Author Lauren Costine discusses “Lesbian Love Addiction

Author Lauren Costine discusses “Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How To Heal When Things Go Wrong”

(Facebook Live Video Feed, Friday, June 3, at 4:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time.  To view live and comment, visit and “FOLLOW” this Facebook page).  Nicholas Snow is excited to welcome BLVD Treatment Centers’ Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Lauren Costine to speak about her latest book, Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How To Heal When Things Go Wrong.

Everyone makes mistakes in relationships at one time or another. Somethings they learn from those mistakes – other times, they return to those behaviors and cycle through failed relationship after failed relationship. Sometimes those behaviors become an addiction to love that leave a person feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, lonely, or worse.

Dr. Lauren Costine explores these themes and more in her latest work, Lesbian Love Addiction, and closely examines the elements of

BLVD Treatment Centers’ Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Lauren Costine, author, Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How To Heal When Things Go Wrong

love addiction that many lesbians suffer from. A former addict turned educator, public speaker, and clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience in private practice, she brings her expertise to bear as Chief Clinical Officer at BLVD Treatment Centers.

Love Addiction and Lesbians – Counselor Magazine

Love Addiction Article

Love Addiction and Lesbians

2016/May-Jun

By: Dr. Lauren Costine

13332825_1056942757724234_7007963404799261743_nHave you heard the joke about the lesbian and the U-Haul?
It goes like this: What does a lesbian bring on a second date?
The punch line, an in-joke about the potent emotional
entwinement that happens quickly in lesbian relationships,
is a U-Haul. Two dates and it’s a move-in. This harmless enigma
makes nearly everyone laugh. Even straight people seem to
appreciate the psychology and intensity of lesbian relationships.

Lesbians have long considered the U-Haul joke to be a complex,
cute, funny, and sometimes embarrassing component of our unique
lesbian lifestyles. It’s sweet, yet intense. You see, we’re close; we
know how to bond and we’re not afraid of intimacy. This is one
of the things lesbians have to offer the world, the seemingly innate
ability to attach to one another and to commit almost effortlessly.
It can be mesmerizing. We also know from a psychological perspective that the U-Haul metaphor does
have a dark side. Far from being something ideal, this instant merging often points to a deeper problem:
lesbian love addiction, a very common phenomenon with real consequences that millions of lesbians
are adversely affected by. Like countless other addictions that have claimed our psyches, love addiction
has, for lesbians, become the insidious superglue that offers a quick-fix solution that hides and prevents
the real underlying, unmet needs inherent in our addiction to love, women, relationships, and fantasy.

There is a happier, less conflicted way of coupling—a relationship style that is less harmful to
the individual self—but it takes awareness of the issues that complicate lesbian relationships for
this healthier state to become the new norm.

Let’s get a sense of what makes this lesbian love addiction issue so prevalent that it has turned an
in-joke into an allegory. To understand love addiction, let’s look at the three types that
commonly manifest in lesbians: the love addict, the love avoidant, and a combination of both, the
love ambivalent.

Love Addicts

Love addicts fall in love easily and quickly without really knowing the other woman. They are
addicted to the way falling in love makes them feel, more specifically to the feel-good chemicals
such as dopamine and oxytocin, which are emitted in the beginning stages of romance. Many
love addicts have a sudden need to spend all their time with their new love, and many women
move in together within a couple of dates or months (hence the U-haul joke).
Love addicts have difficulty setting boundaries, losing their sense of self once they are in a
relationship. Some women even stop taking care of themselves to better fit into their new
partner’s life. They lose touch with their own friends, family, self-care, and personal interests.
Additionally, love addicts can have a pattern of falling for women who are perpetually
unavailable physically and/or emotionally, and have their heart broken over and over again. They
can jump into one relationship after another to avoid being alone.

Love Avoidants

Love avoidants are addicted to the seducing and chasing—they get high from pursuing other
women. Romeos and Casanovas aren’t gender-specific roles! Like love addicts, love avoidants
are also addicted to the high of falling in love. However, they are afraid of authentic intimacy
and consequently distance themselves emotionally once the honeymoon period ends. They can
feel emotionally smothered by their partners once the glitter wears off. They find fault, criticize,
and blame in order to create the distance that makes them feel safe.

Love Ambivalent

Love ambivalents have love addict characteristics in one relationship and then love avoidant in
the next. They can also vacillate between love addict and love avoidant behaviors within a single
relationship. Love ambivalents are either lightly or deeply ambivalent about their partner and
doubt or fear their ability to commit. This is a pattern found in every relationship.

The Female Brain

As we now know, men and women don’t have the same exact brains as male researchers once
assumed. Recent discoveries indicate there are significant differences in communication modes
and the connections made between the sexes. For example, women are more wired to connect to
others. It’s a biological strategy that helps human beings form groups and thus create
community, which in turn improves our chances of surviving in hostile environments. In other
words, we crave relationships because our brains are wired to favor them. This explains, in part,
why two women might be more inclined to connect more quickly than men traditionally do. This
insight helps us understand how, following directions from the brain, lesbians suffering from
love addiction slip into habitual patterns and roles that adversely shape their lives. We also omit
oxytocin and dopamine when falling in love—men do not in the same way—therefore when two
women get together the “oxyfest” is beyond intoxicating. It can also lead to addictive tendencies
for those who cannot get enough of how these chemicals make them feel.

Withdrawals

Typically, addictive relationships don’t just fizzle out or finish with mutual understanding and a
kiss goodbye. Instead, they end as abruptly as they started. They come crashing down with the
force that sudden withdrawal produces in someone coming off of alcohol or drugs. The body and
central nervous system go into a state of duress from physical withdrawal. Science has shown
that breaking up, at least when love is involved, creates a type of physiological withdrawal in the
body. Humans are wired to dislike this kind of rejection or sudden change in connection. When
we throw love addiction into the mix—when a person is not only attempting to heal from a
broken heart, but the added wound of a toxic relationship—the withdrawal can feel like a death.
Recovering from lesbian love addiction can produce this kind of all-consuming grief, but the
experience is essential to the healing process.

It is during this incredibly painful period that many women seek help through therapy or Sex and
Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) or similar support groups. Without the support of others,
many lesbians find it impossible to detach from their partner, to resist reaching out—calling and
texting or visiting places they know they will see their ex. If they don’t get help and support at
this time, the pull to end the pain by returning to the drug is too powerful. Symptoms often
include:

  • Cravings to act out irrationally with love addicted behaviors
  • Inexplicable aches and pains
  • Physical illness or exhaustion
  • Switching to new addictions
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Overwhelming self-doubt
  • Desperation and fear
  • Feeling crazy
  • Suicidal thoughts or impulses
  • Desire to isolate
  • Obsessive thinking or fantasizing about the partner
  • Sadness, despair or depression
  • Emotional highs and lows
  • Irritability, anger or rage

The healing process from love addiction can prove to be one of the most difficult things a person
will ever have to endure, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I tell my clients that one day
withdrawing will be over and they’ll feel like a new person. In order to recover from love
addiction, clients have to commit to the process of healing. This means experiencing the
withdrawals and avoiding the urge to return to their partner. Once the psychological separation
from toxic behaviors and ways of thinking is made, and the person who truly cares for herself
and her needs emerges, a new person with a strong internal sense of liberation will step in.
Allowing clients to go through (not around) the pain is the essential part of healing. Avoidance
leads to repetitive behaviors; true insight comes from the ability to stop, notice, and experience
what is taking place, no matter how painful.

Help Clients Develop a Relationship with Themselves

For clients, learning how to reestablish a relationship with themselves after going through
withdrawals isn’t easy. It takes time and determination to get to know themselves outside
continual love relationships with other women. I advise my clients against jumping into dating
again until they have a well-developed sense of who they are and why they became addicted to
love, romance, sex, and fantasy. The reasons women suffer from this addiction become apparent
once they can identify the root causes of their cravings, which are often deep-seated unmet
needs. In my experience, women who do the work continue to experience greater and greater
freedom in their lives. They are better prepared for healthy intimate relationships after this
process, and are more likely to attract partners who are ready for this, too.
In many ways, it’s simple. If clients spend all their time and attention focused on finding and
maintaining girlfriends, partners or wives, they have less time for self-care. Ideally, they all make
time in their lives for inner work such as therapy, SLAA, support groups, somatic healing work,
experiential activities such as working with animals or at the very least, exercise, self-time, and
mindfulness practice. The more clients see what stands in their way to a healthier self and what
prevents them from creating healthier partnerships, the better they all become at healing the
wounds.

– See more at:
http://www.counselormagazine.com/detailpage.aspx?pageid=1443&id=6442456537
# # #

Learn more about Love Addiction by signing up for a Sneak Peak of Lesbian Love Addiction The Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong

Dr. Lauren Costine Meets with the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy to Discuss the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic

Dr. Lauren Costine Meets with the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy to Discuss the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic

LaurenCostine_StamppCorbinAmerica is experiencing an epidemic of prescription opioid and heroin addiction. Dr. Lauren Costine, renowned addiction therapist and author of Lesbian Love Addiction met with Dalen A. Harris, Director of the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to discuss the heroin epidemic in the United States. As Chief Clinical Officer of BLVD Treatment Centers, Dr. Costine is developing a specific opioid and heroin treatment plan for the organization’s 7 facilities in Southern California, as well as the planned expansion facilities in Oregon, Texas, Georgia, and New Jersey.

Dr. Lauren Costine and BLVD’s CEO, Stampp Corbin met with Dalen A. Harris in Washington D.C. to discuss the issues surrounding the heroin and opioid crisis in the United States, as well as potential solutions to the epidemic. BLVD Treatment Centers plans to be a part of the solution by offering a ground breaking opioid and heroin treatment program which will focus specifically on cutting edge therapeutic approaches for patients with opioid addiction, including medically assisted treatment and genetic testing to ensure the best medication is used with each patient. Medication assisted treatment is used to help patients deal with the dangerous cravings of opioid misuse and reduces patient recidivism.

America has been fighting but losing the War on Drugs and the Obama Administration is launching a series of initiatives aimed at curbing America’s opioid addiction epidemic. “The current opioid epidemic is killing people at a rate never seen before in our country and for the first time it crosses socioeconomic, racial and sexual orientation lines. Thankfully Americans are waking up to the problem and many are involved in creating solutions ranging from behavioral health experts to President Obama. The time is now – we must figure out how to educate the public, change the amount of opioids prescribed by physicians, use behavioral approaches with proven results and create programs that will save lives,” said Dr. Costine

“It is clear that there is over-prescribing of opioids in America. Last year, prescriptions for opioids could have supplied every American adult with a thirty-day supply. There is not that much pain in America,” said Stampp Corbin, BLVD CEO.

When it comes to the treatment of addiction, the treatment team is an integral part of a patient’s recovery. BLVD has a carefully curated team of treatment professionals to match the intense dedication of each patient to their overall well-being and recovery. “Our clinical team is comprised of professionals who are both established, extensively credentialed and highly esteemed in the substance use community.

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BLVD Treatment Centers is a Los Angeles Based Addiction Treatment Center whose mission is to help patients attain an unshakable joy through sobriety. The organization believes a life of active addiction is a shrinking life of ever-diminishing returns but a life of recovery is an expanding one filled with love, truth, mindfulness, and joy. For a truly sustainable recovery, a powerful shift of one’s core perceptions and belief systems must take place. BLVD believes in a comprehensive approach that combines traditional, time-tested practices combined with innovative, evidence-based methods.

DrLaurenCostine2Dr. Lauren Costine is a clinical psychologist, author, educator, advocate, activist, and one of BLVD’s founding members. Her work focuses on addiction and codependency issues, co-occurring disorders, depth psychology, psychodynamic and family systems modalities, and LGBTQ-affirmative psychotherapy. Previous to her work at BLVD, Dr. Costine acted as the Family Counselor at a local substance abuse recovery center for over five years. Dr. Costine is the author of the newly released book– Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong which sheds light upon the reasons why so many lesbian relationships fail, and gives hope to women who are having difficulty in a same-sex partnership or marriage.

 

10 Signs You Have a Problem With Love Addiction

10 Signs You Have a Problem With Love Addiction and Why You Should Do Something About It.

Love is a drug

Love is a drug

A wonderful part of the human experience is finding that close, intimate connection with another human being.  Many parts of our society are built around stimulating that romantic connection and you can see this in film, in dining, in clubs, on TV, in books, magazines — basically everything.  Love is essential to our happiness in life – not to mention a beautiful part of it.  But what happens when a person develops an unhealthy relationship with love?  It can lead to Love Addiction and the results can have quite the opposite effect on a person’s life and eventually lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and a never-ending parade of dysfunctional relationships.

This is the irony of Love Addiction, it isn’t that Love addicts are chasing the healthy aspects of Love, what they are really looking for, is for another person to complete them, and that inability to find fulfillment in the self, can lead to a whole host of problems that permeate all areas of a love addict’s life.  What love addicts are really chasing are those intense feelings of falling in love.  The early stage of romance called limerance, which creates an “urge to merge. ” The pain arises when a Lesbian mistakes this pull to merge as the true destination of their relationships.

If you are a woman who loves women and you find yourself struggling in your love relationships or you hop from one relationship to the next without ever feeling really fulfilled, you may be struggling with love addiction.

Here are the 10 Signs You Have a Problem With Love Addiction:

  1. When you fall in love, you assign magical qualities to the woman you are falling in love with.  You idealize her and become preoccupied with that idealization.  It actually hurts to be away from her.
  2. You feel a physical high when you fall in love as the brain releases love chemicals, called dopamine and oxytocin. These are all normal parts of falling in love but if you find yourself addicted to the initial feelings of falling in love, and seek out this feeling over and over, you may be a love addict.
  3. You give away the store right from the get go.  You fall in love quickly and let go of all your healthy boundaries.  You become too trusting and get emotionally involved before getting to know her, neglecting to find out if you two are even compatible or not.
  4. You look to your partner for constant validation and have unrealistic expectations of having your partner fulfill you on every level.  Why is this a red flag?  To be a truly healthy individual you need to be able to find self-acceptance and fulfillment within your self.  You need to be able to self-regulate without counting on another to do that for you. Every person has childhood trauma and this trauma can manifest in seeking out validation from others.
  5. You want to please your partner at all costs even if it starts to hurt your relationships with your friends, your family, your children and your job.  The love addict can quite literally abandon and neglect her own life in order to please her partner.
  6. You dive into your feelings for other women as a way to stave off deep feelings of unworthiness, emptiness, loneliness, sadness, grief, anger, guilt, shame and feeling unlovable.  By avoiding these feelings you perpetuate them and put a great burden on your partner to fulfill these needs for you.
  7. You can’t tolerate being alone.  Some women jump from relationship to relationship without taking the time to figure out why the last one didn’t work. They pursue a new love interest after their last breakup and at all costs.
  8. You have unrealistic expectations of your partner, pushing them to put you first in their life above all else.  This absolute demonstration of love is the only way for your partner to prove to you that they truly love you.  It is a grave mistake to expect your partner to abandon their own life. This will eventually lead to anger and resentment from your partner.  Having an independent and healthy life of your own is the true path to develop deep and meaningful relationships with another person.
  9. When your partner eventually disappoints you, (and they will) you take off in search of the next, real, true love, without doing the work of healing the reasons behind these endless and relentless high expectations of your partner.
  10. And finally, the last way to tell you may be a love addict is you find yourself absorbed by romance and hold it as the ultimate goal of your love relationship.  Being addicted to romance novels, romantic stories in film and television can literally put you in your own little bubble and end up keeping the one that you love…out.

There is Help for Love Addiction

If you feel you may be struggling with love addiction, there is help for you. There are helpful 12-step programs that address sex and love addiction specifically.  They can help you connect with others dealing with the same issues.  Being a part of a community is a great place to find much needed support.  Read through my blog for other articles on healthy dating and other topics and resources on love and relationships.  There are also many books you can read to give you more insight on this issue.  Pick up a copy of my newly released book Lesbian Love Addiction; Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong, you can get deeper insight into love addiction specifically for lesbians here.  Finally, you can look for a therapist who specializes in the treatment of Love Addiction and get some one-on-one help.

I want you to know that you are not alone in your struggle, there are many people out there who are dealing with these same issues and there are more and more helpful resources on the web.  When you are ready to find a healthy love relationship, there is hope!

For a sneak peak of my new book, click here.

— Dr. Lauren Costine

Lesbian Dating in the Digital World

Lesbian Dating in Today’s Digital World

Dating can be hard no matter how you sexually identify. It may not be difficult for socially outgoing types to meet people, but for lesbians who are not as extroverted or even a little bit shy, it can hard. On top of that, everyone’s working at their jobs and careers trying to get ahead – that can take up a lot of time in and of itself so between taking care of your apartment, shopping for groceries, doing errands, paying bills, working out, and taking care of all your other basic needs, it can be challenging to even find the time or energy to go out and meet people, even if you don’t want to be single!

We also have to factor in the amoulesbian dating appnt of time you want to spend on personal pursuits such as reading or other hobbies, hanging with family and friends and there’s the small matter of where you live. Big cities often have more going on and more places that you can meet people in your dating pool– not to mention a wider selection and actual amount of people! For lesbians, the amount of places to meet people often starts shrinking once the population does as well (unless you live in a famous lesbian area like P-Town, Oakland or Ithaca, NY).

If you’ve been having little luck in the real world, maybe it’s time to turn to the digital world to meet a potential partner. Lesbian dating is hard enough to do when you actually have a date– it’s even tougher to pull off without enough options. However, more and more people are turning to the Internet to seek out people they could potentially see themselves spending time with. Before you shrug this idea off know that the world-wide-web has come a long way in a short time when it comes to the dating sites and what they offer. They have stepped up their game and are easier to use, diversity friendly, sophisticated, private, discerning with more option than ever before.

Said another way, dating online actually has a lot of advantages; perhaps that is why the trend of couples meeting online is not limited to straight gals and guys anymore. More lesbians are taking to their laptops and their smart phones to meet women as sites are catering to multiple types of niches everywhere. While these options weren’t available ten or fifteen years ago, they are now.

With so many sites to choose from the chance to meet a variety of women is greater than ever. Below are some lesbian dating and relationships sites that are worth checking out and just might be more your style than the local coffee shop or club. You don’t have to worry about awkward approach and making conversation or even offending someone who’s in a relationship. Everyone who’s on a lesbian dating site is looking to date, meet people, and find companionship and maybe even a relationship. It puts all the right people in the right place so they can find each other and make connections.

Lesbian Dating Sites to Check Out

– PinkSofa.com

Meet women in your area who are looking to date or just find friends who live nearby! Pink Sofa offers quality lesbian connections and a free trial period as well.

– Lesbotronic.com

Besides a cool name, Lesbotronic offers free personals for anyone who joins. All you have to do is sign up. Meet people who want to meet someone like you. Run 100% by lesbians, for lesbians.

– PinkCupid.com

This premium dating service caters specifically to lesbians and is free to sign up for. Thousands of lesbians have met their match on Pink Cupid’s women only dating service since it began in 2006.

OurTime.com

Our Time is a site for queer women who are fifty or older. Explore relationships with women who are more sophisticated and mature lesbian dating relationships.

Finding a great mate, companion, girlfriend, or even eventual wife can be tough. Check out these sites and see how you like them. You may just find yourself amazed at the amount of women who are out there waiting for you!

By Dr. Lauren Costine

Lesbian Relationship Help For Healthy & Happy Relationships

Lesbian Relationship Help For Healthy & Happy Relationships

happyrelationshipRelationships can be tricky and maintaining a happy and healthy one, can be a challenge. However, it isn’t impossible and in this article, we will be looking at a few lesbian relationship help guidelines that will help both you and your partner have a more enjoyable and fulfilling relationship.

The first thing to pay attention to is compatibility. This is such an important part of a long term happy relationship and intense attraction does not always mean you’ll have enough in common to go the long haul. You and your partner should write a list of the things you both like and a list of the things you don’t like. Find ways to make those things you enjoy together a priority when you are hanging out. Make plans with friends and family to do the things the other does not enjoy. And then, of course, compromise on those areas that are important to the other but aren’t perhaps your favorite thing to do – it shows how much you love and support her and is an important part of a relationship – this can include attending important family gatherings, hanging with friends, going to cultural events that are not quite your style but you know make your girlfriend/partner/wife happy.

Unfortunately, many people stay in relationships for decades even though they are incompatible and are completely unhappy and unfulfilled during that time. So, in order to prevent wasting years of your life, you need to take an honest look at your relationship and the personality and lifestyles of both of you.

One of the most important issues that you should address or at least talk about in the beginning of your relationship is the topic of marriage and children. There are many people who are dead set on getting married and having children and then there are others who have no desire whatsoever to have children. Therefore, it is critical that you are in a relationship with someone who wants the same things otherwise the relationship can get very rocky or even self-destruct.

Next, another issue that you will end up dealing with is fighting and disagreements. Disagreements are unavoidable while being in a relationship, but it is important that both you and your partner learn how to fight and deal with the issues that come up. If you have different styles of fighting – one likes to yell and the other hates to yell – it is best of you take time after a disagreement – a time out so to speak – to calm down. After you both have had some time to reflect on what happened – and what was perhaps triggered you – you can then learn how to discuss the issues in a way that is comfortable for both of you. If you don’t learn how to do this a lot of hurtful things can be said while fighting and it is best that you both take time outs – figure out what is going on to avoid damaging the relationship.

Another tip is that in order to have a healthy relationship is you should not only schedule time to hang out but you should also regularly schedule time apart from one another. Couples that spend too much time together can become toxic and/or stale. It is tempting in the beginning to want to spend all your time with each other –try not to succumb to this urge – it is best if you take your time getting to know each other so as not to put too much on your newly budding love. Make sure to spend time away from each other at least 2 – 3 times per week and spend that time pursuing a hobby, cultivating your career or with your friends and family.

Lastly, a final issue that most couples have problems with is money and other financial matters. Therefore, make sure that as soon as your relationship starts getting serious that you discuss both of your financial habits and develop good spending and saving habits that will secure your future together. Money can be hard for some folks to talk about but crucial to a healthy relationship as it can cause resentments that are hard to heal later on.

In closing, we have just looked at a few lesbian relationship help guidelines that will enable you to have a healthier and happier partnership. In the event that you and your girlfriend/partner/wife can’t work out your differences, you should consider getting couple’s therapy which will definitely help both of you to address any underlying issues and overcome them together.

Here’s some fun real world advice from our friends at Everyone is Gay Youtube Channel.

Lesbian Dating Advice That Will Help You Land Your Dream Girl

Lesbian Dating Advice That Will Help You Land Your Dream Girl

Lesbian dating can be tough, actually, almost impossible considering that the fact that we are a minority – numbers wise. However, this doesn’t mean that all is lost and you’re doomed to living a life with your 10 cats. It is entirely possible to find your dream girl, however, the trick is to successfully wade through the murky waters of dating long enough to find the one. So, with that said, we will now look at some of the best lesbian dating advice that will help you find the woman of your dreams and keep her!

The first tip is that you have to be confident. Unfortunately, single lesbians are known for wistfully looking/staring at other women but never actually approaching them. Even though the stares and yearning looks are often returned, neither party approaches out of fear. This comes from a long heritage of being taught that assertiveness is kin to aggressiveness but awareness is key. Realize this is not your fault –we were often shamed when little girls are assertive– and work on changing this pattern can be hard but doable! Realize it is hard and scary then start practicing approaching women a little bit at a time. Start small – take the pressure off yourself that this is a big deal – you’ll find with practice it gets easier and easier.

Lesbian lesbian dating quote

You never know when someone notices you.

At first you may be rejected a few times, but there will also be women who are over the moon that you made the first move. It is important to note that women are generally quite friendly and receptive to being approached by women – something to remember as it can feel quite flattering!

Once this becomes easier it is important that the woman you are approaching knows you are interested in her and not looking for a new gal pal. If you don’t, then it is more than likely you’ll end up in the friend zone.

Once you’re comfortable talking to your new lady friend and are definitely interested in dating her, then don’t hesitate to ask her out. Unfortunately, in these modern times, romance seems to have died where people simply ask to “hang out.” This doesn’t work in the long run so make your intentions clear and ask her out on a real date either to a nice restaurant or some other place where both of you can talk and get to know each other better. You should avoid taking her to bars, girl parties or clubs since you want her to be focused on you and take you seriously.

A nice intimate setting is the perfect way to start dating a woman you’re seriously interested in and I’m certain that if things are meant to be, you two will hit it off. However, once the ball starts rolling, it is critical that you avoid talking about your ex or immediately introducing her to all your friends or worse, your ex-girlfriends.

Take your time to get to know each other and your interests – make sure you have important things in common. Also, it is crucial you take it nice and slow; don’t rush into bed or U-hauling it after a couple of dates. Wait at least 30 days to sleep together. Sure, it can seem like torture in the short run, but if she’s the one, it will be worth it.

In closing, the best lesbian dating advice discussed in this article that will not only help you meet more women but help you find and eventually create a life with “the one.” Dating can tough, especially as a lesbian, but if you follow the above tips, I’m certain that you won’t be single for long.

Here’s a little Lesbian Humor to top it off.

Breast Feeding In Public: Is Breast Feeding In Public Every Mother’s Right?

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Listen to the podcast

I am welcoming back my special guest Lauren Costine, Ph.D.  Lauren Costine is a Clinical Psychologist, executive, educator, activist and author of Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding The Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong. Dr. Costine will be discussing a video that recently went viral shaking up mothers everywhere! Is breast feeding in public every mother’s right?  Dr. Costine will dive deeper into this conversation.  She received her M.A. in Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles in 2001 and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2007. Her Clinical Psychology license number is PSY 22916.  Dr. Costine believes in utilizing integrative psychotherapy in order to help her clients meet their treatment goals. Her focus is Addiction, Trauma, Codependence, Co-occurring Issues, LGBT-Affirmative Psychotherapy, Depth psychology, Psychodynamic, Family Systems, Narrative, and Eastern philosophies. She works with both individuals and couples and plays a key role in the feminist and LGBTQ community.   For more information on Dr. Lauren Costine, go to www.drlaurencostine.com  or www.lesbianloveaddiction.com  to purchase a copy of her book, Lesbian Love Addiction today!!!

Dr. Lauren Costine Appearing on the Kim Pagano Show

KimPagano_post

Dr. Lauren Costine will be appearing on the Kim Pagano Show this Saturday March 5th, between 2-3pm PST on KVTA 1590

Listen to the interview, click the play button below.

“Have you heard about the Kim Pagano Show? She is all about the brighter side of life, and the brighter side of recovery! Tune in for my interview on 1590 KVTA at 2pm on Saturday or listen on www.kimpaganoshow.com starting at 3pm.”

“You are going to love this! The Brighter Side of Recovery show brings you the steps you can take to overcome the addictions you are dealing with, and bring your life back into balance. Tune in to the Kim Pagano Show to listen to my interview about recovery this Saturday at 2pm on 1590 KVTA!”

“Good Morning! Another great way to start your day in a positive way is listening to my interview on the Kim Pagano Show this Saturday at 2pm on 1590 KVTA. Or, visit www.kimpaganoshow.com to listen to my interview after it is posted at 3pm.”

“Are you investing in yourself? Join me on the Kim Pagano Show to learn how to live a more fulfilled and purposeful life while overcoming your addictions! Listen to my interview live this Saturday at 2pm on 1590 KVTA, or visit www.kimpaganoshow.com to listen starting at 3pm!”

Why Queer Women Need Their Own Dating App – ReadWrite

From Match and OkCupid to Skout and Scruff, social dating apps offer 32 flavors of matchmaking—and then some. Right now, gay men are prowling Grindr for no-strings insta hook-ups. Jewish singles are browsing JDate for cute boyfriend material with cultural overlap. The rest of the known universe is hard at work critiquing Tinder’s infinite parade of flattering selfies.

Dattch, an app for women who date women, signals a watershed moment for women in tech.

But for us queer women, it’s been a long, lonely slog on dating services that don’t quite get us (despite getting peppered with plenty of unsolicited ménage à trois proposals). Happily, there’s good news: We may have just found the one.

Enter Dattch, a UK-based dating app optimized from the ground up for women who date women.

First Of Its Kind

Dattch creator Robyn Exton, a quick-witted former branding consultant, pitched the dating app on stage over the weekend at the inaugural Lesbians Who Tech summit. The community-focused conference, helmed by inspired founder, investor and entrepreneur Leanne Pittsford, packed San Francisco’s Castro Theater to the gills with gay women from all walks of tech.

“The thing that’s surprised me the most is the lack of belief from other people in the fact that there is a market,” Exton said. “When I’m talking to investors, the most common thing I hear is “Why hasn’t this been done before? There can’t really be a space here.”

When Exton announced that Dattch, formerly a UK exclusive, would go live in San Francisco that same day, the summit’s elated sample of 800 queer women exploded in anecdotal proof that, yes, lesbians want their own dating app—and we’ve waited way too long to have one.

Dattch’s most unlikely fan so far? Honorary pseudo-lesbian and famous/infamous angel investor Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups, who attended Lesbians Who Tech.

The Anti-Grindr

You might not know it, but gay women have been wandering the proverbial desert as far as dating apps go, desperately seeking each other on the Internet for, like, ever. As you also may or may not know, gay women date quite differently than their hookup-happy male counterparts and their Match-matched straight peers—and they’ve enjoyed none of the considerable market recognition of those groups.

“There were apps that were out there, but they were all re-skins of gay male apps,” Exton explains. “I’d been working with the dating business so I kind of knew the space. I think something that we just picked up really quickly was that it wasn’t just that there was a lack of apps for lesbians, but there was a lack of apps for women in general actually looking at what women want, particularly in dating.”

Still, women dating women is a different ballgame altogether. As Exton sees it: “Straight products kind of mirror societal norms: Guys normally do the first move—whereas when you’re in a queer [women’s] space you don’t really have that kind of setup. You always have chasers and receivers, but they’re the same gender, so it’s kind of about making the whole system work better for that gender.”

Exton embraces the irony that her “Grindr for women” flips its source material entirely on its head.

“That’s why I kind of love the idea of Grindr and Dattch—they’re almost the polar opposite of each other,” Exton said. “They get to make the most of the natural behaviors of each gender. I don’t envy any straight dating product—I think that must be really difficult, to try to bring those two different user behaviors together.

“You can’t just take Grindr and make it pink and give it to women and say ‘Ta da!’ It’s a completely different experience and product—and I think no one seems to have taken the time to do it yet.”

Exton hopes Dattch can expand within the queer community as it grows, and intends for the product to be a safe space for not just for self-identified lesbians, but LGBTQ folks of other identities with an interest in the app, too.

For gay women, the peculiarities—er, I mean, flattering idiosyncrasies—of our romantic rituals are the stuff of Tumblr legend. As any queer woman knows (and Exton noted in her pitch), the lesbian dating scene is a minefield of meme-worthy tropes. Here’s a crash course: We’ve slept with 100% of our friends and are best friends with all our exes. We’ll fall hard on a first date and move in on the second. We’re awful at talking ourselves up on dating profiles, known to pretend we’re just looking to “make friends” to mitigate risk and prone to cautiously playing the long game—even virtually.

“Women are terrible at selling themselves”

In the beginning, Dattch’s profiles were very basic: a profile picture and a bit of text. But Exton notes that back then, users were reluctant to actually meet up in person.

“We realized that all of these dating structures just weren’t working at all,” Exton said. “We ended up looking at all the platforms that we knew did work well for women: Pinterest and travel sites and e-commerce platforms, fashion editorial content—things that have historically been targeted and built from the ground up for a female audience.”

Pinterest’s influence on Dattch is clear, but Exton is more interested in borrowing the psychology of its image-centric storytelling than anything.

“The image thing for us came up because even when we had text stuff, all the girls would put to describe themselves on their profiles was like ‘ask me’ or ‘I hate these boxes.’ Women are terrible at selling themselves—they always punch under rather than going over.

“When you look at an Instagram feed or you look at a Pinterest board, you can so easily consume who that person is. But also women take a lot of care and time in creating them rather than having to think of the words and not doing that ‘overselling’ thing, whereas if you’re actually uploading images of who you are… It’s a much more natural process. We only knew that because the other platforms before us had done that.”

Visibility Matters

When Pinterest came along a few years ago, it woke the tech industry to the fact that women aren’t a niche demographic. In fact, women are massive drivers of e-commerce: In the U.S., trends suggest that womens’ market influence will swell to command two-thirds of national consumer wealth within the next decade. Women are also more avid users of social networks than men— and, as it turns out, we actually comprise half of the world’s population too.

Heartening community-driven initiatives like Lesbians Who Tech and Black Girls Code are taking a crack at tech’s diversity problem through visibility and education. At the same time, as the advent of Dattch demonstrates, technology is shifting toward recognizing and marketing to womens’ consumption patterns—we’ve got cash, too, after all.

It follows that the tech industry—its overwhelmingly heterosexual/white/male upper echelons, that is—should finally discover and begin to understand (i.e. monetize) long-mysterious sub-genres of the fairer sex. Just imagine it: Somewhere out there, right now, a woman of color is mulling over which Instagram filter to choose. Meanwhile, the elusive lesbian settles into her natural habitat—queueing up Orange Is The New Black on Netflix and downloading Dattch, the app she’d been waiting for.

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Source: Why Queer Women Need Their Own Dating App – ReadWrite

Images by Taylor Hatmaker for ReadWrite