Finding Love Through Gay Apps Isn’t Impossible, But You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

Finding Love Through Gay Apps Isn’t Impossible, But You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

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It’s definitely possible to meet the man of your dreams on a gay app. Plenty of guys have done it, and more and more men are meeting online than ever before.

A 2017 study of 14,000 recently engaged or married Americans revealed that roughly 20% of Americans met their spouse via some form of dating app. While the number for gay men wasn’t specified in the study, it’s likely that gay and bi men have an even higher rate of meeting partners through apps, simply because they tend to use apps more frequently, since the same-sex dating pool is a lot smaller.

So it’s not impossible to meet your future boyfriend on a gay app. In fact, it’s highly likely! I spoke to a few men who met their boyfriends on a gay app to see if there were any similarities in their stories we could learn from.

Here’s what they told me:

1. “It just happened.”

While not necessarily the most insightful, a number of guys told me something along the lines of “It happened organically.” They weren’t looking for a serious relationship. Only after having casual sex a few times did one of the men in the couple take the risk and invite their fuck buddy out on a “proper” date. The guys noted they didn’t attempt to label the relationship early on. They had no relationship “endgame,” so to speak. They were OK with ambiguity and let the relationship unfold on its own.

2. There were very clear intentions.

Let’s say you’re not the “go with the flow” type of guy when it comes to dating. You like labels and knowing what the future holds. That’s OK, too! My gay uncles met on Manhunt about a decade ago, messaging one another from their desktops. This was right before the influx of the gay app became available on our phones, so the gay dating landscape was definitely a little different, but what they told me was their intent was very clear. Right from the beginning, my uncle’s partner said he wanted something serious, and if my uncle wasn’t down for something longterm, he shouldn’t waste either of their time.

I thought this sounded aggressive. I learned my uncle’s husband was actually very close to scaring off my uncle entirely, but in the end it worked out because he made his relationship goals clear. If you’re looking for something serious and don’t want to waste time, then make it clear. Lord knows there are plenty of other gay men out there who aren’t interested in casual “no label” relationships. But by being upfront with your needs, you’ll attract those who want the same things as you.

3. You’ve gotta stop assuming a man will fix all your problems.

My friend Andrew (not his real name) told me he liked being single. He likes being in a relationship with his partner now, too. “If you think being single is the worst thing in the world, you’re not going to find someone,” he told me bluntly. When I asked Andrew why he thinks that’s the case, he said, “You haven’t even met him and you’re putting all this pressure on him that he’s, like, your savior.”

I think there’s a lot of truth to what Andrew said. While you can and should look for a boyfriend, you need to be OK being alone, too, even if it’s not your preference. Otherwise your relationship will likely be too intense and end in flames.

4. You’ve gotta go out on dates.

“I decided to go out on real dates,” my friend Jeremy (also not his real name) told me. “I stopped inviting guys over and said I want to grab a drink first.” He continued, “It really is that simple.”

Now, I’m going to have to disagree. I don’t think it is that simple, but I do think Jeremey makes a solid point: Don’t invite guys over for casual sex after talking to them for all of two minutes and then act confused when they don’t call you back the next day. If you want something serious, go on a proper date.  

You’ve probably noticed by now that these tidbits of advice actively contradict one another — that you can meet men through a casual fling, but at the same time, you should only ask them out on proper dates. And you should be able to “go with the flow” but also, it’s good to label your relationship right away..

What that means is there are a number of different ways to meet your future hubby on a gay app. If you tried one thing and it’s not working, go ahead and try the opposite. You have nothing to lose by changing up your dating strategies. Different approaches work for different people.

The only thing every guy had in common? He didn’t give up hope.

Have you ever started a serious relationship on a gay app?

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