How to Date Girls: 10 Simple Rules for Properly Courting a Lesbian

You might imagine that dating a new woman will be a lot like starring in your very own girl-on-girl romantic comedy: you’ll be asked out in some quirky yet perfect way, your date will clearly express interest in you and be a master of seduction, and when you finally have sex, it will be like the 4th of July in your pants and Christmas in your heart (or Hanukkah, whatevs). Well, WAKE UP, DAYDREAM BELIEVER.

Maybe you’re thinking, “But wait! Who could be better at seduction than a woman? Women are basically the main reason that date night and Valentine’s Day were invented in the first place!” Well as it turns out, apparently everyone is better than lesbians.

I think we all have our own lesbian dating horror stories that we like to tell our friends as a warning of things to come. Like the time a girl’s ex showed up and wanted career advice, or when you realized the girl you were dating was emotionally unavailable because she was having an affair with her married friend. Whoops!

Courtship Autostraddle DoodleThe thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way. If we could just collectively raise the bar a little and invest as much in the art of dating as we do in the art of Facebooking, maybe lesbian courtship could be a brave new world. But this isn’t Russia circa 1917. The revolution won’t come overnight, so let’s start small with some of the main DOs and DONTs.

DON’T Overshare

For the love of getting laid, stop telling dates about your exes! In particular, don’t use your exes as some kind of weird parable for what you actually want from someone. Just say it. If you want someone who can articulate their feelings like a big girl, just tell your date that. Don’t tell them some long, awkward story about how your ex was emotionally constipated and couldn’t say “I love you.” Save that shit for your therapist or your bartender. Nothing puts a girl’s libido on pause like an overshare.

DON’T be cheap

Because you’re a lesbian, there’s an automatic assumption that you’re cheap. Fight the power. And while there are certain women who’ll need to change panties when you pay for the $300 dinner, for most women it’s the thought that counts. After all, a picnic in the park can be even sexier than maxing out your credit card at Momofuku. Lay down the cash where it matters most: pay for her cab home (in the morning), bring a great bottle of wine, or buy her a small gift.

DON’T have bad boundaries

There are oh so many ways that lesbians can have bad boundaries, but right here I want to focus on one: DO NOT bring a date to a girl bar or a girl party. Your date does not need to meet your ex, or all your friends, the first few times you go out. I know it’s hard, but resist the urge to merge for at least a month. Putting someone in a potentially socially awkward situation from the get-go is zero sexy.


Now that we’ve pinpointed some of the biggest lesbian dating DON’Ts, let’s talk about the DO’s. I’m going to skip over the obvious stuff, such as showering beforehand and not texting during the meal (although with some dates I’ve been on, these things weren’t as apparent as one might think/hope).


DO ask her out directly

Don’t say “we should hang out.” If you want to ask someone out, ask them out. Don’t allude to some hypothetical situation in which you could share airspace with them. Ask them to do a specific activity at a specific time and place. Preferably an activity that is reflective of something most people enjoy (i.e good food) or something that they have mentioned enjoying in conversation.

Courtship Autostraddle Doodle

DO have something to talk about

Ideally something that doesn’t pertain to being a lesbian, girl parties, the people you know in common or your ex girlfriend. This means, as part of your preparation for the date, you may want to read a book, the newspaper, or cultivate a hobby.

DO put some creativity and thought into the date

Think of your date as your canvas; it’s going to say a lot about you. Are you creative enough to do some Googling to find an interesting restaurant followed by an out-of-the-box activity? I know it’s easy to say “let’s get a drink after dinner,” because there are a million bars and nothing creates fake intimacy like booze, but try to think of something else.

Go Time:

DO bring something cute

Victorians used to call it a love token, lesbians should call it flowers, wine or something you saw that made you think of her.

DO ask her about herself

When she answers, ask follow-up questions that indicate your intent listening and the fact that you have a base line IQ that enables you to respond in an intelligent manner. If you know what she likes, consider learning a little more about it ahead of time and hint that you did so. Now she’ll know that you did extra work so you would have a better context for her love of vintage camera-collecting. Even if it’s not your passion, it won’t kill you to learn something new.


DO text her or call her after the date to tell her you had a good time.

Doing this doesn’t mean that you’re too available or that you want to marry her. It’s simply a polite way to indicate to someone that you enjoy their company.

DO keep it secret, keep it safe.

Obvs you’re going to talk to your besties about it, but try to refrain from buying an ad on Facebook. The greater lesbian community does not need to know who you are dating or what you did on your date.

Courtship Autostraddle Doodle

Now that we’ve covered the basics, the idea is RINSE AND REPEAT. With each stage of dating you build in a little more, assuming you like her and aren’t planning on trying to direct her into the friend zone (that’s a whole separate article). And remember, even after you’ve “got her,” you have to keep her. Maintain the momentum that got you here, otherwise it’s like dating blue balls….and no one wants that.

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Sarah H

Sarah has written 4 articles for us.


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