Tonight marks two weeks since my last date with a new guy. Two weeks! By this point I should have gone on a total of 20 dates, and I've been on 14. These past two weeks alone I should have gone on 4 dates, but they haven't happened. It's not that I've become some sort of recluse, hiding myself away in my bedroom watching reruns of Jersey Shore all day long (although I've seriously considered it). I've actually spent a lot of the past two weeks going out with some of the guys I've already gone on dates with and trying to figure out where I am with them. It's also been a busy past two weeks trying to plan out my life for the next 6-18 months, as I wait to hear back from grad schools, as well as some potential employers.
But enough excuses already. Let's just be honest...I'm having troubles meeting people. Now, for most singles, going two weeks without a date wouldn't be considered a dry spell. Hell, there have been times where I've gone 6 months without a date. But I've spent the past two weeks trying to get a date and have been unable to do so. I have a few theories as to why:
1) I gave up Internet dating. As explained here, I decided two week ago to stop using the Internet as a source to find dates. Although it wasn't my sole source previously, it was always a handy resource to meet a guy and find a quick date. In all honesty, I can easily jump online and find someone for coffee or dinner within an hour or so. (Sadly enough I could find a hookup even faster than that if I wanted. One time my friends and I logged on an application called grindr and raced to see who could get someone's address for a hookup the fastest. I found someone within 3 minutes.) So by taking away this large pool of men online, I've effectively made finding a date a much more involved process. Hopefully it will yield better quality dates. But so far it's yielded zero dates, which begs the question: is no date better than a crappy date?
2) Most guys within my social circle that I could date have either already done so, or are completely uninterested in doing so. My blog is a somewhat polarizing topic when it comes to someone being interested in me. While most people compliment me for the endeavor, they also fall into two camps generally: intrigued or cautious. Those who are intrigued are willing to go out, comfortable with the fact that they are one of 100 guys that I'm going to date this year, and glad to be a part of it. The cautious group usually asks themselves why they would want to take time to go on a date with me if they're just going to be one of 100 dates. It's a legitimate question to ask oneself. In fact, I'm not sure that I would want to go out with a guy who is doing what I'm doing because when I go on a date with someone I really try to open up to them and be genuine. It'd be easy to see a date with me as futile. The only answer I can really give to those who are cautious is to repeat what I said at the beginning:
"I’m not looking for love…[but] if I find love in the process, then so be it."
For me, a date is a harmless chance to get to know someone new. If you're cautious about going on a date with me because you think it won't go anywhere, then you're missing out on an opportunity to (at a bare minimum) get to know someone new, and at most, to
find love (no guarantees).
3) Lastly, I attribute the "dry spell" of dates to the natural ebb and flow of life. I don't want to get caught up in a strict adherence to a quota of two dates a week. Yes, that's the goal. And yes, I'm trying to fulfill it. But I think I might lose sight of the purpose of the whole experiment if all I'm focusing on is making sure that I'm hitting two dates a week or if I'm worried I won't have enough content for the blog. We all go through dry spells, and I have to just accept that I'm going through one right now.
Whatever the reason is for the dry spell doesn't solve the problem I'm having with meeting people. And I think what I'm facing is something confronted by a lot of people, especially in the gay community.
Now I don't want people inferring that I'm saying that being a single heterosexual is easier than being a single homosexual. When I was dating woman it was also difficult at times to find people to go on dates with. The difference is this: as a heterosexual man it's pretty easy to know who is available or not in your everyday life. That is, you can go to work or school or the gym or a bar and be fairly confident that most of the ladies (minus any lesbians) are available for you to meet and mingle with. Yes, you will run into those who already have boyfriends or husbands or who just aren't into you, but you can plainly see what is available for you.
As a gay man your options are fairly reduced. People don't wear signs that say "I'm gay!" Well, some do and that's actually really helpful at times. For the most part, however, I have a hard time meeting people during my every day routine and knowing first of all, if they're gay or not, and second of all, if they're even interested in me. The added layer of uncertainty when it comes to figuring out the sexuality of those surrounding you complicates the process of meeting new people to potentially date.
It's for this reason that the queer community creates environments and situations to allow people to meet. Gay bars (or gay nights at a bar), queer networking events, gay skate, and gay outdoor groups all do one thing: they take the guessing out of the question of sexuality. When you go to a gay bar you can be pretty sure that the guys there are gonna be gay. And this is great! It's wonderful to not have to wonder if the person you're talking to is gay or not. It's the same reason that gay dating sites are so great. There's no guessing that the people you're meeting are gay or not. There's also no guessing as to their penis size, sexual position preference, height, weight, or circumcision status. Yes, Internet dating takes almost too much guessing away.
But in my personal experience I've found that at a lot of these gay events I meet a lot of superficial people. I feel judged so quickly for outward appearances, rather than my personality. And while I am 97% confident in the way I look on the outside, I'm 100% confident that I'm a good-hearted, kind and caring individual. I'm sure the majority of the guys that are the clubs and bars and networking events and online are also kind and good men. It's just hard to figure that out in those settings.
Quite frankly, when I go out to a bar or club with friends, I'm not interested in meeting new people. I'm there to have a drink or two, dance, laugh, and have fun with my friends. Adding the task of finding people to date makes it almost feel like a job, especially since a large amount of guys are just at the bar or club looking to "put it in." (Thanks, Jersey Shore for yet another descriptive idiom)
These past two weeks I've tried to meet people in the most genuine of ways. I started developing a bit of a crush on my yoga teachers so I tried getting to know them (until I found out they were both together. And expecting twins via a surrogate in June! Isn't that the best? Now I just want to be their friends because I think they're so cool!). Then I saw a guy in dance class that I thought was cute, until I noticed the ring on his finger. I contacted guys who I had met in the past through school and mutual friends, but there was nothing. As I head to Mexico for a 2.5 week trip starting Tuesday morning I wonder, "Will I go a month without a date?" I'm hoping not.
So, here are my questions for you all...How did you meet your significant other? In what situation or environment? Was it a bar or club? Who approached who? What was the first conversation like? What do you think of online dating? What's the best way to meet someone? Do you want to set me up? (I have to ask.)
Like I said above, I'll be in Mexico for 2.5 weeks, through April 8th, so my Internet service will be a little less consistent. I'm hoping to meet people while I'm there, and if I do then I'll be sure to write about it and post as soon as I can. Until then, comment with answers to my questions! I'm excited to read some responses.