Coming Out In Midlife: Lesbian Verses Straight Dating

In some ways, finding a lesbian date is similar to finding a male date. There are the same anxieties, the same butterflies and the same places to go (movies, dinner, clubs). You are getting to know each other and looking for that special someone. But if you are new to the lesbian dating scene, there are also some key differences you should be aware of.
For starters, you can feel totally free to ask another lesbian woman out on a date. There is no more waiting around by the telephone hoping the guy will call you or feeling like you are being too pushy if you call him. You are free to take the initiative if you are attracted to a woman. In fact, if you don’t act, you may lose out!
Next, there’s the safety factor. While it is certainly possible to meet a woman who is unbalanced, most women will not be outright dangerous. You can be a bit more at ease meeting a woman and not having to worry about being assaulted. While violent crime can happen, it is a bit more unlikely in this case.
In straight dating, many women expect the man to pay for dates. In lesbian dating, paying for the date can be awkward. There are no rules. If you have been the one to initiate the date, you may want to pay. Or your date may offer and insist. Or you can split the bill. The only caution here concerns obligation. If you go on additional dates and she continues to insist on paying, she may be really nice, rich and can afford it or she may be trying to set up a controlling relationship. Beware.
Another difference in lesbian dating is the age factor. In heterosexual relationships men are typically older than women. This usually limits the age span of your dating pool to the number of years age difference you are comfortable with. If you are comfortable with a 10 year age difference, you would look for men between your age and 10 years older. In lesbian relationships, there is no such distinction. You can date women who are significantly older or younger than yourself. In our example, if you are comfortable with a 10 year age difference, this means you have a 20-year age span of women in your dating pool! That is, if you are 40, you could look for a date between 30 and 50 years of age.
One final thing to keep in mind. Sex…in lesbian relationships there is no fear of pregnancy. This means no contraception. It can be quite a liberating experience if you have never been in the situation before. It can also lead to a physical relationship starting before you are ready for it, so beware. Another note on sex: while HIV/AIDS is less prominent in the lesbian community, safe sex is still recommended to prevent spread of STD’s such as genital warts and herpes. On the lighter side, you will never have to worry about your mate having a problem with erectile dysfunction!
If you are coming out for the first time in midlife, you will now be a bit more prepared on what to expect in the lesbian dating world. Have fun exploring!

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