Compatibility means different things to different people. For some, it’s tolerating someone enough to have fun with them socially. For others, it’s physical attraction that leads to a blissful one-night stand. Some have lovers as close as friends and friends as close as lovers, others keep multiple partners in a consensual way, and others are looking for life-long monogamy. While all of these have their difficulties in acquiring, life-long relationships seem to be the most commonly desired. And if you fall into this category, here are some gay dating tips to help make your wants a reality.
Know What You Want to Know
This is particularly important for the first few dates. Don’t go in winging it. If you want this (or any potential relationship) to work, you need a general idea of what you want out of it. Do you prefer he’s monogamous or polyamorous? Gay or bisexual? Wants marriage or doesn’t want marriage? Kids or no kids? The thing about wanting a future together with someone is knowing what kind of future you actually want. Step 2 is finding someone who best matches your own wants without compromising their own.
Know What You Want to Tell
It’s also important to prepare yourself for the questions he in turn might ask you. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Do you plan on having or adopting kids? What are your thoughts on marriage? Make sure to have these answers generally prepared in your head so you don’t end up sounding rude when they come out of your mouth, such as putting down monogamy or polyamory when he himself is one of these things. Oops.
Put the Tough Stuff on the Table
If you don’t want to ever do the monogamy thing or know you live with HIV, it’s pretty important to let someone know about those things sooner rather than later. Of course, it may not be your chosen opener on the first date, but if things seem to be going well after a few of them, bring up those conversations if they have yet to debut. Better to find out your incompatible now on important issues rather than later.
Make Sure You’ve Discussed HIV and Other STI Statuses
With so many gay newcomers, many have no clue what the AIDS epidemic was like. And because of that, HIV (and other STI) concerns seem to have gotten lax. Sure, there are medications now to help prevent the spread of HIV and help men with HIV live very long, full lives. However, just because it’s more combatable doesn’t mean it’s okay to not even bother knowing or disclosing your status. That’s just showing a lack of concern for your partner’s body. They won’t appreciate it.
Don’t Confuse Chemistry for Compatibility
There’s hot and sexy fun at night, and then there’s the guy who will actually call you in the morning. If you’re looking for the latter, don’t assume the former will make it happen. Sure, attraction is important in a relationship, but no less or more so than personality, loyalty, and a mess of other features. Lifelong is indeed life long, and erectile dysfunction is bound to happen eventually (Sad, I know, but them’s the facts).
Don’t Push a Label on Him
Twink, bear, otter, wolf, Daddy, puppy…there’s a ton of them. But just as much fun as it can be to slap a label on someone, it also quickly gets annoying. If your date is the spitting image of a gay label, chances are he’s been called it in the past. A lot. So just avoid calling him it yourself. If he actually enjoys the label, that’ll come out later down the line. But for now, don’t take chances. And especially don’t keep calling him it if he’s expressed distaste for it.
Don’t Immediately Bail
Relationships get difficult sometimes. That’s just the way they work. When the tough stuff happens, turning tail is the antithesis of guaranteeing you a solid, lifelong relationship. Instead, see it through to the best of your ability. (Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, the biggest one being physical or verbal abuse.) Stick to your man to help weather problems together, but never take his bull.