The rules of gay dating have changed. Forget that stuff about playing hard to get and never having sex on a first date. Today’s rules are a little more user-friendly – but some of them may surprise you. Read on to discover the new rules of engagement:

PLAYING HARD TO GET DOESN’T WORK

Be proactive. You don’t have to write someone an epic love letter (please don’t) – just pick out a couple of appealing points in their ad and write a quick intro email. Likewise, you won’t “keep them keen” by making them wait days for a reply. They’ll find someone else to date. Time moves fast in online dating.

DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH FROM A FIRST DATE

You’re meeting a stranger. Chances are that you won’t fancy each other, or that only one of you will fancy the other. So don’t fantasize too much.

DON’T TAKE THE REJECTION PERSONALLY

Not only can you not be everyone’s type, there are plenty of reasons people pass on potential matches that have little to do with the other person. Maybe you look too much like the ex who broke his heart. His loss.

BE CREDIT CARD SEXY

I think we can agree that the person paying on a date should not be your mother. But if not her, who? Should it be one individual, or do you go Dutch? My opinion is this: If a same-sex couple is meeting for the first time, one of you should assume full financial responsibility. In truth, it doesn’t matter who forks over the cash as long as someone does it⎯fully. Tip and all. Taking someone out, being taken out…a rendezvous like this is sexy. Calculating debt based on who had caramel in their frappuccino is not. It’s a sex repellent. Mating is delicate business. There’s a reason horny manakin birds do a moon dance and hippos spray their lovers with wet feces. Rituals matter. Be happy you’re not one of those mites who kills her mother and brother while breeding. You’ll need no such fortitude. Just an unexpired Visa.

MODESTY IS A TURN-OFF

Many profiles on gay dating websites start with statements like: “I’m no good at this kind of thing”. The writers are doing themselves no favors. If you put yourself down, you won’t sound attractively self-effacing. You’ll sound needy and insecure.

… AND SO IS BRAGGING

Confidence is sexy; arrogance is not. “I cook a mean paella and I’ll always try to make you laugh” is good, but “I have a fantastic job and no-one can understand why I’m single” is not.

POST A RECENT PHOTO OF YOURSELF THAT ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE YOU.

Chances are you have one really fantastic photo of yourself that was taken at just the right angle where you look ever so slightly like Ryan Gosling or Leonardo DiCaprio. Don’t post that picture. Post the picture that actually looks like you — you on a good day (in great lighting). You want people to know what to expect and not be disappointed when it’s you who shows up for your date.

TAKE THE LEAD IN CONVERSATION

Maybe you had an incredible conversation online with someone whom you decide to meet, and then they barely say a word. Meeting a stranger is always awkward, and online dating, especially, lends itself to folks who are shy in social situations. So you would probably be doing yourself a favor if you just lead the conversation, or simply just deal with the awkward first date and see if either one of you would like a much less awkward second date; remember that it often takes 3 encounters to really know if you click with someone.

ZIP UP YOUR BAGGAGE

Most living grown-ups have a history of exes, hang-ups and maybe a nervous breakdown or two. But never admit it to a new or potential lover. They know that you have a past, but they don’t want to hear about it. Keep schtum until you know each other better.

CALL THEM THE NEXT DAY

Ignore those rules about waiting three days to get in touch. If you like someone, you have nothing to lose by letting them know. If they are interested, they’ll be happy that you called. If they’re not interested, at least you’ll know – and you can move on to the next date.




Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
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