Lesbianing with AE! There’s Chemistry, But You Don’t Know if She’s a Lesbian

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Hi Lindsey,

I need a little advice about a girl I have been spending time with. We met at my gym during women’s rec night about 6 weeks ago and now we have been spending one-on-one time together just about every week. We are still getting to know each other and every time we hang out we have a lot of fun. The problem is I am not 100% sure how she identifies in terms of sexuality. I do know she has had past boyfriends. She has recently joined the men’s ball hockey league and is the sole female in the league. I am not sure why she has done so with not much experience playing the game or if she has a possible crush on someone in the league. She does live within the village in our city and does express wanting to hang out more within the village but I am not sure if she is just trying to impress me by being diverse. She has done some great gestures to show that she cares about me and wants to spend time together like being a fill-in substitute for my soccer league including a game where it was pouring rain.  I really want to tell her that I like her without it being weird and ruining the friendship. We have so much in common and get along great; every drink night, pool night, or dinner night has been better than any date I’ve been on all year. I have been trying online dating for the pass year and a half and find it really frustrating. With her there is great chemistry and a deep connection. Recently, I found out that we have a 7 year age difference and I am hoping that it won’t be an issue. It makes me emotional to write this as I feel so nervous and vulnerable anticipating an outcome of this situation. Hopefully you can assist with how to proceed.

Much appreciated,

TG

Hey TG,

When you’re super crushed out, it’s so easy to analyze every interaction. So let’s do that.

Signs she likes you on some level:

  • You’ve hung out every week for the last 6 weeks
  • She actively wants to hang out more

Really, that’s it. Her filling in for your teammate doesn’t mean that she likes you or wants to spend time with you. She’s an athlete and she likes playing sports. You two having a lot of interests in common doesn’t mean she’s into you, itmeans you have shared interests.

Her filling in for your teammate doesn’t mean that she likes you or wants to spend time with you. She’s an athlete and she likes playing sports. You two having a lot of interests in common doesn’t mean she’s into you, it means you have shared interests.

You’ve already emotionally invested in the outcome of this crush. Before you lay it all on the line, cover your butt and find out if she is gay, bi, queer, or some other label that means you might have a chance.

There are a few easy ways to do this without showing your hand.

You could ask her if she’s dating anyone or if she is interested in anyone and listen to what she says and how she says it. Use gender neutral pronouns for your ask and note what if any gender she uses back. Not conclusive but could work. 

You could invite her to a lesbian event, then see if she comes and gauge how she interacts. Remember when Dana was super crushed on Lara and had Shane flirt with her? Kinda like that. Let your pals know you have a crush, ask them for their observations, and see how it goes. This probably won’t be a failsafe indication that she’s gay, but you may be able to tell. For instance, if she shows up at a queer party and keeps up with the lesbian pop culture gossip, she’s probably on your team.

You could invite her to a lesbian event, then see if she comes and gauge how she interacts. Remember when Dana was super crushed on Lara and had Shane flirt with her? Kinda like that.

You could open up about your difficulties online dating, perhaps by saying, “It’s so hard to meet gay girls online. The girls I’m attracted to I have nothing in common with and the ones I have a lot in common with I’m not attracted to.” Most women will naturally empathize with their own dating horror stories, so listen to what she shares with you. If she’s gay or bi, she’ll probably bring this up when you bring up your sexuality. If she’s straight, she’ll talk about how dating dudes sucks or she’ll say that boring line about how dating women must be so much easier. 

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You could open up and ask point-blank “how do you identify?” or “do you date women?” Asking this, though, is basically telegraphing your interest in her, which leaves you emotionally vulnerable. If she says no, you can pivot to something like “Oh, my friend saw your photo and thought you were cute, so I told her I’d ask” to save face.

It sounds like you’re romanticizing this new friend because you connect to her in ways you haven’t connected to an out lesbian you’ve met online. For your sake, I hope she’s queer identified and there’s a possibility for romance there. She might be straight and you’re placing too much emphasis on little things because you like her.

We’ve all been there, and we’ve all done that. But crushes are just that, intense emotional flames that you fan because it feels good. The sooner you find out how she identifies, the sooner you can either take it further (by asking her out) or cool it because you know there’s no potential for a relationship. Sure, she could be the Stephanie Allynne to your Tig Notaro and turn gay because you’re all that, but it’s unlikely.

The worst case scenario is that you’ve got a great new friend who shares many of your interests—and that’s really not so bad.

If you have a question for Lindsey, write our editor at memoree@afterellen.com with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line!

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