the one you choose, and that she matters to you, be sure you offer her your gazing, smiling, dancing eyes; your open, allowing and listening ears; your laughing, loving, and  kissing lips; your soothing, sexy, complementing voice; your helping, healing, loving hands; and your embracing open and accepting arms.  Be present, aware, and engaged.  You are what she wants.  Give her more of you.

Giving someone your full attention is possibly the single most powerful way to show someone you love them.  Be among the happy lesbian couples who take time to better their relationships a little step at at time.  You will be sure to increase your ability to speak the five love languages, too, if you keep expanding your list of ways to give her your attention.

For Relationship Strategy 17, Go Here.

Lesbian Love – Marry her in fashion: book workshop, post the date, share news

Lesbian Love – Marry her in fashion: book workshop, post the date, share news

Spread the news, you can enrich your lesbian love life with more knowledge than books can teach (no matter what those book reviews say), more intimacy than date nights can provide (no matter how high your fashion) and before you  marry the love of your life,  finish reading this post and do a little happy dance like you’re Ellen, because you have stumbled across something that’s kind of a big deal.  If I say so myself.

 

When I finally “knew” what I wanted to be when I grow up, I never looked back. First, Oprah introduced me to Harville Hendricks and his Imago theory (well, me and millions of other viewers).  Then after hearing incredible book reviews for his book, “Getting the love you want,” by I knew I needed to read it.  What a life-changer for me.  Everything about my own relationships started to make more sense.  Lesbian love.  What a scarcely discussed topic.  In my early 20’s when I was coming out aa s lesbian and looking for love, there was nothing to help with how to date, there was no Ellen to normalize being gay, it was not in fashion what so ever, and a post like this didn’t exist!  If it was in the news it was because of things like “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” and to think of having the option to marry was unheard of!

Times, they are a changing though.  Lesbian love is alive and kicking!  I have built much of my professional life around understanding lesbians and their relationships.  First, I had to get a good understanding of relationships.  Next, I had to see how much of these heterosexual concepts apply to lesbians.  Then I had to figure out what is missing.  After doing all of that, I decided I better just post all of this information together and create a lesbian couples workshop.  So I did. I call it, The Couples Weekend. Clever, right?

  

When are your next couples workshops?

Updated WORKSHOP DATES ARE listed here.

 

 What is the typical schedule for you two-day workshop?

I usually schedule workshops on Saturday and Sunday.  We typically meet from 12pm-5pm Saturday and 9:30am-5 00 pm Sunday. There is a 75-minute lunch break, with lots of nearby options to get your nutrition.

  

Do you have a way to notify people when you schedule your next workshop?

To be notified by email of the next available couple’s weekend, simply email me on my contact form (scroll to the bottom of the page), and I will share the news with you when the next workshop is scheduled.

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What is The Couple’s Weekend?

As a Certified Imago Therapist, Michele O’Mara has created a unique blend of all that is amazing about the Getting the Love You Want Imago Therapy weekend, with specific skills, resources, information and exercises designed especially for same-sex couples.  To learn more about Imago Theory, you can read this post I wrote. The weekend is an incredible opportunity for same-sex couples from across the United States to spend a weekend intentionally focused on creating (or improving) an OUTstanding relationship!

The weekend is a unique blend of education (concrete skills, and information about improving your relationship), processing (discussion of the new skills and information shared), and exercises (done privately with your own partner – not in front of the group).

REGISTER HERE

REGISTER at least 15 days prior to the weekend to save $100

 

What Can I expect to gain from The Weekend? 

  • Learn the 10 essential ingredients of an outstanding relationship and how to apply them to your relationship

  • Learn new skills to improve your communication and connection with your partner

  • Participate in your own in-depth relationship review

  • Create a personalized relationship improvement plan

    A fun weekend spent with other same-sex couples in a comfortable setting

 

Will we have to talk about our personal issues in front of other couples?

There will be opportunities for couples to volunteer to role-play a skill, but your level of disclosure about your relationship is entirely up to you. Important News Flash:  You do not have to share anything about your relationship with the other couples that you do not want to.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that your benefit directly correlates to your sharing, howwwwwever, the choice remains yours.

 

What kind of couples will be there?

The Weekend is open to gay and lesbian couples. This is a great resource for any couple. You may already have a strong relationship and use The Weekend as a way to tune-in to and tune-up your relationship, or you may be struggling to find your way back to each other. There will be a mixture of couples – some functioning better than others, but all with a desire to improve their relationship!

REGISTER HERE

 Can you describe what The Weekend will be like once we are there?

We will convene in a meeting room around a large table that is casual, intimate and functional. There will be breaks to stretch and snack (beverages/snacks provided).

There will be a blend of education (lectures), process (discussion about what we are learning as it applies to your relationship), and exercises. All exercises are done privately with your partner, separate from the group. Michele O’Mara will observe each couple doing their exercises and be available to guide and support your individual work.

What makes this such a good financial investment in our relationship?

This is less than half the cost of the equivalent amount of couple’s counseling! Payment plans are available if necessary, and we do accept Visa and Mastercard as payment options.

 

REGISTER HERE

 

 How does The Weekend compare to couple’s counseling?

 The Weekend is about building OUTstanding relationships. The emphasis is on strengthening relationships, creating a hopeful, forward-moving momentum on which you can continue building and strengthening your relationship. Though this is not counseling, and in many ways is more like an intensive class on relationships, The Weekend does offer you all of the benefits of counseling and more. The Weekend is designed to bring out the best in both you and your partner, for the good of your relationship.

 

Why should we sign up?

Receive 75% more for your investment. For the same cost as 2.5 couple’s counseling sessions, you can receive 12 hours of tools, education, counseling and a rare opportunity for peer-couples support and inclusion in a community of health-oriented couples!  12 hours of couple’s counseling = $1560 or 12 hours of couple’s weekend = $550 ($275 each), if you register 15 days in advance, or $650 ($325 each) if you register less than 15 days prior to the workshop.

  • Expedite your healing, insight, and relationship growth.  Receive three months worth of counseling in one weekend by attending The Couples Workshop!!

  • Enjoy the benefit of learning from other couples, their experiences, and gain insight and support from other couples – an up-close look at lesbian love that you can not get anywhere else!

 If we are traveling from out of town, where should we stay?

There is a brand new hotel that is literally within walking distance from the workshop, too.  My last call to them informed me that one-bedroom is $59/night and the two-bedroom is roughly $65/night – you will need to see how accurate this is, and I have never been to the actual motel, I only know it’s very new.

Whitehouse Motel 

Address: 2688 E Main St, Plainfield, IN 46168 

Phone:(317) 839-9358

You can also explore hotels near the Indianapolis International Airport. The airport is less than ten minutes from the workshop location (which is 2680 E Main Street, Plainfield, IN 46168).

 

What have other lesbians said about this weekend?

  • lesbian love“I learned a huge, vulnerable spot for [my partner] and saw how it plays out in our relationship. Also, I identified a big hole in my past that affects how I connect with her.”

  • “Michele was funny, entertaining, and so wise with wonderful words of wisdom, compassion, and understanding.”

  • “You must be willing to explore your inner depths. If you are willing, you will be rewarded many times over.”

  • “I have learned many things about my partner and myself that I didn’t have a clue this is why I sometimes act the way we do. The communication style is going to be helpful for us!”

  • “This experience was life changing!!!”

  • “It was phenomenal.”

Tell me when your next workshop is scheduled!

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Strategy 14: Gottman Institute – Lesbian Couples Turn Toward Each Other

Strategy 14: Gottman Institute – Lesbian Couples Turn Toward Each Other

Happy Lesbian Couples Turn Toward Each Other according to Gottman Institute

lesbian couple, gottman method, turn toward, gottman instituteJohn Gottman founder of the Gottman Institute, has studied relationships extensively.  According to the Gottman method, there are three options when it comes to responding to your partner’s wish for your attention (called a bid for attention). While most of his research is on heterosexual couples, it certainly applies also to lesbian couples.

When your partner attempts to communicate with you, either verbally or physically, you have three options, according the the Gottman method:

  1. Turn away from her, ignore, or pacify her with a response of indifference.
  2. Turn against her and actually express outright frustration or anger at her for the interruption or her need for your attention.
  3. Turn toward her and acknowledge your partner’s attempt to connect with you, by either engaging them in the moment or affirming your interest and offering an alternate time when you will be more available to engage with her.

The Gottman Institute says we will produce the best results when we Turn Toward our partner! Consciously turn toward your partner every day.

Schedule couples counseling for your
gay, lesbian or heterosexual relationship