Single and not ready to mingle

Why dating in the gay world sucks … literally

Single and not ready to mingle

As I walk around the Los Angeles County Fair, laughing and talking with a guy I really like, I notice couples all around us. They are holding hands, laughing, eating, drinking. They’re getting on rides, winning prizes for each other, and being disgustingly cute in a way you would expect to see in some cheesy chick flick. And as much as I tell myself how gross and annoying they are, I secretly want it. I want a relationship with a guy that wins me carnival prizes, shows up at my house with a bottle of wine on a bad day, writes our names in the sand, or just watches Netflix with me while having some pizza and beer. I want romance, but I have one thing going against me—I’m gay.

I do not want to lead anyone astray; gays are more than capable of romance, often times more extravagant than heteros, but this kind of relationship has become hard to find. As a young gay man in his twenties, I’ve had a pretty decent view of the dating pool and I’m finding it deeply shallow.

From my experience, and those of my close friends and acquaintances, finding someone who is on the same page as you is difficult. Gay men are fed the idea that we have to look for something very specific in a mate. We are often told the ideal man is a hyper-masculine, over sexualized, Prince Charming with a fat pay check and ripped abs. Not only do we have to look for someone that fits that mold, we must also be that person. Not all of us want that, nor do we meet the criteria of a Ken doll. And it’s more difficult to meet gay men. Straight people have the luxury of going anywhere and encountering other straights. Even if they do not meet someone they like, they are surrounded by them. Gays are lucky if they see another gay person on the street. Walk into a bar and 99 percent of the people are straight. Gay people are limited to niche communities and venues that strictly cater to gay patrons; or we must turn to apps like Grindr or Jack’d.

In the gay world, it is easier to get laid than to go on a legitimate date that has the potential to lead to something more serious. And that is the main source of my frustration.

There comes a time when you tire of the one night stands, walks of shame, booty calls, and awkward goodbyes. And when you finally start dating a guy and you think things are going well, it is hard to not be cynical when things unexpectedly fall apart.

The last guy I was dating—I’ll call him “princess” for the sake of anonymity—was a really great guy, or so I thought. We met on Grindr. I know it is a hook-up app, but as I said before, an app is sometimes the best, and often the only way to meet someone. What could have been a late night booty call turned into a really nice first date, romance movie included.

We dated for a while and it seemed like things were going along great. Then, after a conversation about what “we” were, in other words, what our relationship was all about, he vanished. No calls, no texts, just gone. Fast forward two weeks and I receive a text saying something about how I am “too much but in a good way,” and how he does not want to be forced into anything. I was both confused and upset. Not only did he vanish without a goodbye, but now I had to deal with the idea that I am too much. Rude.

This is not uncommon in the gay community. You can often find gay men complaining about how the guy from Grindr wanted just to bone, or that the cute twink from Jack’d had a boyfriend already but they were “open.” It is also common to hear gays gushing over a couple who have been together for two years as if it is unheard of; how amazing it is they have been together for so long. I do this every time I hear about a committed couple as if it is an anomaly. Two years together? Now that is some hardcore commitment in my world. But what happens to us single guys who cannot find someone who is willing to commit for longer than a couple of months? When we have had enough games and heartbreak to last a lifetime, we become cynical and often times apathetic over the whole concept of relationships.

Some day, I just want a man to call my own. I want a partner in crime and a beast in the bedroom. And if I am really lucky, I can find that perfect combination of both. But for now, the constant bombardment of sexual solicitations, “open” relationships, and even guys “not looking for anything serious,” have made me doubt the existence of a lasting gay relationship.

This is the part of my story where many gay men begin shaking their heads and calling me a cynic. They may even go as far as to call me jaded, and I agree, I am. Or maybe they are shaking their heads because they have been played one too many times and feel my pain. So for now, I will hold on to what little hope I have left, and wait for a guy who’s first words to me aren’t “Wanna trade pics?”

Substance is a publication of the Mt. San Antonio College Journalism Program. The program recently moved its newsroom over to Medium as part of a one-year experiment. Read about it here: