If you’re newly out and haven’t had much experience in the gay/lesbian dating world, it’s crucial to ease your nerves so you can reveal the best parts of your personality. Those first few dates are the most nerve-wracking, but you can curb those first date jitters by preparing for your date ahead of time. Remember, your date, like you, is also probably feeling nervous.
Here are three tips for arranging your first gay or lesbian date:
Keep the First Date Simple
The secret to great first dates is keeping them short and casual. Since you are trying to figure out if you two share a decent connection, give yourselves some time and space to know each other. Avoid theaters or concerts that make it more difficult to speak openly, and opt for places that are conducive to conversation instead.
Choose GLBT-Friendly Venues
Depending on where you live, you may or may not need to be careful about where you meet. If you’re doubting how the general public may react to seeing two women/men holding hands, play it safe. Meet somewhere public that is GLBT-friendly.
Great suggestions include your local GLBT club, a gay/lesbian-friendly bar, a casual, “trendy” restaurant, coffee shop, or bookstore. In general, if you stick to the newer more progressive areas of town, you’ll be able to avoid close-mindedness.
It’s crucial to always keep you and your partner’s safety in mind while out on a date. As mentioned above, keep the places you meet progressive, open, and as public as possible.
As Dr. George Forgan-Smith writes on his blog The Healthy Bear, a public venue is essential no matter the type of date you’re on since it gives you an easy out in case things aren’t going well. An especially progressive, public location also discourages most types of negative behavior.
If someone does give you a nasty glance and/or remark, simply walk away and find a new place to sit/eat. Don’t be afraid to politely speak up for yourself and your partner if need be.
Ultimately, if you remember the three rules of any first date: keep calm, stay safe, and have fun–you’ll be more likely to find the connection you want and have a better chance at getting to date #2.