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Dear Dr. Frankie,

I am 52 yrs old and just coming off a 30-year relationship so I am unsure of the dating rules. I spoke with one of my younger friends (male because I don’t have any close lesbian friends yet…I am new to the lesbian world!) and he said you NEVER call right away, you have to wait…it’s like a game. Is there a dating “game”? I am not one for games and I stand for sincerity, courtesy and respect in a relationship. From what I hear, lesbians are a strange lot. My 30-year relationship was a heterosexual marriage. Unfortunately I didn’t figure out what was lacking in my marriage until I met my first lesbian at 48 years of age! This leaves me without much knowledge of the lesbian world, but unfortunately I don’t hear many positives about the lesbian-dating world. I know we cannot generalize an entire group of people, but do you know what I am talking about? Supposedly there is much drama to be found when dating in the lesbian community. I am not about drama and I don’t understand as women. Why we don’t have each other’s backs instead of looking to stick a knife in it? If you can share some insight with me on this new path I am traveling, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks so much!

Dear Save Your Drama,

Regardless of whether you’re in the heterosexual or lesbian-dating scene there are always games being played…The determining factor is the person, not the community in which they are dating. I always recommend being straightforward and clear about one’s intention. That being said it is important not to move too fast, even if you are head over heals for someone! In the beginning of a relationship stay grounded and don’t rush in to anything. Don’t talk or text every waking minute of the day. Make lunch dates with your friends, meet them for happy hour and make time for your family. Do not merge into one person! This is a common pitfall I do see among our sisters in the lesbian community.
If you meet someone interesting and you score their digits, I absolutely suggest you call them the next day. Why not? It doesn’t mean your desperate, it means your interested and that is great! By doing this you communicate confidence and your ability to ask for what you want. On top of this, a very common problem I see is that by nature women want to be pursued. Even many of the more butch women expect and even like to be pursued. Well, when you’re trying to navigate a dating pool of all women, it simply won’t work if 95% of the pool is waiting for the other person to take the initiative. By getting her number and calling her you are already ahead of the pack.
At the end of your first date if you have a good feeling and know that you’d like to see her again, let her know. There is nothing wrong with making appropriate, forward statements like “I would love to get together again” or “we should go to that upcoming event I mentioned”. Sending her a text later that evening or the next morning communicating how pleased you were with the date etc., is absolutely fine. In fact it is actually something you should do following a good date. Manners matter and great manners will set you apart from the field. Right from the start of the relationship you are communicating your values. Game playing is juvenile and dishonest, and will give you a bad reputation in the community. Trust me when I say there is no grapevine like the lesbian dating grapevine. Be bold, confident and communicate in a way that conveys your intention.
Now because you displayed confidence in asking her out, impeccable manners on your date and since you appropriately conveyed your sincere interest, she of course wants a second date! Great job! Just remember that rushing into an exclusive relationship is the quickest way to burn it. Keep in mind that just because your first date was great, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) have your second date the next day. Even if you can’t get her off your mind and all you want to do is see her again, hang tight and wait a few days or ideally a week. That’s not playing games, it’s maintaining healthy boundaries that communicates a sense of maturity. It will show her you are independent and responsible for the way in which you approach new relationships. You’re not communicating impulsivity, which is often a behavior that accompanies immaturity. Another example of taking it slow is being mindful about how much you share on a first, second or even third date. You should focus on learning about her interests, what makes her tick, how she sees herself in the world, do her core values and beliefs align with yours etc… Stay away from asking questions about her ex’s etc. These are all examples of healthy boundaries without game playing.
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