For some reason – for a very single reason – I recently launched myself into the world of online dating. I have to be upfront and honest: I have a love-hate relationship with online dating. On one side, I love it because it allows me to be recognized as a queer woman. On the flipside, the Internet can be a scary place and you never know whom you’re talking to (have you seen catfish?).
Navigating the world of online dating can be overwhelming. Some of the rules play over into same-sex relationships – but there are differences. We’ve had to create our own culture around dating, and sometimes need help along the way. I know when I started out that I had no idea where to begin. Here are five tips for online dating and possibly landing the woman of your dreams.
1. Know What You Want
Lez not beat around the bush – your potential dating partner(s) is going to ask you what you want eventually. Also, different sites are for different intentions. If you’re looking to get married like tomorrow, you may want to check out paid sites such as Match or Eharmony (there’s an LGBT sister site). If you’re looking to date, hookup or make new friends, Okcupid has a wide variety of different people looking for different things. I like Okcupid because you can search people who have similar political, diet and religious affiliations. Back to the point: Know what you want or have an idea of what you want. Don’t just sign up to creep around.
1. Message the One You’re Interested In
For the love of Rachel Maddow, please message women you’re interested in! I don’t know why there’s a lack of this happening in the online dating world for queer women. This isn’t just something I’ve noticed, because other queer women I’ve talked to list this as a common issue as well. Don’t rate or wink or whatever other options the site has – it’s way more impressive receiving a message than anything else. In all honestly, sometimes I don’t know if I should send a message after someone’s rated my profile. I think, “are they interested, or do they just think my profile is interesting?” Just send a message. What’s the worst thing that can happen? They don’t message you back.
2. The First Message is the Deal Breaker
If you’re sent a message and are interested in getting to know her, respond to her message with questions in order to keep the conversation going. Something I like to do is review her profile and ask her a question about something she’s interested in or start a discussion on a similar topic. For example, I recently sent a gurl a message, kept it short and asked her a question about one of her interests. She responded to me with a long message that was all over the place. Nowhere in the message did she try to continue the conversation beyond her own interest. She later sent a message introducing herself and asked my name. At that point, it was too late, and I checked out of continuing the conversation. My point is, if someone sends you a message and you’re interested in her, please be thoughtful and think about how you can carry on the conversation. All too often, the first message acts as the deal breaker.
3. Don’t Give Up on Finding Her
I’ve been there: Deleting my account in frustration. It can be difficult to connect with someone over the internet, as it feels impersonal and people are flaky. I know there’s been a time or two where I’ve had a conversation thinking it’s going well, but then they stop communicating. I wish I could meet the woman of my dreams at an indie bookstore or the farmers market – but the reality is that it’s probably not going to happen. When was the last time your friends told you they met someone organically (offline)? Don’t give up. Meeting someone is going to take time. In the meantime, you’re going to talk to some awesome gurls and figure out who isn’t right for you.
4. Remember to Have Fun
If you take anything away from this article, I want it to be to remember to have fun. Everyone has different dating philosophies, but one thing we all can agree on is that it’s important to have fun. I know it sounds simple, but as adults we often forget that dating is about enjoying yourself. I used to view dating as something I had to do, instead of viewing it as something I wanted to do. Once I changed my perspective on dating, I began to I enjoy going out and meeting new people. Not every date you go on is going to be a trip to an amusement park, but it should be something that makes you smile – if it isn’t, it’s probably not meant to be.
Gurls, remember to know what you want, message who you’re interested in, respond thoughtfully, don’t give up and most importantly – have fun! I hope these tips help you, and if you have any tips for dating queer women let us know in the comments below.