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Lesbian Relationship Help On the Topic of Social Drinking Why are drugs and alcohol an issue in the lesbian community and how do they affect our relationships?

Is this scenario familiar to you? Two to three times a week you attend a lesbian event. It’s a friend’s birthday, a group wants to get together for the holidays, and a friend of a friend is hosting a football party at their house. You are invited to attend a Lesbian softball game, a group of friends plan to meet at a bar. You can stay out as late as you want because your cat really doesn’t mind and you don’t have any children. What do all of these events have in common– you got it – alcohol.

For many lesbian women, our community becomes a replacement for a close-knit nuclear family and the gay scene becomes a major focal point of our lives. Along with this community comes countless activities that include drinking as a normal part of the mix. People are social by nature and the need to fit in or be part of a group is a common theme for many. For lesbians who don’t have children, or close families, creating a community is important not just in our 20’s but can go well into our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and on!

For many LGBT people, trauma develops early on in life from being brought up in a straight dominated society. Before LGBTQ people come out, most struggle with the guilt and shame of being different, and if their families are religious, forget about it! The internalized phobias wreak havoc on the psyche, and to survive this internal battle, many lesbians find alcohol pushes away the pain while, at the same time, lighting up our pleasure centers! Very hard to resist. For those who started using in adolescence and are predisposed to addictive behaviors, this coping mechanism can become deeply ingrained. Socializing can also be anxiety producing – which alcohol and drugs alleviate – thus solidifying a habit that is very hard to shake and increasing one’s chances of becoming dependent! Seeking out a community that centers on drinking activities becomes a natural, social evolution. But we all know overindulging in these kinds of chemicals can affect your love relationships, your work and your health. It hinders one’s potential. Alcohol and drugs also impair judgment. Therefore, couples are more likely to fight while under the influence and say things they later regret. This increases tension and impairs the makeup process because it is harder to repair these types of fights when resentments are blurted out in hurtful and unproductive ways. How many times have you said something you regret after having a few too many cocktails? Thankfully there is lesbian relationship help.

So what is the solution?

There is nothing wrong with having a drink or two every so often. If you find you are surrounded by a group of friends that takes indulging to the next level, try to pursue some other interests. Join a hiking group, date women who don’t have a strong attachment to drinking, take a cooking class or another class of interest where you can meet some new people. Pursue areas in your life that are meaningful to you – where you are more likely to meet women who have similar interests. Like anything, the first step is awareness. If you think drugs or alcohol are interfering with your life and your ability to have a healthy lesbian relationship visit the gay and lesbian center online in your local community, find a therapist who is lesbian-affirmative and search for drug and alcohol related support groups. There are lots of ways to find fun lesbian communities!

by Dr. Lauren Costine

UPCOMING EVENTS You can see Dr. Lauren Costine this January at her book signing event at Book Soup where she will be signing copies of her newly released book Lesbian Love Addiction, Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things go Wrong.

To get a free sneak peek of Dr. Costine's new book click the button below. DOWNLOAD MY SNEAK PEEK

5 Tips You Need to Know for Healthy Lesbian Dating

So you met someone you are really interested in. And they seem to be showing similar interest back. What do you do next? Whether you are the one who does the initial asking or not --- following these 5 basic tips for healthy lesbian dating will make your chances of creating a healthy relationship a reality:

1. Go on a myriad of dates in the beginning. Choose ideas that give you a chance to talk. Here are some ideas.

  • Coffee or lunch

  • Casual dinners

  • Outdoor activities

  • Cultural events

Go to places you can talk and get to know each other. Don’t mix too much alcohol – it will cloud your judgment. Find things you both like to do and take turns planning what they’ll be. There is no need for one person to take the lead.

2. Talk consciously about money early on- there are a number of options you can take – a few entail switching who pays to every other date or if you would like to keep your finances more separate – split the expenses evenly. Whatever method you prefer try and find a time to discuss it early in the dating process and it does not need to be a heavy conversation but saying it out loud will go a long way.

3. Take your time getting to know each other. There is no rush and it takes a while to really get to know someone. Us lesbians are notorious for getting involved too quickly when it feels so good. Dating isn't a race and attraction chemicals can trick us into thinking we know someone better than we do. Don’t mix too much alcohol – having a glass of wine to lighten the mood is ok, but if you throw back more than a few cocktails, you may end up making some decisions you'll regret in the morning. Keep your head in the game so you can really get to know this new person in your life.

4. This includes getting physical too. It is so easy to make love or have sex right away when the chemistry is hot -- hot -- hot! But remember just because we can jump into bed since society places no restrictions on us (thankfully!) the consequences can be harsh. Powerful hormones will be emitted and you’ll attach even more to someone you barely know which can make it harder to separate if you find out later you are not a good match. A little discipline will go a long way. Minimum wait is 30 days! You can do it.

5. Live your life - It is beyond exciting to feel over the moon about another woman but take care of yourself and don’t get lost. Dating and relationships are an important part of one’s life but if they become your whole life this could be the sign of a problem. Stay connected to your friends, stay focused on your job or career, engage in your hobbies and if this relationship becomes more serious over time – keep all of tip five in mind once you are in the relationship- it will keep you, your new loved one and this relationship much more healthy.

By Dr. Lauren Costine

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