Navigating Dating When You’re Not Out Yet
How Do I Date When I’m Not Ready To Come Out?

Your decision to come out—or not—is personal and valid. In this situation, it’s important to prioritise privacy while still allowing space for connections. Communicating that you’re not out publicly and setting your boundaries in the early stages of dating can be helpful. Remember, only share that you’re not out if you’re comfortable doing so. There’s every chance your Bumble match will know exactly what you’re going through and how you feel.

Aliya (She/Her) shares, “Please clarify to the person you’re not out. There’s no shame. It will actually help you connect with the person with ease, because the person you’re going out with is probably out of the closet and knows exactly how you feel—or is still in the closet, so knows exactly how you feel!”

Bhavadharini (She/Her) shares, “I am not out to my family or most of my friends, so for all intents and purposes, I am still in the closet to the wider world. If there are no ties or common friends or family between me and another potentially queer person, I usually drop them my number and leave the option open-ended for them. It does have its risks, but kabhi kabhi life me risk lena toh padega na?”

Nipun Angrish (He/His) shares, “Coming out and dating are not mutually exclusive. Whenever you’re comfortable, it’s better to share with your connection that you’re not out so that they understand you and feel you. And ask your connection about their situation if they’re comfortable to share. If they’re not empathetic, then you know it’s a big red flag. Then it’s not on you, it’s on them. At the same time, not being out should not be a reason for you to be emotionally unavailable.”

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