As a huge WNBA fan and an advocate for long term lesbian relationships, I am deeply saddened as I watch the lives of Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson unfold in the blogs and newsfeeds. One of the biggest challenges that we face as lesbians is that we love “fast and hard.” Some people may not see this as a challenge, but when it comes to building a stable and healthy relationship, it can be a huge stumbling block. The romance stage of any relationship is like a euphoric high… you eat, sleep and breathe each other…you just can’t get enough. Everything seems perfect because we have blinders on and refuse to see any signs of incompatibility. The unfortunate part is that it’s often during this “euphoric” romance stage that we make life altering decisions… like moving in together, or getting married. In the case of Brittney and Glory, there were several signs immediately before their wedding that said they should not be getting married at this point. When you have a volatile argument days before your wedding that involves domestic violence, that’s a clear sign that you need to push the “pause” button and get some professional help. According to BuzzFeed, Britney said that she attempted to postpone the wedding several times so that she could complete counseling, and she now realizes it was a mistake to go through with it. Brittney also claims that she was pressured into marrying Glory under duress based on threatening statements she made. From the beginning of the relationship, Glory stated in a NY Times interview that she is not a lesbian and is not attracted to women, but after being pursued by Brittney, she became attracted to her. She said “it was weird, but so comfortable that it didn’t seem wrong”…hmmm things that make you go hmmm.
The lesson for all of us is that in these situations our “gut reaction” is usually the best decision, and one that we won’t live to regret. Some people are labeling this as typical lesbian “drama,” but our relationships don’t have to be dramatic. If you take the time to really get to know your partner…and I mean a deep knowing, not just a surface knowing, then you will make better decisions about who you choose to share your life with. A deeper knowing requires taking the time to get to know one another…your childhood experiences, fears, dreams, insecurities, ways of resolving conflict and handling adversity. Maya Angelou said it best…“When someone shows you who they are believe them the first time.” If your partner shows signs of lying, deceit, and violence…believe that this is a part of who they are…and don’t be naive enough to think that you can change them.