When I first figured out that I was queer and stepped into the world of dating, I felt lost. I had no guide for what to look out for in a queer relationship. I wanted to create a guide for those of you who may also feel lost when it comes to queer dating. In this article, I have compiled advice from several students to get their takes on red and green flags in queer relationships.
Being comfortable with your queerness can make or break a relationship. Heidi Becker, Class of 2025, said, “a green flag I look for when it comes to queer dating is someone that’s comfortable showing their queerness. I find it hard to date people when they want to hide an integral part of our relationship, so I always look for people that feel proud of their queerness instead of perpetuating the narrative of shame that society pushes onto us.”
Mallory Kemple, Class of 2024, explained that, “communication is crucial for any relationship. There [are] different types of communication, so make sure you understand your partners even if you don’t communicate in the same style.” Becker also thought communication is important and said that they always “look for someone who can name and communicate their emotions. It’s hard for everyone to face their emotions. A lot of the time, people that were socialized as a girl have an easier time naming them but a harder time communicating them.”
Becker went on to describe some red flags. “Red flags I look out for in my relationships are people that say one thing and then do the opposite,” they said. “I see a lot of my queer friends (and myself) fall into the trap with people that seem to be loving and caring but can’t follow through.”
“U-Hauling” is a no-no. Becker said that they “look out for other lesbians that want to U-Haul. U-Hauling is when lesbians that have only been together for a few months decide to move in together, and in my experience it rarely works out. So I always try to take things slow, and remind myself that if I want to be with this person forever then I have all the time in the world.”
Willa Harrington, Class of 2024, says another red flag is when “they don’t listen to your ‘no.’ In ALL situations a no should be final. If it isn’t, it might be time to reconsider the relationship or at least have a conversation about it.” Consent and establishing boundaries is so important in a relationship. Without establishing firm boundaries, you may be taken advantage of or find yourself in uncomfortable situations.
Harrington said to look out for situations when your partner is “critical of your attempts at growth, [both] personal and relational, do not take your concerns seriously or they are not actively working to better themselves in at least one way.” If your partner isn’t happy for you when you are growing, they could be jealous. They should be happy to see you grow and change.
Harrington continued by saying, “I know that it is often hard to find acceptance and respect for relationships that do not fit traditional expectations, [but you shouldn’t] settle for less than that. Our love is beautiful, and it deserves respect. If you are in circles that do not respect it, find new circles (as long as you are safe to do so). Try your best to not let others hate and refusal to understand and respect you impact how you view yourself. That is 100% a them problem, not a you problem.”
By Kayla Dunn, Reporter