If you’re a woman navigating the early stages of a relationship with another woman, things might seem a little confusing at first, particularly if you’re used to dating guys. In fact, it can seem like a minefield. So what are the rules? And how is lesbian dating different from straight dating?
In truth, of course, there are no rules and every couple is different. However, here are a few very general guidelines to help steer you through the maze.
Who pays the bill?
Any date has this question hanging over it, whether you’re straight or lesbian dating. So should you get the bill or let her grab it? Or split it both ways?
One good principle is that whoever initiated the date might want to pay the bill. After all, it was their idea! Of course, your date may well insist on paying her share. But at least if you offer, it seems the polite thing to do. If she invited you out, likewise, offer at least to pay your way.
Who asks who out?
Again, there are no hard and fast rules on this one, but there may be a few hints along the way. Are you and her an old-school butch/femme kind of pair? If so, it may well be that the femme partner will expect to be asked out. Sigh. Old-fashioned, we know, but what can you do?
Other than that, if you’re interested in a woman, why not just grab the proverbial bull by the horns and ask her out? Chances are she’ll be relieved you took the initiative. Above all, it’s probably best to be direct.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Your place or mine?
So you’ve had the date (and sorted the bill) and it’s been great. Where to next? A few factors may come into play – convenience, location, privacy and whether you feel comfortable going to your date’s home or inviting her back to yours. Just the same as straight dating, really!
Subtly test the water to find out what your date fancies doing next, whether it’s moving on to somewhere else, heading back home together or calling it a night.
It may be an idea to give all-girl bars or clubs the swerve for the first few meet-ups. The lesbian community is a small one, so you may find you can relax more when there’s less chance of running into someone you know.
Instead, you might want to consider a quiet pub or cocktail bar, where you can get to know each other better before you venture out onto the scene together.
You dated who?!
If your date is a bit of a scene queen and knows everyone from the bar staff to the bouncers, it could mean she’s not ready to settle down or serious about finding someone. If you can, you might want to subtly check (and we know this is an awkward one) that you don’t have any exes in common. If you do, that can be riddled with problems, and a real deal breaker.
Sure, lesbian dating can be a potential minefield; but so too can straight dating. Just get out there and enjoy it!