A Day in the Life of a College Dyke: All in the Family
University of California Santa Barbara student and out lesbian fancies herself something of a college-aged, gay Carrie Bradshaw, and we love that about her. This week she ponders the reasons why lesbians cheat and if the 'Grass is Gayer.'
My mother always told me "cheaters never prosper." Not that I was a cheater, or have ever been for that matter, but that saying was drilled into my head for the better part of my childhood, and it is at this stage in my life that I've begun to really dissect it's meaning.
Since the beginning of gay time, the community has always garnered a reputation of being full of cheaters. Do we cheat more than straight people? The same amount? Maybe its because our population is so small in comparison that there seems to be an overwhelming difference. Either way, it seems that our reputation precedes us. We can't deny the fact that cheating happens among us. And as much as I'm sure that each situation has it's own background and circumstances, there are some key elements that make cheating within the gay community a hot topic.
A few months ago, I met a lovely couple - Samantha and Jess. They have been together for about eight months now, and seemed absolutely fantastically -- sometimes disgustingly -- in love. One night, all our pals intermingled and went party hopping into the wee hours of the morning.
After we all walked each other back to our respective residences, I received a fairly flirtatious message from Jess - saying that she had a great time and that I looked "pretty" in the outfit I wore out. Thinking that maybe I was imagining things and that her message was just friendly, I replied with a simple "I had a fun time too, and thanks!" I then received a series of about five messages, complete with flirty anecdotes, glamour shots of her, and multiple askings for my number.
I decided this was something I could no longer keep to myself, and that maybe this matter was getting too serious me to continue ignoring. I decided to tell my best friends, Tyler and Michael. I showed them the messages and they were appalled. The things being said were not raunchy or sexual in any way, but they were overtly flirtatious and got to the point where I acknowledged that she should not be saying these things to me. I stopped replying to her messages altogether, and then things got worse. She managed to find my instant messenger screen name, and continued to talk to me there, telling me that she loves Samantha, but can't get me "off her mind" and just wants to "experience" me.
After telling her that I was not going to get involved with her and hurt Samantha, she decided to incessantly text Tyler and Michael and ask were they with me? Where were we going to dinner? What were our plans for the weekend? etc... We all ignored her. Samantha eventually found out about her infatuation, messaged me saying that she understands that none of this was my fault, and that she and Jess were going to work through it. Now they're moving in with each other next year and they have just purchased a puppy - I'm not kidding.
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I bring this up because I find it interesting that I had known Jess for about 24 hours before this all started. She didn't even know me. But the temptation of something new--and something single -- was obviously something she couldn't ignore. Is this what drives most of us to cheat? What happens is that we become so nestled and so comfortable in the relationship we have found. We're so thrilled that we have found someone who fits us and is a "perfect match" because let's face it - finding someone in the gay world is not an easy thing to come by. And then, when we see that there are other people available to us, temptation rears it's ugly head. We start to question our own relationships and our own convictions. What if you have a chance with this third party that you may never get again? After all, people don't stay on the shelf long 'round these parts. Although, I have never been an advocate of cheating, third party dating, or even open relationships, I do understand the fears and doubts that go through couples' heads that lead people to choose such ways. What I don't understand, is how one can so easily ignore the red flags.
Say I had gone for Jess, and taken her numerous offers. She would have left Samantha, and Jess and I would have been the new couple on campus, happy and content I'm sure -- for a while at least. What most don't stop to think about however, is the fact that Jess would have been unfaithful to Samantha in order to ultimately be with me. In my brain, a giant "WARNING" sign flashes, saying that if this girl is willing to cheat on someone to be with me, what makes me think she won't do the same thing to be with someone else if and when the opportunity presents itself? It is here that the anomaly lies. Do we honestly not think of these things? Perhaps we do but are so blinded by the sheer excitement of something new and great that the thought is stuffed somewhere back into our minds until it needs to be brought up again?
Now ladies, I'm no relationship expert. It just seems like when it comes down to it, honesty is the only thing that will keep our connections safe. When temptation strikes, there seems to be two obvious solutions: talk about it, or end it. I understand that it can be difficult and that our "carnal desires" often get in the way, but is that really worth seeing the one you're with in pain? The grass is always greener on the other side. We constantly are led to believe that the grass can't get green enough. Next-door's lawn is always so much more inviting. Until we learn to trust in ourselves and in our intimate relationships, the lawn hopping will never stop. And I don't know about you, but I like to keep my garden free of trespassers.