No gay, bi, or queer man needs to be told that dating as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community comes along with its own special set of challenges. However, dating as a gay man isn’t anywhere near as impossible as the rest of society seems to believe it is, so try not to get too discouraged. You just need to know what people are getting wrong as far as the whole experience so you can shrug off the misconceptions and get back to doing you.
1. All gay men care about is sex.
Don’t get us wrong. Sex is awesome. Gay men certainly love sex just as much as anyone else out there does, but it’s not all they care about. Gay people are just like straight people in that everyone’s after their own thing. Some gay guys are interested in sex, while other are all about relationships and making lasting connections. Still others change their mind a time or two over the course of their lifetimes.
2. You have to pick a “type” and stick to it.
We all know someone, gay or straight, who has a really specific “type” that they like and absolutely will not consider anyone who doesn’t fit squarely into that box. They’re usually also the person in our social circle who’s never happy with their love life but doesn’t understand why things are going wrong. That said, it’s fine to have a weakness for a specific type of guy, but you’re really selling yourself short if you refuse to give anyone else a chance.
3. You can be “too old” to find someone.
This is as untrue for gay and queer men as it is for straight people. There will always be people out there that feel insecure about whatever age they are, but gay men don’t come with an expiration date. You can date around, hook up, or find yourself in a fantastic long-term relationship at 30, 40, 50, and older just as easily as you can in your 20’s, so don’t believe the hype. Age really is just a number when it comes to getting the absolute most out of your dating life as a queer man. What you should really care about is what you should and shouldn’t do when dating as a gay man!
4. Only monogamous gay relationships actually work out.
None of us, gay or straight, are living in the 1950’s anymore. People are a lot more open-minded than they once were when it comes to relationships. Yes, plenty of people still prefer traditional monogamous relationships, but there are lots of couples in happy, fulfilling open relationships as well. There definitely isn’t a particular type of relationship that’s somehow either more or less likely to work out for gay people in particular. The key to lasting happiness is figuring out what works best for you and your partner.
5. Nobody finds love on a hookup app.
This isn’t true, of course. Lasting love and serious commitment may not be why gay men flock to dating apps like Grindr or Scruff, but some people do wind up finding them there all the same. Great relationships and lasting friendships can start anywhere, including with a casual hookup or fling. Sometimes those are the best things that come your way in life – the things that happen naturally without either party actually looking for it or expecting it.
6. There’s actually such a thing as “the one.”
Being out of the closet and living your truth as a gay, bi, or queer man doesn’t mean fairy tales are suddenly true. No one of any sexual orientation has one perfect match out there with whom there will be zero conflict whatsoever. First of all, there are lots of different people out there you could potentially form a solid connection with. Second, even the best relationships with the highest degree of compatibility take hard work, compromise, and commitment.
7. Relationships with age differences never work out.
While considerable age differences of 20 years or more can definitely present challenges for some people, this isn’t the case across the board by any stretch of the imagination. Ultimately, relationship compatibility boils down to the two people involved. Do they have enough in common? Do they want the same things out of life (and out of a relationship)? Do they genuinely enjoy being together? The answers to questions like those are ultimately a lot more important than any age difference or lack thereof.
As you can see, a lot of the most common, persistent myths about gay dating are exactly that – misconceptions that really don’t have much basis in reality. Dating as a gay man will definitely be its own animal, but it’s no harder or more daunting than any other type of dating. Ultimately, the quality of your experience is all about knowing who you are, understanding what you want, and taking the initiative to go out there and get it.