photo by Hornstein Studios LLC
Esther Zinn
Single in the City Dykes to Watch Out For: The Red Flags
posted by Esther Zinn on December 20, 2010
For this holiday season, I am giving you a present: advice on how to spot the red flags of gay dating.The best way to avoid becoming the lead in a bad lesbian drama is to never find yourself in it to begin with. When you go on that first date with the girl of your dreams, watch for these red flags to sidestep what could potentially be the girl of your nightmares.

The Entry Level Lesbian

When you go on a job interview, your interviewer will usually look for about three to five years of experience in the industry to make sure you can handle the job. Consider applying this to dating– women who have some experience dating other women are more confident in their sexuality and more clear on what they want out of a relationship. If she’s already had at least one long term U-Haul commitment, that’s even better. Anyone who’s experienced the joys of U-Hauling and has lived to tell the tale most likely has learned some invaluable things about the experience.

The Closet Case

If, at any moment on the date, she says she’s “looking for something discreet,” says she identifies primarily as a straight woman or wants to keep her relationships with other women under wraps from everyone else in her life, run. The Closet Case needs to deal with the skeletons in her closet before trapping you there with her. Closet Cases can sometimes become resentful of partners who are out and proud; they might even be hiding you from a male significant other. Not something you want to deal with.  Also, someone who can’t treat themselves with respect and honesty will most likely not treat you with these values either.

The Rebound

It might seem tempting, but don’t get involved with a woman who’s still hung up on her ex. Look for someone who’s taken some time after her long term relationships have ended to figure out what went wrong, rather than someone who jumps from girl to girl. Try to find someone who’s spent at least six months away from her last ex post-relationship, just to make sure you won’t be the rebound, especially if her last relationship was a long term one. Ex-girlfriends are notorious for coming back in acts I or II of most gay drama– you want to be with someone who’s already over it when that inevitably happens.

The Mama’s Girl

Depending on her age, look for a woman who has moved out of her family’s house and lives independently. Now, if she’s 18 years old, it is totally normal for her to still live with her parents. If she’s 35, this could be a little weird. An older woman still living with her family is in need of doing some legwork to fix her life and become more independent before getting involved with someone else– unless, of course, she’s caring for a sick family member.

The Free Spirited Hippie Love Child

There are some people who think two partners are better than one. And there may be times in your life when you might not want to commit to just one woman as well. Open, polyamorous relationships are possible, but tricky. Make sure you’re heading down this road with someone who’s mature, communicative, and considerate about your feelings, who takes the time to negotiate situations you’re both comfortable with– not someone who wants as many partners as possible to satiate their own ego.

Debbie Downer

Pay close attention to how a date makes you feel about yourself. If you find this woman makes condescending, sarcastic comments towards you that make you feel uncomfortable or hurt, cut your losses fast. What might seem initially like teasing about your life achievements, body or appearance may eventually turn into verbal abuse. Abusers often start breaking down their victims early on by making chipping away at their self-esteem under the guise of teasing or “it was just a joke.” There’s nothing funny about being a douchebag. Flee as quickly as possible from this one.

The Narcissist

Once, I went on a date with a woman who spoke for an entire hour about herself without letting me get one word in edgewise. She then said, “You’re such a great listener! This is exactly what I need in my life!” What I needed in my life was to get the hell out of there. Beware the selfish woman who monopolizes conversations, only talks about herself and doesn’t seem to express an interest in getting to know who you are. A good potential partner will be just as excited about getting to know more about you as you are about them. Also watch for someone who tries to pressure you into sex before you feel comfortable going that level. This type of person is more interested in dating and pleasing themselves than they are in dating and pleasing you.

Age Before Beauty

There are, of course, great love stories told about unlikely couples who fall for each other and struggle against all odds to make it work. Most of us, however, can’t compete with a huge power or age imbalance. Anything more than 10-15 years of an age difference can be problematic, depending on the maturity of the individual and the developmental stages they’ve gone through in their lives. I personally prefer to date about 5-10 years older than I am, just because I prefer the maturity and security of being with an older woman. Also, I find cougars extremely hot. But anything more than 10-15 years of difference is difficult to swing. The same power imbalance goes for income and education– too much of a lead in either direction with your partner will prove difficult.

Tip the Tipper

If the two of you are going out to a restaurant, observe how she treats waiters, servers, or bartenders. Is she polite, and does she treat them with respect? Someone who causes a scene because she’s not happy with minor details, belittles others in positions of service, or who doesn’t leave tips, might be a drama queen or high maintenance.

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful, and the most important thing to keep in mind is just listening to your gut feelings and instincts when meeting someone new. Also, the law of physics deign that an ex in motion will stay in motion– don’t be surprised if you reject someone for any one of these reasons and she comes back. Hold your ground and “just say no!”


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