Dating is a minefield, with many a malfunction just waiting to happen. Everyone has their Deal Breakers; Smokers, kids; A disagreement on what number of cats is acceptable. But wait! There's more! As if dating wasn't hard enough already, life decided to throw in some extra issues for us lady-loving-ladies. Thanks, life.
1. The Ex Connection
All lesbians are aware of the perils of dating someone your ex has had their hands on, and it just isn't worth it. Performing a background check to make sure you don't have any exes in common with your date is a uniquely gay necessary evil. Sitting down over your first glass of Chardonnay and listing your recent partners in the order of how much you care(d) about them is seat-squirmingly awkward, but it's undeniable - Having an ex in common is riddled with issues. Definite Deal Breaker.
2. The Scene Queen
Knowing the bouncer, the barmaid and the bulk of the crowd in the gay club is great when you're single, but if you're serious about finding someone you tend to slow it down. So if all of her Facebook pictures are taken at your local lez-club or she's on first name terms with half the staff, she's probably still in single mode. Now if you'd like to have your heart slowly and sorely broken then be my guest, but for me, the Scene Queen mentality is a Deal Breaker. Falling for someone who has spent months playing "Lesbian Dating Musical Chairs" is the quickest way to a broken heart, a third cat, and probably an STD. Bringing me nicely to -
3. The STD Illiterate
Yes, lesbians can get STD's and we need to stop thinking we can't. Dating a girl who is haphazard with her sexual health is a Deal Breaker and, although it's an awkward conversation to have, you need to know before you get active that she's wise with her choices and regularly checked. Sexual safety is really damn important, because if it goes wrong, it can go really wrong, and fast. You can't un-do HIV, so don't be stupid. Make sure you're dating an actual grown up who doesn't believe that "Lesbians don't get STD's" which is like when my 16 year old sister told me she couldn't get pregnant on her period. *Facepalm*.
4. The Straight Woman
As Alex Vause once said in OITNB, "Rule Number One - Never fall in love with a straight girl". 'Nuff said.
Just as dangerous are the "experimenters" who take it too far. Now I'm all for women testing the waters, (it's filled many a happy Sunday) but frown when I see them leading someone on. It's a simple rule of thumb - If she's not telling anyone about you, then she's not planning on telling anyone about you. Give yourself a modicum of self-respect and make sure that, if you're in her life, you're actually in it, and she's Out Of The Closet. Be with someone who wants to shout it from the rooftops.
Not naming names, but I once had someone tell me that "Bisexuals are dirty. Let the Bi Girls date each other and leave the real lesbians alone" and it was everything I could do not to poke her swiftly in the eye. It echoes "Let the Blacks date each other, and leave the Whites a pure race" and is the most backwards opinion in the LGBT community I have ever heard. Whether someone is a Gold Star lesbian or Bisexual (damn right that's a capital B), there's no pecking order and bi-hate is poisonous. It's friendly fire and has to stop. We have enough hatred to contend with; let's leave the judgemental glares to the uninformed, shall we? And not within the very community that's supposed to embrace freedom of sexuality. Elysion Events run Bi-friendly nights in the UK and so if you're nodding along and need a decent night out where Bi-Hate is strictly banned, that's where you'll find me. Otherwise, Bi girls are here to stay and coming to a Gay club near you - Please don't spill anything on our pretty lace dresses.
The list could go on. From those ladies with an Instagram for her cat to the Serial-Monogamist (learn to be happy on your own for two minutes, won't you?) there are so many Deal Breakers that are unique to lesbian dating, so consider yourself forewarned!
If I've missed any, feel free to leave them in the comments below or shout at me on Twitter - @EJRosetta
About the Author: E J Rosetta is an LGBT Columnist and coffee addict living in Hampshire with her spoiled cat, Hendricks. More ramblings can be found at www.facebook.com/ejrosettaLGBT