Before we get into the complex and beautiful world of online gay dating, let’s make one thing clear—Swiping is not dating. Matching is not dating. Chatting is not dating. Dating is dating. If you’re on online gay dating sites like Gay Dating Solutions making a ton of matches and chatting up a storm, you may be having a great time getting to know other people and flirting, but you’re not really dating unless you’re meeting people in person.
And that’s the tricky part now isn’t it? Online dating sites are designed in a way that makes it quicker and easier to ‘meet’ more people through their site or app. But when it comes to actually getting off the app and to that first in-person date, it’s still pretty hard.
But it can certainly be done. So if you want to know how to use gay dating sites to actually get dates, here are a few helpful steps.
It is important to choose the dating site(s) that are right for what/whom you are looking for.
Some gay dating sites are known and respected for finding love and some are notorious for attracting singles looking for action or a quick hookup. There are no judgments here, as people are coming from different places in their love lives. If a person just got out of a 10-year relationship, he may not be looking for anything serious at this time. Whereas, if a person has been living single and playing the field for five years, he may be all-in for love. Do your homework and choose the gay dating site(s) that are right for you.
Have an objective and honest person in your life read and edit your profile before you post it.
You do not want to create a false perception of yourself, in either a positive or negative way. This person cannot be your Mom—you know she’ll tell you that you’re better than the singers on The Voice and that you looked good in those pictures from college after you gained the freshman fifteen. Have a trusted friend or co-worker look over your profile and allow them the space to be honest.
Post at least two photos and make sure one is full length. Post photos that are warm and welcoming. Make sure you smile in one.
You want to make a good first impression. Sexy topless photos are fine, just don’t overdo it or give away too much. Trust me, this will save you time and self-esteem issues when men ask for more full body shots. You do not have to send any photos you are not comfortable with.
Make sure the person contacting you has at least two photos, as well. You have every right to ask for more.
If teeth are important to you, ask for a smiling photo. If you are a sucker for pretty eyes, ask for a photo without sunglasses. I met a gorgeous guy online once. He had several photos posted, but none smiling. I am always wary, because that tells me something about someone’s personality. Regardless, I took a chance and met him. I wasn’t too surprised when he smiled and had discolored and missing teeth. I’m not judging, but it didn’t make me want to kiss him.
Personalize your greeting.
Ditch the generic “hey, what’s up?” and opt for sending a personalized message. Putting thought into your initial greeting shows you’re interested and that you’ve taken time to read through her profile.
According to a study by dating site OKCupid, messages that include the phrase “you mention” along with an interest listed in his profile, or messages that suggest you have a common interest, have a much higher chance of getting a response.
You do not have to respond to every contact you receive.
Be as kind and considerate as possible, but you do not owe anyone anything. Being a sweet guy, I used to spend hours responding to emails from men by saying, “No thank you” and kindly explaining the reasons I did not feel we were a match. Often, other gay men could not take the rejection and would respond with some nasty remark. Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it.
If you like him, ask him out.
If you’re feeling a connection, make a concrete plan to meet up. Don’t just ask for his digits as a next step. Why move potentially awkward conversation from one platform to another? Getting to the point and meeting up to see how you jive IRL is much better than waiting for the nerve-wracking iMessage ellipsis.
Make your first date a brief one.
I recommend coffee or a drink. Give yourself a responsible out, if you need it. This is a strong rule I commit to. I made a lot of mistakes online dating when I started and definitely learned the hard way. If you plan an extravagant evening with someone you have never met, you will regret it if he looks nothing like his photos, you have zero chemistry and the conversation is empty.
Show, don’t tell.
The number one mistake guys make is writing about their traits rather than demonstrating their traits. There’s a difference between saying “I’m a really funny guy,” and sharing a hilarious story on your profile.
If someone tells you they’re really cool, one thing you can be sure if is, they aren’t.
Think about what you want to communicate, and show that instead of flat out saying it. It’s also helpful to ask yourself, “What kind of introduction would I want to keep on reading?”
Steer clear of eliminating prospective dates, e.g. “must be down for a good time” or “have to be adventurous before swiping right.” The last thing you want is to come off as critical or bossy. Keep it positive.
Don’t play games.
Online gay dating is a different experience for everyone, but there’s one good rule to follow: Don’t play games. No one wins.
If you don’t like someone, be mature enough to tell them you aren’t interested. If you’re interested, don’t try to be unavailable or hard to get. If you’re honest and straight up and it doesn’t work, that’s okay — you’re filtering out people who don’t fit what you’re looking for.
So as you’re moving through the steps, don’t forget that it’s ok to stumble now and then. Chances are you’re going to say the wrong thing, make a bad joke, realize you’re not that into someone, pick a bar that they hate, or fumble up trying to ask for the date. And that’s ok. The important thing is that you keep trying and learning. That’s how you’ll eventually meet someone really great.
Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
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