First Date Etiquette: The New Rules of Gay Dating

Written by JosephDecember 11, 2020

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Thanks to gay dating apps and websites, scoring a first date is easier now more than ever. But nowadays, there are too many first dates and not enough follow-up dates. When you think about first date etiquette, your thoughts typically go to how you can present yourself in the best light. After all, if you’re […]
Thanks to gay dating apps and websites, scoring a first date is easier now more than ever. But nowadays, there are too many first dates and not enough follow-up dates.

When you think about first date etiquette, your thoughts typically go to how you can present yourself in the best light. After all, if you’re attracted to the other person, you want him to think you’re worthy of getting to know you better.

If you want a second and third date, you need to stand out from the crowd that dating apps are teeming with. Of course, being yourself is the one advice the never gets old. While you shouldn’t pretend to be someone you’re not, you can certainly present a more refined version of yourself on a first date.

Knowing the right first date etiquette can help you do that and make a lasting impression.

There’s something psychologically when you like someone, you automatically trust that they don’t have the virus. It doesn’t make someone safe just because you like them. We tend to underestimate our own risk and of course we want people we know/love to share our umbrella of invulnerability.

This thinking can be tough to counteract; it requires recognizing your own bias in your risk assessment. My best advice is to tell the date beforehand that you intend to wear a mask and would like the date to do so as well. You can also practice what to say if the date is resisting (something simple like, ‘please put on your mask’ or, ‘you are protecting me with your mask’) or you can use non-verbal communication like stepping or turning away from someone.

Location, Location, Location.

It’s true that the best first date has a lot to do with the location you choose to have the date.

The last thing you want to do is go to a nice restaurant and discover before your food even has been brought out that you two don’t “click” and it’s not going to work. In this scenario, you’re stuck for the rest of the meal anyway. Can somebody say “Awkward”?

Instead of dinner and a movie, suggest trying a local bar or a hip new coffee shop instead. The casual environment serves as a convenient space to have an engaging conversation, without the pressure of dressing fancy or buying an expensive meal.

Don’t be Late.

Give yourself plenty of time to get ready so you’ll be able to show up on time. Being late shows a lack of respect for the other person and will start the date off on the wrong foot. No one likes to be kept waiting.

Prepare for an Engaging Conversation.

If you’re quiet or have social anxiety, the most nerve-wracking part of going on a first date is trying to have an engaging conversation with someone you barely know.

Studies show that if you’re going on a date, you should forget the cheesy pick-up lines and opt for an interesting conversation starter instead.

One of the most important things to do before you leave the house and before a date starts, is getting your mind right. While you can’t control chemistry, compatibility, or attraction, you can make sure you’re mentally ready if they happen.

You’ve gotta get your mind right before a date.

If we enter into a date feeling unworthy or defeated, those feelings will carry throughout the night. And no matter how much someone likes us and even shows us their feelings, it won’t be enough to break through our own self-doubt.

Keep Your Phone in Your Pocket.

Don’t keep checking your phone for texts or missed calls while you’re out with someone. It’s important to be present and in the moment if you have the slightest bit of interest in being with the other guy. It’s best if you put your phone on silent, unless there’s a reason for having the sound on.

Do Not Dig up the Past.

This first date may be the beginning of something new and special with the other person. You must ensure that you don’t bring the baggage of your past to the date. Don’t talk about exes or past relationships, unless specifically asked. And do not ask the other person about their past either, as this might make him uncomfortable.

Discussing exes even before you’ve had the chance to learn about the other person’s like and dislike is among the worst dating etiquette.

Avoid Overindulgence.

So the date’s going really well. You decide to extend your lunch to dinner and dinner to drinks. The next order of business? Making sure you’re not too drunk that you either start giving them the lowest moments of your dating history or that you throw up in their car.

Really Listen.

Have you ever been on a date, asked him a question, and you are so nervous that your mind is going in a million directions and you end up not really listening to his response? Though understandable, try to pay attention to what your date is saying for two reasons. One, it’s important because you are getting to know the person and two, if you listen, you will most likely have follow up questions which will lead to more conversation.

Always Be Open-Minded.

It is the first time that you are meeting the other person, so there will be things that you do not know about them. If you’ve met on a gay dating app, it is possible that the other person isn’t exactly what their profile portrays them to be. Online dating etiquette dictates that you don’t let your shock or surprise be known, even if certain aspects about your date’s personality or life are making your jaw drop to the ground.


The best thing you can do on a first date is laugh. How do you do that? Don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself, keep things light, tell jokes or just be honest in a funny way. Laughing makes people more attractive, and often is the spark to move the conversation to the next level.





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