It is estimated that four out of five gay men will meet their partners online through apps and dating websites. The rest of us, I suppose, will have to settle for incognito browsing of Amazon’s Sexual Wellness: Health and Household section.
I am 31 years old, reasonably attractive, and fun to be around. I make a decent living, contribute to charity, and remember to wear my retainers (almost) every night. I currently have active profiles on Grindr, Scruff, Chappy, OKCupid, and Tinder. In the past I have tried my luck on Hornet, match.com, Manhunt, Adam4Adam, and even AOL personals back in the mid-2000s. I currently have 1600 “matches” on Tinder, though I haven’t had a date (with dinner) in months.
I fear I am doing something very wrong.
For all of my time investment with gay dating apps, the love of my life has yet to materialize. I wonder if I am the exception to the rule, or if there are more lonely souls like myself–utterly overwhelmed by the options of handsome, eligible bachelors, all within a 10-mile radius of Manhattan.
I have lived in New York City for almost eight years now. In that time, I feel I’ve truly connected with only three guys. One was a dancer I made out with at a friend’s party. One was a fine artist I made eyes with on the subway and then discovered lived on my block. The other was a classical musician I met on OKCupid. All lovely guys, but for all the success stories about dating apps, the numbers don’t hold. How can I have connected with so many fellas across the interwebs and, yet, only really liked one of them?
When I feel like I have exhausted my options on one app, I usually download the latest and greatest. The trouble is, more and more often I am seeing the same guys I matched with years before on different apps. This can be awkward, like when you greet someone with “Hi handsome, would love to get to know you better” only to have them respond with “You made me take you to the Times Square Olive Garden the day before Hurricane Sandy.”
Yikes. Yikes, indeed.
I have been mulling over deleting my OKcupid account and just starting fresh with a new email address. I am a different person than I was then, too. I have more weight, more credit card debt, and a little less hair. I also know myself better, have traveled the world, made friends from all walks of life, and got a lot better in bed. There should be a way to note this to all the guys who previously “swiped right.” I need a do-over with these guys.
Related: OMFG: Gay guys share their dating app horror stories
I worry that I was also too picky when I first got my account in 2007. I had a weird hangup about height before. I am five foot eight, and I have a total Napoleon Complex where I act like I’m 6 feet tall. So, I thought I needed a guy who was at least five foot ten. I have since discovered that this thinking is getting me nowhere. And hey, we’re all the same height when we’re lying down, am I right? Anybody? Right then…
I also arbitrarily mandated that I had to date someone who (a) has terrific diction (b) has Harry Potter hair, and (c) attended a Top 25 undergrad? Barf. What was I thinking? Knowing myself better now, I would probably have a better shot with a shy bald guy who lives with his parents to save money.
If you haven’t caught on yet, I am getting a little desperate here. I’m running out of dating app options, and it’s looking to be a pretty cold winter. And yes, this column is a bit of a thinly-veiled personal ad in and of itself. So, what do you say? I love Welsh Corgis and I have all of my own original teeth.
See you on Tinder!
Brent Lomas is a communication professional with particular interest in education, housing policy, and the arts. He previously contributed to real estate news site Buzz Buzz Home and managed social media accounts for Broadway shows including Kinky Boots and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.
Brent has hosted regular cabarets and fundraisers at Bar Thalia at Symphony Space as his alter-ego Ruby Powers since 2014.