General Dating Questions/A question for hercampus.com
Dear Dr. Neder,
Hello! My name is Kayla Goldstein and I'm a writer for Her Campus, the largest online community for college women. I'm currently working on an article about what to do if you hate your girlfriend's friends. It's supposed to be geared towards lesbians since it's for the new LGBTQ+ section of the website, but the rules are pretty much the same as if a guy hated his girlfriend's friends. Since you are an expert in the field of dating, I feel your opinion on the topic would give my article a lot more credibility. If you have any insight on the topic, I would really appreciate to hear it.
Thank you for your time!
I've worked with many in the LGBTQ+_$*#!49r~ (...) community and feel very equipped to answer this for you.
Actually, I disagree with you. The LGBTQ+ community is VERY different from the hetero community in a number of fundamental ways. Lesbians in particular have a sense of the relative smallness of their communities and as such, work harder than other such communities to hold on to "members". For example, there's a very active, conscious effort to keep women as part of the group even when the eventual tensions come about. That's something you don't see in the hetero or even the gay community.
That adds a great deal to the answer!
In my experience, lesbians are much more likely to deal with the drama and problems with friends, family and co-workers (as long as they're also lesbians) very differently. Frankly, they'll put up with a bunch more out of a sense of keeping the community itself together.
That changes however when these individuals are male, bisexual or heterosexual. It's even more prevalent when the others are not completely accepting of their friend's homosexuality. In these cases there is a very active attempt by both the lover and the couple's homosexual friends to isolate the person from those outsiders.
This is done however in some very subtle ways; from trying to dominate time (keeping her away from them in the process) to building fear of being shunned by the group to small, seemingly unrelated gestures to outright criticism and sometimes even cattiness.
Much of this comes from insecurity about a person's own connection to the community. For instance, if a woman strongly and openly identifies as a lesbian and part of the larger, organized community, she tends to be much more overt about closing it off. You don't find much acceptance of outsiders in her world.
That's not to say that lesbians shun non-lesbians, but they are very protective of the community itself. I've even talked to many who outright reject women who identify as bisexual! The (often unspoken) fear is that it introduces the possibility of even more competition in a relatively small market.
Kayla, if you have specific questions, I'd be happy to give you my perspective on them.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”