Gay Dating Guide: Essential First Date Etiquette

Question: I am new to gay dating and have my first date coming up soon. I’ve never been on a date with a man and there are a few things I’ve always wondered about. Who pays?
We met online and both drive at least an hour to reach each other, he drives further, so do I pay? Or do we pay for each other or ourselves? I am very confused about that! Also, do I bring him a gift to be romantic? We talk on the phone a lot and if I was dating a girl I would bring her a rose, but would that just be weird to bring a guy a flower or candies or something? I really like him and want to impress him! Do I pull his chair out? Or is that a little ridiculous? We have already stated no sex on the first date, but is a kiss okay? If I give him a kiss right when I approach him I think that sets the wrong tone, but I don’t want to seem like a prude either!
If you could put my mind at ease on these silly frivolous things, I would greatly appreciate it!
Thanks, Liam

Dear Liam:
Congrats on your first date! How exciting!
I would imagine you have lots of nervous anticipation and it’s perfectly normal for you to be feeling all topsy-turvy. Enjoy these feel-good-feelings because it most certainly is a magical experience. However, I would encourage you to approach this first get-together as a “meeting” and not a “date”. If you’ve never gotten together in person and have only communicated via online or the telephone, face-to-face contacts sometimes can be quite different and you don’t want to get trapped in a situation where you’re stuck if things don’t mesh up. By viewing it as a “meeting” rather than a “date”, it also takes the pressure off and first meetings are usually best kept to a short encounter and one that is activity-oriented.
For example, good places to meet up might be a coffee shop or taking a walk through a park or zoo. Avoid going to the movies because that doesn’t afford much time to talk to each other and get to know one another. It’s usually a good idea to skip having a romantic dinner on the first meeting as well because even though you may have had some hot chemistry going on the phone, that may not transfer over to an in-person situation and then you’re stuck having a long intimate dinner with someone that becomes loaded with expectation when you’re just not “feeling it”; there’s nothing more awkward! Postpone the candle-lit dinner until after the first meeting to ensure that there truly is physical and emotional chemistry and that there appears to be some alignment with your personal requirements for a mate before putting yourself in such a position.

Perhaps the number one rule of dating etiquette is to be yourself! If you feel like holding the door open for him, then by all means go for it! But only if that’s the kind of guy you are…you want your behavior to be a genuine representation of your personality and character. Be true to yourself and behave in ways that are polite and show respect for your potential dating prospect. While our heterosexual counterparts have been socialized to behave according to subscribed roles, as gay men we do not have such guideposts to refer to so we have to make it up as we go along, and that’s why it’s best to show your authentic self from the get-go and let that be your reference point.
A lot of the things you do during your meeting will be dependent on reading the social cues and body language that is occurring in the exchanges between you and the other guy. For example, when I was dating, a guy with good manners and who was chivalrous like pulling a chair out or holding a door open scored major bonus points with me. However, other men might be put off by such actions and a masculinity tug-of-war could occur, so try to be mindful of how you think he might respond or react to such acts of kindness by how the tone of your interactions are going. And while it’s a nice thought and generous of you to consider bringing a gift on a first meeting, it is probably advisable to hold off on this until the relationship progresses a little further because this can scare many men off right away as they fear being suffocated or that premature intimacy is being rushed. Sometimes it can also look like you’re trying to impress him and “win him over”. It is not your job to get him to like you. He should like you for who you are, not for what you can do for him, so take the emphasis off of feeling like you have to be on a performance to prove your worth. Relax, and just enjoy spending time with him and getting to him better to see if he matches your personal requirements for you’re a partner and relationship.

Your no-sex agreement is a great idea as sex to soon often times can sexualize a relationship too soon before its had a chance to build its own solid foundation of friendship and trust; the relationship gets defined around sex instead of qualities of more substance and depth and can often times be responsible for ending a relationship before it’s had a chance to get off the ground. Kisses on a first meeting can be nice, but again will be dependent on how the flow of the get-together has been going and to gauge the level of interest, attraction, and chemistry that is or isn’t pumping between the two of you. There’s also no right or wrong answer with money; it’s more about what makes you feel comfortable. Many men go “dutch” on a first meeting; others have one paying and then the other pays the next time. Sometimes one guy does most of the “wining and dining.” Just go with what feels right for you and if you continue to see each other, you can talk more about this issue along with the others.
So enjoy your get-together with this new potential dating prospect and go with the flow. Rid yourself of all the “what-if” thoughts and just stay fully present in the moment when you’re with him. There’s no need to impress; just be yourself and let things evolve naturally and as they are meant to be and that will help minimize your jitters. You can create a favorable impression in the other guy’s mind of you by saying and doing things that make him feel good about himself, but only be genuine or you can come off looking like a “smooth-talker” or a fake. And rather than worrying about whether he likes you and wondering how he’s thinking the meeting is going, keep your thoughts centered on “living in the moment” so you won’t be distracted and keep your eyes peeled for indications of whether he would be a good match for you with your needs for an ideal boyfriend.

Have a great time, my friend! Get out of your head and just have fun! And just remember that you’re a good catch and you have nothing to prove! It will be one very lucky guy who recognizes that fact when he’s out with you! Good luck!
All my best!

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Gay Dating 101: Ten First Date Red Flags

That First Date

You are getting ready to meet that handsome guy you met online or through a close friend for that all important first date. Feeling excited and a little nervous, you look hard in the mirror and think to yourself:

Will he like me? What should I wear? Does my breath smell?”

Seriously, going on a first date can be a bit of a challenge. This is particularly true for gay men who are new to the dating scene or have been off the market for an extended period of time.
After consulting with a number of gay men who were formerly single and now long-term partnered … plus a few therapists who specialize in couples counseling. Here are some gay dating red flags:

10 Red Flags for Gay Men on a First Date

What follows is a list of 10 “Red Flags” for gay men on a first date that should be thought of as potential warning signs that the guy may not be a good fit for you. Some of these red flags are obvious. Some are funny. Others are ones you may not have heard before and should not ignore. The list is by no means exhaustive.
Disclaimer: Not every point here may apply to your situation and is not set in stone. Think of these as general guidelines as opposed rigid rules.

1. He just got out of a long term relationship

This point may seem particularly obvious but the truth is that many gay men fall into the trap of ignoring this red flag. In gay years the phrase “long term” can often differ from straight folks. A long term relationship for a gay man can be subjective at best. As a rule of thumb, 2 years or more is a good yardstick go by, give or take.
What is important is this – the amount of time he has been out of his same sex relationship. If he was in a five year relationship and is now out on the market six months after the breakup, he is very likely not going to be emotionally available or emotionally capable of a real relationship again for some time. And if he still lives with his ex and is claiming, “We still live together but are not in a relationship” or anything like that, you need to run.
Here are some more tips under this point:

  • He says you remind him of his “ex” several times during first date
  • He talks about his ex the entire date or calls you by his ex’s first name (run!)
  • He tells you he wants a serious relationship (remember, he just broke up)
  • He is just coming on too strong and acting like you two are a serious couple.

2. He’s checking out other guys and flirting

Yes, this is one that should seem obvious but is ignored more than folks might think. If you are out on a real date and you are noticing that the guy you are out with is continually checking out other dudes, flirting or both – it is probably a good indication that this guy is not for you. There is an off chance that he is trying to impress you by demonstrating how he can attract other people but do you really want to deal with that?
And here is another possibility …he just isn’t into you. Instead of manning up and telling you that, he is flirting with other dudes. This point sucks and not something you want to hear but checking out other guys on a first date really is not a good sign for something long term.
Other tips under this red flag during the first date: 

  • He keeps going on Facebook or twitter or some other dating app
  • He talks about how hot another guy is on your first date

3. He wants to go to a bar

Perhaps another obvious warning sign but worth mentioning. If he wants to meet you at a local gay bar for a first date, he probably isn’t the right guy for you. The same goes that if after your official first date activity, like a coffee or a dinner, he wants to go to “the bars” .. it should be a warning sign that this guy is not long term material. The reason being is that the first date should be about getting to know one another. If he is already needing to go hang out at a bar on your first date, he likely is not ready to focus on you or a relationship. Some may disagree with this point. You decide.
Some other tips under this red flag: 

  • He tells you he meets all of his dates at bars
  • He seems to crave attention and needs an audience
  • Most of his pictures are of him at clubs and yeah … bars

4. He drinks too much too fast

Obviously, this is a subjective warning sign however, there are tell-tale things that you should be looking for under this red flag. One of them is the amount of alcohol he is consuming and the speed in which he is doing it. If you notice that he is pounding back glass after glass of wine (or some other drink) and that he is encouraging you to do the same – run.
Look, there is nothing wrong with a few drinks on a first date however, when it gets to the point that he needs to get bombed in order to function, he’s likely not going to be a good match for you. Same holds true if he shows up at your first date stoned. Run like hell. 
Other under this red flag: 

  • He wants you to get high with him
  • He talks a lot about how much he “parties” or “parTays”

5. He has less than 1 year of sobriety

A guy who is in a recovery program for drugs and/or alcohol should be applauded and supported. That however does not mean he is ready to start dating. As a general rule of thumb, people in recovery programs, like a 12-step program (AA, CMA, NA…) are encouraged to stay away from the dating scene for 1-year.
This is not a hard and fast rule but is generally encouraged. The reasons are plentiful but the primary one is that the guy needs to be focusing on his recovery. A debatable “red flag” perhaps but one that cannot be ignored.

6. He is rude to wait staff and others

If the guy you are with on the first date treats wait staff, box office attendants or others disrespectfully or rudely, he is showing his true colors. He is also demonstrating that he is a jerk and is likely unaware of how uncomfortable his behavior makes you feel.
If the guy you are out on a first date with is treating people like crap, how do you think he will treat you down the road?
Other tips under this red flag:

  • Seems to have a quick temper and goes off on small stuff
  • Does not say “thank you” or “please” when speaking to you or others
  • Orders people around like he owns the place

7. He says he is straight acting

Whenever you hear a gay man suggest that he “acts straight” or is “straight acting” you need to be concerned.
There is a difference between being masculine and “acting” hiding who you are. And what exactly does “acting straight mean” At its core, it’s called internalized homophobia when a gay dude says this.
There are many gay men who are masculine and their sexual orientation is not readily obvious.
With that shared, if your first date makes it a point to say he “acts straight” and goes out of his way to identify as straight to others around him, you really need to carefully consider if this person is for you.
Other points under this red flag:

  • He emphasizes his religious beliefs that are known to be anti-gay.
  • He identifies as a die hard republican and supports anti-gay candidates
  • He shares that he is “confused” about his sexuality (run!)

8. He is looking to hook up immediately before or after the first date

If you are getting the vibe on your first date that the guy is looking to hook up or otherwise mess around, this may be a fairly good indication that he is really not interested in dating. This particular point is not to judge but instead, to act as a potential red flag for his agenda. And hey, there is nothing wrong with hooking up – but aren’t you wanting something a little more?
Other tips under this red flag:

  • During the goodnight kiss his hand reaches towards the southern regions
  • He talks too much about bedroom positioning (top drawer/bottom drawer)
  • He can’t look you in your eyes when you kiss (umm, yeah that is a red flag)

9. He talks too much about himself

On your first date, it is only natural and human to talk about oneself a little. If however the guy you are going out on a date with is going on forever and a day about his life, his job, his car, his family, his dogs …his, his his …. There is likely going to be problems with compatibility. 
Other tips under this red flag:

  • He asks very little about you during your first date
  • He makes you feel like you are being qualified for a car loan
  • He starts to immediately playing the game of materialistic comparisons
  • Name dropping of celebrities or well connected people in town
  • He’s looking waaaay too much at his reflection in his stirring spoon

10.You ignore these red flags and others because you are hooked on his look

Do his muscles, charm and smile blind you to some of the red flags mentioned here or perhaps other red flags that you have heard of in the past? Does he make you feel overly insecure because you feel he is just too good looking to be with you? Does anything about that first date make you experience negative, familiar feelings from the past where you were in a space that was not good for you? If so, these are important warning signs.
Too many get hooked on the look and find themselves in impossible, painful, one-sided and one way relationships. Pay attention to how his physical appearance causes you to feel. If you come away from that date feeling “less than” or “ugly” then you are the person who is not ready to be in a relationship.
Other potential red flags:

  • You won’t talk about yourself because you feel “less than”
  • You feel the need to brag or go out of your way to impress him
  • You’ve dated his type before and you keep repeating the cycle
  • Can you name some other red flags that you ignore?

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

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10 Surefire Ways To Completely Destroy A First Date

With this article, I figured I would be less conversational and more direct in my approach and dating advice:


1. Texting or taking calls
Maybe when he goes to the bathroom you can tell your gal pal or best friend how it’s going in a couple of words. Nothing says “You’re not important right now” than having the reflective light on your face during the date. If the date was important to you, you would’ve told your closest friends, and they should know you are unavailable anyway. Sometimes I’ve left my phone in my car if I knew I would be tempted.

2. Setting up a date at a loud club or bar.
Nothing is more annoying than having to struggle to connect with your date and having to repeat yourself – or catch your date looking at a go-go dancer. Awkward. I always like suggesting a place I’ve been before and have experienced the ambiance firsthand.

3. Having too many drinks
Nothing says “I’m a floozy or gold digger” faster than that. I don’t have to reiterate.

4. Expecting the other party to pay
Yes, even if a gentleman offers to take you out, you should always offer and be cordial. Even be nice and ask to put down the tip. Little things like that can leave a lingering positive impression at the end of the date. Sometimes if the date is going super-well, take the opportunity to be like “I’ll pay for dessert,” allowing the date to go longer if things are going peachy keen.

5. Dressing like you’re going to the club after
Nothing says “I’m fitting you in” than dressing like you are going to the beach, which I feel a lot of gay men do to fit the “club attire” bill. Dating is a special occasion, so treat it as such.

“I always say less
is more to my clients.”

 6. Not doing your homework
You probably met him at an event or via a dating website, so find out what his interests are and take interest in those things. If you just talk about your interests, the conversation will seem one-sided and selfish. Asking him about his interests will make him feel you took time to see things in his world – big brownie points to be had there!

7. Being late
Fifteen minutes is totally excusable, especially in L.A., but more than that is a big no-no. More than that just seems like you don’t manage time well and you didn’t value the date as much as the other person did, who arrived on time. I wouldn’t recommend fitting in a date if you know you have an important engagement before it. It’s always good to be early and set the tone that you’re a professional. I’ve been on dates that I just left if the half-hour mark passed. No one wants to feel they have wasted time and made arrangements to see you!

8. Hearing their voice for the first time…on your first date.
If I could dismantle texting, I would. Know where your investment is. Get to know his intonation and personality, which a phone conversation gives you. I always say less is more to my clients. Don’t give away too much. Keep the intrigue and mystery there.

9. Not keeping your promises
I get so many clients tired of dating flakes. If you say you’ll be somewhere, be there. Your word is your bond, and if your word is sour, no one will take a chance on you again. None of this rescheduling 12 to 24 hours before, unless the situation is absolutely emergent. Replacing your date with the next best thing will damage your reputation. We all know everyone knows everyone, so be careful.

10. Treating the date like an interview
In regards to your date, pingpong matches are much more fun than a solo game of racquetball. Let the conversation seem seamless – a give and take instead of a harsh tug-of-war match. Sometimes I have men who have been burned so badly in past relationships that they literally are going question to question and the other guy feels he’s being interrogated. Those guys shouldn’t date (in my opinion).
So there are 10 great tips for you! Maybe you should have these handy on your next date.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
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Gay Dating 101: Preparing for a First Date

You’ve got a date. A proper, full-on date. This could be the start of that perfect relationship. You could soon be writing out wedding invitations, looking at buying a house together and picking out a cute fluffy puppy to complete your happy union.

You’ve trashed your bedroom trying to find the right outfit, the bathroom looks like it’s exploded, and you’ve spent the last three days in the gym trying to perfect that six-pack (or at least make it magically appear). Stop right there and rewind. Haven’t you been here before? Take a deep breath and we will start again.
You know the standard tips: meet in a public place, let friends know where you’re going and when you’re due back, don’t agree to date a convicted murderer in an isolated country house — that can have somewhat of a messy outcome.
A first date brims over with emotion, hope and expectation, and first impressions are a big deal. However, don’t overdo it. Here are the top five tips for preparing for a first date. It’s up to you whether you take heed, but if you do, then you will feel more comfortable and less frantic.

1. Eat.
Don’t starve yourself to fit into an overly tight outfit just because you look hot. Starving yourself will only cause bigger issues. Unless you’re a high school student, it’s unlikely you’ll be going to a burger bar to share a milkshake.
You will more than likely be drinking alcohol, and if you have nothing in your stomach, this can lead to unfortunate consequences (drunken displays, flinging yourself embarrassingly at your date or sleeping with him when you don’t particularly want to).

“Try to push your insecurities
to the back of your mind.”

2. Wear something comfortable.
If your outfit is too tight, you will feel overly conscious about how you look, and this will reduced the effectiveness of your communication with your date. Checking your reflection to see how you look will just make you look vain.
Have two or three suitable casual outfits prepared in your wardrobe, and avoid frantic buying sprees, as this will only cause long-lasting effects to your credit cards.

3. A clean home is a happy home.
Make sure your home is tidy, clean and in a presentable state (imagine your mother is coming around). You don’t want to bring your date back home when it looks like Hurricane Sandy has been a house guest for a few weeks.
In my single days, I have walked away from a date who had a house where I felt I had to wipe my feet on my way out! First impressions count, for you, your home and your friends.

4. Number 3 leads to number 4.
Try not to go on a date where you’re likely to bump into your friends. Those hilarious stories of you stumbling home drunk after another dating disaster isn’t what you want your date to hear.

5. Have condoms with you.
Even if you plan to adhere to the third-date rule, it doesn’t make you easy. It makes you sensible. Ultimately, first dates are the start of everyone’s dating past. You will both be nervous, so try to push your insecurities to the back of your mind and enjoy the experience.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
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Gay Dating: 16 Good and Bad Topics for a First Date

The illustrious first date can be wrought with a combination of excitement and nervousness, causing you to potentially become tongue-tied and paralyzed when you are sitting across from that hottie not knowing what to say next.
Never fear! Below is a list of potential topics you can have at your disposal should your mind go blank or if one of those horrifying moments of silence occurs.
Beware, there are also certain subjects you should avoid so you will not risk offending him or making him want to bolt from the scene.

1. Do talk about your requirements for a relationship.
These first several dates are intended for you to screen whether the two of you have any compatibility to explore further.

2. Don’t interrogate the poor guy.
You can ask him what he is looking for in a guy and subtly ask questions oriented around your own needs without coming across too heavy.

3. Do talk about current events in the news or media.
These topics can add lightness to your discussions and are a good way to screen his knowledge and social awareness.

4. Don’t talk about something you don’t know much about.
You will come across as lacking in intelligent conversation.
If you are not savvy on current events, now would be a great time to brush up on the news to have an arsenal of topics and wisdom handy in case you need it.

5. Do talk about gay issues.
Is he “out”? How involved is he in the gay community?
You will want to screen for any possible internalized homophobia or values around gayness that might not be compatible with your stances.
If those values are both similar, how do you feel about that?

6. Don’t talk about monogamy and explicit sex acts desired.
The time will come to talk about these important issues, but they can be a bit heavy on a first date before you have had a chance to establish some camaraderie.
The same rule applies when discussing politics, religion and money.

7. Do talk about interests and hobbies.
You want to find out if the two of you share any similarities in activities for recreation and leisure.
Ask for examples about experiences and inquire as to what he likes the best about those things.

“Be creative and savvy in how
you go about your conversations.”

8. Don’t talk too much about yourself.
A balanced conversation between you and he is crucial for it to not feel like it is a one-sided date.
Be sure to have an equalized dialogue so you both feel like you’re contributing something.

9. Do talk about your passions and inquire about his.
Nothing energizes a conversation more than a person talking about something that is meaningful to them.
Ask lots of questions to show an interest and curiosity in what he’s talking about.

10. Don’t judge or minimize what he says.
You should never do this, even if it is counter to what you like to do. Validate the importance this passion has for him.

11. Do talk about family and friends.
And inquire about his relationships with them. You can learn a lot about a person by the types of attachments they have to people.
Is he close or disconnected to them? How does he speak about these people in his life — with adoration or negativity?

12. Don’t give a detailed history of your past dramas.
The more he hears about any family dysfunction, the more his eyes are going to be darting toward the door.
Try to save that history for a later time when you can gauge if you can trust him.

13. Do talk about your visions for the future.
What does he hope to be doing in five, 10 or 20 years down the road? Does it appear that you have comparable plans for the future?
Career, marriage and parenting might be something to mention here.

14. Don’t come on too strong.
Also, avoid agreeing with things he says just because you want this to work out. This can be suffocating and appears insincere at times.

15. Do talk about dating.
And talk about what you envision an ideal dating lifestyle to look like.
It can be funny sometimes to swap past dating horror stories, but keep them to a minimum so he does not get the wrong impression of you.
A long history of failed dating relationships could make it seem like you are a train wreck.

16. Don’t bash ex-partners.
This adds a climate of negativity to your date and could have him question whether you might talk like that about him someday.
It might also lead him to think you might be a negative person.
These are just a few ideas out of a plethora of topics you could choose. Remember, every topic and question you ask is designed to screen whether you and the guy sitting across from you have “goodness of fit.”
Be creative and savvy in how you go about your conversations so it seems natural and flows smoothly. Have fun and remember to laugh. Humor is sexy and goes a long way!
What do you typically talk about on a first date? Have you ever brought up any of these taboo subjects?

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you!
Don’t get fooled by FREE offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a free 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!
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