Hi there, vagina-diners!
Greetings from the black hole of time.
In the two months since we’ve talked, we’ve had Mitt Romney vanish like a bad dream and we’ve survived an almost-apocalypse. (Two totally unrelated events.)
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukkah and New Years came and went and took their annual reign of terror with them.
The holidays are finally, utterly over.
I could not be more thrilled.
I’ve been MIA for two months, dealing with a changes to my family, freaking out a lot, and basically getting my shit together.
Everything’s ok, and I’ll tell you more about it another time, but for now, know this— things are finally calming down, and it is a serious relief for me to suddenly be able to devote mental energy again to the subject I like best:
Just kidding! (Am I?) It’s lesbians!
Who often have boobs.
Dykes! My god I’ve missed dykes!
I haven’t been out—really out, where I wasn’t focused on omgmyproblems and planning to leave early—in ages.
I’m not myself. I feel like I’m surfacing for sweet homo-scented air (smells like tea tree oil, pussy, freshly-washed 100% organic cotton, and men’s deodorant) from the shadowy underwater depths of Drama Ocean.
I was in Minneapolis right before Christmas, and while I was at the Seward Co-op, I was literally snorting up great lungfuls of ghey girls, all wandering past hand-in-hand in their boots and adorable glasses and torn-up sweaters and carabiners jingling.
It’s been so long.
I don’t know what to do with myself around large groups of queergirls besides look at them hungrily and make soft whimpering noises.
Bear with me, mos.
A few quick holiday highlights from the last two months:
– CJ got me a high-powered juicer for Christmas, which is basically the greatest thing ever until you go to the bathroom, start shrieking, and have to be reminded you had raw beet juice for breakfast.
– Timothy Maxwell Thumperton got a new holiday sweater, which he hates and has been refusing to wear.
– I learned how to make hollow books and decided to wrap everyone’s present in one, but hollow books are made with X-acto knives and NO ONE SHOULD LET ME NEAR X-ACTO KNIVES, EVER.
– My mom actually said the word “lesbian” with her mouth. For the first time ever.
At which point there was a fearsome cracking noise and the Earth was divided asunder and time and space ceased to exist and I became a radiant being of light.
You see? We’ve missed so much together!
Today, just to eeeeeeeease ourselves back into the swing of talking and thinking about everything faggette, I thought we would root through the ol’ email@example.com mailbag and pull out a question.
Q: Dear effingdykes writer,
Can you please help me? It seems like every woman I meet lately isn’t over her ex. In the end they tell me this and I get hurt every time. The thing is, I never talk to them first – they always initiate [the relationship]. Should I start carrying around interview questions for them?
1. Are you single?
2. Do you enjoy zombie movies?
3. Are you still in love with your ex?
I don’t understand. Is there some kind of sign I’m missing?
A: Oh Naomi. This is such a good question—so innocent, so sweetly hopeful.
Well, Naomi, you’re fucked.
The reason that no one you’re dating is over her ex is because everyone you’re dating is a lesbian.
I’m so, so sorry, hunnybun.
But as a general and sweepingly stereotypical rule, we lesbians don’t “get over” our exes.
We think about our exes, process to our friends about our exes, obsess about them, quietly stalk them online, dissect them over drinks, mention them on first dates, slander them, befriend them, fuck them secretly, swear we’re done with them, and say we’re over them.
But we’re not.
Not yet, anyway.
We had a connection to our exes that was very intimate and special and no one else will ever understand, and whoever comes into our lives later is likely going to get familiar with these exes through vivid and graphically-detailed descriptions.
It doesn’t always happen that way, but Naomi—I need to tell you I don’t know any dykes who don’t have at least one Ex with a capital E.
There’s always someone—whether she was the first girlfriend or the girlfriend who was an acrobat in Cirque du Soleil or the girlfriend who became the fiancée or the girlfriend who made us coffee every morning without fail and brought it to us naked—that we, as a people, cannot forget.
She haunts us.
We had something with her.
It was beautiful.
She loved us once.
And even though things turned to shit and would never, ever have worked out in a million years, the golden, shimmering memory of That Feeling we once had with The Ex lingers somewhere in the hazy part of our collective brain, waiting to ambush us and our new relationships when we least expect it.
Here’s my horrible confession: I’ve dated, um, a couple of people, and I retain fondish, I-still-love-youish, or fucking pervy feelings towards…
almost all of them.
And I’m only talking casual and semi-serious exes, here.
Never mind the Serious Ex-Girlfriends—they’re an entirely different category of feeling that would take way too long to explain.
In general, though, my exes are women who have meant something to me, so I feel like they were a big part of me, somehow.
And, through the special glittering rainbow miracle that is queer dating circles… guess what?
My exes are often still a part of me and my life.
You too! Because dykes tend to hang out in packs, we all get to learn how to be friends-in-real-life with our exes! Wheeee!
Ugggh. I think a little empathy for lesbiqueerkind in general is in order, Naomi.
Getting over your ex is hard.
Getting over your ex is even harder when you see her every single time you go out to any queer event and all your friends are still her friends.
So queergirl exes are complicated.
And it’s difficult.
And sometimes it’s not really even our fault.
But! That’s not your fucking problem, Naomi, and you wanted to know if you should carry interview questions around with you.
While almost everyqueer has a major Ex or multiple major exes, it is possible to find the ones who are ready to date again.
Figuring out if someone is over their ex is simple – all you have to do is look for warning signs, which happen to be fairly easy to spot, thank god.
And with that, I give you:
A Few Signs Your Date Isn’t Over Her Ex
1) The first time you go out, s/he brings up her ex.
Whether it’s a teensy-tiny mention, e.g.: “Oh, thanks, my ex bought this dress for me.”
a brief anecdote, like: “Ha, you want to go to Kopi Cafe? Me and Sara – that’s my ex – used to to go there all the time.”
or whether it’s long-winded: “I’m so glad you wanted to go out because I’ve thought you were really cute for basically forever but I never had the courage to ask you out. My girlfriend – she’s my ex now – was always telling me to talk to you when we’d get coffee – we were in an open thing – and I’d always be way too shy, so it’s kind of funny you were thinking the same thing!”
… consider the red flag dropped.
Why? Because there is no reason—literally none—to bring up The Ex on a first date.
When you go out on a date, you are there to learn about a new person. You don’t need to bring your ex along for the ride, even if you hahahahatotallyusedtoshareeverything.
[thanks DeAnna M.]
It is possible to thank your new date for complimenting your outfit without dropping the fact that your ex bought the dress for you.
It is possible to go with a new date to a place you and your ex used to go. (Unless you’re not over it…? or you’re hiding from your ex, sugardimples…?)
If there’s too many memories at that place, just say you once had a bad ham sandwich there.
And nobody needs to know how you and your ex used to encourage each other to ask other people out during your “open thing.”
Not on a first date.
Maybe save stuff like this until you’ve sufficiently dazzled the New Date with your quick wit, good looks, and devastating charm.
2) When you’ve been out together a few times, and now it’s time to hear about The Ex, and your date keeps telling you how “over it” she is.
If someone is telling you something repeatedly—say, more than twice, whatever it is—then it’s a pretty good guess that they don’t quite believe it themselves yet, and are trying to convince themselves through repetition and hearing the words spoken out loud.
Not on purpose! It’s just something that people tend to do, and if your date keeps telling you she’s over her ex, she might still need a lil’ convincing herself.
It’s like when you know your friend is pissed about something that just happened, and she keeps saying “I’m fine, it’s FINE” emphatically, or the friend who can’t go one single day on Facebook without posting about how happy/thrilled/blessed she is with her relationship.
Who exactly is being reassured, here?
My friend Court says, “If you’re happy, you’re just going to live happy.”
And if you’re over your ex, you don’t need to say so, over and over.
You’ll just be over her.
3) After a short period of dating, you’re getting to know your new squeeze’s ex pretty well… and you’ve never met.
Do you know that your girlfriend’s ex hates ice cream?
Do you know that The Ex always thought your girlfriend had a funny way of laughing?
Do you know The Ex used to make quietly cutting remarks about your girlfriend’s weight and that’s why she feels uncomfortable fucking without the lights off?
Do you know that The Ex was “crazy jealous” and that the “littlest things” could make her mad and that she once broke that plate you’re eating off of right now? (She glued it back together, The Ex was actually fairly handy.)
Congratulations, your new girlfriend is probably not over her ex!
You don’t win anything, btw.
But you do get to hear lots and lots of stories while your new girlfriend deals with emotional damage dealt during her last relationship, and you get to nod worriedly and say things like, “Maybe we jumped into this too soon – are you sure you’re ready?” and then be reassured that she’s ready.
Oooh that sounds bitter. AM NOT BITTER OBVS.
I am not saying that no one should date until they are 100% ready to date. Not all all. (How would homogayelles ever get together?)
We will probably never 100% get over our collective exes.
But maybe we should wait to date until we’re at least mostly over our exes.
Like, I dunno...70%? Could we shoot for 70% over it?
And how do we know when we’re on the road to recovery, anyway?
How do we know when we’re getting over The Ex?
Fortunately, it’s easy to tell.
Good Signs You’re Getting Over Your Ex:
1) You deleted all her adorable texts on your phone so you can’t reread them alone in your apartment with wine anymore.
2) “Your song” comes on and you don’t burst into tears/grab someone and urgently tell them it was your song.
3) You see her out in public by chance and you look like shit and you don’t particularly care. She looked really tired, anyway. Alright she looked great but really – fuck her.
4) You don’t stalk her Facebook/Instagram/whatever every single day. (Multiple times a week, ok, but your need for a daily fix is dwindling. Also, she never posts.)
5) You hear she’s dating someone new and your second thought—after “OMGAUGGGHHNOOOOOWHATTHEFUUUUUUUCK WHO IS IT???!!?“—is:
“Huh. Who is it? Ew. They can have each other.”
6) You hear she’s just broken up with her new girl and your second thought—after “HAHAHAHA“—is not “Now’s my chance.”
7) You genuinely begin to wish your ex well.
Meaning: no matter what you two have been through, no matter how nasty the fights were or who got the dog or how many pieces your heart was shattered into, when you hear about something good she’s accomplished or is trying to accomplish, you honestly hope it happens for her and hope she’ll be happy.
You want to heal, and you want for her to heal.
It’s possible to be angry with someone and still hope for the best for them.
(This, from what I hear, is called maturity, and I guess it’s supposed to feel tingly and startling when it first happens. It opens a chakra or something.)
Sometimes… sometimes you don’t even know you’re not over your old relationship until you meet someone and it stirs up all sorts of shit you haven’t had to think about since your last breakup.
And that’s ok, sluts.
We will all work it out on our own schedule.
Naomi, all of this is of course completely unfair to people like you who are totally emotionally ready to be dating, but there’s only so much you can do.
You can have a little empathy for the special kind of weirdness that is the gayelle ex-girlfriend situation, and you can watch for warning signs on dates to nip this kind of shit in the bud.
But there’s really only one thing that helps anyone get over an ex, even an Ex with a capital E, and you already know what it is:
“Time heals all wounds,” my Nana used to say.
Even giant gaping raw bloody holes in your heart that were violently ripped out by the unsheathed demon claws of your Ex.
How did you mos know when you were getting over your Ex?
Anybody got any tips for Naomi?
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Krista Burton is brand-new to Chicago. An ex-Mormon from Minneapolis, she writes a blog called Effing Dykes (www.effingdykes.blogspot.com), which is about activating your lesbian gaydar. She spends most of her time staring longingly at enormous dogs, riding her shiny orange scooter around town, and trying to bake gluten-free cake that doesn’t taste like gluten-free cake. She’s a staff writer at Groupon, and loves girls, inappropriate footwear, and hip-hop songs with filthy lyrics.