Philly and the Single Lesbian

It's not you, it's me. You sure? By Crystal Fox

Well, Saturday was the first day in the last two weeks that my now-ex and I didn’t talk or text. For the most part, it went better than I would ever expected. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have a job that is very easy to burying my head in. I’m a sous chef who works six days a week, sometimes 10 to 12 hours a day. I also go to school three days each week for about 12 hours. Or maybe it’s the fact that I think I’ve cried my last tear over the breakup. She’s on my mind, sure. I am always reminded of her, but I think I’ve had my last day feeling sorry for myself.

According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying the author describes, in five discrete stages, a process by which people deal with grief and tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness or catastrophic loss. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with what we’ve lost.

I’ve finally reached acceptance.

For dating and relationship loss (unlike the death and dying kind) I feel that the “acceptance” stage also has a variety of subsections one must make their way through to ensure they don’t end up bringing a huge set of Louis Vuitton baggage to the next relationship.

So my subsections for this “acceptance” stage are as follows:

Stage One: Friends and Family: This is where you go through a reconnection phase with friends and family (or people like family) you may have lost contact with during your past relationship. You seek solace in their unconditional love and their support.

Stage Two: Self: This is the period in which the individual works on their life and tries to find the new version of them, post relationship. They may join a gym, find new hobbies and ways to improve themselves. Often times they are seen as selfish, and so this time can also be labeled the “me, me, me” stage.

Stage Three: Marketplace: This is where the person fully feels ready to put themselves back on the market for dating or the possibility of another relationship. You have fully (or to the best of your ability) exorcised all the demons or the ghost of relationships past and you are ready (and healthy enough) to “love” again.

These three points, like the ones Kübler-Ross wrote about, really have no timeline. I feel like I’m somewhere between the “Friends and Family” stage and the “Self” stage.

But I do know that each day I’m making my way back to normal. Trouble is that I am the polar opposite of a “typical” lesbian.

I’m 32 years old,  but have only been in three long-term relationships with women (two I deem “the loves of my life”). I actually date…multiple women…at the same time…with all parties in the know. It’s not just the stereotypical two dates and boom we are joined at the hip.

Chances are I don’t want to live with you. I am a Gold Star Lesbian (meaning I have never been to that home plate with a dude). And being young and in college in the late 90s, where everyone was in the closet, that is a huge feat.

I come from a two-parent household (married over 30 years) that instilled strong Catholic values and morals in me, yet I’m down for universal health care and as liberal as the day is long.

I associate and generally connect deeper with gay men (and other like-minded lesbians) in regards to fashion, nightlife, down-right cattiness and the love of gossip.

So what does this all mean? Well, in all three of my relationships, I was the dumpee. Although self pride and preservation causes me to cringe when I write that statement, it’s the truth. Now, in the latest case, the breakup also had a lot to do with her deep-rooted issues with the closest. However, she did the Band-Aid yanking nonetheless.

But my question is: Do the aforementioned traits make me bound to a life of just dating, and never finding my match? Am I the good-time girl until the actual “Ms. Right” come around? Should I really even care?

The fact remains that in all three break-ups I got the “It’s not you, its me” speech. But after so many times it causes a girl to pull back and think. Is it really you? Or is it really me?

Crystal Fox is a chef and blogger in Philadelphia who’s dating again. This is the second installment of her ongoing adventures as a single lesbian on G Philly. Will she find love? Stay tuned!