Too many LGBTQs trying to read minds on dates and apps

Q:

After a long-term relationship, I’m back out there meeting people, having fun and going on lots of dates. Some are dudes, some are dames. And as you might imagine, some are duds some are studs.

I’ve been off the market long enough that I forgot how many games are played and navigations are required. Did she just pull a bait and switch question? Is this presumptuous asshole “negging” me? What did they mean by this comment or that? Is this a date or an interview? Is there such a thing as a wrong answer?

Afterward, how long should I wait before texting or texting back? Should I bother texting a second time if there’s no response? What will they think if I wait too long, or don’t wait long enough? How much flirting is too much? When should I bring up sex? 

Speaking of sex, I might be DTF on a first date, and I might not. Are they? How can I tell?

Even when a date seems to be working, it’s work. How can I curb my over-analysis and just have fun? 

 

A:

I’m not a mind-reader, but I can predict frustration until you realize that you aren’t one either.

How can you tell what they mean, feel and want? You can’t without asking. Communication is the key to easing your mind, learning more and paving the way to potentially getting closer. 

Unlike a job interview, you’re not required to answer every question. Cut through the crap and confusion with questions of your own. Not sure what they mean? Ask for clarification.

Maybe there actually is an ulterior motive in something they said. Shut down and crack open passive-aggression with direct action: “I’m not sure how to respond. Tell me more.” You can even straight-up ask, “What do you mean exactly?”

Most people will be able to clarify, and when they do it’s fine. Schemers will reveal themselves pretty quickly as well when confronted.

Sexual politics can be complicated. Hormones and attractions affect emotions, our insecurities and confidences collide, and the other person’s do too. Fortunately, communication is at the ready again. Say how you feel and what you want. Ask how they feel and what they want. If you don’t match, it’s better to know than wonder.

The same goes for texts. Relax, be yourself and communicate based on that, not on what they might or might not be thinking. Feel like texting? Text. Keep it simple and light. Want a response and didn’t get one after, say, a day? Send it (and drop it if you still don’t hear back). 

“Hey I’m still thinking of you. You interested in getting together again or nah?” 

They might say no. Good, you can move on. They might also say yes. Good, you can move forward.

When taken logically, there is literally nothing to lose and everything to gain by being direct. Ask, listen intently, follow up, and nearly everyone will eventually show you who they really are.

The Q is intended for entertainment purposes and not as professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to [email protected]

Illustration by Brad Gibson

This column originally appeared in Q magazine. Read our advice column archive here, and read the original full issue online here:

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