Sigh: gay dating and mating. Even for the most active, hook-up driven, "Nah-I-just-want-to-have-sex-and-fun" gay guy, at some point along the way, hitting the honest-to-goodness gay dating circuit becomes part of your lifelong coming out journey. It's bound to happen for most of us. If you're not one of us gay dating types, this is all totally still applicable. Just change the name of this article to 'I'm gay, 50, and never dated... now what?"
The real game changer for most gay men comes when...
1. Right out the closet door, they're headed for "happily ever after" only to fall flat on their face, curled up in the fetal position, wailing more tears than the losing contestants from all five seasons of RuPaul's Drag race. Why? Because instead of "Can we be boyfriends?" their first gay dating experience got them nailed without even a "Wham, bam, thank you, sir."
2. Nailing guys on the first date and breaking hearts invokes the wrath of Karma Queen who casts a "forever limp" curse — if you know what I mean.
3. Dating has become a drudgery that leads nowhere, and early arthritis is setting in from an over abundance of gay App chatting without even so much as a "Waz Up?"
Whatever scenario you find yourself in, one thing's for sure: it's time for a change. It's time to become a gay dating superstar.
There isn't a perfect way to become a gay dating dynamo; sorry to disappoint you. I find candid honesty makes for the best things in life. But speaking of being candid and honest, here're some tips I've used to help gay guys get off their butts and start gay dating with dignity — instead of gay dating out of sad desperation.
1. Go on a gay date with yourself.
Literally take yourself on a date. Put it on the calendar, plan it out down to the tiniest detail, and be your own Prince Charming. Treat yourself the way you'd treat your date. Have the brilliant, witty, conversations you'd love to have when you're on the perfect date... just don't talk out loud unless it's in the comfort of your car, out on a hike, or somewhere where people won't hear you and decide to cart you off to a padded cell. The point of this exercise is to get to know yourself at a deeper level, so that you can improve your gay dating ability.
2. Gay dating detox.
If you've been dating, dating, dating, and still coming up short, it's time for a dating detox. I know, I know: who wants to stand in the corner, not having any fun? No one. But wait — how much fun are you having striking out? Put yourself out of your misery and spend your time away from possible temptations to hit the gay dating scene. No apps, no online profiles, no flirting anywhere, and of course, no terrible blind dates just because some friend tells you, "I've got the perfect guy for you."
The Gay Dating Detox requires that you take one month off from all possibilities of dating and see what you discover about yourself. How do you feel? What's the world like when dating isn't at the top of your list? Who do you see dating, and doing it well? There are so many possibilities for cleansing yourself during this gay dating detox and being in a healthy space to date again.
3. Burn the checklist.
Admit it. You've got the Mr. Right checklist, and with each "foul ball" gay dating experience, more requirements go on the list. By now you've made it all but impossible for Mr. Right to step into your life. Let's make it easier. Take your checklist and burn it... literally! Trust me, you won't forget what's on the list. After all you've been carrying it with you right in your wallet, next to your gay card so you'd have it at the ready when needed. Take a sheet of paper, make four columns... and no, you can't do this on the computer. This needs to be hand written for maximum benefit. In the first column write, What, in the second column write, Why, in the third column write How, and in the fourth column write Who.
Using as few words as possible, write "What" you want in your Mr. Right. One item at a time. Now, under the “Why” column write why you want that, and be specific. Then move to the "How" column and write how it will make you feel to have a Mr. Right with those qualities. Finally, in the "Who" column, write who you will be as a gay man in your relationship, when your what, why, and how have been achieved. Your who can be, "I will be a man who appreciates my guy for...," or "I will be a secure man in a loving, trusting relationship."
4. Stop gay dating to gay mate.
The moment you embark on your gay dating expedition for the evening like a schoolboy in heat, you've potentially set yourself up for a dating disaster. Rushing forward, good intentions and all, if your energy reeks of, "Propose to me; propose to me now damn it," you'll have wasted a good time with a good guy who may not be ready to make that commitment.
Slow it down, be in the moment, and if you can't, then ask yourself a snitty little question: "If I'd acted this way on my date with myself, what would have happened?" I'm sure you'd have found some way to kick yourself out of the car and drive away. Breathe, focus, and take in what's happening in the moment. If you don't, you might end up with someone you thought was Mr. Right, only to find out he's Mr. Fright after you've already monogrammed both your initials on the towels.
5. No more excuses.
It's time to man up and start dating without excuse making. When a date goes south, make no excuses for him or you. In fact, even if he was so boring the waiter fell asleep taking his order, he's just not for you. No need to justify anything any further. Once the excuse-making train leaves the station, we find ourselves either a) so worked up we can't think about gay dating ever again, b) blindly justify why we're going to go on another date with Mr. Boring, c) consider turning in our gay card and starting to date women—gasp! Accept that things didn't work, it wasn't a match, and don't become desperate to stay in a bad relationship just for the sake of having one.
Yes, it's a man-eat-man world in the gay dating scene. Guess what? It's the same way in the heterosexual dating scene too. The only difference is that straight women are still trying to figure out what to do with men, too. So best advice for gay men looking to dating to mate: find yourself a fabulous straight girlfriend to share some Cosmos with, and as soon as the two of you have men figured out, write the book "The Straight Girl's & Gay Guy's Guide For Catching & Keeping A Man."
So what do you think — could you use a brush-up on your dating game?
Rick Clemons is a life changer, motivator, guide, mentor, and inspiring life coach for gay men who are ready to be the man they want to be, not the man they think they're supposed to be. He's on a mission; guiding gay men to find their own voice, love deeply, work passionately, and live powerfully without regrets.
Rick's a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) who's been featured on The Ricki Lake Show, Huffington Post, YourTango.com and is a highly sought after radio show guest, blogger, author, and Sex Coach U Faculty Member. He resides in Riverside, California with his partner of 12 years (whoa dude), two teenage daughters (whoa again, dude), cats Herman and Lilly (sorry, no dogs), and a 200+ bottle wine collection, minus what he drank while writing this article.
Hook-up with Rick here.
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