Gaydar is getting ready to celebrate
One of the big milestones that we’re looking forward to in 2019 is that online dating expert Gaydar is turning 20.
Means Happy is part of the Gaydar family, and we’ve been looking at the history of online dating in past decades, and diving into some statistics to see what we can find out about how online dating has been evolving and adapting.
Dating before the internet
As well as meeting at bars or out cruising, one of the main dating options for queer guys was personals ads. Gay magazines would all have a personals section, where you could list your profile – there generally wasn’t any photos, just a few lines of text that listed your age, your location, and what you were looking for. If you liked the look of someone’s profile, you had to send a letter to the magazine, the magazine would then send it off to the person that you wanted to contact, if they were interested they would then write to you or call. It took some patience, and the strike-rate wasn’t particularly high.
The emergence of online dating
Henry Badenhorst and Gary Frisch created Gaydar when a friend told them that he was too busy to find a date. The emerging technology of the internet enabled the founders of Gaydar to take the principles of the printed personals ads in the magazines and speed up the whole process. Being able to send and receive messages in real-time was a total game-changer. Gaydar became the first gay social network – a platform that brought men together and created a safe space for them to talk and connect with each other.
Keep your options open
One of the downsides of online dating is that it can sometimes seem to encourage people to express unhealthy prejudices and toxic behaviours. Seeing profiles that spell out all of the different people that they don’t want, can be really hurtful and undermine self-esteem and self-worth. Spamming people with unwanted messages can feel like harassment. Totally ignoring or ghosting someone is rude, and sends a signal that you don’t value them or that they’re somehow inferior to you.
Embrace the karma of online dating. Conduct your online dating so that you are treating people in the way that you would want them to treat you – with respect, with honesty, with kindness. If you don’t feel a connection with someone, tell them in a way that’s direct and honest, but not cruel. If someone doesn’t respond to your messages, don’t waste any negative energy getting frustrated about it, move on and focus on people that you do find a connection with.
Keep your phone handy
One of the trends that we’ve noticed is that during the Christmas period, Gaydar members seem to switch from using their laptops and desktop computers in favour of their phones. This makes a lot of sense – we’re often travelling, away from the office, spending time with family and friends. We’re never too far away from our phones though, so it’s worth keeping an eye on any messages you might be receiving, or seeing who’s nearby and interested in connecting. Nothing keeps the festive spirits up like the prospect of a quick hook-up or meeting someone new.
In terms of traffic, Christmas Eve is one of the busiest days on Gaydar. Are you going to be naughty or nice this festive season?
New Year’s Resolutions
Does meeting some new people or spicing up your sex life figure somewhere on your list of New Year’s resolutions? Looking at the data for Gaydar in past years, there’s a clear increase in member activity in January compared to December. December is a busy month with lots of social commitments, but you might have a bit more time on your hands in January. If you’ve made a resolution to put yourself out there a bit more in 2019, then making sure that your Gaydar profile is up to date is a good starting point.
We are family
Throughout Gaydar’s 20-year history, we’re a business that’s been founded, owned, and managed by people who are proud to be part of the LGBTQ community. We’re here to help our members connect with each other, because we know from personal experience how important that is. We advocate for equality and fight against discrimination and homophobia because we know from personal experience how it feel to be treated as less than equal. We’re waving our flags at Pride marches around the world because we respect and honour the people who fought for our rights, and we want to create a better future for the generations of LGBTQ people who come after us.
From everyone at Means Happy and Gaydar, we hope that you have a great Christmas and New Year. We’re looking forward to celebrating with you in 2019!