Why is Lesbian Dating Difficult and the Roots of Lesbian Phobia

Lesbian Relationship Help: Why is Lesbian Dating Difficult and the Roots of Lesbian Phobia

Lesbian phobia, coined by Dr. Lauren Costine, is a relatively new idea and not commonly used. However, it could not be more relevant to our society; simply acknowledging homophobia does not encompass everything that lesbians have to deal with, both externally and internally.

Referring to society as homophobic implies that there is a fear or hatred of LGBT individuals or those who are same-sex oriented. However, it does not recognize the struggle that is faced by lesbians since, as women, they have to deal with more deeply rooted issues that have been prevalent in society for a long time.

These issues stem from misogyny. We live in a largely misogynistic society that demonstrates its patriarchy by sending messages and implications that women are not as strong, smart, or capable as men. As a result, nearly all women grow up internalizing the message that they are not as valued and lauded by society as males are.

On top of growing up in a patriarchal culture, women who are same-sex oriented also live and evolve in a homophobic society. So, because lesbians are women, misogyny and homophobia work in conjunction to form what is called a double oppression, making an already tough world even tougher for lesbians.

Whether or not a woman knows that she is a lesbian, the negative and oppressive messages that society sends women get internalized. However, even when a lesbian comes out and is very prideful about it, these internalized messages are still things that they have to deal with. These are messages that tell women they are not good enough, or do not matter; they devalue what women have to say, telling them that when they defend themselves, they’re somehow “too much” to handle. They tell women that when they get angry, they are being “irrational” and unnecessarily unkind.

The most important thing for women to do in a society like this is to deal with internalized messages directly and realize that it is misogyny and homophobia they’re dealing with. By acknowledging this and dealing with it directly, lesbian women can gain a sense of internal liberation.  This in turn can lead to a more positive experience when it comes to lesbian dating.  When these issues are not addressed, they can unconsciously be projected onto one’s partner resulting in relationship difficulties.

– Lauren D. Costine PhD

You can check out Dr. Lauren Costine’s newly released book on Lesbian Relationships called Lesbian Love Addiction Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong.

One Comment on ““Why is Lesbian Dating Difficult and the Roots of Lesbian Phobia”

  1. Hannah

    Dear Dr Constine,
    I am a gay girl who has always expressed her emotions openly to other girls, without prior knowledge of their orientation.
    Strangely enough, the answers from those girls, apart from two times, have not been negative. They haven’t been 100% positive either.
    Have you encountered that phenomenon before? Why do you think girls tend to make things so dramatic and complicated, instead of not showing interest and simply saying “no” ? It is interesting to mention that: 1. 80% of those cases actually where the ones who started the whole flirt game (including one of those 2 girls who claimed to be “totally straight”), 2. that girl actually did something to me without my consent, without me provoking her at all, which could even be considered sexual molestation if it actually wasn’t my secret desire.
    Thank you and happy 2022!

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