Lies We've Been Told Part IV: "You U-Hualed!"
In a long timeline in conversations about relationships, one question will be asked: “How long have you guys been together?” An otherwise innocent question devoid of pretense. In most cases I throw out the years, months, maybe days and some anecdote about the bittersweet moment that Love and I manifested into one another’s lives. In accommodating company I’m inclined to wax poetic about the life we are building, the Law of Attraction, finding a soulmate, a soul’s counterpoint and run down a general list of all her finest qualities. Honestly, I’m sure it would make for a great series of sappy, mushy, totally fawny LGBTQ+ greeting cards.
I mean I really love the look on people’s faces as I unravel the tapestry of us. “We met on OKC.” Disbelief. “She responded to my 'Must Love Tacos' profile.” Giggle. “She asked all of the questions I purposely left out and I knew then that she got me.” Swoon. “We had and 8-hour conversation, a 12 hour 1st date, we said I love you at about 2 weeks and we moved in together 2 months later.” This is the point where my love fest usually makes an abrupt left. “You guys u-hauled!”
If they are polite they will let me slip in “and here we are 3 years later,” before they pull the pin on that grenade and lob it into the discussion. More often than not, especially in the company of LGBTQ folx it’s thrown out jokingly and seemingly without much thought. In that moment, every time, I swear I put on the Full Armor of God in preparation to eviscerate the commenter in defense of myself, Love, our love and our choices.
Instead of going to war, I have decided to make a short list that will make some sense of this particular lie and hopefully open up some critical dialogue around this not-so-witty repartee.
The terms U-haul and all of it’s iterations refers to a long-running joke about the speed at which lesbians commit.
Question: What does a lesbian bring on a second date?
Answer: A U-Haul.
While it is still considered a standard in lesbian humor derived from the perception that lesbians “move fast,” bonding quickly and forming whole-ass relationships, I think it’s antiquated and dubious. Besides there are reasons… Which is why I wouldn’t classify this as an outright lie, as much as reductive thinking that oversimplifies the complexities of human relationships, socially acceptable behavior and societal norms into a silly quip. So, I’m gonna share some of the science and history on why lesbians seem to move so quickly.
1. It’s biological- Whether it’s because we have more of the hormone oxytocin than men or because we have more opportunity to use it, this little hormone seems to give us the edge in connections. Referred to as the Cuddle Chemical or Love Hormone. According to Psychology Today, oxytocin plays a huge role in pair bonding. Yep, we are literally biologically wired for connection. In addition to facilitating labor by making the uterus contract, we also emit it during breastfeeding, having sex and falling in love. Double the womxn and double the oxytocin present and you now have a biological reason why we seem to move quickly.
2. Blame society- Not really, but all the same society has heavily influenced relationship goals for womxn.
So yeah, “relationship goals” has its hand in why we participate in our quick turn of the mating ritual that is pairing off, coupling and cohabitating.
3. ...And still kinda blame society- As much progress as we have made to enjoy access to equal rights, in the not-so-long-ago history of America, clothes were not just for closets. During the 50’s and 60’s when women had to meet and live in secret, our gay grannies, queer cousins, aunties and their roommates also moved in together for practicality. Creating an intentional family and safe space was undoubtedly something beautiful that our foremothers clung to; and perhaps u-hauling is a vestige of their lived experiences.
Why do you think we have the urge to merge? Drop a comment, and share on all social media using the share buttons below.