Lesbians and Dating

Dating is typically defined as a social engagement or an informal interaction for assessing another’s romantic potential. Given the recent advances in same-sex marriage equality, it is important to understand how two women meet, date, and develop and maintain an intimate relationship. The focus of this chapter is on what is known about this topic, exploring both unique aspects of lesbian dating and those that are similar to heterosexual dating.


Lesbian dating must be understood in the context of societal heterosexism, including laws and cultural prohibitions against homosexuality, which kept lesbian dating largely underground throughout history. During the early 20th century, magazines welcomed stories about “intense, romantic friendships” between two women—until the 1920s, when homosexuality became associated with mental and medical illness. Political and social ...

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