The Debrief: 10 Perks of Being a Girl Dating a GirlIn honor of Boston Pride Week, 26-year-old Rachel from Longwood shares 10 fabulous things about being in a relationship with another woman. Find more LGBT Pride Week events and resources from Keshet here.

Rachel and her partner, Sarah, a 28-year-old from Brookline, are approaching their one-year anniversary. Sarah helped write this disclaimer:

This narrative is based on our own thoughts and feelings in our relationship. We recognize that Rachel shares only her own observations, and that many of these things could be achieved no matter what relationship it is—two boys dating, a boy and a girl dating, or any other type of romantic relationship. Also, not all same-sex female relationships occur this way. We hope you enjoy this list, and we look forward to hearing what you think!

Girls-only invites
A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I attended a girls-only birthday party for a straight female friend of mine. As we were looking around the table full of girls, we realized that all of their boyfriends weren’t there and hadn’t been invited. I felt very lucky that my girlfriend got to be there with me! It got us thinking about the benefits of being a girl who is a dating a girl. Here are a few more highlights…

Dressing rooms
Two words: bra shopping! For the most part, I can go into a dressing room with my partner and we won’t get into too much trouble. It turns going to the mall into a fun and sexy adventure.

Sharing clothes
My girlfriend and I have very different styles, but I still like knowing that I have someone to share clothes with. More specifically, when I sleep over and forget to pack a sweater for the next day, it’s quite nice.

Gender roles
Most people who meet my girlfriend and I think they have a sense of who wears the pants. Literally she wears pants all the time, and more often than not I am in a dress. But when it comes to our relationship, we have the privilege of defining our own roles without anything being predefined except what works for us. For example, I love to drive and she doesn’t, so I get to be the one who picks her up. We figure out what works based on who we are and what feels good.

In January, my girlfriend and I decided to participate in a group activity together. Even though we both wanted to participate, we made a decision to join the group as individuals and not as a couple. Every week, we would go to the activity together and drive home together, but we took a few weeks to develop our own identities in the group as individuals before sharing with the group that we were a couple. I think that if we were a straight couple, it would have been harder for us to keep our relationship to ourselves. Since we both value having our own individual identities, this was a lovely gift.

Pockets and purses
When I told my girlfriend I was writing this article, we were taking a walk and I was literally in the process of handing her my keys to put in her pocket, and with that we both burst into giggles, as we were enacting one of the benefits of our relationship right then. I know that she will put my keys in her pocket if need be. Or if I am carrying a purse, she knows she has a place to put her keys, wallet, phone…and a book.

Female roommates
Both my girlfriend and I have two straight female roommates. Over the last few months, we have spent a lot of time sleeping together and alternating where we stay. Both of us are close to our own roommates, and now we have both become friends with each other’s roommates. Over the time we have been dating, we have never struggled with any discomfort from our female roommates.

All the spooning
Cuddling is one of the best things. Sometimes I get to be a big spoon, and sometimes she does. Sometimes we do what we call egalitarian spooning, where we both lie on our side face to face and body to body. Try it! It’s the best.

Just call
Another wonderful experience is not waiting for her to call me. Going back to not having predefined gender roles, we never felt that she had to wait for me to call her or vice versa. We just called each other.

Seriously, I love not being told that I’m such a girl for crying or being cranky when I have my period. We both menstruate, so she understands what I’m going through. Plus, I don’t cry because I’m a girl; I cry because something sad happened, and I’m having a reaction to that!

I have a pretty amazing girlfriend, and some of these highlights might be especially true because of the particular relationship that we have. But for all the times I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t choose to be gay if they could, I respond with the above. There are many amazingly wonderful and unique things, beyond sex, about being a girl dating a girl. I say, I choose her!

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