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The Daunting World Of Dating

The Daunting World Of Dating

Darlings, I have a confession to make: I’ve never been on a date.

I’ll wait for your gasps to fade away before you ask me how this could possibly be. I know that I am devastatingly handsome and who could resist a man whose culinary repertoire consists of both spaghetti AND scrambled eggs?

The truth is, I’ve always kind of been intimidated by dating and intimidated by dating gay men in particular. Yes, I’ve dated women, which is kind of hilarious when you think about it. In my experience, straight women have been more forgiving than gay men of physical imperfections (my weight-to-height ratio springs to mind). Straight women look for things like “a good sense of humor” and “trustworthiness.” Gay men want things like “chiseled abs” and “a face so beautiful you will weep.”

At least, that’s what I’ve always thought. I certainly don’t care about those exact things, so I’m not sure why I believed this about all other gay men.

I really wasn’t too worried about this problem until I visited my family a few weeks back and someone asked me, “So, when are you bringing someone home?”

It seems like an innocent question, but I immediately thought of all the ways I’ve screwed myself over in the romantic department. I didn’t come out in high school and dating someone while in high school would have necessitated coming out. While I was openly gay in college, I pursued other interests. Namely, I threw myself into school, my personal writing, and trying to build a resume that was more than ordinary.

Surprisingly, a boyfriend never became a priority. I was certainly in a good place for it; you won’t find a gayer place in Texas than Austin.

So I decided to go outside my comfort zone and really try dating. Then I realized that I had no idea where to start. The city I live in might have gay bars, but I have no idea where they are or who might be there. Do I really want to date someone I meet in a bar? It’s not really my scene.

Then I turned to online dating. I know maybe this isn’t other people’s first choice, but it seems like a viable option for me. Currently, I have profiles on OkCupid, Tinder, and even a new app called LinkedUp!

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OkCupid is probably the most popular online dating service for gay people. And maybe if I lived in a bigger city, I might have more matches. As it is, every time I log in, I see the same people over and over again. Look, I know we’re a 83-percent match, but he looks older than my parents. Pass.

This theme repeats in the other two apps, though it’s more severe in LinkedUp! because it’s so new. The only matches I’m getting right now are in New York and LA. Um, no. While it’s nice to know there’s someone out there for me in New York, that doesn’t do me any good when I’m in Texas.

Tinder has been the most interesting. Swiping left and right to approve and reject people imbues me with a strange kind of power. This is also the app that I’ve gotten the most traction in. Someone actually messaged me the other day. I know! I was excited, too. I talked to him for about a minute before he asked me, “So r u a bottom?” The gays are thirsty in Texas, but they’re either too hesitant or too eager to drink.

So I had to let this guy go, but I still have hope.  My life is just one music sequence away from becoming a romantic comedy.

Eric

Eric is a proud member of a very extended family--one that doesn’t always understand what he’s up to these days, but supports him anyway.He graduated from his Houston high school with a diploma and an Associate’s degree (impressive, right?), graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in three years, and just completed a two-year master’s program at New Mexico Highlands University, where he wrote a creative writing thesis on the evolution of literary vampires.Shockingly, he has not been able to find a steady job with this knowledge.Eric likes to write fiction and is currently waiting to hear back from publishers about a manuscript he sent in.When he’s not writing about fake things, Eric enjoys talking about the elusive concept of Mexicanidad and what it means to be Mexican American in the United States.He is currently working on a memoir of sorts on his blog thetexasmexican.wordpress.com.When he is not reading or writing, Eric spends his time avoiding small children.He does not always succeed.
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