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Thou Shalt Not Talk About The Ex: A Southern Lesbian Talks First-Date Etiquette 

Image courtesy of Madame Noire.

Image courtesy of Madame Noire.

Written by Black Soliloquy


I’m a GRIT—a G.irl R.aised I.n T.he S.outh. I’m also a Womanist. These two versions of me clash at times. I love claiming and exercising my sexuality, but I do have manners, for heaven’s sake!

I know off the bat my precious kitty (an actual feline, people) shouldn’t be my main topic of conversation on a first date, although I do have some precious stories and photos to share [insert photo of Ashes sitting on the couch with his paw on the armrest].

At some point, we have to move on from the thrill of dysfunction and learn how to be considerate when meeting people for the first time online and in person. After all, we’re opening ourselves up to love and Lord knows it doesn’t come easy (I don’t care what Iyanla says).

So, here are some shall and shalt nots of dating etiquette. This list applies to Internet sites and first or second dates (because you kind of want to keep doing what you’re doing if you’re graced with a second date, right? Right! 🙂

1. Don’t discuss the ex(es). Yes, the gay community is small and we all like to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon from time to time, but the first date should never include the phrase “who have you dated?” or “who do you know?” In Dallas, this question will open up Pandora’s Box each and every time. You won’t be ready, I promise you. Save it for later and stalk Facebook like the rest of us.

2. Refrain from listing all the things you don’t like. Some dating sites have a plethora of profiles listing the infamous “I don’t do drama” along with “liars,” “cheaters,” “women with children,” “plus size women,” blah, blah, blah. How about telling us who you are and the things that you enjoy? You want to draw the women in, correct? Plus, when I see these things, I automatically assume YOU bring the drama. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks!” Google it.

3.  Save the crazy for a later time. There’s nothing wrong with being quirky. I think spunk and a touch of weird is cute. But, if you’re going off because your food order is wrong and we’re on the verge of getting kicked out, or I feel my there’s spit in my food because you gave the waiter the stink eye, you probably won’t see me again. I don’t play about my food!

4.  Ask yourself if you’re truly single. Was your last relationship as recent as six months ago? Do you and the ex communicate daily? Do ya’ll still eat breakfast together? *wink wink* Chances are, the next person you meet will be a rebound. I can’t emphasize this enough. Folks get mad when I say this, but I’m going to say it. You shouldn’t be looking right now. You have some things you need to deal with first. And no, the best way to get over someone is NOT to get a new someone. That’s tacky.

5. Don’t discuss money. This includes shared bills and other financial obligations. Honestly, I don’t even want to know if you’re sharing a phone plan with your ex. And while we’re at phone plans, do ya’ll have to discuss the phone bill every month?! We’re too grown for this! Ooops, I digress. Again, don’t discuss money. It’s no one’s business what you have or don’t have. At least for now it’s not (unless you’re on the U-Haul fast track).

6. Listen. Now this last one is just a request. You don’t have to follow it, but if you’re thoughtful, you’ll consider it. It’s easy to fall into a “back in St. Olaf” story, but be aware of what the other person is telling you, verbally and non-verbally. They’ll tell you everything you need to know. Marinate on it. Intuition is a real and powerful phenomenon. Are the conversations usually forced? Are you so mesmerized by the pretty face and body that you hear nothing? Do your lady bits control how you feel or do you genuinely enjoy her company? There’s no need to waste time if you’re not feeling it. And no one wants to be strung along.

I’m no expert on courting, but I figure if we know the basics, there’s a possibility we can spare ourselves some heartache and frustration. At the very least, we won’t end up being the hell date someone will tell her friends about over brunch. Bottomless mimosas will help embellish the story, but still. Don’t be that girl!

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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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    This is a must for anyone who dates. Superb article.

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