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One of my friends came out as a lesbian in her 20s and promptly found herself without a date on Friday nights. She’d never had that problem when dating guys, so she had no idea how to tackle it. She tried the direct approach, walking up to women and starting a conversation. She met mostly straight women that way. She tried joining a dating app, but an invitation to have a threesome scared her off.
When she heard that a gay bar was opening around the corner from her, she was so excited. We not only had to go — we had to go on opening night, braving the downtown scene to find her some hot dates. If you’re familiar with the LGBTQ+ social scene, maybe you’ve spotted my friend’s mistake. She heard the words “gay bar” and assumed it would be a “gay and lesbian bar.” In reality, we were two women in a sea of men.
It’s not always easy to meet lesbian women around town because many dating spots cater to the straight-laced mainstream crowd or the wild-and-free gay crowd, but few appeal to the chill single lesbian. There are places you can go, however, to up your chances of meeting someone special. Take a look at our list of ways to meet lesbians to get some ideas.
If you ask me, I think my friend gave up too quickly on online dating. She let one bad apple spoil the bunch for her. While lesbians do tend to get a lot of threesome invites online, they also receive sincere messages from lesbian, bi, questioning, and queer women seeking something real. It just takes more time to sort the winners from the creeps and losers.
Legit dating websites allow you to search a database of singles to find exactly the sort of person who jives with you.
Plus, many dating sites are fighting back against online harassment by allowing members to report unsavory behavior and screen incoming messages in their inboxes. The following three dating sites have made inroads in the lesbian community by looking out for the rights, needs, and preferences of women.
Friends, Dates, and Relationships
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Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships
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Match has been around since 1995, and it has grown more and more popular among gay and lesbian daters. The relationship-driven dating aims to make personal connections by identifying compatible interests, values, and lifestyles.
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Relationships: Serious Relationships
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EliteSingles is a high-end dating site where over 90% of users are 30 or older, and pretty much all of them are serious about finding a significant other. You can identify as a woman-seeking-women here, and you’ll receive daily match recommendations based on your preferences.
Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
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Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
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Finally, Zoosk is a social dating site and app where lesbians can communicate in a number of ways. You can send a free like, smile, or greeting to catch the attention of someone special here.
Any of these dating sites would be good options if you’re hoping to make a real connection online. While these sites don’t cater to lesbians particularly, the diversity of their networks ensures you can always find someone to chat with you.
Generally speaking, lesbian bars aren’t as common or popular as gay bars (or straight bars, for that matter), but they do exist. You can conduct a quick search to find some low-key lesbian hangouts tucked away between the testosterone-filled gastropubs and rainbow-colored gay clubs.
Vagabroads put together a fairly comprehensive list of the best lesbian bars around the world. The US had several entries from coast to coast.
You can also keep an eye out for lesbian nights at local clubs or bars. Even a popular ladies’ night can work. If all else fails, you can roll the dice at a gay club. A fair number of lesbians show up here looking for a good time.
One last thing: GoMag recommends going to the bar solo, saying, “The point is that you’re much more likely to get hit on when you’re by yourself.”
Who doesn’t love a good Pride Parade? True story, I was once on a shopping trip with a friend, and we totally abandoned our carts in the store so we could catch up to the rainbow parade going by outside. No regrets. It’s just fun to be part of that joyful energy and don a rainbow cape alongside a community of people who share similar values.
It’s easy to fall in love (or in like) during the course of a Pride Parade because you’re surrounded by colorful, laughing, and passionate individuals. If you’re looking to meet lesbians, you can’t do much better than that.
The New York City LGBT Pride March is the largest of its kind, attracting tens of thousands of individuals who march down Fifth Avenue decked out in their rainbow best.
You can also look around for LGBTQ+ events and lesbian meetups going on around town to broaden your horizons and grow your social network. Whether you’re drawn to a rowdy protest or a thoughtful book club, the important thing is to get involved and make your voice heard.
Now, this may sound cliché, but softball really is a great place to meet lesbian women. Are all softball players lesbians? Of course not! Do all lesbians play softball? Heck, no! But this stereotype exists for a reason. As Pat Griffin, an LGBTQ+ educator and author, put it, “Throughout history, softball has been a focal point for lesbian women. There’s a kernel of truth to the stereotype.”
Joining a local all-women softball team isn’t a bad way to introduce yourself to lesbian friends and date prospects. You’ll at least be in the ballpark of a date. Pun definitely intended.
Softball isn’t your only option, either. Any team sport or activity naturally leads to the kinds of friendships and relationships that singles want. You can join a kickball team, a lacrosse group, a rockclimbing meetup — hey, join a society of unicyclers, if you want — or any type of sports team that brings you out of your comfort zone and into the company of friendly women in your area.
You don’t have to wait for an official pride event to show your true colors and let your freak flag fly. You can support LGBTQ+ rights by joining an LGBTQ+ advocacy group or nonprofit. The National Center for Lesbian Rights is always looking for volunteers and/or interns to help run events and raise money for good causes.
The Humans Right Campaign has an Action Center dedicated to telling equality-driven individuals what they can do to make a difference. You can join the HRC’s Equality Corps to act as the first line of defense in the fight for freedom, justice, and apple pie.
According to the website, “Our path to victory is simple: unite the strongest, most committed LGBQ advocates around the country to help us respond when our rights are under attack.” Sounds like a worthy mission involving a lot of people.
No, this isn’t a place, per se, but it’s important to mention that, as a lesbian, your friends network is probably your most powerful dating tool. Especially if your friends are lesbians too. They’re bound to know someone — or know someone who knows someone — who could be a good match for you. Ask your friends to comb through their contacts and set you up on a date. Hey, it worked for Meghan Markle.
“We’re women. We don’t like things that are too easily available.” — Zara Barrie of Elite Daily
Many lesbians end up dating within their circle of friends — which can sometimes cause drama, but many queer women are surprisingly chill about staying friends with their exes.
“The circle isn’t as threatening or scary as you’d think,” said Taz Dickerson in an After Ellen article. “It may just work out in your favor. Get out there. Date who you want, and remember: Sometimes someone else’s mismatch may be perfect for you.”
Lesbian date spots are as unique and elusive as lesbians themselves. My friend and I found that out the hard way as we elbowed our way through a crowd of dudes in hopes of finding one or two lesbian chicks at the gay bar downtown.
Dating as a lesbian single is particularly difficult because there’s not a go-to women-only place to find a lesbian date. You just have to keep looking.
Sometimes searching for a lesbian date can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack or trying to spot a rainbow in a cloudy sky. It’s going to take some time, and you’re probably going to encounter a few false alarms before you figure out the right places, times, and strategies. The lesbian dating scene is similar to an exclusive club where only people who’re “in the know” can find the hidden entrance.
Hopefully, now you’re a little more in the know than you were when you started, and you can navigate the tricky lesbian dating scene and find yourself the woman of your dreams.