Gay Dating Hacks

Gay Dating

7 Gay Dating Hacks

Mason Glenn

Written by: Mason Glenn

Mason Glenn

Mason Glenn has had a long career in the matchmaking industry and has spent his time helping high-caliber clientele in Los Angeles select eligible matches. He specializes in working with gay men.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Dating hacks in this day and age don’t have to feel like cheap gimmicks. Dating hacks are ways to lay the bricks of a dating path that is clear and allows some creativity for your best attributes to shine.

Follow any of these seven hacks for gay dating, and I’m sure you’ll be smiling more than frowning while on your journey to romance.

1. Practice Your First Date Conversation Ahead of Time

I have always been an over-prepared person. When it comes to dating, this quality has helped me give off a good first impression almost every time. Would you go into a job interview not knowing who you’re talking to, what you’re going to say, and what you should expect? Would you book an appointment with a new doctor or masseuse without doing even a little research to see if they’re reputable, good at what they do, and worth your time?

Photo of man talking to himself

Have a few talking points in mind to start the conversation so you don’t feel flustered and awkward.

You need to have a template when you go on a first date. I say have at least two unique conversations ready so you can share the most important things about yourself. I find most successful dates happen when one or both participants aren’t just winging it. If you are more of an introverted person, this will save you from awkward moments of silence.

Oftentimes, you’ll find attributes in someone’s dating profile that compare to your own. These are golden nuggets of conversational momentum. Take note of them.

2. Give Him Your Undivided Attention (Eye Contact Included)

When you get to the date location, leave your phone in your car or in your pocket completely out of sight. If you think you cannot be away from your phone for more than one hour, then you shouldn’t be dating. This behavior is selfish to your own needs and wants. Your date doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.

I’ve been on many first dates that were ruined when someone chose to take a phone call or answer a text at the dinner table. My hope is that your best friend, your mom, your dog sitter, or your boss will be fine if you get back to them after your date in an hour. In my years in dating coaching and matchmaking, I’ve found that an attractive quality is a good work-life balance.

There is power in giving someone your undivided attention with unwavering eye contact. Furthermore, watch your gaze. Don’t keep looking at the attractive waiter or other patrons while your date is trying to get to know you. If you catch your eye or mind wandering often, reassess your current dating and relationship goals. Consider the lasting impression you’d like to have on someone who has made time for you.

Remember to treat others the way you want to be treated.

3. Make Your Date Invitations Worth Someone’s Time

Whenever I was single and met up with someone with a reticent attitude when it came to first or second dates, I immediately thought, “This guy is going to be a flake.” Most single gay men who have encountered this type of behavior would sadly agree with me.

Men who are ready to date and find a long-term relationship don’t want to make time for someone whose actions seem noncommittal, generic, and ambiguous. My goal for you is to make the date not only fun for your date but also for yourself. What’s the point if you aren’t enjoying it?

Photo of axe throwing

Trying new things, like axe throwing, can ease some tension on a first date.

Offering to go to a new restaurant or bar with your date can be a great option. Trying something new, like axe throwing, with a date can give you both a sense of invigoration and fun exploration. For my more introverted friends, I understand that something more predictable and familiar for a date may feel a little less nerve-racking, but you have to try something new every now and then. That’s just how life works.

Regardless, whether you are offering an invitation to a date that is new or expected, make it memorably special.

4. Connect to Your Sensitive Self and Dive Deep Into Your Emotions

Whenever a conversation seemed transactional on a date, that is when I knew that person may not have done their emotional homework. I’ve seen this behavior mostly in app dating and when someone only sticks to one- or two-word responses in texts and emails.

Be aware of someone who is dating you for your potential versus who you actually are. People who date someone for their potential like the appearance or allure of dating, but often do not want to put in the work to find and maintain a real connection. Don’t fall for this person. People who like to actually put in the appropriate amount of work find it thrilling to meet someone who has the same dating mindset.

Dive deep into your emotions and date when you are ready. There is no rush. You are responsible for your sensitivity to your emotions as well as those of your dates. Being emotionally intelligent is one of the best hacks if you’re looking for true dating success.

5. Pretend Your Date is a Friend Rather Than a Stranger

I never really understood the “Imagine everyone in their underwear” advice given to nervous people who are about to give a speech, go on a date, or do anything else in front of another person or persons. I’ve always found that advice to be extremely odd. How is seeing people in their underwear going to get rid of your nerves?

However, what I can take from that advice is that you want to create familiarity, especially on a first date. I tell my dating coaching and matchmaking clients to pretend their date is a friend rather than a stranger. Act like you’re just grabbing a casual drink after work with someone you already know. This should help keep any first-date nerves at bay and allow you to be in the moment instead of being in your head.

Photo of two men having a drink

He’s just as worried about saying or doing something wrong as you are, so give yourselves a break.

Remember we are all awkward and nonsensical. We are all humans wanting to authentically connect with each other, and sometimes we’re not sure how to do that. Your date is just as nervous to say or do something wrong as you are. That should make you feel a bit more comfortable to just be yourself.

6. Plant the Seed for Date Number Two While You’re On Date Number One

One of my favorite dating hacks is planning a second date right away if you feel like the first date is going well. Waiting more than two or three days can completely demolish any fun momentum established on the first date. You want to talk about the second date while you’re both still on your romantic high.

If you took it upon yourself to plan the first date, you should politely nudge the other person to take you to one of his favorite places to dine or drink. This tactic can give you some insight into this person’s taste, personality, and level of interest in you.

Everyone is busy these days. However, no one is too busy if you are important to them. And if you’ve planted the seed for the second date and don’t get a reaction or response, then this guy is just not that into you. And that’s OK. Move on to someone else. I promise you’ll find someone who is very interested in you.

7. Quickly Move On From Rejection, But Love Yourself for Trying

When dating, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket right away. Someone who’s good at dating can take his eggs and make something noteworthy of his situation. Balancing your expectations is important for your emotional equilibrium.

In my experience, most people who are frustrated with dating either have been blatantly led astray, or they are placing a lot more energy into the process than the person they are dating. Regardless of what happens, it is imperative to enjoy the aspects of the dating process that you can control, which are your actions and your emotions.

Give yourself a mental pat on the back if you are simply putting yourself out there. Don’t fret if after a few dates it doesn’t work out. Be proud of yourself for doing the personal work to make a good first impression with someone new. When I was single, this hack always had me feeling that dating was more trial and error rather than someone not liking me back. These things are usually not as personal as you may think.

You Have to Exercise Your Dating Muscles Just Like Any Other Muscles in Your Body

I believe that a lot of these dating hacks have to do with your own way of exercising your dating muscles. Meaning, if you aren’t in an emotionally sensitive and stable place in your life, a lot of these dating hacks may feel saccharine, contrived, or simply too much work.

You are responsible for your own growth in the ups and downs of dating. And it starts with recognizing that burying your emotional response to life’s events condemns you to reliving them over and over again. If you can allow yourself to feel whatever emotion is present to its fullest depth, then you know you are in a good place to realize the benefits of these dating hacks. Listen to them carefully. Happy dating!

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