Awkward Girl tribulations
April 23, 2010 1:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm a queer girl who would like to ask another queer girl out on a date. I have never done this before. How do I do this without being stupid?

OK, some background around me: I'm 24, pansexual, currently in a 4-year open relationship with a guy who's cool about all this so long as we play it safe. We never really had a "courtship/dating period" - we knew each other at university, got together at an event, and pretty much camped out at each other's dorm rooms since. People tend to be surprised to hear I'm queer - I don't really fall into butch/femme and despite volunteering at queer events I sometimes do get asked "what are you doing here?". In the past I have tried asking people out, but without success. The guys in general tend to be flattered; however, I get mixed reactions from girls - some are amused, while some are horrified enough to even be considered queer and end up not talking to me. Eep.

Right now I am looking for a girl for a relaxed casual relationship - nothing especially deep, more like a friends-with-benefits thing. (I'm open to it progressing if it does happen, but I'm not actively seeking it out.) I've got a few people in mind; most of them are casual friends or acquaintances that I know from a previous project or through mutual friends.

Currently I'm thinking of a new acquaintance who spearheaded a project I was a part of (the project has since ended). We got along pretty well, though all this while our interactions have been more project-based than anything personal. We have each other on Facebook and have plenty of mutual friends, but that's about it really.

I'd like to ask her out on a date and see how it goes. But I'm too scared! I know for sure she's queer (she's out) so at least one big problem is cleared, but just because she's into girls doesn't mean she's into me. I just don't want her to end up like some of the other girls I've asked before, who end up finding me creepy and not talk to me.

How do I ask her out? What can I say to express my interest? If I was utterly direct I would probably say "Hey, I think you're pretty cool and I'd like to get to know you better. Could I ask you out for a coffee sometime?"...which probably either could come off as creepy, or just sounds like 2 friends hanging out instead of "oh, and I'd like to get in your pants" (which, OK, IS creepy).

If I do make the first move, and if miracles happen & she accepts, how do we proceed? How do I communicate my interest without overloading her? In the past I've had people turn me down saying they don't "love" me; I don't need her to have any especially strong feelings for me (asides from goodwill and camaraderie), I just want to have some friendly physical fun & take it easy. How do I do that without coming off as an asshole?

I'm probably overthinking this, aren't I? ugh, I'm so awkward.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The standard Dan Savage response to this situation seems to be something along the lines of go out, get drunk (or into a fun loose social situation), flirt drunkenly, float a casual interest in her as "more than a friend" in a joking way that she can bat down and ignore if she's not into being friends with benefits or respond to positively if she is. Then respect her wishes and stop asking if she's clearly states no.

Also: OKCupid.
posted by edbles at 1:25 PM on April 23, 2010

Don't overthink it. Creepiness comes when you're overthinking it and it's obvious and you're hovering. People who are confident are rarely termed 'creepy'. Just be direct and ask her out ("Hey do you want to go out sometime?) and she either says yes or no.

She may be queer and she may be into you, but she may not be into being your thing on the side while you have your long-term boyfriend. So put that out there pretty quickly so she knows what's up.
posted by aabbbiee at 1:32 PM on April 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Would you be asking this question if it were a guy? Can you see what I'm getting at here?

I totally sympathise, as a pan-girl, but then I remind myself the very same thing. Sorry if this is completely unhelpful, but I figure if you know she's queer, then it's just like she was a guy. They're all just people!
posted by sunshinesky at 1:51 PM on April 23, 2010

In this sort of situation, when it seems things might be ripe for misinterpretation, you should be very clear: "I'd like to ask you out on a date. Would you like to get coffee with me sometime?" I know it's agonizing, because there's no wiggle room (if she says no, you know definitively that she doesn't want to date you), but if you do leave wiggle room, then if she says yes, you might just be delaying later rejection.

I'm awful at this myself—I'm usually not able to be this open when I try to ask out someone I know already. For me, it took getting on to OKCupid (where the ground rules are laid out: everyone is expressly there for dating) to be able to ask people out in this way.

You've just got to go for it; the world won't end if she says no, and she might actually say yes.

Good luck!
posted by ocherdraco at 1:54 PM on April 23, 2010

I'm sorry you've had such negative reactions from other girls in the past.

I was at a party when a girl approached me and eventually came onto me in a confident and jokey sort-of way. I wasn't interested and managed to communicate in a (hopefully) jokey way that it wasn't going to happen. She backed off and we stayed friendly and had a fun time.

I imagine this kind of thing happens all the time without disgust, creepy feelings, etc. I just wanted you to know that better, nicer reactions are out there, and you seem like a cool, intelligent grrl and I hope you feel more confident in the future!
posted by cranberrymonger at 1:56 PM on April 23, 2010

I think the creep factor comes in usually only when the person asking won't accept "no" as an answer. If you can get up the courage to ask her directly once, and then accept whatever answer she gives you (and if it's "no" not bring it up again) then I'll bet the two of you will be okay.

just because she's into girls doesn't mean she's into me

This is fundamental problem of dating--of trying to find a date--and why you need to ask her to find out. Good luck!
posted by colfax at 2:03 PM on April 23, 2010

Yeah I think you're overthinking it. But I also agree that just because she's queer and may even be into you... she may not be into you being in a relationship of any kind.

Denver, in particular, seems over-run with women who want "a little something" or "FWB" on the side.

Soooo... might I suggest that you try to connect with others who are in open or fluid relationships or who are looking for that kind of thing? Not that you shouldn't express your interest, just be cool about it if she says that she's not down for being your FWB
posted by FlamingBore at 2:14 PM on April 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

currently in a 4-year open relationship with a guy who's cool about all this

Does she know about your being in a relationship with a man? That would be a dealbreaker for lots of lesbian women.
posted by Carol Anne at 3:10 PM on April 23, 2010

I guess I don't know what pan-sexual is, but how different is it from any other sort of engagement.

Go ask her if she wants to have a drink. Go out, have a drink, have 2, have 5, and then say "I think you are hot." That's not skeevy, that's liquid courage.

If that's not your scene, ask her out to coffee. Talk politics, talk fashion. If it works, it works- don't force it and you won't make an ass out of yourself.

When you aren't comfortable with who you are, regardless of how you identify sexually, it's obvious and not so hot. So stop over thinking it.
posted by TheBones at 3:43 PM on April 23, 2010

Ask her out for coffee or drinks sometime. It's just a date, right, not brain surgery. Don't over analyze it, or you'll come off a little creepy.

Does she know that you have a boyfriend? That would be a dealbreaker for me, at least, and it has been, even if you want to keep things casual. But it might be what she's looking for, or, hey, you've got more experience asking girls out. Make a little flirty eye-contact, smile, and be honest.

If it doesn't work out with her, then I would definitely rec OKCupid, especially if you want something casual, because everything's out in the open and there's no chance for misunderstandings. I would also recommend trying to be friends with more queer girls/guys...that way you'll be more plugged into the scene.

Good luck!
posted by jnaps at 3:46 PM on April 23, 2010

Yeah, personally I would ask her out to a bar on a Friday or Saturday night (so more date-y than just a Tuesday morning coffee) and after a few drinks do that thing when you like someone in that way and stand a little closer to her than you would normally, or touch her arm more than you should, and keep eye contact going in a hot way.

But, I also think that you should mention in advance something offhand about your open relationship. Now how to do that, is beyond me. But it hardly seems fair to lead a girl on when you are not looking for an exclusive relationship.
posted by amicamentis at 5:11 PM on April 23, 2010

"Would you like to go on a date sometime?"
posted by Jacqueline at 7:02 PM on April 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

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