Queer Dating Advice

Lesbian Dating

Queer Dating Advice (10 Tips & Tricks)

Lexi Inks

Written by: Lexi Inks

Lexi Inks

Lexi joined the DatingAdvice team with several years of lifestyle journalism experience. She grew her writing prowess through reporting on the topic of sex and relationships, and she loves continuing to cover content in this niche while working toward becoming an AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator. You can find Lexi's writing in Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, Well + Good, and Women's Health, among other publications.

See full bio »

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Reviewed by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is a dating and relationship expert who has penned over 1,800 lifestyle articles in the last decade, and she still never tires of interviewing dating professionals and featuring actionable advice for singles. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

See full bio »
Discuss This! Discuss This!

Dating can be challenging for anyone, but dating while queer has some complications of its own. When you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, meeting new people to date can be a laborious or even intimidating process — especially if you’re new to queer dating.

That said, there are plenty of amazing and welcoming people out there waiting to meet someone just like you. 

According to a 2023 survey by Pew Research, 54% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults between the ages of 18 and 49 said they have tried online dating. With the ubiquity of dating apps as a method for finding a partner, this means the LGBTQ+ dating pool is wider than ever.

While your identity or orientation as a queer person may narrow the kind of people you’re looking to meet, it should never stop you from putting yourself out there.

As a bisexual woman myself, I can attest that embracing my identity and choosing to surround myself with people who celebrate who I am and who I love has made dating much more fun — and successful.

Whether you’re newly “out” or simply feel a little rusty in your skills, read on for 10 queer dating tips to help you find the connection you desire.

1. Cast a Wide Net

You’re a multidimensional and dynamic person. If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s likely that your worldview and perspective on relationships are diverse, too.

Rather than allowing the traits that make you who you are to make you feel othered, embracing your identity and all the amazing aspects of yourself can help in your queer dating journey. 

lgbtq dating

If you’re open to online dating, it’s helpful to cast a wide net in terms of the apps and sites you use — and the kind of people you approach.

While LGBTQ+ dating apps that cater specifically to the community are awesome and often a safe bet to try, opening yourself up to more popular platforms like Tinder or Hinge can expose you to a much wider range of people than a niche app ever could. 

You can benefit from swiping with an open mind. For example, as a bisexual woman, I’ve seen quite a number of lesbian women on my dating app feed who specifically note on their profiles that they aren’t open to dating bisexual or pansexual women (meaning women who are also attracted to men or other gender identities). 

While we’re all allowed to have our preferences based on past dating experience, creating a narrow dating pool for yourself may not yield the best results.

2. Get Involved in the Community

Dating as a queer person can be a difficult experience sometimes, despite how far society has come in regards to LGBTQ+ positivity.

get involved in lgbtq community

Whether you’re newly out or you’re simply struggling with the challenges associated with dating as a queer or trans person, connecting with others who can empathize with your feelings can do a world of good. 

Try forming a community with other LGBTQ+ folks. Whether you choose to connect on social media, through dating apps, or at local queer and trans-focused events (like a Pride celebration), you may find comfort and a boost of confidence by meeting people who share in your experience.

3. Identify What You Want

If you’re not clear on what you want from your dating life, it’s impossible to find it. Recognizing the things you want or need from a partner is the first step in forming a dating approach when you’re a queer person. 

Getting clear on what you prioritize most is never a bad idea. Do you prefer someone who shares the same hobbies and interests? Are you open to alternative relationship styles like non-monogamy? Does your ideal partner have a strong relationship with their relatives or chosen family?

lgbtq dating

These values are important to consider when you’re seeking a partner. 

If you’re newly out or exploring where you fall on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, it’s wise to do some digging into that identity.

What kind of person are you interested in — someone masculine, or maybe a person who presents in a more androgynous way? If you’re more familiar and assured in your preferences, you’ll be more likely to connect with a good match.

4. Consume Queer Media

We live in a patriarchal and heteronormative society. Because of this, we don’t often see ourselves represented in a relatable way (or at all) in popular media.

LGBTQ dating media

Plenty of TV shows and movies feature side characters or cameos of LGBTQ+ figures, but accurate portrayals of what it’s like to date as a queer or trans person are few and far between. 

Whether you’re still exploring your queerness or burnt out on your dating journey, it’s helpful to see your experience represented in the media and entertainment you consume.

Listening to podcasts hosted by LGBTQ+ folks or reading books that highlight gay main characters can help you feel seen in ways that heteronormative media may not. 

5. Follow LGBTQ+ Dating Experts

It’s no secret that social media has a significant impact on our mental health — especially in how we perceive ourselves and others. Comparison is the thief of joy, as they say, but we’re all guilty of it from time to time.

Seeing the highlight reels of happy couples getting engaged on your feed can make anyone feel left out in life, but it’s important to remember that not everything you see online is completely true. 

queer dating experts

Your dating life could benefit from a boost of positivity, so try following dating experts who can provide insight into your experience.

An LGBTQ+ relationship therapist or sex expert would have lots of wisdom to share that feels relevant to what you’re going through. Casey Tanner of @queersextherapy and Dr. Brinkley @dr.brinkley share advice, perspective, and encouragement for people under the LGBTQ+ umbrella.  

6. Join the Wild

Admittedly, I’m a pretty big homebody. Nights out on the town are rare for me, and I don’t frequent local cocktail bars or large gatherings as much as I used to in my college days. Although I do use dating apps, I’ve realized that there’s no guarantee I’ll find the love of my life while swiping on Bumble. In other words: I need to get out more.

queer dating advice

Sadly, your dream partner isn’t likely to show up at your door in a twist of fate. Although many queer people do find their person on dating apps, the LGBTQ+ dating pool is objectively smaller online. This is why it can benefit you to get social in the real world and start meeting people in-person

You don’t have to push yourself into an environment that makes you feel uncomfortable. If a crowded bar or club overwhelms you, finding queer-positive community events or meetup groups is a fantastic way to connect with people who share your background and interests. 

7. Lean on Your People

Dating app fatigue and social exhaustion are real. If you’ve been in the game for a while without much success, it’s valid to need a break or a pep talk every so often. This is where building queer community comes in; surrounding yourself with even a few people who can empathize with the experience of LGBTQ+ dating will help you feel supported and less alone. 

rely on your support network

There’s also perks to these connections that you might not realize, initially. For example, who knows you better than your best friends or chosen family? If you have a few friends in the community whom you trust, see if they know of any other singles who are looking for the kind of relationship you are.

Blind dates will always be a fun way to meet new people, and you may have better luck if they are given the seal of approval by your inner circle. 

8. Be Open About Your Identity

When it comes to sex and dating, consent is key. If you don’t consider the needs or safety of the other person, you risk creating a lot of trouble or hurt within the relationship. As someone who identifies as LGBTQ+, this is especially true when you’re in public spaces or using online dating platforms.

While our society has progressed significantly in understanding that gender and sexuality are often fluid, not everyone is there yet — and not everyone falls on that spectrum.

You can’t always control who you are attracted to, but what you can control is how you act upon those feelings.

be open

If you find yourself crushing on a friend who you know identifies as straight, would you expect them to respond positively if you made a move on them? Probably not. The concept of consent can be applied to dating apps and social media. 

If you’re single and looking for a partner, you shouldn’t withhold your sexual orientation from everyone. Even if you’re using a social network like Instagram or Bumble BFF to connect, it’s important to ensure that they know how you identify — not only for your own comfort and safety, but for theirs as well.

Depending on who they’re attracted to, some folks may not appreciate you flirting with them or setting up a date only for them to find out that you weren’t open about your sexuality or gender. Noting it in your dating app bio or at least mentioning it once you start messaging with someone new can save both of you a potential conflict.  

9. Look In Unexpected Places

Queer-friendly spaces like a gay bar or Pride parade are more obvious settings in which you’re likely to meet other LGBTQ+ singles.

These are great options if you’re looking to dip your toe into the dating pool or put yourself back out there after a breakup, but you can really maximize the potential to meet someone special by opening your mind to more unexpected places. 

look for love

Have you ever connected with other queer or trans employees at your workplace? Would you enjoy sharing a hobby or sport you like in a non-heteronormative space? If not, maybe it’s time to consider these options.

The internet is a goldmine for discovering new ways to connect with the community and, potentially, other gay singles. Places like Facebook are often useful for keeping updated about local events and gatherings where you’ll feel welcome.

Even word-of-mouth can help you find these settings. If you’re into staying active, try playing in an LGBTQ+-friendly intramural sport league. Are you a fan of DIY projects? Ask about queer craft clubs or art classes near you.

Your social circle may just prove to be the ticket when it comes to getting plugged in to the community and meeting fellow singles. 

10. Practice Self-Care

Ultimately, you call the shots in your dating life. If you’re invested in building a life partnership – or even finding a casual hookup – how you go about that search is up to you. It’s perfectly valid to go on multiple dates in a week or even date several people at once if you’re open to ethical non-monogamy. 

self care

Dating as an LGBTQ+ person can become tough, however, when you’re feeling burnt out or when a negative experience impacts your self-esteem.

This is why self-care is incredibly important. When you feel yourself start to get jaded or exhausted after a period of consistent dating, it’s OK to take a break.

On the other hand, if you’re seeing someone new and you’re excited but feeling overwhelmed by the amount of time and energy the new connection requires, it’s also helpful to set aside time for yourself. 

Put Your Best Self Forward

You can set a standing “date night” with yourself that includes a glass or two of your favorite wine, a productive sweat session in the gym, or even an extensive skincare routine. If a listening ear is what you need, FaceTime with a friend and chat about your recent dating escapades.

Do whatever you know fills your spirit and allows you to feel rejuvenated. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so taking care of your needs and mental health will help you be a better partner to others — and to yourself.