Why is gay online dating so hard

I've stopped allowing the racial comments I've seen on apps, or received while standing in a bar, get to me. It reminds me of the graffiti I grew up with: Sometimes though, the comments catch you by stealth. You'll see a nice photo of a guy, then you scroll down and see him saying he's not into a certain race.

David can be chatting to a guy on an app for days or even weeks before he's suddenly cut off. And the conversation ends there. You don't get any justification of why," David says. When an Asian is compared to a Caucasian, are they less attractive? It's a question Asian Australian filmmaker Tony Ayres highlighted 20 years ago in his documentary China Dolls, during an era when guys used to hook up through published personals ads. As a teenager, I remember watching China Dolls on late night television.

Gay Men Answer Dating, Relationship, and Marriage Questions

It made me question my own place in the world. For many gay guys, especially in an image-conscious city like Sydney, it's hard not to feel the pressure of being like the hypermasculine men at the gym, walking around, shaking bottles of protein supplements. Yes it has, when you don't want to be seen as a particular stereotype. Eric has been on the dating scene for a couple of years and has become more ripped since I first met him several years ago. His abs would probably strike envy in many men.

Most people I spoke with reported getting some kind of rude or harassing messages, some more severe than others. There are some matches that immediately after the ice is broken ask me [about that]. The harassment is of course the fault of the people doing the harassing. The apps show people their options, connect them, and then the rest is up to them, for better or worse. It turns out, humans are hard. Humans are hard. So dating is hard. And a common complaint about dating, app-facilitated or otherwise, is that people are just too busy to deal with it.

I think it feels historically new. There's this sense of time being scarce. So you won't have to waste time. Dating sites and apps promise to save you time. An actual date still takes pretty much the same amount of time that it always has, so where the apps cut corners is in the lead-up. A Tinder spokesperson told me in an email that while the app doesn't lessen the time it takes to build a relationship, it has "made the first step super easy—we get you in front of someone with an efficiency and ease that you couldn't before.

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Efficient dating is, in many ways, at odds with effective dating. Dating apps do not seem like an efficient way to produce relationships, at least no more so than traditional dating, and maybe less so, depending on who you ask. They are an efficient way to move through your options. When you use a resource more efficiently, you ultimately use up more of it. This is a concept that the 19th century economist William Stanley Jevons came up with to talk about coal.


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The more efficiently coal could be used, the more demand there was for coal, and therefore people just used up more coal more quickly. This can happen with other resources as well—take food for example. As food has become cheaper and more convenient—more efficient to obtain—people have been eating more.


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On dating apps, the resource is people. You go through them just about as efficiently as possible, as fast as your little thumb can swipe, so you use up more romantic possibilities more quickly. The idea of putting yourself out there again and again and again. This desire for efficiency plays out outside of the apps as well—if a first date is iffy, people may just not bother with a second—but the apps certainly facilitate it.

And not just swiping apps. Reading through profile after profile on OKCupid or the new Hinge amounts to the same thing.

How To Find Love In Online Gay Dating | The Soulmates Blog

So you end up spending a little effort on a lot of people, and I think this is where the burnout comes from. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Add to the fact that gays often date with the seasons, and half the year is either thought of as warm single, and often slutty season, or as a cold cuddling more relationship based time of the year.

We forget that we are still animals, and like our furry friends, our bodies change with the tides and seasons in a very natural way. However, gay men are quick to use the seasons as an excuse to why we are "allowed" to behave in certain ways. We aren't definitely going to have kids, which is why most heterosexual people start to couple up and settle down. And even today straight couples are waiting longer and longer to have children. However, even when we do couple up, the way in which we operate as couples is quite different than straight couples.

The Rise of Dating-App Fatigue

Add to the fact that a lot of our friends are single, and it becomes almost more normal to be single in the gay world than in a healthy relationship. We even joke that gay years are like dog years for relationships. And for better or worse, the second something starts to go sour, we have reminders that there are men everywhere. Our social circles are full of these perpetual bachelors, who appear to enjoy their singledom, and constantly question why we are looking to settle down. We all have a friend or two, who claims to love being single, but through candid conversations it become apparent he isn't addressing his deeper wounds from past loves and life.

These single gay friends come with their own baggage, and will often project that we too need to sow our wild oats. Getting married wasn't an option for our community until very recently, so commitment from a legal standpoint was actually far from a lot of our minds.

This in some subconscious way made us less serious when it came to dating. It's easier to just keep reverting back to all the other points that making dating hard than it is to try and work on something with someone we thought we really liked. Dating is hard, being in a couple is hard, but it shouldn't be this hard, right? We let our minds drift, we make assumptions, and half the time we aren't even communicating how we are feeling with our partners.

Yes, not all of us are jealous, or at least to an unhealthy point, but going back to issues of shame and insecurity that stem from our youth, we often have a hard time trusting that we are good enough. From this destructive flaw we then end up projecting our neuroses onto our partners, and find ourselves jealous for no reason.

Even if we are lucky enough to find someone special and start dating, jealousy can creep within the relationship.

Romance is just a swipe away

Mix in a lack of communication, which as men we are more likely to be bad at, and it's a recipe for disaster. While it can feel like dating, and ultimately finding someone amazing is impossible in the gay world, we have to remain optimistic if we really do want to find someone. Now more than ever, strong committed gay couples exist in public spheres, which means there are examples of what we can have.

We need to stop perpetuating the idea that all the good ones are either taken, straight, or live far away. The language we use when talking about dating needs to be positive and upbeat, and we have to stop confusing proper courting with endless casual sex. We need to stop using every excuse in the book, and start working on ourselves because we aren't perfect either. We need to stop looking past the amazing men that are right in front of our faces, and start understanding that the sex part of a relationship will evolve.

In the end, we'll ultimately be looking for a best friend, a companion to build a full life with, and maybe one day move away from all the craziness with. If we are lucky enough to meet someone with whom our souls connect in an effortless way, we need to water that relationship because it is rare. Gay dating is really hard, but nothing worth having comes easy, so lead with love and positivity, and more than anything just be open to what could be.