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What You Need to Know if You’re New to Lesbian Dating

by Nov 20, 20190 comments

Not all of us know exactly who we are the moment we pop out of the womb. With the recent increased acceptance of the many different ways one can identify as queer, many are just now beginning to explore their sexuality. It can be very freeing to finally feel you can date the people you were always attracted to. However, entering an entirely new dating scene as an adult is terrifying. It feels as if everyone else already knows what they are doing and have been out their entire lives. What if you do something wrong? What if you offend your potential paramour? What new terminology should you know? Who makes the first move? How does sex work when there’s no penis?

Most people in heterosexual relationships blunder through this unsure and questioning time together between the ages of 13 to 20.  Since queer folk usually stay in the closet until they have put some distance between themselves and their childhood communities this can be delayed well into adulthood. Don’t be scared. Most, if not all, of the people you encounter in your new dating scene will understand and can help answer any questions you have. For everything you’re too embarrassed to ask there’s always the internet, and this is an excellent place to start.

Where do I meet another wlw (woman loving woman)?

The best way to break into your local lesbian dating scene is to ask another lesbian to help you. Chances are you know at least one, maybe through work or a friend of a friend.  The lesbian community is generally friendly and are happy to help one of their own who is just coming out of their shell.  If you don’t know someone who you feel comfortable asking to introduce you around then  try getting involved in some LGBTQ groups and clubs around town. often has a few groups for lesbians to hang out together going on hikes or meeting up for bar trivia. Just don’t treat these like some sort of singles dating mixer. Focus on making friends in the community first, relationships will follow.

Should I try dating apps?

While there is no true lesbian Grindr equivalent, most of the popular dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and OkCupid have options for people looking for other queer folk .This is a great option for meeting other wlw who you might not have had the opportunity to cross paths with otherwise. Keep an eye out though for couples just looking for someone to be their third. They’re everywhere on dating apps, masquerading as single women. Definitely make sure you swipe through all the pictures so you won’t be disappointed when that girl you thought was totally cute turns out to be married to some awkward looking engineer.

Who pays the bill?

We really shouldn’t be making assumptions about the bill at all nowadays but this question can be particularly difficult in lesbian relationships. Spitting the bill in half is the obvious solution but it might annoy your server and certainly isn’t very romantic. While some might assume that the more “butch” of the two of you, or the one with the more masculine energy should take on the responsibility of the check when eating out together. This is very outdated. You’re on a date with a woman because you  like her feminine energy and vice versa. A much better rule of thumb is that the person who asked the other on the date should always offer first and be prepared to pay. In longer relationships it’s much easier to adopt a system of switching back and forth.

Should I dress a certain way so people know I’m gay?

Contrary to what we have been shown in movies and television , there is no standard “lesbian fashion”. If you like having short hair, wearing flannels, and throwing on a backwards baseball cap every day them by all means express yourself in whatever way you like but don’t feel as if you need to change yourself in order to fit in as a lesbian. That being said, if you tend towards feminine dress  you may find it helpful when testing the waters with potential dates to be more open about your gayness. If she’s also gay she will definitely be listening for these clues from you. Remark on a woman you find attractive, refer to an ex with female pronouns etc.

Can I still brag to my friends about my conquests over Sunday brunch?

The lesbian community is notorious for being incestuous; it’s also just very small. Unless your new girlfriend is freshly “out”, the likelihood that your lesbian friends already know her (or have already dated her themselves) are pretty high. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and the tightknit community can be comforting, but you definitely need to be careful about what you say. It’s certainly not like a group of girls talking about male conquests who are unlikely to catch wind of whatever embellishments you might have made about your evening together. Most people don’t being talked about behind their back and if whatever you said gets back to your new squeeze you might find yourself in some hot water. Play it safe by keeping things vague and not naming any names until you have that conversation as a couple.

I’m scared, what do I do if someone is homophobic towards me and my girlfriend?

            There is a lot of  big talk about being your ‘true, authentic self 24/7’. This is all well and good in theory but the fact of the matter is that it can still be very dangerous out there and not every community is as accepting of those of us in queer relationships as cities like Portland and San Francisco. If you are not in a position where you can flip that person the bird and keep on walking and if you feel unsafe for any reason your first priority should be to get to a safe place. There is no reason to feel that you have forsaken your queer identity by lying a bit to protect your personal safety. It sucks that we are in the 21st century and still have to hide our identity to protect ourselves but think of it this way: it’s pretty hard to fight for equality from the hospital.

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