Dating apps are a pretty amazing creation. Before dating apps, our choice in romantic or sexual partner was limited to those people with whom we happened to interact. Much of these interactions were left to chance and who knows if we’d actually be compatible with those people. In all fairness, I don’t really remember a time when this was the reality.
In fact, I met my husband on Grindr, which is a very popular gay dating app. Now, let’s face it, most gay dating apps are primarily used by gay men to find quick hook-ups. Nevertheless, not all guy’s on Grindr, Scruff, or Jackd are out to find a romp in the sack right away. Some guys would prefer to chat for a bit before getting to that point. Others are looking for friends, just chatting, or even trying to talk with guys outside their circles with the hope of romantic interests developing. My husband and I actually still have a Grindr account. We have one account and occasionally log-on to chat with new people but especially use it when we travel. It’s a great way to learn what the gay community is up to in a place you’ve never visited. Of course, there are those who would argue we should not have a Gridr account anymore but I say to them: “Piss off.” Haha…that’s another blog post topic for the future.
In any case, like I said before, I actually met my husband on Grindr. Nearly 6 years later we’re still together so I’m not really concerned with how others perceive our norms, habits, and dynamic. But…when I did seriously use Grindr and other dating apps there were a number of behaviors I noticed which were just not favorable. So with that said, I’ve taken the liberty to list out some of the things everyone should avoid doing on dating apps. Of course, this is geared towards gay dating apps. I have no clue how people act on straight dating apps.
1) Don’t not have a photo.
Ok, so here’s the deal, it’s 2016. Every phone has a camera built into it. It can’t be too difficult to snap a quick photo of yourself (whatever part of yourself is up to you). There is no excuse to lack a photo. It’s also highly likely most people are unwilling to chat with anyone lacking a photo.
2) Don’t use a photo of anything but yourself.
Yes, the beach is awesome…so are mountains but I highly doubt you are either of those things. You should have a photo of yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s your torso or what have you. It just needs to be of you in some way. There are people who expect you to have a face pic. That’s cool. Discretion sometimes mandates no face pic in your profile but you should at least have a pic of yourself in some way.
3) Don’t use a group photo.
I mean, no one has the time to try to figure out which person you are in your photo. Just don’t use group shots.
4) Don’t have a blank profile.
You should fill out your profile. It really doesn’t take that long and can help eliminate some of the small chatter necessary to learn those things. Chatting is bound to happen but the discussion can be more substantive if those involved have adequate information to start off with. Also, sometimes guys decide whether or not to chat based on the information listed in a profile. So fill it out.
5) Don’t completely ignore messages.
People put themselves out there on these apps. Unless the person started the conversation on a completely terrible note, at least give them the courtesy of “Sorry, I’m not interested.” At least respond and be polite.
6) Don’t start a conversation with your dirtiest fetishes etc.
Coming off too forward can really sour any conversation you might have. Those things are important to talk about
but maybe ease your way into them.
7) Don’t let the first message you send be a dick pic.
Even if the other person is looking for sex, this can be a total turn off. Chat for a second, show you’re not some creeper, and then get to the business of showing off your assets.
8) Don’t be racist or a bigot.
Even if you’re not into heavy guys, there’s no need for you to write this in your profile. The same goes for your masculine and racial preferences. It’s just not necessary. You know what you’re into and you can lightly reject anyone who doesn’t fit your criteria. If you right a racial preference in your profile then your racist…it’s that simple. It also demonstrates a pretty closed mindedness to romantic potential. You never know who you might meet that will change your life. I certainly never thought I would date, let alone marry, someone older than me. But it happened and I’m happy it did.
9) Don’t rush to meet someone.
I mean, sometimes you might be after sex. That’s ok but maybe take a bit of time to gain a better understanding of who this person is before you put yourself in such a vulnerable situation. There have been countless instances of people having terrible, scary, or even dangerous experiences as a result of rushing into something. Take some time…sex isn’t worth your personal safety and health.
10) Don’t take it so serious.
Grindr and other dating apps are a great tool for meeting people but most people on these apps are looking for sex. As a result, it’s a pretty superficial, tunnel visioned environment. Don’t take it so serious because these apps aren’t real life. People act differently on these apps and are sometimes disrespectful because it’s easy to do so online. Use dating apps for their purpose but don’t have high expectations of them. As I’ve already said, most people on these apps are looking for sex or are just killing time. These apps don’t indicate the overall status of your dateability. So take what happens on them with a grain of salt but always keep an open mind. You never know, you might meet your future husband.