Just as for straight folk, internet dating sites are the most popular and common way for gay people to connect and date. Use the guide below to help you navigate the process and find the fun or lasting love (or both!) that you’re looking for.

Getting In The Game

So, to start: you want to let the gay community know that you’re single! There are now lots of dating websites and apps specifically for gay and bisexual people, which can make finding a match much easier and quicker.

Make sure you complete your dating profile with as much detail as possible and select the pictures you include with care: avoid group shots or the use of filters. It’s vital that your main profile pic shows your face clearly.

To get an idea of how a dating site works, have a look at this review for GaysGoDating, which has all of the information you need. This particular site has over one million members and features a host of tools to make finding your perfect partner a breeze.

Staying Safe

It’s vital not to give out personal information, including your address, too early; staying safe is paramount. However, convinced you are that you’ve found ‘Mr. Right,’ until you’ve met in person at least a couple of times and feel comfortable doing so, keep your personal details private.

It’s also a good idea to let a trusted friend or family member know where you’re going, and when you expect to be home; meeting in a public place that’s well-frequented is a sensible idea, too, when it comes to a first date.

Dealing With Catfishers

Within the gay dating community, catfishing is, unfortunately, not unheard of, and some people have had the experience of turning up for a date only to find that the person they’re meeting isn’t gay.

So, try to avoid making assumptions regarding sexuality until you’ve met in person and, if it turns out that the person you’ve met for the date is straight, then it’s best to keep your cool, end the encounter politely and make your exit. While such incidents can be both disappointing and frustrating, try not to view it as any sort of reflection on you but, instead, hold your head up high, keep your dignity and move on.

Keep the Pressure Off

Dating is an exciting time, but it’s best to avoid approaching every first date as if this person could be ‘The One.’ Yes, it’s important to be optimistic and open to the development of a fabulous, loving relationship, but it’s just as important to make sure that you don’t jeopardize your date by ramping up the pressure and expectations to the point that you’re a nervous wreck before you’ve left the house.

Try to keep things in perspective. When heading out for a first date, think of it as an opportunity to meet someone new, hopefully, have some good conversations and an enjoyable few hours. Viewing it in this light, rather than as the potential first meet-up between you and your future husband, will help you relax and have fun.

Dating Someone Who Is Not Fully Out

In the course of your dating journey, there’s a chance that you could meet and match with someone who is not fully out: perhaps they’re out of the closet in terms of their friends, for example, but their family doesn’t know.

This can be one of the trickiest situations to manage, especially if this is someone with whom you’d like to pursue a relationship. The problem with dating someone who isn’t fully out means that you may feel as if you’re not out, at times, either, as you may be asked to put on a front around your partner’s family. This is obviously usually an untenable situation; therefore, if it becomes clear that the guy you’ve matched with isn’t totally out, then you may need to have a conversation about him either having a frank conversation with those close to him who are unaware that he’s gay and, if he’s not prepared to do this, then this could be a relationship that you need to walk away from, sadly.

After the Date

So, no matter how well the date has gone, what you do afterwards could make a big difference to whether or not you bag date number two…or beyond!

If the date seemed to be successful, and it ended with you both saying that you’d like to meet up again, then give him a call or drop him a line over the next day or two to repeat that you’d love to see him again and make the arrangements. It’s best not to pay attention to advise along the lines of waiting a set number of days before a follow-up call: if the date was good and you liked him, then get in touch! If you’d like to see your date again – but on a friendship basis – be honest and state this, and see if this is an option.

During the next date (and any other that follow), take the opportunity to start thinking about your compatibility and how well your goals and values align. And – importantly – enjoy the process!