Ask a Femme – Meeting Women When You’re New to the Lesbian Scene

on

Dear AfterEllen, 

Thank you for starting this new column, cause I’m one lost Bi Femme.

I’m recently out to my immediate family. Which is exciting because I’m building my confidence with every day. It’s been a beautiful reckoning with who I am, I’ve consumed so much gay content like I’ll watch a lesbian couples vlog for hours, coming to an understanding that I can have a relationship with a woman is such an honor.

I live in LA which means there are so many ways to meet other queer women. I’ve dived right into the dating scene and have signed up for all the dating apps. I’m a super outgoing person and love striking up conversations with other women. There may not be a spark there but at least I have a friend. I try to go into situations with a bright outlook.  Bad dates are great stories, good dates are memories and I can make friends in-between.

So here’s my question: I’m a femme woman and I recognize that as a privilege. It is, however, a bit tricky to navigate dating women because I struggle with not looking gay enough for women to feel confident enough to approach me, maybe that’s the issue but I’m not entirely sure. At least, that’s my read on the situation.  I have no interest in dating men anytime soon. I’ve set my dating apps to seeking women only.

The problem is, I almost never get a response from a woman. I get a first message then a ghost-like situation except for worse cause we don’t even end up on the date before they’ve given up on me. It’s killing my confidence at the moment and I feel very rejected.

I’m not sure if this is because of how society socializes women to be the receiver of love in a toxic way. I don’t mind making the first move, it just stops right after that and it drives me nuts.

What’s your advice on getting a follow-up response and then maybe an actual date for femme women. Should I be more direct or just give up on trying? 

Dear Femme Friend,

You’ve come to the right femme, my friend. First all, welcome out of the closet. Here’s the best piece of advice I can give you – dating is dating. Yup. Gay or straight. Lesbian or bi. Dating is dating. Sure, there are nuances when men – and penises – are not part of the equation. But, when it comes right down to it, it’s all very much the same. So, don’t fall into the trap of blaming dating failings on being too femme or too butch or not gay enough or not whatever enough.

Gay or straight. Lesbian or bi. Dating is dating. Sure, there are nuances when men – and penises – are not part of the equation. But, when it comes right down to it, it’s all very much the same. So, don’t fall into the trap of blaming dating failings on being too femme or too butch or not gay enough or not whatever enough.

Here’s the deal, honesty is the best policy. Period. That applies to photos, sharing personal herstory, talking about the future. If you’re honest, then you can take any “rejection” you receive as the two of you simply being not a good fit. Period. Don’t take it personally. Don’t blame it on “passing” or being too femme or whatever. Just call it what it is.

That being said, if you’re getting initial responses and then no follow-up, it could be a couple of things. You could be coming on too strong. Take your time. The getting to know you game is fun and needs to be handled delicately. You could just not be what the person is looking for. Maybe you shared some info that made it clear the two of you weren’t a match. That’s ok. Better to find out now.

It’s also vital that you engage with people who are looking for you. If you love travel and she’s a homebody, don’t respond to her post or profile or whatever. If she is a tall girls only kind of girl and you’re 5’ tall (like I am) kind of girl, don’t waste her time or yours. If she lives 3000 away and is looking for locals only, don’t message her. She’ll ghost as soon as you reveal your locale.

There’s no such thing as “too femme.” There’s only “you’re not the right girl for her”. So take your time. Take your lumps. Be open to the women out there. There are all kinds of wonderful girls waiting to meet Ms. Right and one of them is waiting for you!

Here’s the thing, if you’re in a lesbian or gay bar and you look comfortable and friendly and you smile at the women whose eyes you are trying to catch, they see you. They simply aren’t interested. If you think they’re just shy or missing your signals, say hello. But be prepared for rejection. It’s all part of the joy of dating.

There’s no such thing as “too femme.” There’s only “you’re not the right girl for her”. So take your time. Take your lumps. Be open to the women out there. There are all kinds of wonderful girls waiting to meet Ms. Right and one of them is waiting for you!

Yours,

Jenny