The U-Haul lesbian or U-Haul syndrome is a stereotype of lesbian relationships referring to the joke that lesbians tend to move-in together quickly after meeting for the first time (e.g., by the second date). It suggests an extreme inclination toward committed relationships. It can be considered either complimentary or pejorative, depending on context.
Question: What does a lesbian bring on a second date?
Answer: A U-Haul.
Often attributed to comic Lea DeLaria, the joke suggests that lesbians move in together after only a short period of time. It is also possibly derived from Canadian lesbian advocate Krista Lush, who once noted of her relationships "one kiss, and they move in." Reference to a "U-Haul" later became a stereotype of sexual identity in the gay community. The joke is considered a staple of lesbian humor, but is also popular outside the LGBT community. It is sometimes followed or preceded by a standard joke about gay men:
Question: What does a gay man bring on a second date?
Answer: What second date?
Psychologists note that the U-Haul joke epitomizes the perceived phenomenon of lesbians to form intense emotional connections, referred to in gay slang as an "urge to merge". Critics of this alleged tendency suggest that it is used by lesbians to avoid the risks involved with dating. In their view, an aversion to the risks of dating is linked to a stunted development of intimate relationships during the teenage years when most gays and lesbians are in the closet. With the freedom of adulthood, lesbians become drawn to the "U-Haul" relationships, appreciating their intensity and intimacy.
Despite the U-Haul concept's positive suggestion that lesbians do not have difficulties committing to relationships, some psychologists also believe that this behavior can be unhealthy. They argue that the short dating span bypasses serious discussion on many relationship issues prior to moving in (such as sexual compatibility or future expectations) and this can manifest itself in various problems later on.
One common criticism of the "U-Haul" joke is the negative implication it gives that most lesbians cohabit on literally the second date; whereas for the majority of relationships, that step, if it occurs, normally happens following a long period of dating.
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