What is a ‘golden retriever lesbian’? The history of the term and what it means

Image shows an Instagram influencer on the left, with long blonde hair, in a kitchen giving a presentation using her laptop, the title of the presentation is 'golden retriever lesbian'. On the right there is a photo of a golden retriever.

Sometimes it feels like there’s a thousand new terms cropping up every day to explain personality traits, experiences, and dating history, and the only way to understand them is to carry a constantly updating glossary.

This week’s new term is ‘Golden Retriever lesbian’, a spin-off of the popular ‘Golden Retriever boyfriend’ concept, which TikTokers were using to refer to people like Travis Kelce, NFL star and boyfriend to Taylor Swift.

A Golden Retriever boyfriend, a term which may have come out of the viral ‘Black Cat’ vs. ‘Golden Retriever’ personality theory on the video-sharing app, is defined as someone who is trusting and kind, confident and unashamed about how they feel about you, and always enthusiastic, positive, and happy.

Countless TikToks have been made to explain the traits of a Golden Retriever boyfriend, such as extreme loyalty, a dependable spirit, and excited to be around you no matter what it is you’re doing.

A ‘Golden Retriever lesbian‘ is described similarly.

According to Google, the first mention of Golden Retriever lesbian is on Urban Dictionary in March 2022, which described the term as “a masculine lesbian who IS actually happy and smiles around the people who she loves”.

You may like to watch

“She will always be happy and optimistic. Probably a Hufflepuff and an ENFP/ESTP. [Please] treat them well,” it continues, referring to the Harry Potter house best known for loyalty and personality traits given by the Myers-Briggs test.

The phrase gained further popularity early last year, with videos posted on TikTok receiving millions of views explaining what the term means.

In one video, creator @walshdelaney explains different stereotypes associated with lesbians. Of ‘Golden Retriever lesbians’, she says: “These are masc lesbians that are pretty much what the name is. They’re like happy puppies. They’re just excited to be there, they love people, they love hanging with you, they want to please whoever they’re with.”

Another video by creator @rosieturnerdaily posted on TikTok and Instagram explains that “Goldies have a warm and friendly temperament” and “like their belly rubbed”.

“They’ll do things like fix a Wi-Fi router and take the bin out. They like snacks and treats… and they also like playing ball. Goldies are also partial to a hat. They’re gonna stick around for a long time given enough care and love,” Turner said.

Many of the videos describe Golden Retriever lesbians as being the one you settle down with, and that they could even become “a family dog” if that’s what you desire.

There are also videos explaining what a ‘Black Cat lesbian’ is, considered the antithesis to a Golden Retriever lesbian. Turner also posted a video about this term, explaining: “You’re probably gonna find your black cat on a sofa watching a murder documentary, painting their claws or checking horoscopes under a blanket.”

Despite the personalities of black cats and golden retrievers being very different, it seems they adhere to the concept of ‘opposites attract’ as it seems there are many black cat lesbians and golden retriever lesbians dating on TikTok.

Want more lesbian terminology articles? We’ve got you covered:

Everything you need to know about the Lesbian Witchtok trend

What is a ‘chapstick lesbian’, and why are they all on TikTok?

Are you actually a ‘U-Haul Lesbian’? Everything you need to know about the term

What does ‘Gold Star Lesbian’ mean, and is it offensive?

What is a ‘Hey Mamas Lesbian’ on TikTok?

What is a Black Cat lesbian?

Lesbian Masterdoc: can this PDF really tell if you’re gay?

Dom fems are huge on lesbian TikTok, and rightly so – but what does the term mean?

The fascinating history of the lesbian slang terms ‘stud’ and ‘stem’

What, exactly, is a gender non-conforming (GNC) lesbian?