Lucas from California asks, “I think I am ready for a relationship but it seems impossible to find anyone who actually wants to date. Is it possible to find a good guy on a hook-up app?” It would seem that hook-up apps have added quite the layer of confusion as to who is interested in sex and who truly wants something more. As much as you may dislike the men who say they are strictly looking for ‘fun’ with no strings attached, at least you know what you are getting into. It is the men who say what you want to hear just to see that naked pic of yours that can lead you down a dead-end path. These men are the reason you question whether or not love is possible to find in any social media forum, but these men are nothing new. To answer the question, “Is it possible to find true love on a hook-up app?” We would say that it is very possible. It is also possible to hit a jackpot on the slot machines, but that doesn’t mean you should blow all your rent money at the casino. It is all about putting yourself out there, being honest with what you want, and managing your expectations. However, hook-up apps sometimes can make that last part a little tricky.
Grindr, Scruff, Facebook, hell, even text messaging, allows you to attach whatever traits and characteristics you want onto the man with the cute photo who is blowing up your phone. You can read the subtext in the text and create a whole persona, or relationship even, that was never there in the first place. And for all of the time and effort you spent concocting this fantasy, it can just as easily wash right down the drain along with the discharge from your hook up.
The best way to manage these expectations so you aren’t left feeling as if love is a hopeless game is to limit your virtual relationship to the initial meet-and-greet and remove sex from the preliminary equation. That doesn’t mean to wait until marriage… or even the third date. But if you allow for a first meeting to be about something other than just physical chemistry, you can quickly figure out if there will be something else to talk about post-coital. Then, it is up to you to decide whether you want sex without romance, or if you would rather take a pass. Don’t spend weeks “getting to know” him via text. People can become anyone you want them to be if they never have to say a word. If distance or scheduling is a problem, give him a call and talk over the phone. Just breathe…. I know phone calls are scary. But you can do it. If you are old enough to have booty sex, you are old enough to have a phone conversation. Hook-up apps haven’t changed gay men for the better or worse. They are just a new medium for people to do what they have always done; try to connect with each other. If you are looking for a deeper connection than just physical, it is up to you to use your words and be open to new experiences without being a blind emotional sucker for the cute pair of nipples staring back at you on your screen.