I don’t know how to date anymore. It’s a concept that’s foreign to me. I’m thirty now, and I feel like I just entered my twenties as if I woke up from a coma for ten years. Does anyone else feel like that?

My case may be strange because I had a brief stint in rehab when I was fifteen for being too gay and perhaps that stunted certain dating developments. My parents certainly think I’ve had intercourse before I was eighteen but I can assure you I did not. I never really had an on-and-off again boyfriend until I moved to New York. Someone who’ll remain nameless as we are still long time friends.

I’ve been living in New York for nine and a half years now, and I’m just now looking up to see wide range of dating possibilities. Not to say I wasn’t looking at boys before but recently a friend told me that I should be more slutty. It’s true. I can’t even remember the last time I kissed someone. I don’t want to be vain but I’m cute. I am kissable. I’m a good kisser. I should be kissing people; even if it’s a bad idea. It’s good practice.

I downloaded Scruff last week. It was intense. I had the app two years ago. The morning before I downloaded the app, I saw this cute guy on the train. It was an uncomfortable situation because I was cruising him while an older gay man was cruising myself and him. It totally creeped me out. Maybe I’m a little old fashioned but I don’t see why there is anything wrong with that. I suppose you could call me the Rose from The Golden Girls.

Anyways, when I downloaded the app. The guy I was cruising was on the app near my apartment late at night. He had his Instagram attached to his profile. Then, I discovered all of these details about himself; his name, he’s a discreet bisexual who’s an actor that played the title character on stage in Detroit, Michigan and he spelled his name with an “S” when it usually has a “C.” The “S” thing really bothered me. Basically a dealbreaker.

I just couldn’t handle the overload of information about someone that I thought was cute before I even spoke to them. It somehow irked me. I’m sure he’s nice. He seemed nice on the train. His Instagram seemed nice. I still found him attractive but having all that power felt icky.

I deleted the app. Too much power. Now as someone who writes, photos, videos and generally shares their life on the web as well, I can understand how that seems hypocritical. I’m not going on a dating/sex app and revealing my social media in conjunction as a tool for dating. Perhaps that might read into my own motives for the app, I won’t lie. Hey girl, I’m no longer fifteen.

I just don’t like being inundated with all that information at once before I make a decision right now. I said I might be thirty but I feel like I’m twenty. Some spontaneity isn’t so bad. When I was twenty, not everyone was walking around with the option of dating apps. Why can’t dating be more of a heteronormative meet-cute in gay world? For all you straight readers, yes there is a difference between gay world and straight world. An entirely different ecosystem of pheromones.

When I was younger, gay kids didn’t have the luxury of promposals and gender neutral bathrooms. Yes, I was one half of the first gay couple to attend Homecoming at my school, but I went to a liberal boarding school in California. My date ended up ditching me halfway through the dance anyways. I’m just trying to say that my generation of gay teens didn’t have the opportunities of dating openly in adolescence and when we finally got away from our parents or families in college, we were all hot messes poking penises at each other left and right in every direction. It just never really interested me after some risky encounters.

I wanted to be courted. I still do to a degree. It’s less Disney princess now but a certain amount of real human connection would be nice without a phone in one’s hand. Just look me in the eye and say hello. Ask me my name. Tell me I’m cute and request my presence at some event where we can be in the same room together. Maybe that night we’ll kiss if I like you. Trust, I’ll tell you if you’re a bad kisser. Sometimes less is more.

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