In love and dating
Falling in love is great! But being in love can also be very stressful. That’s certainly the case when you have transgender feelings. Does your partner know about you?
Sometimes the person you are in love with knows ‘that’ about you. But often they don’t.
Before your transition...
.. other people may have no idea what has been going on in your head for so long. They see you as male, but actually you're female, or the other way round. But if you are in love, and they feel the same way, perhaps you want them to see you as you really are.
During your transition...
...you may already be living as the person you feel you are. But your body is not what other people expect. You may perhaps be a boy or a man with breasts and no penis. Or you are female and already have small breasts because of the hormones, but you still have a penis. When do you tell your date that you are in transition?
After your transition...
...your body matches better with how you see yourself. Now you would prefer simply to get on with your life, as the person you are. But you have been through a lot recently and this has shaped you. And your body is often not exactly the same as other people of the same sex. Do you tell the person you’ve fallen in love with that you are transgender? Or are you afraid your boyfriend or girlfriend won't simply be able to see you as a boy or a girl, a man or a woman?
When you're going to date
- Look for a date who seems to be open-minded.
- Think in advance how much you want to tell them about your transgender feelings or about your body.
- Consider when you want to talk about it.
- If you're insecure about yourself, always remember: you are fine just the way you are.
When can you tell them?
- If you are dating online, you could put it on your dating profile. Keep in mind that people may react out of pure curiosity. Consider how you would handle that.
- You tell them on your first date.
- You tell them after you've been on 2 dates.
- You tell them before you kiss or caress.
If you tell them
- Keep in mind that your date needs to get used to the idea. They may start having doubts about their own identity or sexual preference, or become confused. Give the other person time!
- If your date doesn’t react well to your story, stop dating them. You deserve someone who likes you as you are.
- Very occasionally, someone may react aggressively. If you’re planning to tell them about it, make sure it’s in a place where other people are present, like in a restaurant or on the street.
- Give your date a link to this page, which has tips for young people in love with a transgender person.
Talk to other young people who are in transition, or have already transitioned, about how they deal with dating. It may seem like dating is always going to be difficult for a transgender, but it certainly isn’t! Many transgender people are happily in love. You may be different, but you're allowed to be who you are.
Just suppose, you’re going steady. Your boyfriend or girlfriend knows about your transgender feelings, but now you've decided you're going to act upon them. That can be pretty confusing for your partner. How do you deal with that?
- Have a good talk about it with your partner. Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend has many questions, but he or she doesn't dare to ask.
- Don't ask him or her to keep it to themselves. It is too big a secret to carry around on your own! Decide together who does and doesn't need to know.
- Take time for both of you to get used to it. You might have been carrying it around for years, but your boyfriend or girlfriend hasn’t.
- Is your partner unable to get used to it? Or does your partner actually still see you as a woman whereas you are now a man, or the other way around? After a while, you may realise that it's not actually working between the two of you. In that case, it's sometimes better to break up.