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Why D.C. Lesbians Date Their Ex’s BFF

Bianca Williams has a theory about why the lesbians in D.C. tend to date their ex's friends.

Bianca Williams has a theory about why the lesbians in D.C. tend to date their ex’s friends.

Written by Bianca Williams

The striking thing to me about lesbian dating is how common it is to see makeshift families of women bound together by former romantic ties. Lesbians in Washington seem to date within groups of former relationships or their friends’ former relationships, which in any other cross-section of dating society would seem psychotic or narcissistic.

What better candidate for your next romantic entanglement than the best friend of your ex-girlfriend? Part of the problem is that the District has had only one exclusively designated lesbian bar, Phase 1 near Eastern Market. (And even there you’re bound to find a confused straight male or two who came in for the eye candy. Tip, fellas: That is really annoying.) This means that if you date someone who frequents that one bar, then date her best friend who frequents that bar, then break up with both, you’ll have to find someplace else to drink lest you be subjected to a double whammy of side eye that rivals anything seen on “Real Housewives.”

Other options to Phase 1 (which suddenly closed for renovations in January) are the nomadic monthly women’s parties that roam from bar to bar. But even if you are tenacious about keeping up with the newest parties, the average lesbian won’t go unless she can bring her makeshift family/baggage with her.

Going online can be hit or miss. There’s a very real possibility some of the profiles with the “lesbian” box checked aren’t gay or women at all. And if you meet your potential lesbian mate in person, there’s no telling whether she’s actually into women or just “bored with men” for the moment. Basically, “lesbians” invented catfishing before it was popular. Another strike against us is our inability to approach other women and strike up conversations in person or online. If the goal is a girlfriend (or a boyfriend, for that matter), women do not approach first, period. Most opt to stare uncomfortably from across that crowded girl bar weekend after weekend, or the digital equivalent: stalking some hopefully lesbian woman’s social media page.

I decided to make myself mostly immune to the local lesbian epidemic of comfort-zone dating. (Two of my exes are within six degrees of each other, but I was involved with them at different times in my life, and anything after a month in lesbian time is the equivalent of two years.) If everyone was going to one spot for drinks, I’d go to another. If no one approached other women, I’d strike up conversations first. If the trend was to date the BFF of your ex, I didn’t. I’m meeting people who’ve never heard of me or anyone I’ve dated. Dating is just as fresh for me now as it was when I first entered the scene 10 years ago. And that’s like half a century in lesbian time.

Bianca Williams, a native of the D.C. area, is an independent filmmaker and an engineer and lighting operator for local events. Her article was originally published in the Washington Post among several stories of Washington, D.C., area daters.

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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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  1. Avatar
    Withlove, Tania

    This is my biggest pet peeve. I think it’s an unspoken rule that you shouldn’t do this. I had a “friend” date my ex and it was by far the most trying time in my life!

    • Love Lab Editor
      Love Lab Editor

      I think people have a scarcity mentality! If you’re into dating other black lesbians there is an idea that there are not enough good looking, educated, single AND OUT women to go around. Also our communities are small. I’m guilty of this. I dated someone in my ex’s circle briefly this summer. It was a total fluke since I ran into her at Pride and hadn’t seen her in years. I had never found her attractive before then.

      • Avatar
        Withlove, Tania

        I often wonder if this is a problem in the heterosexual community. I think we are in an extremely selfish time period where people are hungry and willing to satisfy that hunger by any means necessary. Even if it means breaking unspoken rules. And this is why my circle is small because people can’t be trusted despite beliefs there are plenty of women to go around. I’m not interested in anyone one of my friends left overs.

  2. Black Lesbian Love Lab
    Black Lesbian Love Lab

    I don’t know that I would characterize two people wanting to explore a genuine connection as selfish. I would say that we are in a time period where people are no longer as bound by societal rules, expectations and norms. It can be good and bad. Clearly there are boundaries that we should not cross and one of those is to not intentionally cause harm to someone we claim to care about.

  3. Pingback: Girl Code : Is it ok for you to date your friend’s ex? | With love, Tania

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