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It's Complicated: The Five Online Dating Challenges Unique to the LGBTQIA+ Community

LGBTQIA Community
Discover the unique challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community

Sure, some things like cheating and emotional unavailability are universal to all relationships. However, being LGBTQIA+ means facing certain issues that are unique to this community, especially when it comes to dating.

1. The pool is smaller

Have you ever reached the end of dating app recommendations, even if you live in a big city? Probably not - unless you’re LGBTQIA+. The community isn’t very big and there are far fewer options than there are for straight people, so sometimes even Tinder runs quickly runs out of people to show you.

This can increase feelings of isolation and a sense of hopelessness. It may also mean that prospective daters are quicker to swipe on people who they may not be especially well suited to, due to a perceived lack of choice.

2. Hook-up culture is commonplace

Quick and easy sex in the LGTBQIA+ community is not just common – it is expected. This is not to say that there aren’t people who are searching for a deeper connection. But it is gay culture that allows men especially to see each other as objective prospects.

The glamorization of casual sex within these communities reinforces this -culture - which creates a major barrier for those looking for a long term relationship. That's why it's so vital that you know the difference between the expectations of people using Grindr compared to more purposeful dating platforms.

3. You feel the need to 'double check'

Straight people generally don’t have to ask whether someone of the opposite sex is going to be into them. It’s usually a given, considering that most people are straight. For LGBTQIA+ people, on the other hand, there is sometimes the question whether someone is actually gay, or bisexual, or just bi-curious, for example - and that can become even more complicated for those who identify as transgender.

This can prompt awkward conversations on sexual preferences and identity - especially if someone has only recently come out and is still discovering what the future looks like for them and their future relationships.

4. Harassment is common

Relatively large shares of lesbian, gay or bisexual online daters – that is, those who have ever used an online dating site or app – report that they have experienced at least one of the forms of harassment measured in this survey on those sites and apps (69%, compared with 52% of their straight counterparts).

Unfortunately, there are still people out there who harass members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and those who identify as transgender are especially likely to be targeted online. It may be totally apparent or they could be subtle about it; but still - people have to deal with others disliking them simply for being who they are.

Common forms of harassment include racism, which is especially rife within the gay community, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and acephobia. This can take many forms such as name-calling, derogatory jokes, intrusive or hostile questioning, threatening to ‘out’ someone, as well as the sending of unwanted explicit pictures. Whatever form it takes, it is always unacceptable, but it can certainly make the world of online dating especially hostile.

5. Acceptance isn't guaranteed

You may find that you end up dating someone who isn't officially 'out'. So even when you have found someone who you have a connection with, there is often a need to take it slow.

Within some families and communities, same-sex relationships are still not necessarily as accepted as we might hope. There can be some challenges when one half of the partnership is not at the same stage as you are, when it comes to being open about your identity or sexuality.

You may believe that a close bond with wider family members forms a significant part of being in a close relationship, and it can be hard when this isn't possible due to a lack of acceptance or existing prejudices.

Some advice for those looking for a special connection

These are just come of the reasons that the LGBTQIA+ community are more likely to have a negative experience when looking for a meaningful relationship than their straight counterparts. And that's why it's so important to ensure that you take the time to be honest and upfront in your dating profile, and find a platform where you can be open, and assured that you'll be treated with the respect that you deserve.

Although the choice may be less for members of this community, when you're looking for something serious, what's most important is that you're looking in the right place - especially if you feel you might have already wasted time on shallow interactions with people who don't want the same thing as you do in the long term.

Don't give up. That the one person you're looking for is also searching for you - and they will be worth the wait and any challenges that you may have faced.

Looking for a healthy relationship? Do you want to join an private members-only dating community that matches compatible attachment styles?

We're exclusive and inclusive.

We are currently accepting applications. Apply to join REDDI today!


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