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Out on a Lim | Queer Dating 101: Recap

Jan 19, 2021

Out on a Lim | Queer Dating 101: Recap

Last fall, I created the Queer Dating 101 series to share my own frustrations, adventures, and learnings from dating during COVID.

By no means am I an expert as I only recently came out later in life, but what I lack in experience, I make up for in curiosity, nerdiness, and a passion for extreme empiricism (which is what this column is about!).

I am excited to reprise and amp up Queer Dating 101 this year in collaboration with Autostraddle, the mind-blowing website where I learned that I was a switch and what that meant!

The Queer Dating 101 series is designed to take you through pre-swiping apps through the relationship talk:

ICYMI Recap…

  • Read below for key takeaways and ideas to try at home
  • Check out the Event Landing Page for key links and resources
  • Watch all the session recordings!
Queer dating 101: dating preparedness kit


Mindset tips

  • 1+1>2: know and satisfy your own needs
  • Focus on the abundance of ways to get the feelz you want
  • Don’t swipe while “horngry” (e.g., lonely, sad, desperate)
  • Cultivate a growth mindset: you don’t have to be any good at any of this…YET
  • Rejection is good – you want a Hell Yes or Hell No! The “maybe” is pure Hell!

Identify your red and green flags before you start swiping

Choose the RIGHT pics for your profile

  • Best pic first
  • 1+ face, 1+ full-body picture
  • Natural lighting
  • Don’ts: sunglasses, hats, selfies, people who look like potential significant others

Template to write a killer bio

  • What do you have to offer? 3 self themes/features
  • What are you looking for? 2-3 green flags
  • A little special sum’n sum’n to make you stand out! (e.g., humor, shock, masterful use of emojis?)


  • Write down your list of red and green flags
  • Update your profile
Queer dating 101: flirting 101


Rejection is good.

  • How to handle rejection:
    • Acknowledge feelings/thoughts
    • Practice self-care / self-compassion
    • Reflect on learnings
    • Watch your negative self-talk
  • Rejection saves you from wasting time and energy on the wrong person.
  • Consistently Marie Kondo your dating apps

Truth bombs from Autostraddle’s Shelli, Drew, and Dani (check out the video recording for more!)

  • Don’t be concerned about what others think about you. Focus on what you feel about yourself (being a bad bitch!) – Shelli
  • Be your authentic self and lead with your passions so others know what you care about and you can find the right match – Dani
  • Get less attached to outcomes regardless of your ultimate goals so you can enjoy the experiences on the way – Drew


  • Marie Kondo your dating apps: clear out stale matches
  • Try direct communication with someone in your life
Queer dating 101: nailing the first date


Own your needs and boundaries

  • No such thing as being too “needy”: Everyone has needs and boundaries in all relationships
  • It’s about resourcefully satisfying your own needs
  • Okay to ask others for help but not to expect others to meet your needs
  • How to ask others for help
    • Understand and acknowledge your needs without judgment
    • State your needs and invite (not demand) them to help
    • Graciously accept their response and follow-through
    • Express gratitude

Planning the date

  • Check-in on boundaries and expectations:
  • Offer options for the first date
  • Have an activity planned irl or on zoom

Prep to be the best version of yourself

Physical prep

  • Exercise / masturbate
  • Shower, groom / cut your nails
  • Dress to impress (including below your waist, even if on video)
  • Drink a little (if you’d like and not driving)

Mental and emotional prep

  • Review their and your dating profiles, social media, texts
  • Review your boundaries
  • Prepare conversation topics
  • Play your pump song
  • Dance with jitters (literally and figuratively)
  • Manage your expectations
  • Arrive on time
  • Most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself and the experience!

On the date

  • Greeting
    • Be warm
    • Okay to acknowledge awkwardness or nervousness
    • Start with a compliment (genuine and personal)
    • Review your boundaries and theirs (esp. irl with covid)
  • Getting to know each other and going down the funnel
    • Actively listen and ask follow-up questions
    • Look into their eyes and use their name
    • Put your phone away out of sight
    • Embrace silences
  • Share info about yourself
    • Create a positive first impression: more green flags than red flags
    • Keep it light, smile, and have fun
  • Express attraction early and often (if you feel it)
  • End the date strong
    • Thank them for a good time
    • Express interest or make plans for the next one if it feels mutual
    • Text later with an inside joke


  • Shoot your shot and plan a fun first date!
Queer dating 101: dtf to dtr

Get sage relationship advice from LGBTQ+ relationship coach Kita Adams as she breaks down two milestone conversations: having sex for the first time with a new partner and defining the relationship!

Nicole (she/her) is the editor of the HER newsletter and a queer events producer (creator of Queer Dating 101), executive/life/dating coach, avid shark diver, and author of the upcoming memoir, The No Plan Plan. In this column, Out on a Lim, she focuses on intentionally “learning things the hard way” by trying anything twice so you don’t have to (unless you want to!). Check out Nicole on IG|web|newsletter, and share your experiences or ideas for what to explore next! 🤙 🌈

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