general recommendations



constructing your profile



cliches you should probably avoid



the worst cliche of them all (where you are now)



logical blunders the polyamorous should avoid



HEADSHOTS (post one!)



be open to the "just friends" option



messaging / netiquette



what's next? when to meet her offline?



keeping yourself safe



potential pitfalls or "This confusing thing happened and . . . ???"




Linsey of uncouthheathen.com gives some guest advice

The Worst Cliche of Them All



"No games!"
"No mind games!"
"No head games!"
(and its very close and very interchangeable cousin, the ever hackneyed)
"NO DRAMA!!!!"



Describe the game you don't want to play. Get specific. Does it involve big fuzzy dice? Late night phone calls? High stakes poker? Hide and seek? Scrabble?

Buh dum pum. But really, these weary old doddering warhorses are THE most cliched of all the cliches. And sadly, while the women who insist they don't want to meet any "gameplayers" probably have good intentions for themselves and their future relationships, all they've really succeeded in doing is alerting potential dates that they are interpersonally naive and/or revealing their lack of skill (at least, past tense) picking people with whom they can get along.

OK, the explanation for this one is a bit longer, but worth it.

Yes, there are people in the world who are interpersonally troubled, behave extremely badly, hurtfully, and/or dishonestly in interpersonal relationships, have difficulty telling the truth in many situations, and who have a frequent tendency to provoke discord with people they supposedly care for in ways that are unfortunate, annoying (if not much worse), and totally avoidable.

And yes, that's sad. We hope they will learn things, get better emotionally, and get over it someday. For their own sake, in addition to that of anyone with whom they come in contact.

But think about the person(s) you've encountered in your life that were like the above, that you felt were "gameplayers" or overly "dramatic," terminally unable to be honest, and/or whomever else you'd have preferred to avoid. Did those individuals imagine themselves the same way you did?

If you asked them, "Hey, do you think you play games with people? Or do you imagine yourself to be someone who frequently causes unnecessary drama?" would they say, "Actually yes, and you should know that because I do those unfortunate things on a regular basis for no good reason, an intimate relationship with me would be a hardship upon almost anyone."

???

Hell freakin' NO, right? If they even consider their previous relationships in any sort of reflective way, 99% of the time they imagine whatever went wrong was the OTHER person's fault, or perhaps a random occurrence. They were victimized, and the hardship is upon them and them alone. If they bother reflecting at all, they will imagine that others should feel sorry for THEM, not that they did anything wrong or behaved badly themselves, oh no, nope nope nope NOPE never not EVER.

OK, so if you're following along with that, what's the point in putting "no games" into your ad? It's not going to ward off anyone along the lines of the above, because no one identifies as that. If you got your local dyke community all in one enormous auditorium and asked, "Who here wants to avoid overly dramatic women or gameplayers?" about 98% of them would eagerly and emphatically wave their hands as high as they would go. If you next asked, "Now, who here IS a gameplayer?" every single woman's arms would be glued to her sides and every single set of eyes would be darting suspiciously from side to side.

Ergo, to summarize, no benefit whatsoever to putting "no games" into your profile.

So again, the only thing that phrase or similar WILL do is alert others that you're naive and/or unskilled in selecting people with whom to have relationships.

Yep. Sorry. Why? OK, fasten your seatbelts, this explanation is also a bit of a ride, but also worth it.

Setting aside anything constituting legally criminal behavior for which a person can and should get jailtime, “drama” usually arises from mismatched expectations. If you’re someone who feels she’s experienced a lot of "drama" in the past, so much so you feel the need to put “no drama” in your profile, you’d do a lot better to actually examine what you did/said and/or did NOT do/say that actually led to the drama in the first place. Even if certain sorts of misunderstandings aren’t anyone’s “fault” in a totally crystal clear way, many still can and should be avoided.

Defining expectations means more than just not telling an active lie. It means forthcoming honesty about what you’re looking for in general or possibly with that person, what else is going on in your life or your psyche that impacts your relationship with that person, and sharing that specifically and clearly with the other person.

For instance, let's say Sally and Marnie have been dating for the last 2 months, and things are going well. *****(see more below for other unrelated vignettes) Sally is ultimately hoping to find a long-term, live-in, romantic, monogamous relationship, and since things are going so well with Marnie, Sally imagines things are moving in that direction. However, Marnie has another set of expectations. Marnie didn't actually SAY she was engaging in monogamy with Sally or even open to eventual monogamy with Sally if things went well, nope, she totally avoided that. However, Marnie has also been involved with Cassie for the last 18 months, but Cassie has been working out of town for the last 3 months. Cassie will be on hiatus from that work assignment in another 2 months, and at that time, she's planning on staying with Marnie for awhile, and then Cassie and Marnie plan to collectively consider whether or not they should increase their connection via Cassie moving in with Marnie and working in Marnie's city, or Marnie leaving town to be with Cassie during her next assignment.

Marnie still hasn't told Sally about Cassie. She didn't think it was so important because she didn't promise monogamy or future commitment to Sally, and she and Cassie agreed to be "sort of on a break" while Cassie was out of town.

Marnie has told no lies. Sally has told no lies. Cassie has told no lies. The individual interactions between Sally and Marnie and Marnie and Cassie have all been pleasant, low key, emotionally calm, very civilized and polite, entirely beyond reproach.

But do you think there might be some "drama" when Cassie shows up? If Sally acts upset when that happens, some might say she's being "dramatic." But does Marnie share some of the responsibility here too, even if she remains calm? She's been quietly, passively, and rather indirectly herding her two girlfriends right smack dab into that rather uncomfortable situation, hasn't she?

You know how they "swear in" court witnesses, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” If you ever experienced "drama," you may never have LIED (the truth and nothing but the truth), but did you tell the WHOLE truth . . . or did you leave something out because it seemed convenient at the time? (Or did the other person?) About 8 out of 10 stories we’ve heard involving lesbian “drama” occurred because someone conveniently left out a detail that really would have been pertinent but perhaps a little mood-killing or discomfort-causing to mention.

Yes, most women have a story about some random crazy chick they didn’t really mean to have a relationship with that one time and then said crazy chick went wacko (allegedly) for just completely ZERO reason. Everyone gets a small ration of those before you should really be looking at them sideways.

HOWEVER, if you've experienced multiple or repeating dramas (as implied by the need to exclaim, "NO DRAMA!!!" somewhere in your profile), it's likely you're culpable in actively causing or at least failing to intelligently avoid some of them. If you've experienced multiple "dramas" with multiple people across multiple situations . . . what's the only common denominator in all of those situations?

(YOU)

In short, do some honest self-evaluation, instead of just proclaiming “NO DRAMA!” If you can honestly manage that, you’ll more likely experience the reality of reduced drama and relationships that are less conflicted, instead of just throwing around a completely useless catchphrase.

We know some readers out there are now exclaiming, "But I really did NOT do anything to cause that drama! It really was ALL ON HER (and her, and her, and her over there), I totally SWEAR!"

If you really and truly are innocent of creating the situation that led to the drama, either directly or indirectly . . . guess what? You still chose to spend time with her/them, didn't you? You chose that person, you made that choice and/or you continued to choose people with whom it was impossible for you to get along. You could call that poor judgment. At a minimum, at least that part of the equation is still on you.

If you want to own up to having made some bad choices in the past, using wrong or faulty criteria to decide who to be with, etc., and are now in the process of self-evaluation and life improvement and looking for something/someone different, that's great. Really, that IS great, and we applaud it. But then you'd want to describe SPECIFICALLY what you are/are not looking for. Just the phrase "no drama" isn't going to cut it.

Now here's an even more radical notion. Yes, this is the advanced homework assignment, and perhaps not for the faint of heart. Perhaps even less for the faint of ego.

In the long run, it's actually a much safer bet to assume that every f'd up, overly "dramatic" relationship and/or situation you were ever in was . . . <drum roll please>

YOUR fault.

Yes. Yours.

And then once you've figured out how it was your fault, concern yourself exclusively with THOSE details, and keep only those in mind going forward toward your future.

Yes, we know there will be some out there reading this going, "Wow! No Way! Not MY Fault! Definitely HER Fault!" But to the extent that's all you ever think about regarding any f'd up interpersonal situation in which you previously found yourself, you're not learning. You're not learning about yourself, about relationships, or about life in general. You're not looking for the mistakes you made and how you can avoid them in the future.

You're not asking for the wisdom.

Which pretty much dooms you to repeat "the drama."

The path to enlightenment here is realizing that the old cliche (ha!), "It takes two to tango," definitely applies here. Even if you were legitimately victimized in some way (we're still talking about within an interpersonal relationship that you chose), you'll still want to figure out how to avoid that in the future.

- What are/should have been the warning signs?

- What would you not do again?

- How can you protect yourself?

- What questions should I have asked?

- What answers might I have tried not to hear?

- Why did I not get along with her?

- What characteristics did she have that were problems for me/things that prevented us getting along?

- What did I fail to tell her about myself that really was important, and I should have disclosed it earlier?

- What are your NEW criteria for better/more stable/less problematic relationships in the future?

- What led to my agreement to have a relationship with someone that was wrong for me, and how do I avoid that in the future?

*****Yes, knowing exactly what you might want from a particular person is something that evolves organically, but there still might be some pertinent details at the outset (just like our Sally/Marnie/Cassie hypothetical), and withholding those is Drama’s engraved invitation. Here are some more hypothetical vignettes worthy of consideration:

---You know it's at least possible she’s looking for a primary partner or a “move in together” type commitment, but you already know you’ve got that role filled. You might have mentioned you weren’t monogamous, but did you also say you really have one significant other . . . already?

---She might be hoping for something longer-term, even if your interaction stays casual-esque. However, you know you’re moving across the country in three months, for sure. Which you failed to mention.

---You live alone, and plan to continue doing so. You just don't want anyone else in your space. She notices that you've not really domestically committed to anyone in the last few years, but imagines you've just not found the right woman. Did you tell her you consider yourself to be the Amazing Perpetual Bachelorette?

---What does it mean if you have sex? Is it just two (or more) adults passing time together in a mutually enjoyable way? Or does it imply a future commitment? Does it imply monogamy? If you have sex and she doesn't call for a week afterward, is that a problem? Yes, this sort of thing is dependent on how a specific relationship seems to be progressing, but if you know you're dating a number of women and she seems to think sex should be reserved for a more "serious" relationship, you may be headed for hurt feelings on someone's part.

---She ID’s as a dyke, proudly, politically, interpersonally. You’re actually bisexual and also see guys, currently. But you didn’t mention that . . . because you don’t have to see them . . . on the same nights you see her, right? What business is it of hers? (Some dykes don't and won't care. But they're probably in the minority. If you seriously and for no apparent reason think your dyke lover will NOT care, you might be in for some turbulence. Any prefab and ungrounded assumption otherwise is foolish.)

---OK, this last one is probably the worst of the drama hypotheticals, meaning . . . if this situation applies, the cluephone is ringing louder than it has EVER RUNG BEFORE, and honey, it's for YOU.

We have had quite a few subscribers that are married to and/or in a similarly serious relationship with a non-trans guy, by their own admission, and also by their own admission looking to surreptitiously cheat on that guy by having a sexual relationship with a woman on the side. One that the husband or boyfriend shouldn't know anything about, because they need to keep their relationships with women on the side "a secret."

AND these women are WAAAAY more likely than garden variety lesbians to insist in their freetext area(s) that they "DO NOT WANT ANY DRAMA!"

Errr. Um. Ring? Ring ring? Ring ring ring?

Totally wacky to us that the most blatant would-be cheaters and intended relationship betrayers so much more often insist on "NO DRAMA" when in reality, their interpersonal behavior in the world is exactly the type most likely TO provoke drama. We often wonder if the implicit irony ever hits them. Upside the head, like a brick.

We know some women are in situations they don't feel they can extricate themselves from for various reasons. And they still want to find love for themselves in the world, understandably so. We don't mean to sound totally unsympathetic to that. However, no matter your reasons or how complex or valid they may be, the likely outcome of cheating* on someone is that there shall be drama. Your reasons for doing it are unlikely to change that. Just go ahead and digest that as a fact. And start pondering in advance what you'll do if the situation does blow up in your face.

We're not telling you how to live your life, certainly not. But you should know that combining, "I want to cheat on my husband without him finding out," and "No Drama!" in the same profile will strike some as comic relief.

*We’re not referring to mutually consensual non-monogamy or polyamory here. We’re referring to cheating and/or betrayal of an agreement with a partner, not having other relationships in an open and mutually agreed upon way.


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