Since I recently wrote about dating struggles, I thought I’d put a few tips out there to help make dating easier. They’re pretty basic, but incredibly important.
Tip 1: Be yourself from the beginning
You should have the mindset, from the very first date, to be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you think the other man will like because that puts him on a date with a completely different person…they’re not even with YOU. Some guys call this putting on their “date face.” But it’s exhausting and stressful to put all that fake energy out there, and ultimately not sustainable. Why put yourself through all that?
But if you can be yourself, and if you can engage in the hard conversations in the beginning stages of the relationship, then you’re setting yourselves up for a healthy relationship. He knows who you are and what you’re looking for – and vice versa. And if it doesn’t work out, at least you were honest.
Tip 2: Know yourself and who you’re looking for
This is a prerequisite for my clients before the first introduction. Be clear and honest when you answer the self-reflective questions, like What is my purpose? What are my strengths? and What are my weaknesses?
Tip 3: Ask genuine questions that show care and interest
On the date itself, it’s not only important to ask questions like What do you want?
and Why do you want that? – it’s also interesting. This is the kind of stuff that yields engaging conversations, draws you in to each other, and creates a foundation for a longer relationship.
Many people are afraid to ask probing questions in the beginning. But think of it as a way of discovering who the other person is. The number of siblings your date has, or where he went to college, or where he works out, are all valid questions. But they’re not the rich sort of interaction that makes you want to call him for date number two. And if you don’t ask these more involved kinds of questions, you won’t know if he’s right for you. You’re certainly not going to learn his true nature by learning that he was born in Oregon and his favorite color is blue.
Tip 4: Listen
This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip, and it is crucial. Many guys forget to listen, or don’t really know how. A good way to start enhancing the skill is to know your own values and listen for them reflected back to you when he talks. You can also listen for the kinds of things that are dealbreakers for you. By listening, you can figure out if what he wants matches what you’re looking for.
It also prevents you from making assumptions or jumping to conclusions about the other person. And frankly, it’s just polite.
Tip 5: Increase your knowledge about relationships
Very few gay men actually try this, but you’d be surprised how much it helps. And it’s easy. First, of course, is to engage in a relationship coaching session with me. You can also be impeccable at applying the things you learn from my blog. You can also Google “gay dating” and read some of the articles that come up. Or pick up a book about gay male relationships. None of us know everything there is to know about successful gay relationships. So why not benefit from experts, thought leaders, and people who have walked in your shoes? It can be an enlightening, educational, and fascinating experience. It can also help make you more successful in the dating world.
Tip 6: Bring your best out
I encourage you to dress to impress yourself. Choose an outfit that makes you feel good, sexy and confident. Wear something that is going to wow you because you deserve to bring your best out. Don’t go on your first date sloppy, wearing something that doesn’t make you feel hot. Feel good about yourself, and really show your true personality through what you choose to wear, whatever that means to you. Remember first impressions are important.
Tip 7: Let go of the outcome
I saved this one for last because in many ways it’s the hardest one to actually follow. You often hear “live in the moment” or “be in the moment.” Well, it’s especially true when dating. Don’t get caught up in what might happen, where it’s all headed, what the outcome will be. Just accept what is, now. Show love, communicate, be open, and listen. And, most important, enjoy yourself! The rest will take care of itself, no matter how it all turns out.