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Sunday, May 26, 2024

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Our women-worshipping columnist Helen Scott re-enters the dating world and finds things aren’t always written in the stars

Singletons across the globe will instantly recognise that indescribable feeling when your latest crush’s name pings up on your phone, but for lesbians, it’s like a Taylor Swift song on acid. “Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?” — they could only be song lyrics for the sapphics, right?

I’m not saying that we feel more than your average person… No, actually, that’s exactly what I’m saying because it’s frikking true! We have a knack (a gene, some might say) for instant connection that leads to a swift u-hauling of both of our lives. The kind of smashing into each other that most people experience over the course of years of dating, but we feel within the first three hours of a first date that inevitably lasts seven days.

So as a newly single lesbian Swifty, you can imagine that dipping my
toe back into the dating pool was made with some trepidation, a sense of tentativeness. I was aware that at any moment, I could find myself adopting a cat with someone I’ve just met. And frankly, I may well have done that by now were
it not for the fact that I have a very firm and strict boundary in place: I won’t, and don’t, date anyone who wants babies.

I’m a non-maternal girly, you see. Always have been and always will be. This is despite the fact that my body, I’ve always felt, is a baby-making machine. I’ve got childbearing hips, a far-too-frequent period and the kind of temperament that would raise a child-genius if I do say so myself. Alas, my dream for the future

is to be the rich and mysterious lesbian aunt that all baby gays dream of. A kiddo- free Cate Blanchett if you like, who shows up at family dinners before jetting off back to my Parisian home to rejoin my circle of sapphic sisters for our weekly book-reading and wine-tasting club. The fucking dream.

So when Charlie slid into my DM’s, I took it slow. Charlie looks like they could be Australian, Welsh or Cornish, with the latter being true. A blonde tomboy with a penchant for GC quotes and the kind of self-confidence that boosts your own. Now I like to think that at my big old age of 33, I’ve learned to play it cool, and so
I waited three whole days before taking the convo to Whatsapp, and a further four before we met for the first time irl outside The Brewers in Manchester’s Gay Village. It was at this point that I learned that when Charlie laughs, she scrunches her nose. I was in fucking trouble.

However, an hour in and two cocktails down, that frankly salivatingly
sexy sense of trouble was slapped right out of me when Charlie inadvertently announced her lifelong dream of a picture-perfect family Christmas. Emphasis on the word family. That’s right, for all my talk about being wise, my number one cardinal rule that I live by had gone right out the window during the hours of WhatsApp messaging. I’d failed to ask the one question I ask every potential love match, ‘Do you want kids?’. And just my luck, Charlie did. How had I missed this?

As a straight-up, no-messing kinda gal, I quickly nipped any talk of potential second dates in the bud, willingly sharing my juxtaposing sense of maternity with her. Where could this acquaintanceship go from here? FWB? I’d honestly rather be straight. Return to being strangers? With our chemistry, surely that’s just wasteful and we’re sustainable gworlys. We all know that lesbians have a well- known penchant for being friends with their exes, but Charlie wasn’t an ex, she was an ‘eh?’ So to put it plainly, how the F do you turn feelings into friendship?

Well in our case, we continued as we were! If anything we’ve talked even more freely than we did before and I like to think with a little less pressure. I’m starting to feel like maybe this was Fletcher’s (God’s) plan after all. Just because you’re not romantically compatible with someone doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with them.

I’m a great believer in destiny. That what’s meant for you won’t pass you by and that what will be, will be. And because I’ve no interest in blaming myself for
my monumental mistake in pursuing feelings with someone I can’t be with, I’m blaming Co-Star (the astrological app that’s the home of lesbian matchmaking, if you will). We were promised a fruitful pairing and absolutely nowhere did it state, “You’re perfect for each other, but only as mates!”. However, just because Charlie and I won’t be sipping French wine in our renovated castle reading erotic poetry to one another doesn’t mean that we can’t do that — because we can. Just without fingering each other afterwards. It sounds like a win to me!

So my takeaway for you? Well firstly, make sure you ask all your questions on your list of non-negotiables before the first date. They’re non-negotiables for a reason and ultimately you’re only gonna kick yourself in the foot, or worse shin, which is just inexplicably painful. Secondly, keep your heart open, because love can be platonic as much as it can be romantic, which is oftentimes similarly, if not more so, fulfilling with the right person. But most importantly, my final takeaway is to delete Co-Star. Because for me, right now, it’s just a daily reminder of a future that could be, that should be, sublimely perfect. If only Charlie didn’t want babies.

You can follow Helen @HelenScottUK

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