I’m a Woman—How Do I Ask Another Woman Out?

Two women holding hands.

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As a newly-out lesbian or bisexual woman, the idea of meeting women and asking them out can seem especially complicated. What are the rules? How do you meet other women? How do you learn to initiate contact when you were taught to let the “guy” initiate?

It’s time to toss away that giant instruction booklet. There are no rules. Here are three tips to keep in mind when you’re wondering how to ask another woman out.

Don’t Stress the Gaydar

One of the most complicated parts about asking another woman out is figuring out if that woman who caught your eye is  gay. This is less of an issue online, of course, which is one reason why online dating tends to work extremely well for newly-out LGBT folks.

In person it’s a whole different story. It’s easy to find yourself staring longingly at a captivating woman, hoping for a sign from her, and wondering if your gaydar is broken.

The problem with staring and wondering instead of taking action is that there’s a good chance she’s doing the very same thing, wondering if her gaydar is broken. Having fantastic gaydar—that is, being able to tell whether a woman sways your way just by looking at her—is useful, but it’s certainly not necessary.

That time you spend worrying about who’s going to make the first move should be spent making the first move.

Show Her You’re Interested

The easiest way to find out if she’s gay is to talk to her! Direct questions like “What brings you here?” or “Are you here with your boyfriend?” are often a good way to find out which way she swings. Another idea is to bring up a subject that’s LGBT-oriented. For example, you can mention that you’ll be going to the next pride event in town. Her reaction is your answer.

Once you find out she’s gay, keep the conversation rolling, ask a few more questions, and talk about yourself as well. Remember, knowledge is a two-way street. Get to know her. Ask if she’s with someone. Ask about her hobbies or what she does for a living.

It’s a great idea to express interest in other ways, too. Eye contact, plenty of smiles, and a casual shoulder touch at just the right moment can let her know that she’s caught your eye. If she returns the smiles, gestures, and subtle flirts, there’s a good chance the feeling is mutual.

Take the Plunge

If you sense an awesome connection, it can again be tempting to wait for her to pop the big date question, but there’s nothing wrong with taking the plunge yourself. Making the first move will give you confidence and guarantee that you won’t let a good one slip by. Even if your attempt isn’t successful, learning how to be confident can be a huge asset. Confidence is inherently sexy.

Don’t get hung up on the idea of formally asking her out, either. A simple “I’d like to see you again” or “Can I have your phone number?” is often the best way to express interest in seeing her again. Keep it simple and focus on putting yourself out there.

It’s easy for a newly-out woman to get caught up with “who should initiate?” The trick is to forget about social expectations and rules–it’s time to make your own.

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