The Dos and Don’ts of Online Gay Dating

Successful online gay dating takes more than a selfie and a dashed-off profile.

Don’t Friend Your Date… Yet

Thanks to countless social networks and dating sites, Cupid’s arrow has been replaced by a wireless signal, bringing with it lots of new head-scratching predicaments. Are you ready to open this cyber can of worms? We recommend ignoring friend requests from potential boyfriends until after you’ve established exclusivity. You won’t want to be in his arms on Friday night, while he’s posting photos with another guy on Saturday night. Digital jealousy in the beginning of your relationship could actually destroy the possibilities of long-term love. We suggest treating a Facebook connection the same way you would a real-life relationship. You’ve been on two or three dates with someone… Would now be the time to introduce this person to all of your friends? Your family? Maybe some exes? No way.

Clean Up Your Facebook Profile

Before you friend your new man or that guy you met last Saturday night, you might want to take the time to do some digital housekeeping. Delete anything on your Facebook wall that could be considered offensive or otherwise hurt your love crusade. Choose a good profile picture (obviously), untag or delete any unsavory photos and don’t whine! Facebook complainers are a huge turn-off. Keep your rants, complaints and cryptic messages to yourself.

Do You Research

When it comes to online dating, we’re complete advocates for doing a little light stalking pre-meetup. Do a quick Google search of your guy and check out his social media accounts. We’re not saying come prepared to recite from memory his favorite movies and TV shows—skim over that stuff, and instead check for red flags like legal trouble or offensive tweets. This is where your own reverse image search could come in handy as well. Just make sure you don’t friend or request anyone you haven’t met in real life yet. That way, your information will be kept private (While you can keep your personal social accounts private, chances are your potential online matches are scrutinizing your dating profiles

Meet in the Real World

It can be tempting to get invested in online chat relationships because they feel safe and manageable, but great conversations don’t necessarily mean great chemistry. Follow the “3-back-and-forths” rule. After three rounds of email replies, you should ask him out on a real, live date. Simply suggest drinks or invite him to be your plus-one at an upcoming event. The worst they can say is ‘no’, and then you don’t get to meet them, which is exactly what was going to happen if you didn’t mention it!

Avoid Relationship Status Limbo

Don’t be too quick on the draw when it comes to changing your Facebook relationship status. You need to make sure you and your partner are on the same digital page before broadcasting to your social circles that you’re “in a relationship”. As for switching back to “single,” notify your ex about your profile update (if the breakup was mutual and amicable). Take note: Removing the “in a relationship” status from your profile will automatically delete it from his. And don’t use the “end of a relationship” feature offered on the new Facebook Timeline layout. To avoid the dilemma completely, consider setting your relationship status to private to avoid awkward comments or creepy “likes.” (Here’s how: Go to your Facebook profile page, select “Edit Profile” or “About,” then edit “Friends and Family” from the left-hand menu and change your “Relationship Status” to “Select Relation.” Save changes.)

Delete Your Grindr

Once you’re in an exclusive relationship, your Grindr needs to come down. Remaining active is disrespectful to your new mate and unfair to the digital love seekers who think you’re still available. Plus, it’s a necessary sign of commitment for some. Don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket? Choose to deactivate your profile rather than terminate, so you can enter the dating game easily if things don’t work out.

Know When to Unfriend

If you don’t want to completely X out your ex, we recommend hiding their Facebook feed to ease the breakup blues. Do the same with their family and/or mutual friends to cut down on the number of ex-related updates. You may want to get in touch with your past love in the future, and re-friending him after an extended period of time could be awkward. So only unfriend an ex if the relationship ended badly, e.g. he cheated or stole from you.

Erase Past Relationships

Want your ex’s grinning mug gone from your digital life? We suggest asking a friend to hit delete on your lovey-dovey couple pics to save you the heartache of reliving happier times. Of course, if your relationship ended on good terms, you might not need to do a total clean sweep. If your current flame remains friends with his ex (and is still tagged in her photos), be confident in your new relationship and just ignore it. Letting him know that it upsets you will only make him realize that you’re checking up on his digital past. 

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

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