Dating, as a gay man, can seem impossible. We have all heard the constant barrage of “dating apps have ruined dating” “every just wants hook ups” “no one wants anything serious.” Well, let’s toss all that aside for a minute because guess who is throwing out those broad generalizations? Yeah, guys in the dating pool that have probably done things to manifest those statements. We can change things. It can get better!
Yes, apps have changed how things are done, but we should be real – if you are on Grindr you MAY find a date, but most likely it will be just a hook up. It’s in the name of the damn app! Try venturing into apps/platforms like Tindr and OK Cupid that at least lean toward a date.
Now that is out of the way, the next step is how to date. I preface this with the fact these are just my opinions, but I have talked to many that feel the same way.
Tips for dating
- have the balls to ask a person out on a DATE, not “you wanna hang tomorrow night?” – be clear – you want sex with dinner first… I mean… a real date. 😉
- don’t give it up on the first date. Yes, I know we have all made the mistake and sometimes you can be with that person forever even if you let them sample the cookie before buying the box, but holding out for a bit can demonstrate that you weren’t just hungry before having sex
- Do “check ins” every once in a while (every few dates, etc.) to see where you both are at – be honest… tell him how you feel. Topics can be how each person feels the relationship is going, how they themselves feel, how the sex is, etc. For instance, “I really like you and am excited to pursue this, but also am really busy and don’t have a lot of time to spend with you” or “I just got out of a long term relationship and would like to take things slow” or “I am totally into you and feel like you are totally into me and want to spend every moment I can with you” Then, be prepared to hear where they are and honor that. Things go much smoother when you are all on the same page and accommodate where the other person is at. It is important to do these check ins frequently because things can change rapidly, particularly at the beginning! We all have gone through that cycle of diving in, then having moments of panic if we suddenly felt things were moving too quickly. If that is communicated it can be worked through. If not, things will crash and burn in a big hurry. Any relationship, even dating, is just communication, agreements, and staying on pace with the other person, while being genuine. Don’t feel bad if you tell them you are head over heels and thery are tepid. That is why you are having the conversation. If you weren’t having the conversation they might just panic and run away. ** Note, if a person is awkward during this conversation – that’s normal. If they refuse to have the conversation or feel “it’s too serious” then turn and run. They are NOT someone that will last. This is an empowering, safe, and fun conversation.
- Don’t listen to all the stupid “rules” like:
- don’t text him back too quickly – you should wait 3 days
- don’t tell him how you feel, he may panic
- Don’t date if you aren’t ready! Too many times I have gone on a date where we hit it off, but the other person isn’t ready. This is like listing your house for sale when the kitchen is still being remodeled. You don’t want people walking through seeing that mess! Also, it is not fair to the other person. They are in the dating pool because
- Understand what dating is – most people are dating to meet potential lovers, not “just for fun.” If you are dating “just for fun” then communicate that before going on a date.
- Don’t assume ANYTHING – many people will assume monogamy or exclusivity (only dating them) at a stage and unless that is discussed and agreed upon it’s going to end badly
- Be open to possibilities. They may not fit in the box you want them to or may not look like the picture on your vision board, but if you look at past substantial romantic relationships, were they all exactly with whom you had pictured? There are certain deal breakers for all of us, but if things come up that aren’t ideal, decide if they are negotiable or non-negotiable.
- Be open to different types of relationships. This is my plug for being open to polyamory. I still believe it is possible to have more than one loving relationship simultaneously, but also have been single for a very long time so will work on one at a time. Think of the bright side… if you are dating someone that has a boyfriend/partner – think of all the pressure that is relieved!
With these things in mind I think we all might be more successful at dating. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.