It probably goes without saying that dating is nothing if not a challenge here in 2018. This is the case even if you’re straight, but gay people tend to have their own unique obstacles to tackle on top of everything else. There’s certainly a fine art getting things just right, so it definitely pays to be open to learning.
The following guidelines are well worth considering for anyone who’d like to raise the bar when it comes to the quality of their dating life. However, they’re also things gay guys in particular would really do well to take more seriously. (Yes, sir. We’re looking at you.) Which ones have your attention?
- Learn to ask better questions.
We get it. You have to start somewhere when you’re trying to strike up a conversation with someone new, but still. You’ve got to do better than “where are you from” and “what do you do” if you’re really serious about landing better dates with top quality guys. Literally everyone has had someone try to open a conversation that way at some point in the past, so you run the risk of them tuning you out when they hear the same old lines coming out of your mouth too.
Set yourself apart by asking different questions – better questions. Get your target thinking a little bit and challenge him to step outside of his comfort zone. One of the best ways to do this is by entertaining your natural curiosity about the person. Ask him something about himself that you’d really like to know the answer to and let the conversation flow from there.
- Broaden your horizons a little.
While it’s definitely true that there are plenty of fish in the sea, you won’t get very far if you’re always casting your net in the same direction. Start by branching out a little bit as far as where you’re going to meet guys in the first place. Are you over running into the same old crowd at the clubs you usually go to? Try driving out of town with friends to check out some new hangouts. Sick of the slim pickings on Grindr when you’re in the mood to hook up? Try Scruff or GuyHop instead. You get the picture.
It’s also a good idea to think beyond your usual type once in a while. We’re hardly saying you have to give up your low-key addiction to bears, computer geeks, or whatever it is you’re into. We are saying that thinking outside the box can lead to some pretty cool opportunities to get to know some really great guys, so why limit yourself.
- Think positive and be
We’ve all run into “that guy” when we’re browsing around on our favorite dating sites. To really understate things, he knows exactly what he wants. In fact, he’s so sure he knows what types of guys are right and wrong for him that’s his entire profile comes across as borderline rude. Although it might be tempting to be that guy, especially if you’re truly tired of dating duds, don’t. Not only are you missing out on a lot of potentially great opportunities, but you also risk coming across as a prejudiced jerk.
Instead of going on and on about what you don’t like or want in a guy, focus on the positive. Talk about what you like to do with your spare time and mention the types of people you love doing it with. In other words, tell any hotties that might be peeping your profile all about the reasons why they should want to date you. Convince them that they’d really be missing out by not messaging you and attempting to get to know you better.
- Don’t fetishize potential prospects.
Fetishization isn’t just rude. It’s an increasingly troublesome issue within the gay community at large. As the rest of the world grows ever more open-minded and tolerant toward LGBTQ people, gay men seem to be getting less tolerant of one another. That said, it’s fine to have a type you’re really into. It’s not so fine to reduce other people to fetishes. At best, you’re making yourself look bad. You’re also running the risk of offending someone who might otherwise be really into you.
For instance, there’s nothing wrong with being a white guy that finds black men really attractive, but don’t go around telling black hotties that you’re “really into black guys”. You’re turning a whole person with lots of things to offer into an object that maybe only exists to help you fulfill a kink you have. No one likes to be defined by what they are. They want to be seen and appreciated as individuals in the same way that you do. Just tell that smooth Idris Elba lookalike that you think he’s smoking hot and leave it at that.
- Don’t write someone off because you met on an app.
If you’ve ever been really into dating around or hooking up for casual sex on the regular, you probably also know your way around a gay dating app or two. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you were initially only interested in getting laid via those sites that there aren’t other possibilities to explore as well.
Yes, most people on your average gay hookup app are looking for sex and nothing but. It’s not everyone though. Also, who really cares why or how you met someone really awesome? At the end of the day, that matters a lot less than the actual connection you share, so keep an open mind. The worst thing that happens is you maybe make some cool new friends or enjoy some truly excellent casual encounters on your way to something more permanent.
- Be honest about what you want.
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s 2018. People – especially gay people – are more comfortable living their truths and being themselves than ever. Pretending you’re looking for something you’re not is so last century at this point, so there’s honestly no reason not to simply be candid with the guys you date.
If you’re only interested in sex or casual hookups right now, it’s completely acceptable to just say so. Not only will you avoid leading anyone on, but you’ll make the entire dating process easier on yourself as well. After all, everyone’s different. Some people just want sex while others are on the lookout for Mr. Right. Still more people have no real idea what they’re looking for, so the more up-front you can be about what you want, the better for everyone involved.
- Learn the right way to reject people.
It’s simply inevitable that you’ll need to reject someone sooner or later. However, far too many guys don’t seem to realize that it really is possible to let someone down easy without hurting their feelings. Think back to some of the times you’ve been rejected and consider what made the difference between the times it really hurt and the times you actually felt OK about it. Chances are the times that felt OK involved someone actually being nice to you and considering your feelings.
For example, let’s say you’re just not into someone because you’re just plain not attracted to how they look. Obviously, it happens but there’s really no reason to be brutally honest with the person under those circumstances. If you can think of something nicer to say, that’s great, but in the event you can’t? You can always just tell him you don’t feel any chemistry or that there’s no “spark”. People get that all the time, but it’s rarely something they question or feel too badly about when they do hear it.
- Give people a break when it comes to their past.
Let’s face it. Unless we’re unusually squeaky clean, we’ve all got a few skeletons in our closets when it comes to the past. We’ve all been around the block a few times. We’ve all done a few things when we were young and stupid that we’re maybe not so proud of anymore. You know you wouldn’t want someone else to judge you or write you off because of something you did ages ago. It’s not really fair to do it to someone else.
That said, treat your first date with someone special as the beginning of an entirely new timeline. Give them the same benefit of the doubt you’d want them to give you. Don’t ignore serious red flags (e.g. blatant rudeness or signs of addiction). Do make sure you’re giving the person a fair chance, especially if you really like them.
While it’s a given that dating is tough, especially when you feel like you’ve been at it with no real luck for a while, it’s not impossible to get it right. Success is largely about keeping an open mind, treating people the way you’d like to be treated yourself, and going with the flow whenever possible. Who knows where it might take you!