…when love is intentional
Let’s be real, there is nothing simple about using dating apps. There are so many steps and levels you must complete to truly obtain positive results from the experience. First, you have to swipe right and match with someone you are attracted to; and then you have to speak and hold a conversation with that same person beyond the app’s messaging board. From there, you and your match must meet in person, hang out, have a great time and start dating. Now, imagine trying to do all of that 400 miles away from each other.
[lesbians in the audience chuckle]
For Kinsey and Kayln, neither distance or the emotional obstacle course we call online dating could keep their connection from growing. But unlike most lesbians, okay all lesbians, stereotypical behavior such as u-hauling and sex before friendship were not going to be the root of their relationship. Instead, conversations were held, words were listened to, needs were understood and both were met exactly where they were willing and ready to begin a relationship that was cultivated in the perfect balance of patience and intent.
So I understand that you guys met on tinder...how did that work if you [Kinsey] were in Detroit and you [Kalyn] were in NYC?
Kinsey: I’ll tell the story. I was having a Hot Girl Summer, I was thottin and boppin out here but I knew that I wanted to move to New York by the end of my lease which was in December. So I got Tinder+ and was switching my location around, eventually ending up in New York. And the weekend I did was during Afropunk. I was swiping and saw this cute girl with locs...wearing all black kinda looking off to the side. It was all so badass and shit. She also had these really pretty eyes. I was like “oh shit, I like that shit.”
Kalyn: I thought she was just in town for Afropunk. I saw it said 400 miles away but I was like she's probably in town visiting, so I swipe and later it turns out we matched so I hit her up like:
“What's up? You are in town for the festival?”
“No, I’m in Detroit.”
“Why do you have your profile set for New York?”
“I’ll be moving there.”
And from there the conversation just kept up.
"I was like “damn, I'm falling in love with this girl”"
Kinsey: Yeah, it was kinda I don't know. Because from the beginning part of it I was kind of standoffish.
Why were you standoffish with her if you knew you were attracted to her?
Kinsey: You know, great question. I don't really have a good answer for that. I was just being a femme. Out here like “hey you're cute but you’re probably just going
to waste my time” so let me keep all my cards to myself. But it turned out she was caring and sweet
Kalyn: I was out here trying to have some conversations.
Kinsey: Yeah, she was trying to have conversations and I was like why are you trying to talk to me?! Ugh.
Kalyn: She kept evading the facetimes. I'm a facetime person, I don't like texting. We're in an age where I can see your facial expressions. Facetime is damn near like hanging out so like, girl lets facetime. “What's up? What are you doing? I know you are not doing anything.” Then she kept hitting me with “Oh, I’m indecent” like what the fuck does that mean?
Kinsey: It meant that I wasn't wearing any clothes, that I'm chillin alone at home naked and she's like “oh let's facetime” and I was like well...this is my time, why would I put on clothes, I’m chillin by myself. I had to put on a t-shirt for this girl!
How long were you [Kinsey} in Detroit before you moved to NYC?
Kinsey: I'm originally from Detroit, born and raised. I spent some time in DC, spent some time in Toronto. Before moving here it would be about 2.5 years.
And how long did you guys talk before you [Kinsey] moved to NYC?
Kinsey: We started talking in August, so about 4 months.
"That reassurance and sitting with each other and being in that space and looking at each other and saying “I want to be here with you. I choose to be here with you, in this space”"
In what ways did you guys balance the distance?
Kinsey: Facetime every day. And while we were in our texting phase she was like “If you ever come up to New York, I would like to take you on a date” and I was like oh I love ambition, I love when people take control like that so I was like “bet, let me get this flight” and then I flew up to see her Halloween and it was only after that (it was a great date, it lasted the whole weekend, we made pastries and went to the museums and went thrift shopping together. It was really fun) I was like alright I know I want to live here and I know I want to pursue something with you, so let's do it, and that's what I did.
Now that you [Kinsey] are in New York–are you guys living together?
Kinsey: No, we don't live together.
And was that decision a hard no?
Kinsey: No not really, Kalyn already had roommates that she lived with and I knew I wouldn't be able to afford to live in the city without roommates so it just made sense for us to live separately and have our respective places.
Kalyn: We had a conversation before that, it still would've been a hard no. Like yeah, we had been talking but we haven't been in each other's space like that so even if we were in the same city I was like we're waiting at least a year and a half, two years to move in together.
Kinsey: [laughing] were waiting longer than that. I like having my space.
Kalyn: I was the one in the relationship like pumping the breaks because she is that typical lesbian. She is that type of girl.
Kinsey: I'm someone who knows what I want. So when I see someone who has their shit together, who knows what they want, who has a plan, who is financially stable, good head on their shoulders I’m like Ok I see you. That's what I've been wanting, that's what I’ve been manifesting and I saw that in Kalyn very early on so I was like let's get together, what are we waiting for? I’ve been single 3 years before this relationship, I'm divorced. I know what it is that I do and I don't want in a relationship in the long term.
Kalyn: See I'm coming from a very different background. Kinsey is my first girlfriend. I've talked to people before but this is my first relationship. So through the years, I’ve been watching friends and other people's relationships and just how that stuff went so I was like oh no we're not about to move in, we're not about to move fast like that or rush. I made it a point even before I met Kinsey, that the next woman that I dated, I was going to give it enough time to get to know her and not just fucking off the bat. I didn't just want to jump right into having sex because then there is no meaning; empty sex is pointless to me. I'd rather be alone and work on myself than have empty sex with somebody.
Kinsey: I don't mind empty sex. Empty sex is okay with me but in this scenario and getting to know Kalyn and how we spoke every day and created a friendship even before we did have sex strengthened our bond. If that doesn't sound cliche.
With that being said, now that sex is present in ya’ll relationship, how important has it become?
Kinsey: I'd say it's relatively important. Like every couple, it varies but we make the time for each other. Kalyn would probably say I should wake up earlier in the morning. She likes morning sex and I am not a morning person.
Kalyn: I am, I have energy, I'm ready to talk.
Kinsey: I am grumpy. I do not want to be talked to in the morning, please leave me alone, I would like to be in the bed snuggling under the covers but sex is important to us.
Kalyn: We have a lot of conversation around sex and I like that. Before sex has always been like a touchy topic in my life and dealing with the trauma, and the triggers that I’ve had in this journey within becoming sexually liberated and not sticking to what other people told me what sex was and truly trying to figure out what sex is and how I define sex. So Kinsey has been patient with me, and that's my thing that I was looking for and trying to manifest in a partner. Someone that was going to be patient and really could take this journey with me while I get to know myself.
Kinsey: And for me, I'm a very kinky person. I'm into BDSM, rope, all the whips and chains you can think of, I'm into that.
Did that scare you off Kalyn?
Kalyn: Nah it didn't. I mean, I had to google some stuff. When I was in college, I was on the executive board for the LGBT organization and like kink is very close to the LGBT community so just growing in spaces when events are centered around like kink and stuff; it wasn't new to me.
Kinsey: The thing I was going to say was that a lot of my experience in Detroit had been with lesbians, who on paper were like “yeah, I'm down with that” but weren't down...with...the lifestyle that comes with BDSM. Kalyn was open to not treating it like a party trick or some quirk. She was down to learn what it was that I wanted and what I like. We’ve been good at communicating those desires that we have to each other.
"That's what I've been wanting, that's what I’ve been manifesting and I saw that in Kalyn very early..."
Tinder worked out well, huh?
Kinsey/Kalyn: Tinder came through!
So, I'm not sure if you two have discussed this but I'm going to ask anyway. How does it feel to be loved, or holding this space in each other's lives?
Kalyn: So I was going through a moment last night while looking at her. I'm a filmmaker, so let me set the scene for you. We had just come in from the movies, we got the music playing, I was rolling up. She was in her world and that was probably what I wanted the most. To meet someone where they were at and for them to meet me where I was at. And last night it just clicked, I was like “damn, I'm falling in love with this girl” and she was like “what? what are you looking at?” and I'm like “girl just let me look at you”. It feels good to love someone and have them love you back as easy as it is to roll off the tongue. Which is not the case all the time. This has been a very cool journey, starting far away and having to build this friendship then finally getting to the same city and just being around her and like getting to know her different quirks and her getting to know mine and just being comfortable with each other. Seeing each other at our low points but as well as our highs. It's just been very fun.
Kinsey: It's my turn, she was taking too long! So what I always like to say is that Kalyn and I are intentional with each other, like we didn’t just fall in love. We intentionally choose each other, every day. There was a point earlier this week when we got stupid high, like ridiculously high, and I kept looking at her like “omg, you are my girlfriend. You for real my girlfriend. Like we are out here, choosing each other. Everyday. Like you here with me and I'm here with you.” That reassurance and sitting with each other and being in that space and looking at each other and saying “I want to be here with you. I choose to be here with you, in this space” is what is what's different for me from a lot of the relationships, from all the relationships that I've been in where I did rush and was that u-hauling lesbian who didn't take the time to get to know someone. With Kalyn, it's about patience and it's about meeting someone where they're at and accepting that and not trying to change that and loving that and knowing that people are dynamic and they are going to do things on their own accord and being comfortable with it. So I'm just glad I'm with her to be a part of that journey, it's beautiful, she's beautiful and she's patient with me and that's all I ask for honestly.
Written by: Jay Hardy (@KaliforniJAY)
All images featured in this article credited to: @tchhnnh