Approaching Him With Gusto

Gay Dating

Approaching Him With Gusto (4 Gay Dating Tips)

Brian Rzepczynski

Written by: Brian Rzepczynski

Brian Rzepczynski

Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW, is “The Gay Love Coach." To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs and teleclasses, please visit

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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Your eyes catch the handsome stranger from across the bar and you find yourself captivated — he’s just your type. “Go talk to him,” your friend nudges.

As your head swirls with imagery on how you might approach him, your body tenses with anxiety. You begin to worry about how you might be perceived or misunderstood. Fears of rejection and embarrassment immobilize you.

Frozen in place, you try to muster up the courage to put one foot in front of the other, but before you can contemplate your opening line, your dream guy walks out of the bar with a group of his friends. Opportunity lost.

Is This Scenario All Too Familiar?

You’re not alone in your single struggle. I conducted a poll on my website once asking single gay men if they tended to initiate contact with a man they found interesting or if they waited to be pursued.

The overwhelming majority of respondents indicated they were passive daters, meaning they waited for men to approach them to start conversations.

The sad reality is that very little romance will happen if most men wait to be approached. Whether it’s at a bar or on a popular dating site — very few contacts are made by being a lurker.

How many great relationships could have gotten off the ground had someone made that first move?

Refuse to allow yourself to be one of those liability statistics.

To be successful in dating, one must be a proactive dater by being in the driver’s seat and making things happen through one’s own initiative.

Approaching a Man Can Be a Scary Venture

Nobody likes the idea of being rejected or being in a position of being judged and scrutinized if that object of your interest is surrounded by his posse of friends.

Being a proactive dater does come with an element of risk.

However, your odds of making a connection are greater if you take the lead, since most others won’t reach out first.

“Each attempt you make will make you

a little bit stronger over any anxiety.”

And this scenario then only leads itself to a bar full of men leaning against the wall, sipping their drinks and trying to look busy, all the while desperately hoping someone will talk to them.

Here are some tips for boosting your confidence to initiate contact with more men who grab your attention.

1. Breathe!

Inhale deeply from your gut up your nose, hold it about seven seconds, and then deeply release the air out through your mouth.

Repeat this exercise until you feel more grounded and less controlled by your nerves.

Approaching a gay man when you’re on the verge of a panic attack will likely interfere with your delivery and your anxiety will be noticed.

2. Come Up With a Good Opening Line

But no cheese please! Corny one-liners are outdated and you’re here to make a good first impression.

Photo of a man on his phone
You don’t need a cheesy line — just say hello.

A good opening line can make a difference when approaching a new man because what you say sets the tone for the new connection.

Try to keep things light and flirty.

Make an observation about where you are, or offer a comment on you see in that special guy. A compliment can be a natural segue into a romantic conversation.

Don’t overthink it! A simple line like, “Hi, my name is Tom. May I buy you a drink?” is enough to get the ball rolling.

3. Validate the Other Person

A best-kept secret to forming a good impression with a man you’ve just met is to validate that other person.

Find something about him that warrants some positive feedback.

It has to be authentic and genuine, however, lest it will come across as fake and like you have a hidden agenda.

By making someone feel good about themselves, studies have shown their perceptions of you are heightened.

My favorite book on this subject is “First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You” by Ann Demarais and Valerie White.

4. Have Confidence

When you imagine approaching someone and you find yourself unable to follow through, more often than not your self-talk has interfered and creates anxiety and low confidence.

Write down on a piece of paper all the thoughts you have that undermine your ability to approach someone.

Work hard at developing believable counter statements to these negative thoughts and practice frequently so they become internalized.

To claim the prize of a compatible boyfriend, a gay dater must work on developing his assertiveness skills to go after what he wants. Swiping and chatting on an online dating app can help, and we recommend joining Match if you’re after a gay relationship.


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Just remember: Passivity in dating often times yields minimal results.

We as gay men have to take responsibility for our own outcomes and avoid the victim mentality trap. By living with more initiative, your confidence will gradually grow.

While you won’t be successful with every effort, each attempt you make will make you a little bit stronger over any anxiety and insecurity and will increase the probability of making a connection with a handsome stranger, much more so than what had you standing on the sidelines.

Be the chooser and go out and make it happen for yourself! I promise approaching men gets easier the more you practice. So get out there!

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