Navigating the world of dating can be a daunting experience for most people. As a trans young person, you might have some additional anxieties about putting yourself out there and dating.
It’s important to know that it is possible to have happy, fulfilling relationships, no matter what your gender identity or sexual orientation is. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to dating as a trans person.
Dating as a trans or non-binary young person
Whether you’re in a relationship or you want to start dating, here are some things to consider while dating:
Sharing your identity
When you’re getting to know someone, you may want to let them know your gender identity. When you do this is ultimately up to you – you get to decide if you want to share this information at all, and how you want to share it. You might want to be upfront from the very beginning, or you might decide to wait and get a better sense of the person you’re dating before bringing it up. Remember that you only need to share this information if and when you’re comfortable to do so.
Finding ways to meet new people can be a challenge for anyone in the dating world. Attending events or joining groups can be a great way to meet people who are interested in the same things you are – this doesn’t have to be an LGBTI+ or trans/non-binary focused group, but spending time in those cricles can give you an opportunity to meet like-minded people who have a better understanding of your experience. If you’re in college, joining a club or society is another great way to meet people.
Staying safe on dating apps
Dating apps are a popular way to meet people, and it can be a lot of fun getting to know people online. Generally, you need to be over 18 to join a dating app. Some apps, such as Tinder, give you a number of options for your gender identity, and you can decide how much information you want to share on your profile.
Be careful not to share certain personal details about yourself online, including where you live, where you work or go to college, or anything else that might tell someone things about you that you would rather keep private. Make sure you trust someone before sharing your number, and block and report any accounts that are abusive or make you uncomfortable. There are also some things to consider before you start sexting with someone you met online.
Here’s some advice for getting the most out of online dating.
Setting clear boundaries
In any relationship, boundaries are important. Setting a boundary means deciding what you’re comfortable with, and communicating it to your partner. This could be sexual boundaries or how often you spend time together. It could also apply to the types of conversations and questions you’re comfortable with from your partner.
If the person you’re dating is unfamiliar with different gender identities, or if they simply want more details about your experience, then they might have some questions for you. You do not have to discuss anything you’re not comfortable with. You get to decide when you share certain details, and you can also choose not to share some things at all. If the person you’re dating doesn’t respect this and they continue to ask you questions that make you uncomfortable, let them know that you can’t continue to see them if they’re not willing to respect your boundaries.
Everyone deserves respect in a relationship. You deserve to have your gender identity not only accepted, but validated and celebrated while dating. This means your partners respect any boundaries you have set around your gender identity, including using the correct pronouns. The right people will want to celebrate you being you.
Taking a break
Dating isn’t easy, so it’s important to look after yourself. It’s okay to take time out from dating apps or meeting new people whenever you need to. It’s completely normal to take time off from dating, and taking a break doesn’t mean you won’t find someone at another point if you want to.
Looking after yourself in a relationship
If you are in a relationship, taking time for yourself is important. Even if you want to spend every moment with your partner, you also need to take time to focus on yourselves. Check in with friends, make time for your hobbies, or do some self care. Here’s some advice for looking after yourself while in a relationship.
If a partner doesn’t accept your gender identity
Part of being in a relationship is being open with each other and accepting one another. Everyone deserves to have their gender identity accepted and appreciated in their relationships. Sharing your identity can be a big step, and is a sign of trust. Even if it was unexpected for them, this isn’t an excuse for a partner to be insensitive or abusive towards you – if they react in this way, it’s okay for you to remove yourself from the situation. This is a difficult thing to experience, so reach out to someone from support, such as an organisation like TENI.
You can also contact our 24/7 text message support line:
- Get anonymous support 24/7 with our text message support service
- Connect with a trained volunteer who will listen to you, and help you to move forward feeling better
- Free-text SPUNOUT to 50808 to begin
- Find out more about our text message support service
If you are a customer of the 48 network or cannot get through using the ‘50808’ short code please text HELLO to 0861800280 (standard message rates may apply). Some smaller networks do not support short codes like ‘50808’.