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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » How do I get into the dating game?

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Author Topic: How do I get into the dating game?
Burdened with glorious booty
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So, I'm starting to get kind of sad being single. I mean, I'm more used to being single than not, but I just want a relationship now, you know? I feel like I would like that kind of companionship. I'm not going to get myself down about it if I don't find someone right away, but yeah, it's something I'd like.

On the other hand, dating might be very difficult for me. I've been in a relationship before, but we didn't really "date" since it was long distance and we'd already known each other for a long time before then. On top of that, I have Aspergers and I'm bisexual and genderqueer (definitely sure about that latter point now - I got my binder in the post, and it's kind of revolutionary to me) - if I'm going to date, I'd have to look in a space where I'm going to feel safe and be more likely to find a person who'd accept all of that. I couldn't date a person who isn't 100% accepting of that, so it'd be good if they knew all this ahead of time.

I know a good answer to this would be "seek out the local LGBT community," but I'm not sure how accepting that would even be. As far as I'm aware, the local community involves a club that's only a gay club every few weeks or so and the university's LGBT meetings, which is attended by a friend who I hope to phase out of my life (and the reason I'm doing that is because she's incredibly ableist - the idea that she'd have lots of friends at these meetings, who may actually agree with her, doesn't give me hopes that it'd be a safe place for me to go). I could just try and meet a nice person at a society that I already attend, but while they're more likely to have the same interests as me, there's no guarantee that they'd accept all of my "eccentricities," or be attracted to me if they do.

So, how do I actually find someone cool and sexy who'd also think that I'm cool and sexy?

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Ta-da!

Posts: 130 | From: UK | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sam W
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Hi Derpy Hooves,

I'm sorry to here that the local LGBT scene is not making you optimistic. It can be very frustrating when spaces that are supposed to be inclusive still harbor unpleasant elements. Do you know if there are other folks in the local LGBT community who feel equally hesitant about the groups that already exist? If there are, they might know if there are less prominent (but more accepting) groups that meet in or around campus.

I think your idea about starting your search within a society you already attend is actually a good one. You are correct in saying that there is no guarantee that they'd accept all of your "eccentricities," but you could say the same thing about pretty much any situation. I encourage you not to give up on looking in these groups because (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) you have gauged these spaces as accepting enough to feel safe spending time in them. So that means that they are likely to include folks who are/will be accepting of your identity. And probably, eventually someone who thinks you are cool and sexy.

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Molias
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I think that a good way to think about finding potential partners can be to approach it the same way you'd approach making friends or meeting interesting people in general. The more people you can meet and make connections with, the more likely it is that you'll interact with someone you want to date. That doesn't mean you need to force yourself to be really social if that's not your style, but finding a group or organization to get involved with on campus might be a good place to start. And it doesn't have to be a specifically queer group! You may find that some activist group, or crafters, or a reading group, etc. has a good mix of members that you feel comfortable with.

I definitely hear you on having a hard time connecting w/a local LGBT community. If you haven't been to your university's group, it may be worth going just to see what it's like, if you can stand to be around this person for a little bit. Different groups are organized differently and you may not have to be in contact with her at all. Plus while it's certainly possible that her attitudes are shared with other members, they also may not be!
Since your school has an LGBT club, there may also be either an office or center that will have information about events or groups happening on campus. Even if you don't think the official meetings are for you, there may be other events that sound like a better fit, and if you can make some connections with people there, you could start to have a queer community that's based more on "I have some queer friends" than "I go to these explicitly queer events."

Another thing you could look into would be online dating. I've heard queer folks give decent reports from using ok cupid; even though you're stuck with binary gender options I do know several genderqueer/otherwise non-binary folks who use it. There's a lot of space for personalization, which could give you a chance to be really clear about who you are and what you're looking for.

Posts: 1352 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Burdened with glorious booty
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The societies I attend are B-Movie, which I help run...but I doubt I'll meet anyone there, since people tend to just turn up for the showing, watch the film, and then leave. Even so, I've heard some unfortunately sexist heckling, too, so the idea of one of those guys magically understanding that I'm not a cishet girl is going to be very slim (there are girls, but again, how likely is it that I'm going to talk to one of them long enough to figure if they'd be interested?). The other society is pole, which is run by my ableist ex-friend - I did have a crush on a guy there, but he already had a girlfriend (and still hasn't read the comic I leant him three months ago). And for a group of pole dancers, a lot of them seem strangely slut-shaming? Like, they'll try and entirely deny every single sexual element that exists in pole, emphasising that it's pole FITNESS rather than pole DANCING, and talk badly about ex-members who actually ended up dancing at clubs as a way of earning money.

So I understand where you're coming from, but I don't think I'm going to meet anyone I'd want to date in these places (or at least, in a way that's going to be a mutual, "we both want to date each other" kind of way).

I'm intending to go to the LGBT meeting on Wednesday (it seems to be less of a meeting and more of a "meet for lunch and have a chat" kind of affair), and it might not be that bad. But then, if it isn't intersectional there, then I'm just going to leave and be sad. I have an online friend (who is, coincidentally, local to me) who was able to meet up with someone recently whilst being trans and autistic as well, maybe I could ask them how they did it?

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Ta-da!

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Sam W
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Wow, that does sound frustrating.

I'm glad to hear you're going to give the LGBT meeting a try. Fingers crossed for it turning out to be a cool, safe space. If it isn't, it's totally OK to be disappointed.

I would definitely talk to your friend. If nothing else, they may have some info or ideas that hadn't occurred to you yet.

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wildcat
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Hi Derpy Hooves,
I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only queer person who is struggling with getting to know other queers and people whom they can date. It has been like that for me and sometimes still is like that, unfortunately, and I know quite some other queers who have got similar problems.
I still think it is a good idea to go to the LGBT meeting and wish you the best luck! I am sorry that the group includes this ableist person, and hope there are enough people with whom you can feel good there. The thing is: If you do not live in a large city, there will almost always be people in your local queer community you would want to avoid, because you will meet all your ex partners over and over again. I understand that this is something different than them being non-inclusive, but it is often worth to still be part of the local queer community and perhaps help form it.
Other things which have helped me personally: Being as out as you feel safe to do, both about your gender and sexual identity. I have often experienced that people I knew e.g. from classes came out to me then and we got friends. Making queer friends also helps a lot: Firstly, it will help you feel OK and good about your gender and desire (I do not know if this is a problem for you, if not, great) and secondly, often queers are friends with other queers, so it increases the chances of meeting people you want to date and who want to date you.
I agree with you that simply going to social events will not help on its own. Maybe you could on the one hand choose your social activities with regards to where the chances of meeting people you would like to connect to higher. E.g. feminists might be not as sexist, many lesbians and genderqueer people enjoy sports like martial arts or weightlifting, just as examples, though - choose according to your preferences. On the other hand, you could be more out at societies you are already in, e.g. screening a film with a queer topic and organizing a discussion event afterwards at your film club, or you could, when you feel strong enough to do so, call out sexist and ableist people on their behavior and see who supports you - they might be people you would want to get to know.
I wish you the best of luck!

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Molias
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Hi Derpy,

I hope that meeting went well!

From what you've said, it sounds like a lot of your established social groups aren't places you feel really comfortable looking for dating partners. I think wildcat has some good thoughts, and honestly I think the process anyone goes through in terms of figuring out spaces that are fun both as places to meet potential partners and as general cool social groups is going to involve some trial and error.

Talking with your friend about how they met their dating partner sounds like a good idea! They might have some thoughts you'd find helpful. I do think that "how can I find people to date" is always going to be one of those questions that there's not a very clear answer to, though. =)

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Burdened with glorious booty
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I went to the meeting - I've been to a few - and they've been pretty great! They're all lovely people, my ex-friend doesn't attend (and they agreed with me when I discreetly mentioned some of the things she'd said that I didn't like, so it's a safe place for me), and it's pretty great.

Not sure if it's a good place to scope out potential partners, though? Because it tends to be group chat, and I haven't really noticed anyone try and flirt with me (I also figure that if someone did, then others would jump on that). Still, it's fun to do anyway, and I'll see where it goes.

A new LGBT club has opened in town, too (in the weekdays it's a restaurant, but on the weekend nights it's a gay club), so I might go check it out at some point?

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Ta-da!

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Sam W
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Yay! I am so glad to hear that the meeting has turned out to be a safe and welcoming space.

If the club sounds like it's up your alley, it might be worth checking out if only because people there may be in more of an "out looking for cute/awesome people to date" mood.

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Kawani3792
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Congrats on the meeting going well!!

I just wanted to mention that I actually met my fiancee through our college GSA. We are both fairly awkward, introverted people, so we sort of gravitated toward one another.

One thing led to another...after a meeting we would talk sometimes, I found out that she had never seen a certain movie and convinced my parents to bring it with them when they visited so I could invite her over to my dorm to watch with me.

Then just...talking to each other via Facebook, becoming close, mutual attraction, and we realized the attraction was mutual about a month after meeting.


My GSA has a few rules regarding dating, but the essential one in this situation is that you don't call people out and ask their orientation. The overall consensus is, if you don't know, they aren't interested.
Mentioning your orientation during the group discussions, if it is relevant to whatever is being discussed, might be a step, if you're comfortable with that. My fiancee and I were both certain that our attraction couldn't be mutual...I thought she was taken, and she thought I was straight. Striking up friendships outside of the group is allowed, I'm sure, so hanging around afterwards or getting there early and talking to people is an option. If your school shows movies, asking someone (or a few someones, I know when asking my fiancee to a movie, I asked another of our friends so I was less awkward) to go with you could be fun and a way to get to know one another.

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