Chance encounters

Life before lockdown: Gay guys reveal how they met their boyfriends and dates without apps

Is your Grindr grounded? Have you had enough of Scruff? Are you feeling hindered by Tinder? Think OkCupid is stupid? Believe it or not, guys don’t need dating apps to find lasting relationships. Or at least…they didn’t before covid up and shut down most of social society.

Related: Gay guys share their dating app horror stories

In a Reddit thread, gay bros recounted the times they met boyfriends and dates offline. Below, edited only for readability, is a selection of responses.

“I met my first boyfriend in junior high, and then after I graduated high school, I would sell him weed, and just by the way he looked at me, I knew we were going to be a couple. And every guy after that I met through mutual friends or music, and my current dude is one of my hair clients.”

“My one gentleman friend I picked up in a bar. Still seeing each other, although it’s been ‘socially distanced’ since March.”

“He was the new guy at work, but we were in different departments, so I didn’t really interact with him. Coworker in a different department who had made friends with him invited him when we were having after-work drinks. It progressed from there. Cue us hooking up in various empty conference rooms and getting in trouble with our respective managers until we broke up.”

“I was a TA for a class, and he hit me up after the class ended.”

“He bummed a cigarette from me behind a dumpster and asked for my number.”

Related: A shocking number of users believe they’ll find the love of their life on Grindr

“I met a guy at a gay bar once. We hit it off instantly and spent the night talking about music. He came back to mine, and we spent the night together. He was gone when I got home from work the next day and didn’t leave a number so I thought that was that, but a couple nights later, he ended up at a party at my house. He came along with some friends and didn’t realize it was my place. He pretty much ditched his mates, I did the same, and we spent the night in my room.”

“Bus bench. Took three passes before he’d get in the damn car.”

“Met my first love in university choir. He sat next to me in the tenor section. … Met my third boyfriend on the dance floor of a popular gay club. (Remember those?) I saw him across the room and made up a party to invite him to after dancing. … Sixth boyfriend (second love) was my biological brother’s fraternity little brother. We would make up excuses to talk to each other over and over for months before eventually saying, ‘F*ck it, we’re dating aren’t we?’”

“Bathhouse. Been together 20+ years.”