Dating is an intricate dance that combines attraction, availability, and compatibility in a delicate balance. When you’re a part of the LGBT+ community, this dance can have some additional steps—especially given that you’re navigating this journey within a world that has historically been geared towards heterosexual norms. Here’s a guide to help you find love, companionship, or whatever else you’re searching for.
Rule 1: Define Your Own Norms
Forget about the traditional dating roles that society has established; it’s 2023! It’s time to break away from heteronormative dating norms and create a relationship dynamic that suits you. Whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, non-binary, or identify somewhere else along the spectrum, the first rule is to be true to you.
Rule 2: Communication is King
Regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity, communication is the cornerstone of any relationship. Make sure you are clear about your intentions, desires, and boundaries. The more transparent you are, the better your chances of finding someone compatible.
Rule 3: Choose the Right Platform
While apps like Grindr and HER were designed with the LGBT+ community in mind, it’s crucial to find a platform where you feel comfortable. Research to discover which app aligns with what you’re looking for—whether it’s a long-term relationship, casual dating, or friendships.
Rule 4: Safety First
The reality is that LGBT+ individuals can face unique safety risks when dating. Always meet in public places for the first few dates, let someone know where you’re going, and listen to your instincts. For trans and non-binary individuals, additional caution may be required, including making sure your date is genuinely open-minded and respectful of your identity.
Rule 5: Ignore the Trolls
Online dating opens up a world of opportunities, but it can also expose you to derogatory comments, or even harassment. Don’t feed the trolls. Block and report abusive users and focus on finding someone who appreciates you for who you are.
Rule 6: Set Boundaries Early On
Especially in queer relationships, where traditional gender roles don’t apply, setting boundaries is crucial. Make sure you discuss your comfort zones in emotional involvement, physical intimacy, and even public display of affection.
Rule 7: Be Open but Not Desperate
Being eager to meet someone is normal, but desperation is not attractive. Don’t compromise your values or settle for someone simply because you want to be in a relationship. Take your time, go through the process, and remember: it’s better to be single than in a relationship where you cannot be yourself.
Rule 8: Seek Supportive Communities
Apart from dating apps and platforms, seek out LGBT+ events, groups, or forums where you can meet like-minded people. Often, relationships form naturally out of shared interests and experiences.
Rule 9: Understand the Importance of Coming Out
The ‘coming out’ process varies greatly from person to person and is a deeply personal experience. Discuss this with your potential partner—understand their level of openness about their sexual orientation and be clear about your own, especially if you’re dating someone who is not out.
Rule 10: Have Fun!
Dating should be an enjoyable experience. Even if a date doesn’t lead to a long-term relationship, each encounter provides an opportunity to understand more about what you’re looking for in a partner.
Navigating the world of LGBT+ dating can be as complex as it is rewarding. With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be better equipped to find a relationship that celebrates you in all your uniqueness. Happy dating!