We can all agree that modern love is not what it used to be. Online gay dating websites and apps have increased our potential partner options so much so that the dating game has, let’s face it, become more difficult. (Ugh!) To help you navigate the insanity of the online gay dating world, we spoke to real gay people with successful digital love stories. Here, their best tips on how to tackle the gay dating scene’s new norm:
HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS
“Let go of expectations. I used to think I had an idea of who I wanted to fall in love with, how I wanted to fall in love, and when I wanted to fall in love. I was wrong. The guy I fell in love with was totally unexpected. He was unlike any guy I had ever met or envisioned before. But he was totally perfect. I never thought I’d actually meet my boyfriend on Gay Dating Solutions. I was so close to bailing on our first date because I thought he wasn’t my ‘type.’ I’m so glad I decided to go. Turns out, he is totally my type. He’s goofy, charming, driven, and has a big heart.” — Christian A.
TRY A DIFFERENT APPROACH
“A lot of people are not looking for relationships on these platforms. If you’re looking for a date, a real interaction, I think removing alcohol from the situation is huge. Because you get to know someone and who they really are. If they aren’t able to talk to you without alcohol, then how is that a sustainable relationship? If you want to get to know somebody, grab a cup of coffee, and before that make a phone call. People can fake it. When on a gay dating app, you have time to respond to messages. But if you’re actually talking to somebody and they’re not coming up with good responses, or they’re not being honest, you’ll be able to tell very quickly through a conversation versus text.” — James D.
TAKE A GOOD LOOK
“Quality over quantity. All the apps and websites today are about giving you so many options, almost *too* many options. It’s swipe right, swipe left, but you’re not truly evaluating if that person is right for you. So instead of swiping 20 guys, swipe 10 in one night, but really focus on what story their profile pics and what they write in their profile are trying to say. If you look hard enough, you can always start to get a sense of that person. I always tried to make my profile represent who I was…the good, the bad, and the ugly. I think when you create a dating profile, you should show all sides of yourself. If the person on the other end responds, then there’s a better chance they’re going to really be a potential match.” — Drew E.
GIVE SECOND CHANCES
“Give every first date a second chance. My first date with Mike was awkward and I didn’t think we had any chemistry, but that was probably because we didn’t have a genuine opportunity to spark each other’s interest. When people meet at work, through mutual friends, or even in a bar, there’s an opportunity for a spark to develop before they agree to go on a date. Meeting after only speaking for a few minutes on a gay dating app is most likely going to feel strange. I gave Mike a second chance because he was handsome, accomplished, and genuinely seemed like a nice guy. I figured it couldn’t hurt. We’re getting married next week, so I’m very thankful that I did. We really couldn’t be a better match.” — Sef C.
RECRUIT YOUR FRIENDS
“Don’t overthink the entrance. If you’re mutually attracted to each other, then it’s just a matter of seeing if you have common interests and can find a cool place to interact. My boyfriend and I met for the first time at a bar. We were both with our friend groups and this took a lot of pressure off, because it wasn’t like a “date.” I’d had many a sit-down dinner the first time meeting someone, and it was almost always uncomfortable to begin with. There’s too much to think about (am I eating like a caveman? did I just spit food on her? is the conversation exciting enough? etc).” — Phillip M.