The Curse of Gay Dating
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The Curse of Gay Dating

A personal glance into the trials and tribulations of gay dating.

The Curse of Gay Dating

Growing up, I assumed I would have a high school relationship, break up before I go off to college, be devastated, meet someone even better in college, and get married to him. This pipe dream was anything but the case for me, and 99% (I don't know the actual percentage, but good luck finding someone who experienced that situation) of all gay people.

High School

The most unbelievable aspect of my dream was finding a relationship in high school. In fact, I didn't come to terms with my sexuality until the Summer after my sophomore year. Every person's journey to discovering their sexuality can range from knowing as a child to figuring it out as an adult.

I chose to come out to my close friends as bisexual in my junior year, and I came out to everyone else in my senior year of high school. For this reason alone, I had very limited time to find another guy interested in me, especially because I come from a small retirement city in Florida.

I was lucky in the sense that I was not bullied for coming out (besides being bullied for having a high-pitched voice in elementary school); however, this isn't the case for a large proportion of LGBTQ+ individuals. Many people in our community are unable to come out and live their truest selves due to the consequences that would follow. Each family, group of friends, community, mindset, and set of circumstances lead to each person having a completely unique coming out experience, if they're able to at all.

For this reason alone, the majority of gay men especially will not come out in high school, let alone college. My dating options were limited to say the least, and I never got to live out my high school relationship dreams.

Summer Before College

I started to download apps like Tinder and Grindr to find other gay men in my general vicinity. Grindr isn't exclusive to just gay men, as all people who identify with any gender can use it, but my primary goal was to find cisgender men. I was still underage at the time, and got myself into numerous situations that, looking back, were more dangerous than I'd like to admit (sorry mom).

Jumping into the dating world was quite possibly the worst thing I could've done to my mental health. To preface this, I was already crying myself to sleep some nights from feeling so lonely and not having the feeling of someone holding me tightly.

Tinder was amazing at first because I was enjoying the bursts of serotonin I got every time I would get a match, and many conversations led to Snapchat—at some point, I was snapping 30+ guys. I found myself unable to commit to a single person because I had this notion of "what if somebody else I'm talking to will be better for me?"

I started seriously talking to one guy, and we had amazing conversations for a few consistent weeks, but I could feel something off in him near the end. Communication then came to a standstill, and no matter what I sent, I was ghosted. Ghosting is the action of one person leaving another person without any communication or explanation. This was the start of many situations in which I've been ghosted.

I'm not going to lie and say I haven't ghosted either. Due to me talking to so many guys at once, I would unintentionally stop communication with some because I lacked the time to devote to them. I also would start to slow communication with some guys if I learned negative things about them that I didn't feel comfortable with. For instance, one guy started telling me about all of the drugs he had tried and the time he got arrested for drugs. Just from his appearance, I never could've imagined that was his background, and I no longer wanted to continue talking to him because our values were wildly different.

I still held out hope for the second-half of my dream where I would meet someone in college and have a dreamy relationship seen in the movies.


My Grindr exploded with messages from gay guys around campus, and I'd never felt so wanted before. Within the first semester, I had talked to, went on a date with, or hooked up with every gay guy on/around campus. Nobody truly was a right match for me, even if I had fallen head over heels for them. Whether I was ghosted or they only wanted nothing more than a hookup, I was left feeling empty once again.

I still long for a relationship in which a guy and I can fully support each other's dreams, are emotionally intelligent, and can be romantic in a slightly cheesy way together. I also want someone to cuddle and hold me at night—someone who will make me feel protected instead of hollow.

I sense that my dream will, yet again, never come true. The curse of gay dating is the idea that there will always be someone better out there for you. Men will never be satisfied with me because I'm not the best option: I'm not muscular, I don't have perfect teeth, and I can't change my personality to satisfy whatever turns them on.

My last two-week long whirlwind of a relationship ended this way. I realized that he couldn't love me for me, and I was trying to change myself to be a better fit for him, even though I never asked him to change for me.

Statistically, LGBTQ+ people have significantly higher rates of depression and anxiety than our straight counterparts. Besides the need to conform since we were children (toxic masculinity, avoiding discrimination/prejudice, feeling like an outsider, etc.), gay men have translated that need into our own community. If you can't conform to the ideal image of a male model with perfect proportions of everything, you'll be treated as less than you deserve.

The fact of the matter is no one can ever live up to that expectation, and we all have to come to terms with the evidence that chasing this ideal is deteriorating our mental states. As soon as we all get rid of this idea that superficial features are superior, we can break this curse that is plaguing gay dating.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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