Lesbian Dating and Courtship from Young Adulthood to Midlife Article

Rose, S, Zand, D. (2000). Lesbian Dating and Courtship from Young Adulthood to Midlife . 11(2-3), 77-104. 10.1300/J041v11n02_04

cited authors

  • Rose, S; Zand, D



  • Summary: Lesbian dating and courtship were explored based on interviews with 38 predominantly white lesbians (ages 22-63) representing young adult, adult, and midlife age groups. Friendship was found to be the most widely used courtship script across all age groups, followed by the sexually explicit and romance scripts, with friendship and romance scripts being preferred. Unique aspects of lesbian dating cited by participants included freedom from gender roles, heightened intimacy/friendship, the rapid pace of lesbian relationship development, and the effects of prejudice. Friendship was found to be differentiated from romance by two main criteria: emotional intensity and sexual energy or contact. Verbal declarations of interest and nonverbal behaviors were the primary means of communicating sexual attraction. Few lesbians adhered to traditional gender roles in dating, and those who reported assuming the feminine reactive role nevertheless rejected the traditional notion that women should limit sexual contact. Overall, midlife lesbians were more purposive in their dating and more free from gender roles. Specifically, they were more concerned about the “attachment-worthiness” of a prospective partner and were significantly more likely than young adults to view dating as having a serious goal, to proceed at a rapid pace, to ask for a date, and to initiate physical intimacy. © 2000, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 77

end page

  • 104


  • 11


  • 2-3