You’ve identified your favorite fluffy diaper, your onesies are neatly folded away, and your pacifier sits on your dresser, reminding you of the comfort you’ll get to experience when you regress. Or maybe, you’re a caregiver and you love the image of your future little getting ready to meet you. Now it’s time to share all of this good stuff with a partner! Where can you find one? How do you tell them what you like? Will they join you in your littlespace play or reject you?
All the regular dating questions and insecurities are present – and on top of all that, you wonder if you should disclose your ABDL lifestyle while dating. And there’s the added concern of what happens if you open up and tell them and they choose to not participate, or even decide to call it quits?
We know, we know –he uncertainty is killer – but sit tight because we answer the questions you’ve been thinking about and provide you with a solid set of tips on how to navigate ABDL dating below.
The Struggles of ABDL Dating
Like with any fetish, the pool of people who engage and understand your interests is much smaller than more traditional crowds. Because of this ignorance regarding the ABDL lifestyle, it’s easy to be misunderstood, misjudged, and even rejected. Rejection of new ideas is a common human response; it’s part of the way we’re wired. So, if you experience it, don’t take it personally. That’s easier said than done, of course, but you should know there are entire studies devoted to understanding this phenomenon, and we now know that, even though people may claim to be open-minded, they also carry unconscious biases, making it hard for them to handle a new idea. So as cliché as it might sound, take comfort knowing it’s not you; it’s them.
Balancing Adult Life with Baby Life
Some ABDLs can mesh really well with other ABDLs during their regressive playtime but may fail to share a connection that transfers over to adult living. Some ABDLs, therefore, choose to keep these aspects of their lives separate: they date someone from outside the ABDL scene and also have someone who shares common interests to meet their ABDL needs. Although this can become a tricky situation, with honest communication that ensures consent between all parties, it can be managed well. For those who prefer a more monogamous approach, finding someone you connect with during adult life and slowly easing them into the ABDL world may prove to be the best course of action.
Not Knowing Where to Meet Other ABDLs
Since the ABDL community is not very large, it can be tough to find other ABDLs to connect with. Unless you’re willing to wear a nametag that identifies your preferences wherever you go, your options can feel kind of limited. Some ABDLs find connecting online to be the easiest way to get to know someone who shares similar interests; but sometimes forums can be riddled with posts that feel spammy, making it difficult to find real connection. Other ABDLs prefer in-person meetings and have tried casual, low-pressure meetups like Munch, which is geared toward the BDSM community and offers a way to connect with people who engage in alternative lifestyles.
Should You Disclose Whether or Not You’re ABDL?
When to Disclose
When you have taken the time to get to know someone well enough to determine whether they align with your general interests and values, you have a great foundation to build a relationship on. This phase of getting to know someone can happen quickly or slowly, depending on how often you see and speak to them. You should definitely build this foundation before disclosing your private interests. The knowledge of these special activities you engage in should not be thrown carelessly into the wind, but rather preserved for someone who can offer understanding instead of ignorance, acceptance instead of rejection, and respect instead of ridicule. If you’re a wear-it-out-loud kind of person, you have probably developed really thick skin and we absolutely support you in your out-loud-ness. However, if you are even remotely reserved about your ABDL preferences, don’t disclose them until you feel like you can trust the other person with something you hold so dear.
When Not to Disclose
If the person you have started dating is not open-minded, often makes fun of others, or just overall gives you the feeling that you can’t trust him or her, it’s best not to disclose your preferences. Treat these pieces of you like fine china: only give them to someone who will be careful with them, respecting them as the beautiful and precious treasures they are. Otherwise, you set yourself up for disappointment – and, in all likelihood, hurt – and when dating, you should feel happy, empowered, inspired, and connected. If you’re not feeling the good stuff, just let it go and find someone who will light you up.
Where to Meet Other ABDLs?
Online Dating Sites
There are some websites geared toward those who engage with age play. Littlespace Online has a section for personals where littles can find caregivers, and vice versa. DateCGL also provides a platform for adult age-players to explore their interests within a like-minded online community. FetLife is another popular social network that welcomes you into the BDSM, fetish, and kinky community. It boasts similarity to Facebook, but of course with a special appeal for people who enjoy alternative lifestyles.
However, even regular dating sites can be used. Adding a small description identifying your preferences helps those perusing your profile understand exactly what you’re looking for. It also helps to weed out those who would not be interested in exploring the ABDL lifestyle.
Facebook shouldn’t be overlooked in your quest to connect with another ABDL. You can find people who identify as ABDL in private groups. Plus, these groups are a great way to get to know others and discover whether they live in your area.
Meetups like Munch are a fantastic way to connect with others who keep an open mind about alternative lifestyles; even if you don’t share a particular kink, it increases your network of people who share similar interests. Meetup.com has age play groups that you can peruse. Moreover, they offer descriptions of what to expect, along with locations and times to meet up, making it easy for you to decide on your next outing. ABDL Events is a website that organizes meetups as well; they even let you add an event if you’d like to host something in your city.
How to Bring Up the ABDL Lifestyle with Your Partner?
Use Third-Party Resources to Test the Waters
When you’re completely unsure how to even broach the topic, using third-party resources can be extremely helpful. For example, watching a documentary that explores fetishes can give you an idea of how your partner reacts to alternative lifestyles and provides you with his or her true feelings on topics that may be considered unusual or taboo by many. Blogs and online articles are other great resources you can point your partner to: mention that you find the topic interesting and ask questions such as “What do you think about this?” Using these resources provides you with a way to gauge your partner’s reaction while also giving you enough information to help you adjust your expectations.
Since the ABDL lifestyle is extremely specific, beating around the bush with the topic isn’t a good way to get your partner to understand your interests. Although it may feel scary, once you’ve established mutual trust and respect with your partner, it’s important to honestly share those intimate details about your preferences because your partner will likely be affected by them. If your ABDL lifestyle doesn’t incorporate sexual gratification and doesn’t really require participation from your partner, you can explain this clearly. If it does incorporate sexual gratification and you are looking for your partner to participate, be clear about that, too. Like any interest of yours, how much your partner supports your activities determines the core strength of your relationship. When you deliver the whole truth, including some of the detailed aspects of your ABDL preferences, you put the ball in your partner’s court, allowing for discourse that can now consider both of your perspectives.
Listen to Your Partner
This part may be tough as the initial response from your partner may not be as enthusiastic as you’d like. But be patient here, hold back on interrupting and hear your partner out. If your partner becomes quiet, don’t get upset. Perhaps he or she just needs some time to process this new information before being able to respond. You can help your partner by asking, “Do you need some time to think about this before responding?” If they say yes, honor their process and ask if you can continue the conversation the next day. If your partner doesn’t need time and begins to ask questions, answer them as openly and honestly as you can. Curiosity is good here; it means your partner is seeking understanding.
If your partner shows acceptance of your preferences, this is fantastic news! At this point, you can move the discussion toward compromise. Ask your partner how he or she is willing to participate and engage with your ABDL lifestyle, if that’s what you’re looking for. Talk about consent and boundaries. Keep an open channel of communication so you both know how to navigate the ABDL space together. Also, make sure your partner knows it is always okay to check in with you and ask any questions. This is familiar territory for you, but your partner may need some gentle hand-holding as he or she gains more understanding.
Don’t expect your partner to dive right in. If he or she does, more power to you both! But plan for a slow incorporation of regressive behaviors. Show your partner your ABDL items and explain how you’d like to start. Wait for their response. For a gentle start, try watching some favorite cartoons while regressing with a pacifier. Or wear your favorite onesie to bed with your partner. Go slow, gauge your partner’s level of comfort, and communicate by asking questions like, “Is this okay?” Ensuring your partner’s consent is the best way to lay a strong foundation that supports you both as you explore the ABDL lifestyle together.
What to Do if Your Partner Rejects Your Lifestyle?
This can be tough ground to navigate – but you can do it. If your partner is unwilling to even at least offer acceptance of your ABDL preferences, it will hurt, but it’s better to have this information upfront than to prolong something that isn’t working. It is up to you how you choose to proceed, but know that you have several options:
- If your ABDL lifestyle does not require participation from your partner, it is possible to save your relationship by asking your partner to consider that your preferences don’t have to be shared. You can explain that what you’re looking for and require from your partner is acceptance. Acceptance is simply recognition of your reality without attempting to change it. Ultimately, understanding can come later. You can say something like, “It’s okay if you don’t understand, but can you accept that these are my preferences?” If the answer is no, you can choose to move on to a partner who is willing to accept you fully without insisting that you change.
- If your ABDL lifestyle does require participation from your partner, you can ask him or her to consider that engagement with your interests is a way of meeting your needs within the relationship. You can say something like, “I’d like you to keep an open mind and consider your role as my partner when it comes to my pleasure.” Be prepared to reciprocate, of course, and ensure that your partner is equally sexually gratified in the relationship. If your partner expresses a hard no, you must respect this decision and be ready to move on to a partner who better aligns with your preferences.
- If your ABDL style does involve participation but isn’t a deal breaker within a relationship, you may be able to keep your relationship at the comfort level you and your partner agree on, and engage in some ABDL activities on your own, or even with other partners, if your relationship is open. You can say something like, “I appreciate that I was able to share this with you and will only engage in what you consent to. On the other hand, I will continue to explore my preferences on my own (or with others, if you’re okay with that).” Again, open, honest communication is the right approach with this situation.
Whatever you decide, stay true to yourself. Partners should not make you feel shame or guilt. They should be kind and supportive. Even if you find yourself with someone who doesn’t share your preferences, there should always be respect in your communication. If respect is lacking, that’s a solid red flag, and you should move on to greener pastures.
Final Thoughts on ABDL Dating
When you know how to navigate dating as an ABDL, you can feel more confident about embarking on the journey. Remember to give yourself enough time to get to know someone, to only disclose when you feel comfortable doing so, and to quickly walk away from anyone who isn’t willing to accept you as you are.
You are one step closer to finding your perfect mate, whether you’re looking for a long-term bond or just a fun fling. There are people out there who can’t wait to meet you and enjoy playtime with you. Have a little faith and be a little bold as you put yourself out there! But be safe and patient. And, of course, don’t forget to have a great time!