As a counsellor for gay men I am often asked to give my opinion about how to find a boyfriend, gay dating and gay relationship advice as well as support for coming out and help for gay men’s mental health. I’m flattered that many of my clients assume I’m an expert on such matters, but must admit my training and personal experience comes second to the first hand understandings that other gay and bisexual men tell me in our consultations. I’m indebted to these men for offering to let me share their knowledge and wisdom with others. And this post is just that: 10 points to keep in mind when you are single and dating other gay men.
A couple of months ago, I wrote about the idea of addiction to Grindr and how some men struggled with their use of apps like Grindr, Scruff, Hornet, Manhunt and Bender. Flirtation and dating involve skills so it is possible to improve over time. No one wants to keep making mistakes. One of my clients, who had experienced many disappointments and much hurt in learning about gay relationships, told me me that self-preservation was key. Here is his advice for gay and bisexual men to survive same sex dating.
10 Personal Rules for Gay Dating
- It’s important to have a personal code of conduct, like the Four Agreements or similar which can remind us of how we should behave in a difficult world;
- Take risks but don’t be reckless;
- Work on yourself. Find a friend or gay-friendly counsellor to help process things and arm you with strategies;
- It’s a numbers game: see and speak to lots of people without too much prejudice;
- Say yes to things when you want to say no. Make an effort;
- Think of yourself as alone, and build your own community;
- Identify your needs and work out how to get them fulfilled;
- Accept that people behave badly, but it’s not personal;
- Don’t invest in someone for nil return;
- Remember your manners and honesty. Keep turning up.
These are not my rules, they are suggestions from a man who has had to learn from the ground up, starting out in gay relationships after coming out later in life.
What do you think of them?
Do you have any other tips for gay men to get the most out of using Grindr or Scruff or other online dating apps?
If you want to talk through your own dating experiences with an aim to making improvements, contact me now.