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003 - Better Dating Questions than Hinge - Zine Dating with The Love Advice Segment

Welcome to the love advice segment, the podcast that deals with issues specific to queer courtship. Like identity and dating, exploring your wants and needs respectfully. Having a question or your friend, or looking for a partner who only wants to cuddle? My name is Kim, my pronouns are she that this episode,

The topic is Who are you? What do you want?

Hello, everyone. Today, I'm gonna help you work through the minefield of What do you want? What do you want in a partner? What do you want in a relationship? In a friend? What do you want out of dating?

We're going to get through this podcast episode is kind of like a specific reference to Zine Dating, which is an event that I'm holding at glasshouse in Shoreditch, but it's really for anyone, and it would be very helpful in kind of like:

  • figuring out what you're looking for

  • writing your dating app bio

  • in just getting to know yourself a bit better.

So yes, I have a very squeaky chair, trying to minimise that with a pillow. Okay, hope you can't hear it.

So I'll just explain a little bit what zine dating is first. So zines is a shortening of magazine. And they're kind of like little DIY, magazines, basically, that you can make about whatever you want. But you can also make them about yourself and what you're looking for in a date.

So on Sunday, there will be lots of zines for you to browse lots of queer and feminist zines for you to browse. I'm borrowing a chunk of the Grrrl Zine Fair zine library, if you've never heard of Grrrl Zine Fair before, they create their own zine called 'Grrrl in Print'. And that's Grrrl with three R's, and no i. They also have a massive collection of queer and feminists zines from like, kind of like established publishers, and from just individuals who like to make things, you should really have a look at their Instagram because they do talks and workshops in London and south end at festivals all over the place.

I am bringing some zines from them for you to look through to get some inspiration. And then you can take part in the zine workshop to create a kind of like 'Personals', or 'Lonely Hearts' zine. So you know, those adverts that there would be in a paper of single people looking for dates, it's kind of that vibe, but long form and crafty, and you can put glitter on it.

So that's the idea, you'll make a zine that explains who you are, what kind of relationship you're looking for; if it's a friendship, a romantic thing, some kind of combination, and the type of person be interested in meeting and a few other things. So at the workshop, I will be helping you to express who you are in the form of zine, at least as much as someone might need to know in order to be intrigued in asking you for a date.

So this particular event, all of the personal zines that are made will be displayed in the glasshouse cafe so that people in the cafe will have the queers coming to this incredible queer space in London, can have a look through the zines and get in touch if they're interested. I'll also be posting them all on Instagram and people will be able to get in touch via the Whole Orange Instagram page. So none of anyone's details will be shared without their consent, you will get to decide if you want to message somebody who is interested in you.

So that is the concept I'm quite excited about it. It's kind of like dating for introverts or dating for people that don't get along with dating apps and the fact that everything is kind of based on a photograph and a bunch of shitty hinge questions. And that's why I'm here because I have better questions for you to ask yourself and for you to answer for your potential dates.

On this podcast today, I will be helping you to ask and answer some high-quality questions to give you a clearer idea of what you want and bring you the connections that you're looking for. If you want to follow along at home and make a zine, then you can head to the Whole Orange website and find the free PDF guide you can print out or just look at it on your computer, you can follow along and there's some visual cues on that or if you just want to listen and learn.

Okay, let's do it. It. Something that I want to mention first is obviously when it comes to dating, there's a certain amount of vulnerability needed to connect with people, and different people have different levels of comfort in terms of sharing things. So try and just share what you're comfortable with. But don't judge yourself for your level of vulnerability. And also don't judge yourself for the answers that you give and the thoughts that you have about dating because everything is okay.

Okay, let's do it. First of all, that is the obvious stuff that even dating apps manage to include. So:

  • your name

  • your age

  • your pronouns

  • your gender, if you want to share that,

I mean, you don't have to share that, especially if you're not sure about what labels you want to use at this stage. So yeah, I guess name, age and pronouns, so people know how to refer to you. And whether you're in the age bracket they're looking for, I think something more important to share than gender is your vibe or your style. If you're on a dating app, you can use photographs of yourself. And I would recommend choosing photos that show you on your like full flex, like your full expression. What I mean is, don't try and be palatable, try and show the full breadth of your expression. So people who are into that can find you easier. The same goes for a first date, and kind of like when you're going out with looking for a partner in mind is to just like dress in like the fullest expression of who you are - in that moment. Obviously, it can change day-to-day, but that way, if they love your outfit, then that's great. If they think it's too weird, or loud, or too dark or too fast or too masculine, that's also great, because it would have never worked between you two, and you know, much quicker than if you tried to meet anyone else's expectation.

Okay, so if you're making a personals zine, you can't really put pictures in unless you're going to print them out. But I would say it's a good idea to show your style, your vibe in the aesthetic of the zine. And also, you can add a page with drawings of your makeup looks that usually do a typical outfit, maybe cut out some pictures from magazines of clothes that you like, stuff like that, or you can explain your style in words, like you can say, if X and Y had a baby, then that would be my style. And then if you are making the zine, and you don't have any pictures of yourself to add, you can cut out pictures or draw pictures to make like a starter pack for your look or your vibe. So for me, that would probably be a bob and a fringe, some patterned shirts, a lot of turtlenecks, a lot of blush, and migraine glasses. So that type of thing.

Next up, aesthetic is important to also include some deeper things about you and share some kind of key values, I'm going to call them values, the things that are really important to you the principles that you base your big life decisions on, you don't necessarily need to have the same values as somebody to be good friends with them or to be a good match for them romantically. But there might be some that need to align. And there are probably some that are deal-breakers. So for example, the most common deal-breaker I get for new signups for matchmaking is no Torys. So you can also add in your political alignment in this section. If you're looking at the PDF or the zine, you will see that there is a lot of examples of values in a little word search. But I'll also give you some examples now to think about so:

  • adventure

  • security

  • family

  • spirituality

  • success

  • wisdom

  • community status

  • honesty

  • justice

  • peace

things like that things that really are central to your belief system. So you can probably see that some values don't need to be shared by partners or friends. Sometimes a person's values can even change because of a friend or a partner that they have. Like, let's say you're somebody who doesn't have a strong connection with their family. So family isn't really a value for you. And then you form a family unit with some friends or with some partners and family becomes much more important. Or let's say security is a big important value. But then you make friends with someone who encourages you to be a bit more adventurous and security can start to seem less vital.

However, there are some values for some people that really do need to match up for it to be a successful friendship or relationship. Like spirituality might be vital for you and having a significant other who is also spiritual, may be important, so that would really need to match up. And there's also some values that people just don't vibe with. Like, for example, a person who cares about status, a great deal might have trouble with a partner who doesn't care about status at all. That's the same if you care about status, or community or success or justice.

So there's some examples. Yeah. all that to say it is good to get to know your values and share them with potential connections. These are not things we tend to think consciously about. So don't worry, if you aren't really sure what yours are right away. And it takes some time to figure it out. Look at this and look at the word search. Or you can also Google examples of values for a lot of long lists of ideas.

In this section, add in your

  • interests

  • passions

  • aspirations

  • study

  • craft

  • job

you could also mention any important events in your life, not in order to show off or trauma dump, but to share something of significance to you. Like:

  • when you got your cat

  • or when you met a celebrity

  • or when you saw a band live

  • or visiting a city you love

  • graduating

  • moving to London

  • breaking your arm

anything that was important or formative for you, so that others can like see that and connect with it. Also good to add in any:

  • books,

  • films,

  • songs,

  • bands,

  • artists

that you love or feel very connected to. So they know the kind of media that you enjoy.

And the next section will require a bit more self-reflection. So first of all, write in some lovely things about you. This is the type of thing that a friend would say about you, if they were like begging you up to your crush. It can be general like, "Oh, I'm nice, kind, thoughtful, creative", or it can be very specific. Like "I'm a good person to talk over a problem with" or "I always know where the best deals are in the supermarket" - that's my friend Fiona always knows where the best deals are, especially for vegan bits, or maybe like "an excellent secondhand gift, giver like, anything that you love about yourself or that you know, makes you a lovely friend or partner.

It might feel a bit uncomfortable to put all of these nice things about yourself down on paper into words. But stick with it. Don't worry about that awkward feeling. That's okay, that's normal, you will be balancing it all out anyway, by including some not so good things about you. So stuff that you need to work on and sort out red flags, you may be waving the types of things that have cropped up for you before in relationships or friendships. Again, only share if you feel comfortable, but it is good to be aware of some not so good tendencies that you have. So for example:

  • maybe you tend to get a bit obsessive if you get left on read by a crush

  • maybe you withdraw when you feel overwhelmed

  • maybe you have a jealous streak

  • or you have trouble talking about your feelings

If you put that stuff down here, it will allow the person reading to understand you. It will leave less room for confusion down the line, less miscommunication, if you will.

As I said at the start, different people have different levels of vulnerability. So don't feel like you have to spill your guts here if you don't want to. Remember no one is perfect. Having things to share in this section doesn't make you bad or wrong. It just makes you human. And the fact that you write it down means that you're aware of it and trying to work on it.

All right.

Next, we're going to talk about who you might be looking for, what kind of partner you might be looking for, what kind of friend. Again, includes some basic things like their gender or their age if those things are important to you. But I think it's also good to go deeper than that. More important than that age to you might be their life phase. So are they still figuring things out? Are they settled down? Are you ready to have a family? Are you looking to travel Are you still trying to figure out what you're doing with your life and you want to have a partner who's the same. Think about where you are in your life, and what the life phase of your partner could be.

Next up, it's their vibe. So that kind of style aesthetic energy. Before you fill out this section, make sure to leave any "preferences" that are rooted in racism fatphobia transphobia, femme phobia, ableism, lesbophobia etc. out of this. If you see yourself only considering people that fall into very specific categories of Eurocentric beauty, then don't write that down and go and reflect on it. Do some learning and unlearning.

Once you have, you can start to think, is there a style that you tend to be attracted to? Like a genre, I guess, does their masculine versus feminine energy matter to you? This type of thing. Another thing to think about is a particular dynamic that works really well for you. Maybe you're a very high energy person, and you get on really well with people who match that and are also high energy. Or maybe it's chill people that work well with you, because they balance you out a bit. If maybe there's a role that you usually like to fill in a relationship or in a friendship, maybe you like to be taken care of, or you're very independent, and you want a partner who is independent as well. Maybe you're a sweater boy looking for your total nightmare. If you don't get that reference, you can google 'The Dynamic' to find out more. This is also a good moment to mention any sexual dynamics that you would be looking for. So you can add them in here if you want. It could also be helpful to reference a couple from a film or literature like I'm a Bert looking for my Ernie.

It's worth remembering that these categories are reductive. Of course they are, they don't express exactly your ideal dynamic or your ideal partner. You don't need to feel restricted by them. But it's a good starting point for people to connect with and understand what you're looking for.

Another thing that people might need to know is your idea of a good date. So

  • are you guys going to be trying something new or going somewhere familiar?

  • What kind of environment suits you best and allows you to relax your first date nerves a bit?

  • Do you like to have another focus?

  • like going to a museum or on a walk?

  • Or do you prefer to have fewer distractions around you so you can concentrate on the date itself?

  • Are there any sensory preferences that you'd have on a date to help avoid getting overwhelmed or understimulated?

  • Think about lighting, background noise, food smells, stuff like that?

  • Do you want to meet in a public space?

  • Do you want to meet Indoors or Outdoors?

It is good to give an idea of a what a good date means to you, if I've learned anything from talking to a lot of people about dating is people's impressions of dates vary widely. Some people will find a spontaneous date to be exciting, and some people would find it very nerve-wracking. And so it's good to talk about what your preferences are in terms of what you guys do together on a day. So that there can be a little bit of a match up. And if there isn't a match, at least they know that this isn't your ideal environment. And so you might be a bit nervous.

Oh, right, now that you've outlined, who you're looking for, consider what kind of relationship you want. Think about what things might be involved and at what moment so:

  • are you looking for romance

  • or you're looking for friendship?

  • What combinations

  • sex

  • cuddles

  • kisses

Maybe you're demisexual and you need to have a platonic friendship with somebody for a while. You need to get to know them really well before intimacy is even on the cards. It's good to mention that here.

Think about what the point of a relationship is for you. So what are you hoping to gain from a relationship?

  • Is it the pure joy of connecting with another person?

  • Are you looking for mutual growth with another person?

  • Are you looking to explore aspects of your sexuality?

  • Are you looking for a mutually supportive situation?

  • Think about the different things that could be present in a relationship with you?

  • Are you looking for something monogamous?

  • Is it casual and kind

  • monogamish

  • polyamorous

  • maybe you already have a partner or a few partners that your date might need to know about?

It's good to set up your intentions, what you're expecting or what you're interested in at this time.

And then also think about the timescale. So is it a real long term thing that you're looking for? Or is it going to be short but sweet? Are you moving away soon, maybe and so long time isn't on the cards.

I really recommend making a Venn diagram to set out all of the different aspects of a relationship that you're interested in. Maybe colour-coded for, 'necessary' and 'open to' like maybe it's necessary for it to be non-monogamous, but you're open to it being a friendship or romantic relationship. You could also make a couple of lists of the different things that you are interested in in terms of a relationship

Express this information as you like, and focus on what you want, what you have the space and time for right now, what you're comfortable with, rather than what somebody might want to hear. No self-judgment in this area. Just think about what it is that you're interested in, not what somebody else might want from you.

Now, to close out this section, add in some deal breakers and dealmakers now these can be serious things that you really need to be present or really don't want to be present. Or they can be a bit funny, you can take it however you like. And once you feel like you've really expressed what kind of person and what kind of relationship you're looking for, we can move on to the next section.

Now is a part of dating that I don't think is spoken about clearly enough, often enough. And that is your communication style. I'm going to do an entire podcast going in-depth on this. But for now, here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to make it a bit easier to communicate with potential partners and friends. So first of all,

  • how do you communicate best? actually think about it?

  • Which mediums are easiest for you to communicate?

  • And so do you prefer laying out everything you have to say in a text?

  • Or do you prefer meeting in person?

  • Or is that a bit scary, so you'd rather call?

  • or maybe a phone call is actually the scariest thing of all?

And it's good for a potential partner or friend to know if intense emotional conversations are better had in person for you. Or if you prefer to have it by text, because it's nerve-racking for you to share your feelings in person. Another part of this is what are your preferences in terms of energy in communication, maybe enthusiasm is very overwhelming for you and difficult for you to deal with. A lot of people expect that on a date, they should express a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of energy. But for some people, that is a bit too much to process. So it's good to lay this out

The next question is how would they be able to tell that you like them? How would they how would they know?

  • Maybe you would just tell them outright? And you'd be very direct about it.

  • Maybe be very shy, if you liked them.

  • Maybe you'd be overly friendly to try and cover-up that you like them.

  • Maybe you'll tease them

  • or maybe you'd withdraw if you realise that you like them.

If you put this information out there, then the other person won't get confused by your reaction to them. And they'll be able to tell a lot easier if there's a connection growing between you.

And now add in any communication information that somebody meeting you for the first time and getting to know you might need to know. I'll give you some examples. So you know, I mean, so

  • I can get carried away talking about my interest and forget to ask you, it's because I'm nervous not because I'm rude.

  • For me, sharing information on a passion of mine feels like the most generous thing and a conversation.

  • For me asking you questions about yourself. And listening feels like the most generous thing in a conversation.

  • I'm very direct. I communicate what I say what I mean. And you should too because otherwise, I'll have trouble knowing what's going on.

  • I find directness to be a bit rude. I might default to over-politeness or kind of like a formal way of speaking. That's just because I don't know you very well yet

  • I probably won't be relaxed enough to be myself on the first date. If we could have a second date you get to know me better

things like this, the type of thing that you wish somebody just knew about you during dating. And that would make things a lot easier. Get it out there, explain it to them. Now.

I think that that is about as much information as you can fit into a personals zine and a lot more information that you can fit into an online or app dating profile. All of the good introductory information somebody might need in order to connect with you.

The thing that I leave till the end is the cover design of your personals zine. That's because it's a lot easier to put a cover on it or put a title or a visual to represent the whole zine to represent you. Once you've asked yourself all of these claims So here are some ideas for your cover. You can summarise who you are and what you're looking for in like a catchy way. That's kind of like one of those old fashioned personal ads. If you want some examples, you can have a look on the Instagram of Lex l e x, which is an app, a dating app that is not photo based that is based on little pieces of text and playlists like that. If you're not vibing with that, you can use images to show who you are. Pick out your favourite colours, cut out flowers, you stickers glitter. Draw yourself draw something that represents you maybe a plant or an animal, you can draw your ideal first day, like a picnic in the park or a trip to a museum or something, you can write out a playlist that will give people an impression of you. Do a little stack of books that you love. You can write your name in an interesting way and decorate the cover so that it represents you.

Or if you're really stuck for ideas, you can write out your name. This is like very, it's bringing me back to primary school. Write out your name down the page. And then add a word for each letter to let people know about you. So here's an example with my name. kind, interested. Magic. Beautiful, excited, really annoying, sometimes loud. Yeah. But just be creative with it. As long as it expresses you, then you've done it, right.

So if you were following along and making a zine at home, what do you do now? What do you do once you've made your zine? Well, you can send a picture of every page to me, and I will post it on Instagram so that queers all over the place can see it and connect with you through me. Or you can just keep it for reference. Have a little flick through it before any dates that you go on, show it to any potential dates, show it to new friends so they can get to know you. And if you were just listening to find a new way to approach dating, then I hope that you found some interesting things to think about.

I hope that you answer some of these questions for yourself. And I hope that you find all of the connections, all of the love and friends that you're looking for. And if you're having some trouble, you can always hire me to be your matchmaker.

I'm going to round out the episode. If you have any love advice questions, please send them to me. You can send them via email on Instagram. On Instagram, I am @awholeorange.matchmaking

I'm going to round out the episode with an impossible match: Lil Nas X Basquiat.

They have quite a lot in common if you think about it. Both innovative artists both have a very dry sense of humour. And I think that their energies would kind of balance each other out. I will write more of an explanation on the blog, which you can find on the website. And let me know what you think of the match. I think they would be perfect together, very cute, and I will speak to you next time. All right. Have a good day. Bye!

Kim xxx

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