9 Ways Dating Women Is So Different Than Dating Men

Wendy Robinson | Jan 27, 2017 Love & Sex


iStock.com/ohnnyGreig

When it comes to sexual attraction, women have options. According to recent research from the University of Notre Dame, "women’s sexuality may be more flexible and adaptive than men's." This flexibility means that more women than you might expect are open to dating both women and men. 

Reading this study, I couldn't help but wonder what it's really like going from dating men to women. Other than the obvious -- never having the "you left the toilet seat up" fight -- how do the two experiences compare? And do you have to learn a whole new set of dating rules when you start this new chapter in your dating life?

I spoke with nine women, some of whom identify as bisexual and some as lesbians, to find out what dating women versus dating men is really like. Go on and click. You know you're curious too!

  • No Accidents

    1

    "Other than the sex, which is way more fun [with women], one of the biggest differences is that when you date women, you don't have to really worry about birth control. No accidental pregnancies when you have two ladies! After having a couple of scares when I was with my boyfriend, it was a relief not to have to stress about having my med school plans messed up with an unplanned pregnancy." -- Jules A., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Not My Friend

    2

    "I think one of the things that felt different when I started dating my girlfriend is that a lot of people assumed we were friends, not girlfriends. I think maybe because neither of us looks butch. Like, we'd go get mani-pedis and the nail ladies would ask us if we had boyfriends or if we were sisters.

    I always felt like when I was with a boyfriend, people never assumed he was my brother. Just kind of a weird thing." -- Christina R., Northampton, Massachusetts

  • Just Easier

    3

    "I think it is just easier to date women. Women talk. Women communicate. Women play way less games. Starting to date my wife felt like sliding into a comfortable pair of jeans. 

    I always felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop when I was dating guys. I've never felt like that [with her]." -- Hillary B., Miami, Florida

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  • Sad Gran

    4

    "Well, my grandmother never cried and said I was breaking her heart when I was dating guys, so that is a big difference. LOL.

    Honestly, I think the biggest thing that was different is that I never had to worry when I was dating guys that people would disapprove on principle, just because it was a she." -- Dana E., Fort Worth, Texas

  • Little Things

    5

    "I feel like there are a bunch of small things that are different, in addition to all the big obvious things, of course. One of the things I most remember is our first Valentine's and how hard it was to find a card that wasn't a male/female couple. This was 12 years ago, so things have gotten better in that respect, especially now that marriage is legal everywhere." -- Grace T., Tucson, Arizona

  • No PDA

    6

    "I'm a super affectionate person and am usually pretty PDA comfortable with my boyfriends. But my girlfriend isn't out and she is really worried about getting attention in public, so she won't even hold hands. I have to hold myself back on the affection front, which is how I know that we still aren't really an equal culture yet." -- Beth S., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Breakups

    7

    "I just got dumped by my first girlfriend. So I can tell you one thing that isn't different -- getting dumped really sucks. And it doesn't suck less just because she is nice about it and actually wants to talk about her feelings when she tells you it is over. 

    From now on I'm just sticking to my dog. We aren't dating. But we are very happy together." -- Diane L., Aurora, Colorado

  • Community

    8

    "Being out on a date with a woman on the day that the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal everywhere was life-changing. I was so happy and we spent the whole day around gay couples and friends. It was so affirming that love is love is love. I felt like such a part of a community in a way that I haven't ever with a guy. 

    In some ways, I feel like I started dating women in the golden age for LGBT people. I'm terrified of what it will be like under President Trump." -- Name withheld by request

  • Not a Sideshow

    9

    "Sometimes you have to deal with bullsh-t when you are on a date with a woman. I've had more than one drunk guy at a bar try to get us to kiss. Like, dude, I'm not a sideshow. We aren't real-life porn. That never happens when I date guys." -- Ivey B., Topeka, Kansas

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