Your Guide To Online Queer Dating: 7 Tips To Get You Going
Let me guess: you’re here, you’re queer and very used to it. You got your self-love flowing. You’re feeling yourself and you think, well dang maybe somebody else could be feeling me too. So now you’re finally ready to put yourself out there… and there’s a literal pandemic that prevents you from getting closer than two feet apart from each other.
Don't worry, I got you. The online dating scene can be daunting so we’ve gathered 7 online dating tips to help you meet someone in your ideal relationship setup. Sounds too good to be true? I can guarantee you that it isn’t.
1. Defining what you want
The beginning of this journey starts with some goals. I think we’re all craving some human connection (a hug is like… kinda nice?) and that can come in a lot of ways: a cuddle buddy, a Netflix and chill buddy, a “honey I’m home” buddy… and many other kinds of buddies if you catch my drift.
Looking for a soulmate is not better than wanting a good hookup. It really depends on what you want your mingling to lead towards. I know I felt more at peace when people were clear about their intentions from the jump. It’s confident, it’s honest and a big green flag for me.
So be that person who has thought about what they want in advance. It also doesn’t have to be super pinned down, but just knowing if you want something more casual rather than serious can make a connection stronger.
2. Choosing the best online dating app(s)
Yes, online dating sites kinda sucks, but not always. And we’re shooting for that somewhere in-between those two states of mind, as narrow as it may sound. We’ve all heard of Tinder, and most have of us have had the unfortunate experience of being on Tinder as a queer person. Unsolicited threesome requests? Yeah, no (you can read our rant on why this isn’t an appropriate thing to say to queer people minding their own business on dating apps
Finding the right app is absolutely crucial to not giving up completely on this mystical dream of finding somebody, anybody through online dating services. That said, I’d personally recommend just signing up on several apps. Run out of people while scrolling on the toilet? Just switch over to the next tab.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way… which apps? Here’s a basic rundown of some free dating sites (there are many, many more):
So, yes, I clowned Tinder just a few words ago, but Tinder is responsible for connecting me to my current partner of a year and a half… so it works. Sometimes. Rating: Open to everyone & very popular but also some weird people.
Grindr & Scruff
Pretty great if you’re queer dude who likes dudes. Not so great if you’re literally any other person. Rating: popular and cater to their demographic, some weirdos on these two too.
Pretty sweet concept (you should also read the origin story) where women get to make the initiating decisions. In same-gender matches, the app favors equality; either can make the first move. Rating: Not as popular depending on where you live but helps to sort out the weirdos a bit.
Now… I don’t know about you but my gender is kinda complicated. HER was the only app for a long time that understood that, and they will forever have my respect for giving a rat’s booty about the rest of the queer women and non-binary community that is utterly erased. Rating: Getting more popular, welcoming and in my experience, much less weirdos. Why not try the app and see for yourself?
Dating apps are getting a little better at representing non-binary and trans people, but it’s still difficult to properly identify yourself in the narrow, limited boxes that some of these apps offer. It’s something to be mindful of when picking out these apps. Think about it: not being able to properly identify yourself and/or the people you’re attracted to is kind of a problem for an app that literally pairs people based on who they are and who they are attracted to.
Last thing I’ll add: dating apps have the unfortunate reputation of not existing for those wanting a serious relationship. That’s just not true. You can find love in like minded people on these platforms too. I promise you that these apps are capable of matchmaking you with highly compatible people.
3. Setting up a fire profile
Yes! Time to tell everyone on this app who YOU are!
First things first, profile pics matter. It’s your first impression. What’s distinctly cooler about online dating though is that you can choose your best photos and angles and not have to rely on your hair blown sideways in the wind on your way to your first date. That’s pretty neat if you ask me.
So be fun, be bold, be you! People will enjoy natural photos of yourself (no need for a professional photographer, although why not). Bonus: include photos of yourself in a hobby or interest of yours, just showing a T-shirt of your favorite band can strike up a conversation.
Okay, so you’ve got the pics uploaded… and now come the words. A good bio can take a few tweaks before getting it right; I know that I’ve changed mine after I read someone else’s that was far better. Honestly, the most important thing is to showcase a bit of yourself (but like… not the “tell me about yourself” interview question). I mean, you’re also looking for someone, what would you like to know about them right away? Could be enjoying the outdoors or loving animals or to also be a serious GOT fan. Say who you are in a way that others can determine whether they would match well with you. Tip: adding a question to a bio gives the other person an “in” for a conversation ;)
There is literally nothing worse than someone catching your eye and their bio says zilch about them… Basic photos… How exactly are you supposed to start a conversation that way?
4. Swipe right!
All right, so the profile is set and whoosh, it goes onto the dating-sphere. Time to get cozy and go through the extremely different types of people out there looking for the same thing that you are.
And depending on your location, there can be. So. Many. People. Like it’s a little intimidating. With such an expansive user-base, take your time looking through the different individuals that are out there, and be open to broadening what your “type” is.
As step 3 probably showed you, packaging yourself onto an app is kinda hard. People aren’t great at it. Unflattering photos, unrevealing bios, awkward first contact… The online component is a real disservice to some genuinely hot, funny and sweet people. So give people some chances! It’s very easy to never talk to them again if there aren’t any sparks.
5. Sending the first text
Okay… you both matched… time to hit up their inbox… you know that if you don’t send a text first they may not send a text so you should send text but like what if you send a text wrong and then they don’t send a text--- ok, stop. Not worth overthinking. If there is something identifiable in their photos or bio, ask about it (what’s your dog’s name?) or ask a question that everyone tends to have an opinion on (food can be fairly safe: pineapple on pizza thoughts, favorite type of pizza, weirdest food combo).
Whatever you do, be confident! You can recover from most miscommunications online by playing it off casually. And worst case, there’s always someone new to chat with. Yes, you might be missing out on a great person because of something poorly worded… but fate will bring them back if that’s what’s in store. Either way, we leave STRESS at the DOOR.
I know there’s rules about when to text back and all that jazz, but to be honest, just kinda answer when it suits you. If you’re in bed for a while, scrolling Instagram, why not answer fairly fast and keep a momentum? If you’re busy out for a run, just answer them when you get back. Stay natural in your texting habits; there’s no need to over- or underplay it.
6. ... Let's meet up?
First off, conversation should be leading into getting to know the person better (aka if you guys had dinner together, would there even be anything to discuss?) but also sensing how legit they are about their intentions. The first meet up should be on the safe side especially if it’s with a complete stranger. You just never know, and it’s best to plan accordingly. Let someone know where you’re going and who it’s supposedly with. Tip: I always have an exit plan. Some random excuse that allows me to LEAVE. Not always for sinister stuff, sometimes it’s just boring and wasting one hour is enough. Also not a bad idea to video chat before physically meeting up. Also also, if you’re going the sugar daddy/sugar mommy route, please be aware of scams that are out there.
But okay, okay, let’s say they seem cool and normal, you still have to think of date ideas. What’s the actual date gonna look like? What kind of activities are you comfortable with? How should you dress? What are your plans for getting home? In a way, the better the conversation pre-meet up, the more informed you are about what to expect usually. I think it’s easiest to just ask and be transparent about these things. If you’re asked out to dinner, ask what kind of place were they thinking of so you can dress for it.
7. Have a BLAST
Having fun should be rule number 1. Remember that some dates go well, some dates go great, some dates go sour. And that’s okay! Some might end up staying your friend instead, others might surprise you for the better or for the worse. Trust your gut and have fun.
Getting to know people can feel so rewarding. While I haven’t always hit it off with the people I’ve met, the ones that I was able to meet through online dating websites were absolutely worth the not-so-great times.
It’s a process though. We talked earlier about knowing what you want, but that shouldn’t be a reason to prematurely slam doors in potentially great people’s faces before seeing where things could go. Finding your perfect match shouldn’t feel like a burden. Finding great people, building that trust, then meeting up and hitting it off takes time. But it’s definitely possible and you can do it.
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