She changed a lot

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Dara, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Dara

    Dara New Member

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    About 6 years ago I met a fantastic woman who I dated for a while. She told me she liked that I was feminine and I told her the same, it was just our preference and this is in no way a bash against butch women. We like what we like. I had never been more attracted spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally to anybody else...she was it for me. Then the unthinkable happened, my job was transfered to another city and I had to move or be unemployed at a time when jobs were impossible to get. It would have been a 15 hour drive just to see her, so we broke it off and I moved. In those years I thought about her everyday. I dated 2 women but did not feel that connection to them the way I did with her. Recently I was told my department would be transfered back to that city she lives in. I was thrilled, and I contacted her. We chatted on the phone and she cried and told me she thought about me all those years too and my heart almost exploded. Finally we can be together, I thought. Then she added me to her Facebook and I was surprised to see that she has a shaved head, wears only suits, tuxes and ties now. She used to be very femme and is now very butch. Everything is set up for me to move, and now I am nervous to see her, because I am not attracted to the way she looks and dresses now. I haven't changed my appearance. I know it sounds shallow to be upset over her changing her image, but I am actually turned off by her appearance. She wants to have dinner with me in two weeks...and my mind is all over the place. Any advice?
     
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  2. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    With all the love in the world:

    Sure, you like what you like. I told myself that for years - I like feminine women, who don't look "like that," not "too butch," not "too obvious." I avoided crew cuts and shaved heads, and idolized and idealized all the markers of femme. I liked what I liked, right? But here's the thing: those preferences are not really just mine. They are the preferences of a homophobic culture, that wants us to hide, that teaches us that women are attractive and valuable if they look a certain way - and even us queermos learn that from the cradle, in all the ways we grow up into our gender. I learned to prefer femme women every time my friends stared at a dyke on the street, every time I got teased for not shaving promptly enough, every time I overheard men discussing women's appearance. I don't even remember those times, and I never even noticed that I was learning to judge and hate the women who pushed back against this subtle, constant control of their appearance - and to punish them with my disinterest and "femme who prefers femmes" preferences.

    All this is not to say that I am a bad judgy person, or that you are. But it is to point out that our preferences are not ours alone, but the product of our society, our experiences, the messages we receive about who is good and valuable and therefore worthy of our attention. I cringe when I think about the people I turned down, who were kind and intelligent and caring, because I thought I couldn't get past the crew cut or men's pants. I missed so damn much, and I prioritized something pretty superficial over what actually mattered about those amazing women.

    This woman sounds like your person, but you - like all of us - have been so thoroughly taught that women stepping out of bounds are unattractive and to be avoided, that you are willing to give up on that joy, that partnership, that person. That makes me a kind of sad I can't express, and brings up for me a rage towards this "no offense, but no butches" thing I see over and over again. I don't know if you can untrain yourself here to see this person as whole and good and comfortable in her skin and challenging gender norms in a hot way, but I really hope that you can. Maybe try seeking out some images of dapper/butch/moc women killing it and consciously try to see them in a positive way? There are great style blogs for women who love suits (dapperq, she's a gent). Ultimately, you might lose this love because it's something you can't get past, and that breaks my heart - so please try to examine this preference, and how you might expand your horizons.

    My wife, who wore long skirts and hippie layers and makeup when we got together, wears ties and suits now. She gels her hair up, and wears boxer briefs, suspenders, vests, men's pants. She is more comfortable, confident, and I'm not just with her because I love her despite her style... once I pushed past my expectations, I actually started to find it crazy hot. She's making me breakfast right now in her underwear and I can't even imagine that I wanted her in lace instead of boxers, because she is so happy in her skin and struts in all the right ways. I really hope that you can find your way to challenging and reimagining your preference, because doing so had made my life so much better and full of love.
     
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  3. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    I think 6 years is a long time and people change, whether it is appearances or something layers deep. I think you should just relax and have lunch and touch base and see if she is someone you could connect with again. Who knows why she is dressed differently now? Did she do it out of acceptance of how she really wanted to look or it is something else? If she is happier the way she is now, maybe you can see what you have been missing six years ago?

    I think we all have a bit of the feminine and masculine in us in degrees. I certainly feel that dynamic with my girlfriend and we have moments where she is more fem than I and vice versa. When we dance close, it is quite something else. The funny thing is, I have always equated women who looks "fem" outwardly as strength. I can't help my bias because of my mom. My mom is very feminine but she is kinda legendary and completely boss. She is an old lady now and I can't keep up with her. One time she picked up a guy at a pub after knocking him to the ground for being rude. Yet, when I was growing up, she had all these fanciful things she did with her clothes, her hair and her very light touches of makeup. She did it all on a budget, raised us by herself and had a lot of street smarts.

    I think I am digressing, but go, have lunch, get to know her the way she is now. Life is short, get surprised by this person you once loved and see.
     
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  4. Dara

    Dara New Member

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    Thank you both for your sound advice. I think the root of my issue is society...and perhaps myself. I am secretly a soft butch at heart but I present femme, and I think it has more to do with my jealousy issues. I think I was initially jealous that I could not be more confident and dress more like myself. I have been in relationships before where I was expected to be femme, and once I was left after a 2 year relationship because I had some butch moments that apparently was a turn off. Those photos of her are beautiful...she is beautiful inside and out and I am actually in tears writing this b/c I know that I judged her photos based on my own insecurities and jealousy, and worries. I think today is finally the day where I have accepted that I am in the middle, I have femme and butch in me, and that upset behind it all has to do with society and my past rejection from not being femme enough. The clothes don't make the woman, and this woman is the most beautiful, funny, intelligent and caring person I have ever met. 6 years is a long time and if anything, I feel more drawn to her now b/c she seems so much more confident in her new appearance, in her photos, and confidence is sexy. Thank you both again for reaching out and assisting me with this issue, it means a lot to me to hear your opinions. Have a great day.:)
     
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  5. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    Good on you for not passing it on. The person who hurt you this way was short-sighted and shallow, and it is their deficiency, not yours. You are enough - in your femme moments, in your butch moments, in your moments where you manage to forget about gender presentation and rocky your bad self. I hope that others meet you with open hearts and that you can see any judgments for what they are - comments on the judgers, not on you.

    Have lunch with this woman, who looks so great in her suits, who remembers you with fondness. I hope the spark is there, but even if it isn't, the thing you're learning about yourself will open you up to so much love on down the line.
     
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  6. Kaorin

    Kaorin Member

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    This is probably the most heartwarming thread I've read in my years on AE. You guys all rock ❤️
     
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  7. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    My .02 because I seriously cannot say any more on here than the wonderful posts by @lorienczhiu and @greylin.

    I think perhaps we are fluid..there've been times where I've been more femme...there've been times when I've been uber tomboy wearing men's clothes and having very short, spikey hair.... And there are times where I'm in between like now...longer more "fem" hair, make up...sometimes a baseball cap and men's clothes...yet sometimes I'm more "girly" and I'm wearing heels, too (it's a professional thing..not that I would choose heels all the time)....Importantly though...during all this flux as to what I've presented on the outside, I've still remained honest about WHO I am...if that makes sense.

    The beauty in expressing who we are is that we don't have to define ourselves for anyone but ourselves. And that can constantly change and evolve...besides, I like just being me....and I'm thrilled to defy stereotypes. :). It's taken a long time to get to this point. When I first came out, I was told I was too girly (who's that straight girl in the bar?)...then it bothered me that I'd have people use pejorative terms toward me when I was more on the butch side of things...and then...somewhere in finally learning to be comfortable with who I am, I decided not to give a f**k about what others think.

    Allow yourself to be happy. :)
     
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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
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  8. Dara

    Dara New Member

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    Update for anyone who read this...
    We are together! Thanks again so much for the support here!! I feel like the luckiest woman to call her my girlfriend. Have a good day everyone!
     
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