In the name of love

Five Tips On Dating With Pride

unnamed5-360x240Pride season is a great reminder (as if we needed reminding) that now is an incredible time to be out and proud in the United States and other welcoming parts of the world.

As many of the world’s major cities — and even many of the not-so-major ones — gear up for their annual rainbow-bedazzled events, there’s a natural desire to connect not just with our community but with that special someone.

Pride is just as much a triumphant celebration of the ability to love openly and freely without fear. As we await the Supreme Court’s ruling on the freedom to marry, this year could even hold significant cause to celebrate (fingers crossed).

Here are five tips on dating with Pride that we developed along with our friends at Compatible Partners:

1. You’re here, you’re queer, get used to it

The first step to entering a healthy relationship with another person is to foster one with yourself. We get it — years of conditioning that there is something wrong with being gay can cause deep ripples of shame and self doubt. Take a look around Pride this year. See the couples embracing, the joy on the faces of people dancing, and the (perhaps quite revealing) outfits that scream “I am who I am, what of it?!” These people are all family and have a well of acceptance to offer if you’re willing to receive it.

2. Date smart

To say that eye candy is a factor during pride is putting it mildly. But perhaps you’ve already done the “eye-lock with a stranger and make out 2 minutes later” thing. Or maybe you haven’t but you’re looking for something deeper. Get wise about what it is you want, and know there are tools at your disposal to help get you there. Online dating services are one way to go, and you can bet that during pride month they’ll be buzzing with added traffic. You aren’t the only one who wants to find love — trust us.

3. First impressions matter

If you’re messaging that sexy someone on a dating site, how you craft your note communicates your level of interest. “Hey” is that dreaded three-letter word that says “I thought you looked sort of cute in your profile picture so I decided to go fishing. Want to take the bait?” Instead, take the 45 seconds needed to read someone’s profile. Do they like reading? Tell them the last book you read and ask them to tell you what their’s was. Theater? Why not say what your favorite Tony’s performance was? This works in the 3-D world, too, you just have to be a little more clever about it. Context and compatibility are everything, after all.

4. Acknowledge your fears

Anyone who says dating is easy is either lying or delusional. Opening your heart to new possibilities by definition makes you a more vulnerable person. And vulnerability isn’t always valued in our culture. If your butterflies feel like humming birds, just say so. Chances are he’s feeling something similar, and putting it out in the open gets you both on the same page. Trying to cover it up and act like there’s no pressure only puts more distance between you, and the idea is to begin to come together.

5. Take action!

If you’ve made it to the end of this post, it must mean you have interest in taking on the risks associated with expanding your circle and potentially finding romance. So what are you waiting for? There are others like you actively seeking a proper fit, and pride is the perfect time.

Compatible Partners is running a special for the month of June to give Cupid’s arrow a little help finding its target. Check it out by the end of June to cash in on the special Pride discount.