So, you’d like to meet someone and have decided to go online. That’s a good move — proactive and forward-thinking. But be careful not to be lulled into habits that will undermine your online gay dating experience.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you peruse the seemingly endless stream of profiles from prospective partners.
1. Don’t go crazy over the pictures.
On the Internet, it’s easy to feel nitpicky and maintain high expectations. With apps like Grindr and Tinder, you snap-judge users as if you were scrolling Amazon for the best pair of speakers.
This sense of being in the driver’s seat, of choosing, can be appealing. It makes you feel powerful. Fight it.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Something even the hot guys who are sort of good at online dating don’t seem to understand: you have to also ask questions about your date. It’s not just about you and what you’re interested in and what you do and what you like. Your date is also a person with an exciting life.
3. Evaluate the tone of the profile.
What’s actually important in evaluating a profile is its tone. You want to try and get a sense of what the person is like, which can be truly difficult.
It’s a challenge as a novelist to convey characters in meaningful ways — it’s no less demanding for a person writing, or reading, dating profiles. It’s key to read between the lines to get a sense of whether the person seems well-adjusted — pleasant, friendly and reasonable, someone you would be drawn to if you met him in person, even if you didn’t know his top five favorite movies.
Attention to tone when you read profiles will help you to ferret some of those qualities no one admits to (we often don’t even know we have them, sadly).
4. Seeing a movie is a bad first date idea.
Why don’t you go somewhere where you can TALK and get to know one another? Rather than sit quietly in the dark for 2 hours listening to each other breathe.
5. Be careful what you say and who you say it to.
Don’t automatically assume that people on a particular dating website don’t converse with one another. If you’re telling one guy what a party animal you are but you try to come off as a homebody to attract another, you might get caught dead in your tracks.
6. Be up front about your intentions.
If all you’re looking for is a roll in the hay, say so tactfully. If you prefer to be friends first long before any romance, mention that as well. There’s no need to hide your intentions – they’re eventually going to come out.
Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?