Television has made people so desperate to have a boyfriend that they’re going to interneting lengths at getting one. If I had a nickel for every time I heard one of my friends say, “I met my boyfriend on OkCupid” or “We found each other on Match.com,” I could buy a third-world country and populate it with gay penguins.
However, in the gay community, is it smart to create online dating for the masses? Most online sites that the gay community touches, sadly, turns into a hook up site. Suddenly your profile picture is a shirtless one of you in the bathroom and your profile reads: “Looking for Mr. Right now.” Is it possible to do online dating if you’re gay and the world is full of horny sausages?
Actually – the stats say it’s so! More gay people are meeting online than ever and when asked why they started online dating in the first place, a lot of them say, “It’s more comfortable.” Well yeah! Sitting at home in your bedroom with a cup of hot chocolate and watching Beaches on Netflix certainly can make someone comfortable when talking to the potential love of your life.
When you are out in gay areas with your friends, often times it can be intimidating because all the gay men usually look at is the hottest guy in the room – and most likely, it’s not you. It can be frustrating. Online dating can open up a whole can of communication that you might not have had if you met in a bar. You can skim through their pictures, read about their lives and where they’re going with it, and discover your interests without worrying about how to ask it.
When you are starting a relationship, the first encounter is everything – which is why I’m so hesitant about online dating. When you are on Grindr, chances are, you are not going to meet your future husband. If you are on an intentional hook-up app, you are starting the relationship off on a mistrusting note, because if he met you on a hook up app, what makes you think he won’t cheat on you with it too? That’s the theory at least.
In my research, out of all the online dating sites, the most successful appears to be OkCupid. It’s free so there are a lot more users, it asks great questions and you can compare the answers with yours, and they have a phone app which tells you how close they are (I think they stole that one from Grindr). But the most important quality about OkCupid is that it hasn’t turned into a hook up site! Shocked?
We have to face it. We’re not living in the stone age anymore. Thirty years ago, to meet gays you had to go to the bars or certain areas of the park on a Sunday. Gay online dating has exploded, but more than that, it has made people excited to start dating! Once you log in and see the hundreds of single gay guys in your area, it can give you more courage to get out there. I think it is a great thing!
The downside is, it is extremely easy to lie about things when you are online. This is why when you start talking to someone, it could be a good idea to get their whole name (on the sly) and google them. This is one of the questions on the site by the way, “Do you google a person before you meet them?” – my answer is always yes. You can’t be too safe when it comes to these sites.
In big metropolitan cities like Los Angeles, where everything is so spread out, online dating can be the best thing ever. You have to be open to it though! Don’t be afraid of something because it’s new. It will only prevent you from being open to new things. This is definitely the wave of the future, so you might as well get used to it.