I have now met up with three different people from the queer dating site I joined (arguably these weren’t dates, just…meetings? Everyone had both “friends” and “dates” listed under what they were looking for). Here’s a recap.
The first person was (I think) a cis woman (she/her pronouns and no mention of being trans, anyway) around my age. She responded to my very first message by proposing we meet up because you can’t gauge chemistry online. I was startled by her directness (I’m usually the one driving things forward, even with cis men) but I appreciated it. I got a definite feeling she was a grizzled veteran of online dating and had gotten to a point of realizing that most people don’t end up turning into any kind of relationship so one might as well make the audition process as streamlined as possible in order to save time.
So at her suggestion, i met her for a stroll in what turned out to be her neighbourhood (so, wow, she was just barely wanting to put in any effort at all. I wonder if she would have been willing to go out of her way for a meet-up once she knew she liked someone, or if she was just always a little bit controlling and making people come to her? In her defense though she lives in a really cool centrally located ‘hood that lots of people from all over like to explore. She wasn’t dragging me out to some shitty wasteland suburb). We had a perfectly pleasant talk for an hour or so and then she got a (planned?) call from a friend that necessitated cutting things short. We said goodbye without either of us explicitly adding “I didn’t feel a connection/let’s not do this again” – but I hadn’t felt any big connection and I assume she didn’t either and neither of us has contacted the other since. No harm, no foul.
My second meet-up was a walk in a local park yesterday afternoon, with a trans woman a bit older than me. I went into it being pretty sure I wouldn’t be attracted to her (and indeed I was not) but the talking online part was good and I’m open to making new friends. Also she was the one who suggested we meet up, so our good conversation plus showing active interest in wanting to get to know me better had me feeling pretty pumped.
My whole goal in joining a dating site specifically for queer people was to meet (And hopefully date/befriend) folks who understand my gender shit – like, who understand that I am not a woman even if I look like one and who understand about things like gender dysphoria and how hormones and presentation can make a difference in it. But just because someone’s been through transition doesn’t mean they’re empathetic; when I mentioned some of my body/presentation issues to this woman in passing, she was kind of dismissive, and I get a strong vibe that it’s because she can’t imagine someone not wanting to look womanly and voluptuous. She just kept saying “but you look great!” and yes, fair enough, I don’t actually think there’s anything objectively wrong with my body per se – but it doesn’t feel like it belongs to me and it consistently gets me read as a lady-person by all and sundry when I am not in fact a lady-person, and those are pretty major problems for me.
During our time together, I was lamenting that my wardrobe is lagging behind my transition a bit and she said she could give me some of her old button-down shirts from when she was living as a man. I’ve been wanting a button-down or two, and she does indeed look roughly the same size as me, so that could be cool, but she kinda cavalierly slipped in that she could give them to me “the next time we see each other” which seems a bit presumptuous at best (there was no “…I mean, if you wanna hang out again”) and manipulative at worst. I’ve had a few times before where someone was interested in me and I wasn’t interested back and they sort of lured me into seeing them again with the promise of giving me something I wanted/needed. I’m not sure if this is the case here and I’m not sure how to deal with it if it is.
Overall I had a pleasant time with her – the conversation flowed pretty easily and we have some niche things in common like being trans, kinky, poly, and artistic. But it wasn’t so amazing that I’m actively dying to hang out again – if I never heard from her again I’d be perfectly fine. But – as I observed in a post here god knows how many years ago – sometimes I think the key component of friendship is simply that a person keeps on coming back. I’ve had people where I liked them a ton and wanted to hang out but they were flaky so the friendship died, and I’ve had people I could take or leave but they stayed in my life by sheer tenacity and it turned into a bona fide friendship.
So if she writes back and wants to hang out again, I probably will. Also she’s really into daily walks as a form of exercise and I’ve been wanting to exercise more, so it might be nice to have a walking partner.
But the shirt thing still bothers me. Like I can’t tell if it’s an innocent offer and I’m overthinking it due to past experiences, or if she is indeed being slightly sketchy and dangling the prospect of free men’s clothes as bait to make me come back for more hangouts (and once I have the shirts, then there’s potential to leverage that for more hangouts if she thinks my interest in her is flagging…I dunno).
Anyway, today I did another park hangout with a fellow nonbinary trans-masc person, 20 years my junior. They’ve been on testosterone a lot longer than me, and they opted for the full, man-size dose. Basically, a stranger passing them on the street would assume by their looks that they were a guy. I’m even struggling slightly with calling them “they” because my brain processes their face as “boy.”
I rarely seem to ever feel huge, instant sexual attraction to anyone anymore, but I did think they were cute; there’s potential for attraction there. Conversation was immediately easy and comfortable and they seemed to deeply understand everything I said about gender, dysphoria, etc. I’m not going to attribute the easy conversation to chemistry, here, or assume it meant they’re into me; I think this person is just chatty and easygoing and a lot less socially awkward than I am. I’ve made the mistake in the past of assuming that an overall sociable person must be super into me because conversation flowed so nicely, and then my feelings got hurt when I realized they’re simply like that with everyone. So I’m trying to be cautious.
During the course of conversation, they mentioned both that they are frequently expected to initiate dates etc with afab folks because of looking masc (so being assumed to “take the man’s role” in dating, I guess) and that they don’t like to initiate with afab folks because they know how many of us are subject to constant come-ons from masc people. They don’t want to contribute to that, so they’re very conscious all the time of not looking pervy or pushy.
I don’t know whether they were just making conversation with that, or signaling that they would welcome me hitting on them even though they were coming off as friendly-not-flirty.
I have a history of jumping into things too quickly just for the thrill of the chase and then once I’ve “caught” someone I lose interest. This feels like a shitty thing to do to anyone, but especially to a demographic of person who’s often used as someone’s sexual “experiment.” So at the end of our time together I did not tell this person “we can make out if you want.” I did say that I had fun and would totally hang out with them again so plz get in touch.
And this is where I fall down an overthinking-hole because I’ve seen a lot of sitcoms etc say that “I had a great time! Let’s do it again!” is a completely fake thing people say to someone they’re not interested in, just to be polite. But then how does anyone ever know if their date did have a good time and wants to do it again? Also if today’s person never does write to me on the app again, does that mean “I’m not interested in you” or “I thought you were just being polite when you said to contact you”?
I guess I’ll just leave the ball in their court and not write to them ever again unless they write to me first, because I’ve definitely missed a lot of “soft nos” in the past and probably come off pushy by accident and I want to err on the side of caution now. And I mean it was one good afternoon. I won’t die if I never hear from them again.
it would be a shame if we were both into doing it again but we both didn’t make that move, though.