"be yourself"

Gay guys offer their best dating advice to a 20-something singleton

Gay men with years of experience in the dating world shared their words of wisdom on Reddit recently after a user solicited “the best dating advice you could give to a single guy in his early twenties.”

Here’s a smattering of responses — some jaded, others romantic:

“Don’t worry about anybody else but yourself. Focus on yourself, your mental and physical health, your independence, your wellbeing. If you are happy and healthy on your own, you’re less likely to look for outside sources to fix ‘inside’ problems. Being selfish about yourself is the most selfless thing you can do in the long run. I wish I understood this sooner. I wasted so much time but luckily still figured it out early enough to get on the right path.”

Related: Gay men reveal the dating advice they’d give their younger selves

“The simplest thing you can do is be yourself. Imagine if you ever put on personality traits or likes/dislikes that aren’t your own. You have to keep that up, [and] it’s exhausting. Just be honest and yourself.”

“Prepare to be alone and try not to be bitter about it.”

“Don’t be in such a hurry. Allow relationships time to develop. It’s not a race to see who gets married first.”

“Always remember you are worthy of love. Don’t get into a relationship that does not allow you to be you, and don’t forget that the other person is their own whole person as well. Sure, all relationships have give and take, but don’t change the core of who you are if it does not feel right. Don’t expect people to change the core of who they are. If a relationship begins and it turns out to be something you don’t want, be honest and end it — at any point, you will be OK on your own.”

“Learn how to accept rejection and being ghosted. Lots of guys fly off the f*cking handle or fall into a deep depression over that sh*t. Don’t become one of them. Strangers shouldn’t have such an impact on you.”

Related: Should you wait for Mr. Right to come along? Gays aren’t so sure…

“Don’t jump into anything exclusive until you’re 30. Meet new people. Explore yourself. Learn what you love out of the bedroom. Learn what you like sexually. Make lifelong friends. You and others will change so much from 21 to 31… you have no idea. Just enjoy.”

“Just because a guy is willing to kiss you doesn’t mean he likes you.”

“Be honest! No one likes their time being wasted, so don’t waste time with lies and pretense! Be honest, and hopefully, honesty will be awarded to you in return and no one wastes your time with lies.”

“Wear a condom.”