I’m like Australia,  if you don’t have the skills you’re not coming in.

You may remember that a little while ago I wrote an article on speed dating, and then another on gay dating apps. Now, with these powerful tools and a sense of decency about me (apparently) you’d think by now I’d be snapped up and happily taking soppy photos for Instagram. Well surprise, I’m not! That’s not through a lack of trying mind you but I am quickly coming to a conclusion that to know your own mind is to have a lonely mind.

Dating really is a mine field if you have your wits about you and know what you are looking for (within reason). I see countless examples where people who aren’t that fussy who they land with so long as they land with someone that go on these awkward (and from the outside appear to be utterly dull) dates and claim to have a whale of a time. Now while I don’t want to steal from their enjoyment, awkward dates usually mean chemistry and rapport issues. The two things that, if gotten right, usually lead to bigger and brighter things.

So a date I went on once, the lead up to it was perfectly normal, seemed nice and chatty, we appeared to have a lot in common and eventually decided to go for a few drinks in Shoreditch – somewhere a bit different! Well, the person who turned up was not the person I had been speaking to. Now I accept that people get nervous, so being the outward person I am, I try to put them at ease with what I know they’ve said they enjoy. And I give it a little time, as time often relieves nerves. But this guy was just not out going by any stretch of the imagination, confidence levels through the floor and appeared to have abandoned any common interests we had. After the first bar I thought it would naturally be a good point to end but he wanted to continue. So, as I’m a game bird I ran with it. But the night just got worse not better.

After about three hours of an utter car crash of a date we parted ways and while I was sat on the train home wondering about what stiff drink I could have when I got in, he text me saying what a wonderful time he’d had and that we should do it again? I thought it was a wrong number at first as he clearly wasn’t at the same date I was at. I politely outlined that there was no connection there and thanked him for his time but seriously? I know I can be away on other planets some days but this was just something else.

That click that you have with someone, to me is of major importance. So if you don’t even click when talking online then why on earth would I travel half way across London just to put a face to a tinder profile? It’s just not going to happen. But when you try and outline that, suddenly you’re the bad guy for ‘leading them on’. When did conversation to try and establish rapport become ‘leading someone on’?

Sometimes too much rapport can even be a deal breaker. Another date I went on involved a guy that was far too eager. Was terribly interested in everything I did and was about, probed far deeper than the level of small talk into my life and history. But when I wanted to know about his, the answers were often vague or very high level. For me, personally, while it’s nice that someone takes a keen interest in you (doesn’t happen often these days) if they have no substance behind it for themselves then what or who are you dating? Just an empty shell that wants to fill their own lives with yours. Am I that far out there by wanting someone who has their own world and we have a mutual wish to enter each other’s worlds?

On the flip side of that I appreciate that people can be too picky after a while. Small things like how you think they’ll get on with friends, or if they can be presented to work colleagues become deal breakers and let’s be honest they aren’t really deal breakers in the grand scheme of things. But after a few car crashes you do start to look at these things and seriously wonder when talking to them online “can I take you to the work winter social…. Hmmmmm maybe not…. NEXT!”.

I may or may not be guilty of doing that.

Friends certainly accuse you of it. The amount of times I get told that I’m being too picky and that I’m still single because of it drives me up the wall. A string of bad dates does not equal picky. Getting rid of dates for small reasons (a hair out of place for example) is being picky. As someone who is so very far away from perfect I don’t reject people on that basis. But if there is no connection, no rapport and their idea of a good date is awkward silence then sorry peeps, I’ll be as picky as the Australian immigration system. If you haven’t got the skills, you aren’t coming in.

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Dating is generally a bit of a minefield but to my fellow single pringles I say this, there is nothing wrong with knowing what you will and won’t accept. But be realistic, keep yourself firmly in the practical world and something will come along. And if you haven’t already I do recommend speed dating. Even the pickiest or clingiest singles have their picky/clinginess tested with a room full of 27 other gay men. For the record I turned up to the last one looking like a scene from Bridget Jones, wet (it was raining), pale (I had a cold) and smelly (it had been a long day and a very stuff train). I wouldn’t have picked me either!!!

I suspect this will be the first of a series of posts on this. Sharing some my experiences plus some others experiences too. Seeing how we can all navigate the dating world to get the most out of it, or at the very least, get some enjoyment out of it.

 

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.