Dating While Trans in a Pandemic

Keyboard with floating wood heart dating

I haven’t yet had a chance to write a standard “dating while trans” post here, and given that there is a pandemic on, and that changes dating immensely, I figured I would talk a little about both.

Some people have simply chosen to hold off on dating completely now, and I think that’s a rational choice, but not necessarily the only choice. If your dating goal is primarily for hookups/casual sex, I would say this is a time where you get to spend getting to know yourself a lot better, given how dangerous physical contact with random people is right now.

But if your goals are more long term, whether it be long-term monogamous partnership, or polyamorous partnerships, I might say this might not be such a bad time for dating. You get to spend a lot of time getting to know people at a distance before you will choose to meet them in person.

And getting to know someone at a distance, if you’re trans, can be really helpful. If you are someone who chooses to disclose up front about being trans/gender-expansive, then you get to learn more about someone’s past history dating people who aren’t cis, their attitudes about trans people, etc.

If you are someone who’d rather disclose later in the process, you can get to know someone for a while, then disclose that you are trans while still at a distance, giving you some inherent safety.

There are several ways you can communicate with someone while dating from a distance. It’s important to know what’s going to work best for you, and to make boundaries with anyone you’re dating presently around what works best. Texting is nice for small, little snippets (wishing someone a good day, etc.) but not great for long conversations. Email is great for long conversations. Zoom, Facetime or other video chatting is nice for a more multi-dimensional experience. You can also use video chat to do more active things, like cooking dinner together, or working out, or that sort of thing. But each of these only work if you enjoy them. Some people don’t like to get texts. Others don’t enjoy long written correspondence. Some people who work remotely these days have “Zoom fatigue“, and need to limit their time in video chat.

And then if you choose, at some point, to meet in person, it’s a great way to learn more about how this person can communicate their needs and desires. We all need to negotiate issues around personal contact. How close do we get? Do we meet outside or inside? Do we wear masks? When do we decide to become part of each other’s “social bubble“? These are all things that require conversation and negotiation, and this is a great opportunity to learn how good our dating partner is at that kind of communication.

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