LGBTQ+ dating comes with all the trials and tribulations of hetero-normative dating, but with a couple of extra complications on top. If you are new to the dating game or you have recently come into your own sexuality/ come out as queer, then you are in the right place.
Here are 6 things you need to know about LGBTQ+ dating.
1. Honesty Is The Best Policy
As things can be a little bit unclear in the LGBTQ+ dating world, the best way to approach it is with honesty and transparency. This doesn’t mean you have to tell the world all your intimate details, but if you are asked out by a gay man, and you do not identify as a man, then you can make this clear by stating that you either are non-binary, gender fluid, transgender, etc. You get to reveal as much as you are comfortable telling, remember that! You do not owe anybody anything, but a little honesty can go a long way in saving you time and other people’s time too.
If you are dating or having sex with multiple people, you must be transparent about with the people you are seeing. Talking about Sexually Transmitted Diseases is important regardless of your sexuality and identity. So make sure that you are honest about your activities and ask potential partners about theirs. That way no one feels betrayed if later down the line someone catches an STD.
2. Consider The Other Person’s ‘Outness’
Almost all of us in the LGBTQ+ community have had to ‘come out’ in some shape or form. For some it is easy and for some it is difficult. A lot of people may not be out to friends or family and this is something you should carefully think about when dating. When dating it is important to make it clear how ‘out’ you are too, that way there is no risk of being unintentionally outed by the person you are dating. You might be dating a transgender person who does not want people to know that have undergone a transition process and you have to respect this. By understanding each other’s level of outness you can establish respect for one another’s boundaries which is vital in the LGBTQ+ dating world.
On a separate note, if you are someone who is fully out, you need to consider if you can date someone who is not out. This will sound harsh, but the reality is that some people struggle with this as they feel they are regressing into feelings of shame. So if you start to experience this, it is better to cut the cord and allow that person to find their way out in their own time.
3. Be Kind
It is really important that we are kind to both other people and ourselves. The likelihood is that we have all gone through something to get to where we are today. If someone is holding back from you or not giving you all of their personal stories at once, just respect this and have patience. You never know what someone has been through, with some people surviving hate crime, assault, conversion therapy, family rejection, and more. The same logic applies with hetero-normative dating, and essentially this tip is to not be a bad person.
4. Confidence Is Key
Confidence and a smile are the two sexiest things you can wear. Being proud of who you are and your identity is extremely attractive and it will draw people to you like a big queer magnet. It is not always easy to feel confident, especially if you are newly out or new to the LGBTQ+ dating scene. However, there are some things you can do to make sure that you are radiating with confidence.
Firstly, your body language is everything. If your date goes to touch your hand and you flinch or pull away because you are not comfortable with being seen, this is a bit of a recipe for disaster. We are not suggesting you do anything you are not comfortable with, more that you have to have an awareness of how you present yourself. Hold your head up high, puff your chest and drop those shoulders back and this creates a powerful posture. Standing like this will not only make you feel more confident but it will also make those around you feel more comfortable in your presence. Fake it until you make it!
5. Think About Your Sexual Compatibility Early On
This point can feel a bit awkward at times, but you must consider how sexually compatible you both are early on. You don’t need to make split-second decisions about people before taking the time to understand their perspective and how they identify. Much like you would not like someone making presumptions about you, someone else would not like you to make assumptions on their behalf.
Once you have respectfully understood and acknowledged each other’s sexual preferences, you will get a fairly good idea if you are compatible. For instance, if you are someone with a high libido and you are dating someone who is a romantic asexual, you have to weigh up whether this is going to work in the long run? Again it can feel harsh, but both parties should find out sooner rather than later.
6. We Are All Human
Another big tip for you to remember is that at the end of the day, we are all humans just going about our lives. Try not to overthink or overcomplicate things as in many ways dating in the LGQBT+ world is similar to your hetero-normative dating. When you strip away all the labels you can see what makes up the person you are dating. This doesn’t mean you should ignore how someone identifies or their sexuality, but more that they are not defined by their labels.
The takeaway from this post is that you should try to be kind, patient, positive, and open-minded. With this approach and mindset, you will thrive in the LGBTQ+ dating scene.