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How to Have a Perfect Gender Neutral First Date!

First date jitters are nothing to panic over. Though it’s easy to overthink everything from the spot you’re going to, how to dress, conversation and everything in between; dates don’t have to be an awkward mess (promise).

Planning a fabulous gender neutral date is a lot easier than you think. Come along to learn everything you need to know to make this date go off without a hitch.

To start, what does it mean to be non-binary?

Chances are if you’re reading here you already have a pretty good idea of what it means to identify as non-binary. For those who are unclear, lets break it down.

Non-binary (also known as enby) people are not exclusively masculine or feminine. In other words, they’ve taken these labels and thrown them away. Enby folks are challenging the gender binary and living on their own terms.

The term is an umbrella term for many different gender identities not under the masculine or feminine titles. It’s not one size fits all, you know?

Non-binary individuals will use terms such as AFAB (assigned female at birth) or AMAB (assigned male at birth) whenever discussing their biological gender.

They/them pronouns tend to be the most common way to reference NB folks, which is easy enough since we already use these terms to describe people! When discussing being in a relationship with a NB person you can use terms such as partner or lover.

Easy enough, right?

Who would a non-binary person date?

Before discussing who a non-binary person may date, it’s important to remember the differences between gender identity and sexual orientation. Non-binary is a gender identity, which discusses how you identify yourself. Sexual orientation is who you’re attracted to, who makes your heart skip a beat.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, a non-binary person could date anyone! They can be androsexual (exclusively interested in men), gynosexual (exclusively interested in women), bisexual (interested in more than one gender) or pansexual (interested in all genders). The term heterosexual isn’t used when discussing NB attraction because it assumes the presence of an opposite gender.

Now that that’s clear, let’s get into how to woo your date.

Tips to make a non-binary date great

You’ve found a cutie, you’ve agreed to meet up but your mind is moving a million miles a minute. Instead of focusing on the what ifs, look at these tips:

  1. Ask your date how they prefer to be referred to.

You may be non-binary yourself, even if so, it’s important to get into the habit of asking what pronouns your date prefers. Gender neutral pronouns like they/them should already be second nature, but as being non-binary is a spectrum, so are the ways that people prefer to be referenced. Being misgendered is a surefire way to turn a second date into a distant dream, so be sure to respect your date’s identity.

And don’t fear, there’s still a whole lot of cute gender neutral names you can use to refer to your honey including:

  • Partner
  • Boo
  • Lover
  • Companion
  • Significant other

  1. Don’t stress about how to dress!

You’ve probably already laid out a thousand different options in anticipation for this day. Putting together gender neutral outfits doesn’t have to be daunting, though.

Being non-binary also isn’t one size fits all so you can tailor stylish outfits that express your inner self.

For those looking for some inspiration, streetwear has many gender neutral options. You’ll be able to pair a variety of unisex options to customize your style to be your own. Staples like joggers fit everyone and create a lasting impression.

On a more formal occasion, you can never go wrong with a suit. 

You can’t forget to accessorize either! A cute pin or patch will add a unique edge to any outfit.

  1. Pick a gender neutral (and fun!) date idea

There’s many date ideas that deviate from the norm (not that there’s anything wrong with a traditional dinner) so try some of these for something fun and exciting:

  • An outdoor movie or show (bring blankets for extra fun)
  • A cute picnic with your favorite foods
  • Bowling or mini golf (let that competitive side out)
  • Stargazing (a good segue into a corny but cute phrase about how beautiful their eyes are…)

  1. Be yourself and go with the flow

Sometimes we tend to overthink dates for queer people, including trans dating, and you might forget the basics: we’re all humans with similar lives, so try to get to know another person naturally–there’s no right or wrong way to identify as non-binary or to go about a first date.  

Whatever it means for you and your date is perfectly okay. The most important thing is to communicate with each other and discuss your feelings. Once the nerves settle down you’ll allow your true selves to shine through.

Remember, a date isn’t the end of the world. Going in with an open mind and a willingness to have fun is all that matters. Wherever it goes from there is fully up to you guys.