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Gay/Lesbian Issues/Dating...for the first time


Hey, thanks for taking the time to read this.

I'm a 21 y/o female in college and I've known I was interested in girls for a while and it's never bothered me.

My problem is I have a date coming up next week with a girl at my college and well, I have literally never dated before as sad as that sounds.

Sure, in high school I dated  2 guys but one stretch lasted a month w/ no kiss and the other barely 2 weeks both times I never felt that "spark" if you will.  So I have no experience and yet here I am finding myself asking this girl out on a date to which she says yes. It will be my first date where I have genuine feelings of affection for the person I'm going out with.  

We're getting lunch, and we've gradually been becoming friends this past semester since winter break so I guess we're past the whole "getting to know you stage"

I just am looking for some general advice for a first date? Any general guidelines you may have for transitioning from friends to something a bit more romantic, for someone who is completely new to this whole thing?

-Thanks! :)

Hi Dana,

Congratulations on asking someone out on your first date! First time anythings can be filled with a lot of feelings and emotions as well as awkwardness on the how to's of dating. Here is a list of general advice that may be helpful to you:

- Savor the moment without expectations. That way, you go into the date relaxed with the intentions of going with the flow.
- Strike engaging conversations rather than talking 'at' her. Ask her what she thinks about something or invite her to share similar experiences.
- Get to know her even deeper an approach with genuine curiosity and openmindedness to what her thoughts and feelings are to anyone, and validate those feelings - which shows her that you care.
- Do not expect anything physical happening on the first date. And if you want to touch her, I recommend asking permission first. "May I hug you?", "May I put my arm around you?", "May I give you a kiss on the cheek to say goodbye?" Consent is key.
- The "getting to know you stage" is never ending, even for long term couples. There's always new discoveries. In this case, consider it new. You're newly getting to know each other in a different way.

All in all, there isn't really any guidelines per se. Just be your genuine self, have fun, be present for the person whom you're going for lunch with, be honest and if all goes well, plan for another lunch, coffee, dinner, walk... whatever you mutually agree to.

Hope that helps.

Good luck... although I have a feeling you won't be needing it.

Dr. Reece Malone  

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Reece Malone


I can answer questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual sexuality (youth and adult), coming out and disclosure, transgender and gender-non conformity including transition process, how to support a partner of someone GLBT, sexuality and faith/spirituality/religion, safer sex and harm reduction, comprehensive sexuality education, and questions from service providers working with LGBT individuals and families.


I'm currently a full time sexuality educator and facilitator specializing in sexual orientation and gender identity. I hold the positions of the Education Program Coordinator at the Rainbow Resource Centre (supporting LGBTTQ individuals, families and allies) as well as clinical sexologist at Four Rivers Medical Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. My roles include: sexuality education, counseling/therapy, media spokesperson and consultant. I have sat on several non-profit sexuality organizations as well as been a consultant to the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information visit:

American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, The American College of Sexologists, The Canadian AIDS Information Treatment Exchange, The Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, The Sexual Health Educator's Network (Manitoba), The International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Malone, R. (2010). "ShoutOut Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Heterosexism." Rainbow Resource Centre. Winnipeg, Canada. Malone, R. et al (2010). "Your Questions Answered. Gender Identity in Schools." Public Health Agency of Canada. Ottawa, Canada.

Undergradate degree in sociology - specialized focus on human sexuality Masters of Public Health (Sexology) Doctorate of Human Sexuality

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