“I think with same-sex couples you have to be like ‘We’re partners. Mutual respect or mutual break-up,’” Charlotte Glasser says to me, over drinks and dinner at Fratelli in Encore Boston Harbor. It’s the fourth or fifth time she’s mentioned mutual regard and understanding in relationships to me, but I’m happy to listen, caught up in her grand gesticulations and innate charm. There’s a certain charm about Glasser that instantly draws you to her. Even in an overwhelmingly packed restaurant, the sharp cut of her suit and the way she holds herself easily stands out.
Charlotte, aka CB or Char, gained popularity after appearing on Netflix’s “Dating Around,” a reality show where one person goes on five blind dates. On Glasser’s episode, she’s one of the five potential dates and gets chosen to go on a second outing with Mila, the episode’s main bachelorette. She seems calm and collected on the show, only letting her guard down to explain she needs a strong drink to calm her nerves. In person, Glasser’s got that same sensibility, and I’m immediately soothed and drawn in. While the pair never sparked an IRL romance, Glasser’s dating and love life was placed front and center in the public eye. This sudden spotlight is what helped her evolve into what she calls an “extroverted introvert.” “As somebody who enjoys being in the attention, in the spotlight, I have a limit,” she tells me, leaning back in her chair. “I’d much prefer to be home with my dog, building something or doing a crossword.”
The ability to turn on and off her charismatic and socialite personality has served Glasser well in her career. Making the transition from Boston to New York after college, she started working for a diamond company on Madison Avenue. At the same time, Glasser worked with Hot Rabbit, LLC., the NYC-based queer dance party. After a year of back and forth, she decided to move to Los Angeles. There, she worked in hospitality — but not for long. Next, she was back to Boston for her current position where she is managing market strategies for a casino, as well as implementing LGBTQ-specific initiatives. Helping the LGBTQ+ community has always been an essential element of Glasser’s career.
Now, Glasser seems happy to begin settling down in her home state—especially considering her girlfriend just moved from Los Angeles to live with her.
Glasser points to a college production of the musical “Hair” as her root. Unable to take her eyes off of an actress during a nude scene, she began questioning her sexuality and broke up with her boyfriend. Glasser now openly identifies as gay, but “if someone calls me a lesbian, I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s me too!’”
Aside from bringing a sexual revelation, college brought Glasser her first girlfriend. A friend of a friend connected them at a party, where the pair spent the night playing spin the bottle and—as the game generally requires—kissing. It was Glasser’s “perfect first same-sex relationship.” Despite her initial luck, Glasser was not immune to the troubles of bad partners. She describes her last relationship as “the most challenging” and “most toxic” she had ever experienced. Rather than wallowing in what went wrong, she’s taken the time to reflect and learn from the relationship. “I think that there are definitely times in relationships where your demons don’t play well together, and everybody brings their own, so that might have been the case,” Glasser notes, pausing thoughtfully between words. “We were very much in love, but I think some of the issues she had gone through in her past relationships hadn’t been dealt with. You have to meet people where they’re at, and I wanted her to be at a more evolved place emotionally than she was.”
She pulls the narrative apart as she talks about it—like a therapy patient psychoanalyzing herself. “I was totally blown away by this beautiful girl that ended up being toxic and unhealthy,” she told me. “I was like, ‘Oh, shit.’” Now, she spends her time focusing on the growth that came from that relationship; it’s clear she’s taken the time to reflect. “It’s easy to say, ‘Oh, she was abusive,’” she says. “I think the longer response is she did not ask for or get the help that she needed to deal with her own trauma. I wish that I could have helped her through that so it didn’t reflect on me.”
Coming from a tumultous relationship made Glasser take a step back and look at what wasn’t working. A self-described “very obsessive” person, she knew she needed to assess her own behavior before entering into something new. She’s currently working on articulating discomfort, compromising, and communicating. Specifically, Glasser notes that the bad relationship taught her that listening to your partner is crucial, because two people are allowed to have feelings at the same time. But the other thing that Glasser gained from her toxic partnership was a solid understanding of her deal breakers. Dishonesty, bad communication, and cheating all make her list, but it’s disrespect that garners the top spot. And it’s clearly that important to her, because Glasser mentions this deal breaker to me numerous times. “We’re allowed to disagree, but I will not again allow someone to name-call or be disrespectful toward me,” she tells me, the curtness of her voice punctuating her sentences. “It took a long time for me to regain my self-awareness and self-respect, and I’m not letting someone take it away again.”
Picking up and moving on from a bad relationship can only bring good things, and for Glasser, it brought Genie Gore (who happens to be sitting at the table with us). The two met through mutual friends who connected them while out in LA. “We met in a parking garage,” Gore jokes, sneaking a glance at Glasser as she lets out a laugh. After that, Gore and Glasser just kept running into each other. “When you have so many mutual friends, you just kind of melt together,” she adds. As simple as their connection sounds, it was anything but. Gore says there wasn’t an instant spark when the two first met, but she was in a relationship at the time, so she wasn’t in the headspace for romantic attraction. That didn’t stop the two from becoming friends, though. “Something just shifted, and I think I realized all the comfort that I had with her when I was in a more available headspace,” Gore recounts, trying hard not to stare at Glasser as she speaks. “It actually led me to think ‘Oh, this could be interesting. At the very least, it could be fun. Let’s try it out.’ I just got to know her so much more and all those initial things grew. … We just hang out all the time, and it’s so easy.”
Glasser and Gore graduated from friendship to something more in April/May 2018, but they put off making it official, as they were both fresh out of other relationships and Glasser was about to appear on “Dating Around.” In August 2018, the couple made it official when Glasser asked Gore to be her girlfriend. They were both spending the month in Massachusetts with their respective families but made sure to take advantage of being in the same place. At a brunch with friends one morning, Glasser was acting anxious and fidgety. “She goes, ‘I need to go for a walk. Do you want to come with me?’” Gore remembers, smiling as Glasser quickly assures me that’s totally normal behavior. “I met her by the car, and we went for a walk down by the river. We were walking through Domino Park, and she sat me down and was like ‘So, I know we’ve been hanging out for a while, and some other things.’” Gore’s retelling of the story is cut short by a bout of blushing and giggles. Sitting across from the couple, it’s clear just how much they’re infatuated with one another. Glasser uses the pause to cut in, correcting her partner on what words she used to woo her. “I said, ‘I really like you, and I was wondering if you wanted to be my girlfriend. And I hope that this helps.”
Glasser asked Gore to be her girlfriend with all the fanfare of an engagement, offering her a small box after officially professing her feelings. Inside, Gore found two stud earrings: an emerald (her birthstone) and a diamond (Glasser’s birthstone). They’ve worn them for each other ever since, with Gore wearing the diamond and Glasser wearing the emerald. There’s a brief hesitation before Gore admits to having been surprised by—and even crying in—the moment. But there’s no hesitation between the couple now. They’re sitting in a packed restaurant, but they take pauses between each question to glimpse at one another. They’re in-sync; they’re connected. But on the surface, they’re complete opposites. Glasser wears a classic suit to dinner—clearly her dapper work uniform. Gore wears a simple white T-shirt and jeans, managing to look effortless yet stylish. I had asked Glasser at the beginning of the interview what her type was, and it’s clear that Gore fits the bill. Gore presents much more femininely than Glasser—but that’s just how they like it. Plus, they’re a match emotionally and mentally. “I need mental stimulation; it’s really important to me,” Glasser tells me, reaching out to touch Genie’s leg. “They’ve got to appreciate my nerdiness and in some way add to it.”
And Gore must do just that for Glasser, because they’re obviously besotted with each other. For Glasser, who has had her fair share of ups and downs in dating, stability is exactly what she needs. It’s not that she has a history of being a player, despite what she calls her “f*ckboy” appearance. On “Dating Around,” Glasser talks about how she’s perceived versus who she really is. “It’s an aesthetic. It’s not a personality trait. It’s just how I dress,” she says, taking a sip from her Jameson and Coke. But now, Glasser can stop stressing about finding someone who really gets her and just enjoy her relationship. Of course, enjoying something for logical Glasser means taking time to understand it as well. Just like with her worst relationship, Glasser’s stepped back and examined her best one.
“I don’t think I knew what a truly healthy relationship was like until we got together.”