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Need help with your queer girl conundrums? Ask The Hook Up! Our advice guru Anna Pulley will be taking your questions in a slightly different manner this week. From noon to 1pm PST on Friday, she’ll answer any questions submitted in the comments. 
 
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Please keep your questions on the short side (recommended length is around 150 words). If you’d like to submit yours early, email: askthehookup@gmail.com and we’ll include those as well. 

Hi! This is totally a “How do I find women” question, but with a bit of a twist. I am old school. Ridiculously so. I prefer to have spent quite a bit of time with someone and do the whole hand holding, flower giving, long walk taking, time taking thing before sex. I like the long game.

So… how do I find women who are OK with that/want that in a dating climate that is crazy fast (for me)? There isn’t much near me (no one has ever heard of where I live except for that one time a dump truck ran into a bank), and while I’ve tried online dating, the sites that I have tried have been less than fruitful. Even the on the rare occasion that they weren’t looking for a hookup, by the third date it seemed to be a fish or cut bait scenario.

Is there a secret meeting place for old school, slow dating ladies? I’m only 30 but feel like I may be the last of the dinosaurs. Help!—Old School, But Not THAT Old

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Dear OSBNTO,

Not that I know of, but that sounds like an awesome place. I would time-travel there on my pterodactyl immediately.

At the risk of sounding obvious, have you been super explicit about what you’re looking for on your online profile? If not, you can just cut and paste the question you sent me (which is clear, funny, and charming) and see if ladies take the bait. (TAKERS, LADIES???!) If you HAVE done that, it sounds like I might have to give you a tepid, boring response of “you haven’t met the right person yet.” Sometimes people find their soul mates right away online (damn those people!), for others, it might take years. If you’re being upfront and honest and as out there as you possibly can, then you’re doing the right things.

 
Hello! What are some healthy ways to approach an expiration date? My girlfriend and I are about to start our last semester at college. Neither of us is interested in trying to do long distance (we might be in different countries after we graduate). It’s hard for me to be trusting and invested when I know our relationship is going to end in a few months, but I know it would also be hard to call things off while we’re still around each other. A good, happy semester is the main priority. How can I approach the “expiration date” without letting it interfere? Or should I heed that interference?—Options
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Dear Options,

That is a tough call. On the one hand, the more you spend time with her, the harder the goodbye will be and the longer it may take you to get over her. On the other hand, it makes sense to live for the moment and not the future, and to enjoy all the time together you can before the end. What I would do is make a pros and cons list and title it “my best last semester of college.” Then fill in what exactly would make it awesome and what will make it suck. Be as specific as you can. Be idealistic even. And then see where the chips may fall.

I’m inclined to tell you to not delay the inevitable, especially since you both seem to have decided that the relationship will end soon, but if having a “good last semester” means enjoying the company and the friendship and the sex of your current girlfriend, then stick it out. For me, I work better when I’m in a relationship. I take better care of myself, eat better, exercise, etc. But for you, it might be different. Assess your needs and the needs of your partner and see if that helps you come to a conclusion. Good luck!

 

I met this woman on FB. We clicked and she messaged me to call her. Since then we have exchanged 949 messages, and spent hours on the phone and video calls.  She said she’d call me later, which meant the next day for her. I got pissed and responded with “Okay later” in a text. That PISSED her off. Since I made that comment she deactivated her FB and won’t respond to me. I really like this girl.—HELP

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Dear HELP,

DUMP DUMP DUMP. This relationship is a roller coaster heading straight to hell. You might get a few more ups out of it, but the downs will be substantial and very soon outweigh the good feelings. Be thankful she cut it off now and not later. 

 

I relocated to Barcelona a couple of months ago for my job, and now I’m comfortable both on a professional and personal level, I feel like I’m ready for a possible lady love in my life.

Problem 1: At work I’m literally the only woman, so no luck there.

Problem 2: I fall somewhere between asexual and graysexual, so I’m not looking for sex, which is why stuff like OkCupid or Tinder doesn’t really work for me.

Problem 3: Put me with a bunch of people I’ve never met before and I can’t even pronounce my name properly. A couple of weeks ago, I went to a lesbian meetup and it was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life. (I managed to establish a conversation with one girl, and she got livid after I politely declined her offer to kiss me.) Any advice for this—Hopeless Case

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Dear HC,

You’re not hopeless. LOTS of people get social anxiety at those kinds of things/parties/meetups, etc. If the thought is horrifying to you, take a friend next time who can act as a social buffer you can retreat to if things get awkward. Or, meet people in smaller group settings/one-on-ones.

You might also find solace and community (and future partners) in an asexuality forum online (here’s one: asexuality.org/en). Or an asexual dating site like asexualitic.com. I know people who identify as demisexual/asexual (though graysexual is a new term for me!) who have found success online—they were upfront about their preferences in their profiles to avoid any confusion or misleading—so don’t entirely dismiss that as an option, either. Good luck!

 
Question: How do you meet girls? I’ve tried apps and LGBTQ meetings, but nobody really seems interested. Also, what are good tips to flirt with girls? What works vs. what doesn’t.—Curious
 
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Dear Curious,

Online is probably the easiest “place” to meet queer ladies, so don’t give up on the apps just yet. While you’re doing that, don’t neglect other queer spaces like bars, dance parties, Meetup groups, social activities you enjoy (if they’re gayish, then all the better), and meeting ladies through other queer friends.

As for flirting, I have MANY tips. You can find them here: 1, 2, 3 

 

Question: I had a drunken hookup with a friend of a friend. It was good, and I liked her, but we kinda just stumbled away and didn’t exchange numbers. My friend mentions her in conversation often but has never suggested she’s interested in me. Months later, out of the blue, the hookup asked another friend how I was doing (referring to me as “her girl”), and added me on Facebook. I messaged her and we’ve chatted casually and exchanged several messages, but her last message included no new conversation starters. Is she interested? I know I should just ask her or the friend, but these signals don’t really seem strong enough for me to take that risk. Any tips for dealing with the fear of vulnerability/rejection? I’m so—Confused/Wimpy

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Dear C/W,

I sure do! You deal with fear of rejection and vulnerability by being vulnerable and risking rejection. That sounds obvious, but it’s really truly true. The only way to overcome fear is through ACTION, so ask her out already! You already know she’s a little interested (you hooked up, she’s talking about you, referring to you as “her girl,” etc.), so find out if she’s a little MORE interested and tell her you want to take her out and swap spit again if she’s down. If she says no, then she says no. It doesn’t make you less worthy or awesome—it just means she wasn’t the right person for you at this particular time. So do it! Risk it. 

 
Question: My ex-girlfriend and I broke up about a year ago, after four total years of in-the-closet dating, including three of being “roommates” (despite countless conversations, she was never ready to come out). I fell in love with her quickly, organically, and unexpectedly. She was my first everything (yes, late bloomer) so needless to say, I was devastated. We never told anyone about us. It was a huge source of internal conflict and unhappiness for me throughout the relationship. The more I reflected on this and many other things, the more I realized we didn’t exactly bring out the best in each other and we should have been over long before we ended it, which ultimately helped me get over her as a person.
Fast forward to this Christmas, and on a whim I go to see the wonderful film Carol. Well, this story was a huge wake-up call for me and sparked some serious self-reflection. The pathway from first sight to love portrayed in this movie was very, very easy for me to identify with. I might be over my ex as a person, but I realized that I am not over is how much I loved her, and her reciprocal feelings, if that makes sense. I feel like I am going through this break-up all over again and I am a 25-year-old embarrassed, emotional mess because of how long it’s taken me to get to this point. I’m definitely ready to find someone new who I am more compatible with, and I have been on a few dates thanks to apps like OkCupid and Her but haven’t felt anything close to the connection I had when I met my ex. I have Portland at my fingertips, but I feel a little hopeless at this point that I can fall in love like I did before. I am over my ex as a person and have no desire to be back with her, but what will help me get over what I lost? I also want to be more open with the people around me (such as coworkers), but can’t seem to rip off the Band-Aid when it comes to sharing more about myself and my personal life. I have come out to very few of my family and friends, and am an expert at avoiding talking about myself.

I have always loved this column—please help this mostly-closeted semi-adult get past this repeat hell.—Emotionally Scrambled

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Dear ES,

I LOVED Carol. So much longing, so much feeling portrayed in the casual flick of a cigarette. Plus, Cate Blanchett could seduce a lamp post.

It’s easy to be emotionally devastated by films like Carol, (that’s kind of director Todd Haynes’ deal, you know? To give you The Feels), so do cut yourself some slack. It’s OK to not be 100 percent over your ex. It’s OK to feel like a “mess.” Feelings ARE messy and there’s no deadline on grief. It took me THREE years to get over my first ex, and that entire relationship lasted seven months. THREE YEARS.

It may help if you reframe things a little. Instead of looking at your past in a how to “get over what you lost” way, think of it instead as how to celebrate what you GAINED. You experienced an organic, quick, and unexpected love that occupied your heart for four years. That is no easy feat! Your next relationship might happen in a different way, a slower way, or it might be similar to your first undoing, but one thing is for certain: You are not hopeless. You are completely and totally capable of falling in sweet mad desperate love again. As long as you stay open to the possibility, as long as you allow yourself to be surprised and to live in the moment as much as you can.

Don’t get too stuck in trying to recreate your former love or the swept-up feelings it inspired in you, and you will be fine (better than fine).

As for coming out to coworkers and friends, the key is to make it casual. I’ve found it helps to come out to one person at a time, and not like, via a PowerPoint presentation. Slipping in a, “I went on a blah date with this woman the other night…” is a relatively easy conversation segue that’s not as tortuous as, “GUYS, I’M GAY!” Take it one step and one person at a time, and don’t beat yourself up if you decide to keep certain people out of your sexual loop.

 

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