How to Date an Adopted Woman
1. Make a decision early on: be in it for one night or shoot for life.
2. Do not think it means anything if she will have sex with you the first date. You won’t be the first.
3. Wear a condom.
4. If she won’t look you in the eyes, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t like you.
5. If she won’t stop staring into your eyes, it doesn’t mean she likes you.
6. When she tells you she loves you after your first kiss, don’t panic. She says this to everyone.
7. If you are going to be one minute late, text.
8. If you are going to be half an hour late, call.
9. If you are going to be an hour late, send for an ambulance.
10. Know she will break up with you many, many times.
11. Know it is your job to go Prince Charming and get on your horse and chase her.
12. As with all male/female relationships, no means no, and with an adoptee who feels her being is one big no, this all gets tricky. Knowledge is power. Talk about what no means. This brings us to the next point:
13. Tell her you like/love her and will never leave every time you see her. Even when she rolls her eyes. Just do it. Even when she points out that one day you will die. Just say it.
14. When she abruptly leaves the room or ends phone calls with you in what you thought was mid-conversation, don’t panic. Her glass got full without warning, and she had to go empty it. She’ll be back.
15. Be a weighted blanket. If she seems like she’s losing it, ask her if she’d like you to lie on her. Do not try to have sex. Just keep her pinned to the earth without smooshing her. Keep her warm. Be the safety she did not have as a baby.
16. Yes, this means you are both lover and parent. Her skin did not seal the way it would have if her mother had held her all childhood long. Your love is balm and it is also salt. Knowing this helps.
17. Make loving her your job. Read about adoption. Talk to her about it. Ask her every day how she is feeling.
18. Listen. Drop everything when you can and look her in her eyes and pay close attention.
19. Don’t try to fix her. She isn’t broken. She’s just got a lot going on.
20. Know that her brain is not like other brains. There may well be a siren going off in it 24/7. This means she may get distracted, moody, and tired. Hold her hand. Take her to yoga.
21. Know that you will have someone as a parter who survived what breaks many adults and that she is stronger than almost anyone you know.
22. Support and love and consistency butter her bread.
23. When you have someone who has walked through fire, she sees life differently. This is a gift she will give you: her perspective.
24. Be ready to talk about adoption every day for the rest of her life if that’s what she needs.
25. Be brave. Be steady in your sense of self-worth. Be ready to reach out again and again when it looks like she is pushing you away. Know she is waiting for you to leave, and that if you stay, know she will take note.
26. Let me know how it goes.
If you liked this, you might like my book You Don't Look Adopted (https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Look-Adopted-Anne-Heffron/dp/0692755640). If you hated this blog post, chances are good you would also hate the book, and so you can save the nine bucks and ninety-nine cents and call it a day.
But I hope you go get it.