How do we learn the rules of online dating?
Whether you’re just contemplating dipping your toe into the intimidating waters of connecting with guys online, or you’ve already thrown yourself in the deep end, putting the technology to work to find some intimacy, sexual pleasure, or a possible relationship is a bit of an emotional roller-coaster.
Meeting guys is complicated enough, but the ever-changing tools at our disposal can get a bit overwhelming.
It’s undeniable that the world of technology continues to evolve and develop at a rapid rate. With every new model or upgrade, our phones get more powerful and they enable us to continue to unlock the power of the internet in ways that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago.
Online dating has been one of the parts of our lives that has really benefited from this rapidly evolving technology. While it’s still a good idea to practice your in-person cruising skills in a bar or at the gym, putting your phone to work to help you meet guys near you can exponentially speed up the process of finding a date or just having some fun.
For many of us, we’ve grown up with online dating. Our first experiences of hooking up with other guys have been facilitated by downloading an app, choosing a profile photo, and messaging back-and-forth with the mind-boggling number of guys who are online and looking for some man-on-man action.
But who teaches us about online dating? Is trial-and-error the only way to learn how to dodge the pitfalls and identify potential red flags?
Gaydar – the online dating specialists – have been helping guys connect with each other for over 20 years.
Gaydar started out as a desktop website, but has evolved with the technology – it’s now available on all the platforms and apps you can think of.
We’ve learnt a thing or two about how to maximise your dating potential and get the most out of the hook-up tools at your disposal.
Here’s some of the things that you might want to have a think about.
Your profile photo is one of the main marketing tools that you’ve got to present yourself to guys that you want to connect with.
Try and take an objective look at your profile photo – show it your friends or your housemates to get a second opinion.
What does your profile photo say about you? Is it presenting you as your best self? Is it projecting the image that you want? Is it time for an update?
It’s worth taking a bit of time to fill out the bio fields of your dating app. Not everyone reads the bio, but lots of guys do.
Again, this is a good one to focus-group workshop with your friends and housemates.
Sometimes, what you think is dry and witty might come across as being a negative. You need your bio to be accurate, but you also want to present yourself as someone that’s worth chatting with and worth meeting up with. You want the guys reading your bio to be absolutely clear that you’re quite interesting and more than a bit sexy.
Your dating app lets you set various search filters to show you the type of guys that you’re keen to meet. Have a look at the filters you’ve currently got set up and make sure they’re still an accurate reflection of what you’re looking for.
Location filters are useful, as they help you connect with guys in your area. Don’t be too rigid about age-range filters – you could be missing out on some quality guys.
Dating apps like Gaydar give you the option to upload Adult Only photos. You can then decide who you share these with.
When you’re embracing online dating, it’s inevitable that guys are going to ask you to send some nude photos. There’s two main reasons for this – it helps to confirm that you are who you say you are, and it also helps to demonstrate exactly what’s on the menu.
Take a look at the nude photos you’ve currently got uploaded. Are they an accurate reflection of the image you’re trying to project? Are they going to help you seal the deal with the guys that you want to connect with?
How do you chat with guys on dating apps? What’s your hit-rate like? Do you consider yourself as giving pretty good chat, or is this an area where your skills could do with some work?
Be the guy that you want to chat with – fun and upbeat, flirty and sexy, relaxed but responsive.
The do’s and don’ts of hook-ups
One of the great things about using a dating app like Gaydar is that it automatically creates opportunities for you to connect with like-minded people who are probably interested in the same kind of stuff that you are.
Creating a Gaydar profile immediately means that your options for romance or just a bit of fun have been exponentially expanded.
But the world of casual sex – and dating in general – can be a bit of an emotional mine-field.
Let’s take a look at some of the do’s and don’ts of hook-ups.
You’ve seen someone you like and you want to get their attention
- Look for opportunities to talk to them.
- See if they appear on your Gaydar grid, or whatever dating apps you’re using.
- Stalk their social media.
- Fade into the background and wait for them to notice you.
You’ve had a date with someone and you’re interested in taking it further
- Let them know – send them a message or make contact to suggest a second date.
- Respect their wishes if they’ve made it clear that they’re not that keen.
- Assume that you know what the other person is thinking.
- Hassle them. If they’re not returning your messages, then it’s probably time to stop messaging them.
You’ve had a date with someone and you’re not interested in taking it further
- Let them know in a polite and respectful way.
- Ghost them.
- Feel pressured into seeing them again because you don’t want to hurt their feelings.
You’ve had sex with someone and you’d like to see them again
- Let them know – be proactive and make it clear that you had a good time.
- Be prepared that it could have been a one-off kind of thing. Not all sexual encounters lead to something more.
- Sit around waiting for their call. If you’re not sure where things stand between you, take some action to get clarity.
- Pressure them into anything. If you’re keen for sex but they’re not, it’s time to move on.
You’ve had sex with someone and you don’t want to see them again
- Be honest and up-front. It’s okay to tell someone that there’s not going to be any repeat business. Be polite, not cruel.
- Try and avoid them – it’s one of the laws of physics that it’s inevitable that you run into people that you’d prefer not to.
- Feel any kind of obligation to have sex with someone just because you said yes last time. Who you have sex with is totally your call.
You’ve had an encounter with someone and it’s left you feeling upset, hurt, or unsafe
- Talk about it. Find a trusted friend or call a help-line. Articulate how you’re feeling and get some advice.
- If something has happened that you haven’t consented to, or if you’ve been assaulted in any way, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to report the incident. This helps you take control of the situation, but also helps to protect others.
- Try and ignore it. Bottling up your feelings and emotions is not the right way to deal with anything.
- Assume that you should have done something differently to avoid the situation. You have the right to assume that people you date or have sex with are going to treat you with respect.
- Feel powerless. Whatever it was that made you feel this way, you’re in charge of what happens next. Articulate your emotions, get advice, take action.