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Dear Innocent Me,

I’m going to jump right into this one, partly because I have a word-count to stick to, but also because it’s a pretty important point that I need to discuss with you this time. One of the best parts of having a big gay time machine to contact my younger self through is knowing that I can potentially stop you from making some big mistakes. One way you’re going to make mistakes in the near future is through the fabulous world of mobile dating apps, so listen up, kiddo – it’s about to get real.

Firstly, even at the age of 25 I’m still somehow

the naive gay who sees them as Dating Apps – maybe it’s all the musicals, or Julia Roberts movies I’ve seen, that have convinced me love comes first and always wins in the end. However, here’s the truth, a lot of -and perhaps most – guys don’t view or use these apps in this way. For a lot of guys these apps are more about hooking up than they are about dating, and they’re more about sex than they are about love. This will cause some confusion, and a fair bit of wasted time, in conversations you have with guys you envisage as possible suiters. Yes, there will be those guys who are upfront about it from the get go; they’ll ask for pics, or they’ll send pics, or you’ll be greeted with the stunningly eloquent opening question that is, “top or bttm?” You’ll get used to these guys, and you will even get used to explaining that you’re after a little more than they are. It’s the others that really breed confusion – the ones who talk like they want more, staying full Dr Jeckyll until the night hits and Mr Hyde emerges. Let’s cut to the chase, don’t fall for these guys.

Secondly, remember to always put safety first. Of course, this comes into play just as much in the bedroom as it does on the apps, but I’m referring to the latter now. Avoid being too open and vulnerable on these Apps, maybe even to the extent of not showing your face in your profile picture – it will definitely help to avoid unplanned chance meetings, after all. Other than that it’s all the usual points, no addresses, of course no banking information, and no deep dark confessions to that faceless torso with glistening abs.

When it gets to the real world part, which it will on more than a few occasions, listen to what your parents have always told you. Strangers = Dangers. Meet in a public, well lit place – and make sure there are people who know your exact plans, that you keep them updated on all the while, of course. There are going to be couple times you don’t follow these rules and you’re pretty lucky nothing bad actually happens, but just FYI they’re super awkward encounters and not worth all of the risk and worry at all.

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Finally, don’t fall for anyone before actually meeting them – this even goes for the good ones you might find. You’re going to do it, and you’re going to feel stupid. At the end of the day dating apps are like Facebook or any other kind of social media, people show what they want you to see, and hide what they don’t. You can’t fall for a concept of a man.

Yours sincerely,

Twenty-Five Year Old (Somewhat Regretful) You

 

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.

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.