How do I start dating when I'm already in my 20's?

  • Vidur

    Posts: 9

    Oct 11, 2011 1:57 AM GMT
    Hi there,

    Just found the site, really liking it so far. To my question:

    I'm 23, known I was gay since I was about 8, and have been 'out' for just under a year.

    I'm really wanting to meet someone and start dating but, there's one small thing getting in my way; I've never dated before. Personally, I think this is a little late (I know some will argue that) but, for some reason I've never been comfortable enough to get out there and actually find someone.

    Now, to clarify, when I say never dated, I mean to the fullest degree. Never kissed, let alone hugged, a 'date' before. For better or for worse, I've never had any 'encounters' before either.

    I'm a fairly good looking guy and have a good group of friends so I'm not entirely unsociable either.

    I guess what I'm asking is, how does someone in my situation, someone with absolutely zero dating experience, even start? I don't know if it's fear, shame, or embarrassment but, as much as I want to date, I'm dreading it because I'm so 'new'. I mean, 'What will he think?', 'What about sex?'. icon_neutral.gif

    Just so you're aware; I live in a reasonably large city with an active gay community. I'm also in college too but, it has no LGBT organizations.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 2:22 AM GMT
    You sound just like me, except I'm 21. I'm trying to get into shape before I try to date though. I like to think I'm attractive, but I am aware that I need to lose weight and get into shape, and I feel like finally getting to date will be my treat for myself once I become healthy.
  • Vidur

    Posts: 9

    Oct 11, 2011 2:40 AM GMT
    countrycityboy saidYou sound just like me, except I'm 21. I'm trying to get into shape before I try to date though. I like to think I'm attractive, but I am aware that I need to lose weight and get into shape, and I feel like finally getting to date will be my treat for myself once I become healthy.


    Heh - I'm in the same spot. I'm overweight and am I'm aiming to lose a little a lot of weight but, I'm realizing more and more a lot of the issues stem from my weight; anti-social, depressed, anxiety...the list goes on. icon_razz.gif

    I'm hoping that by getting in better shape, it'll help me become a more confident person and I know that will go a long way in finding someone. I just don't want to wait any longer. icon_sad.gif

  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    Oct 11, 2011 2:46 AM GMT
    countrycityboy saidYou sound just like me, except I'm 21. I'm trying to get into shape before I try to date though. I like to think I'm attractive, but I am aware that I need to lose weight and get into shape, and I feel like finally getting to date will be my treat for myself once I become healthy.


    Why wait? We have a finite amount of time on this earth and in the meantime you may meet a truly wonderful man who will like you before you become a stud.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 3:21 AM GMT
    Word of advice - don't advertise your intolerance towards the less masculine. Normal, well-rounded, good job, educated, tolerant, relationship-worthy people are going to run the other way when they see that.

    I run the other way when I see that on someone's profile every time, that is much more of a dealbreaker than height/weight - their intolerance usually does not stop there. A stray insult on the Hispanics, the Jews, the homeless, or something else is nearly always on the horizon.

    If you don't want to date them that is fine - your choice who you want to date - but it is the antithesis of classy to publicly announce it.

    Dating lessons from spaghettimonster, relationship expert.
  • Vidur

    Posts: 9

    Oct 11, 2011 3:24 AM GMT
    spaghettimonster saidWord of advice - don't advertise your intolerance towards the less masculine. Normal, well-rounded, good job, educated, tolerant, relationship-worthy people are going to run the other way when they see that.

    I run the other way when I see that on someone's profile every time, that is much more of a dealbreaker than height/weight - their intolerance usually does not stop there. A stray insult on the Hispanics, the Jews, the homeless, or something else is nearly always on the horizon.

    If you don't want to date them that is fine - your choice who you want to date - but it is the antithesis of classy to publicly announce it.

    Dating lessons from spaghettimonster, relationship expert.


    I'm not intolerant and it wasn't my intent to offend anyone; I guess maybe the internet doesn't convey things very well. I'm quite the opposite. icon_neutral.gif

    Noted and corrected.

  • MagillaNectar

    Posts: 72

    Oct 11, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    I'm 23 - just told one friend about a month ago I'm more into guys than I am girls and have never done anything with a guy. I want to say some things on this subject. I'm not fully in shape, but I'm not overweight by any means. Truth is, you don't have to be stunning to get who you want - it's self confidence. Unless I want a guy who's gonna have high expectations for my looks - I wouldn't think about how fit I need to be. That's not what I'm attracted to. But as for starting to date, there are two routes I'm considering - one much more than the other.

    Internet: Don't do this. There are too many risks involved (people with weird emotional issues, superficial people, etc.) OKCupid is the best option for guys our age though. Adam4Adam and Grindr seem more like hook-up sites which is not something I want.

    In-Person: Go to a gay bar - ask a friend if he wants to come along to be your wing man. Talk to someone and shoot the shit. If they're aggressive and are just looking to hook up and that's not what you want say it to them. "Sorry, but I'm just looking to get to know someone." My sister met her boyfriend at a bar and they've been dating for 4 months now and he's an awesome guy. You can tell a lot about a person when you talk to them. Another option is to ask your friends if they know any other gay guys and meet them (in a group or at a coffee shop alone) and decide if you feel a connection.

    If you're wondering why you should take my advice, I don't know what to tell you but I plan on doing the In-Person one very soon. The internet was more for anonymity. But you sound just like me: good group of friends, sociable, and not experienced.

    Above all, be honest about what you are looking for and the same person will come to you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 3:31 AM GMT
    just start meeting other gay men you may be attracted to and what things about people you like as well as things you like to do. start with getting to know people and make friends and if ur both interested in trying something more than just friends then ya take it slow, or fast ;) no unprotected sex when it comes to that and you're on ur way to dating...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    I was in the same boat earlier this year, though I've only been on a couple of dates since then but I've learned a lot. It's got a bit embarrassing and you begin to wonder if there's something wrong with you.

    In my case at least, is there's nothing wrong with you- you just need to put yourself out there if you live in or near a city. I got sick of having no dates to go on during the weekend so I started putting myself out there online and off and had to get over my shyness. If you're sitting at home or aren't in a place with other like minded guys around your age how are they going to find you for you to ask each other out on a date?

    You can meet guys almost everywhere because we are everywhere. Join a gym, become a member of club that interests you (meetup.com), volunteer, go to a gay sport bar, chat up the cute guy sitting next to you in class, etc... I learned you just need to put yourself out there and be proactive because the guy isn't going to come to your doorstep and a lot of people online can be flaky.

    Approaching guys is tricky in the RL because there's the issue of wondering if they're gay or not. Don't approach with the expectation of them being gay, just be open and friendly. Get to know them if they are receptive. Exchange cell numbers or email and ask if they want to hang out and do something you'd both like to do.

    If they're gay or bi they'll know you're asking them out, you don't have to ask if they want to go out with you.

    As for sex, when the mood is right you'll know it. There's initial feelings of awkwardness but if you let the other person know this ahead of time then they should be understanding and respect your inexperience. (Safe sex always)

    Or let your friends know of your single status. A lot of friends like to play matchmaker and will introduce you to someone they think is a good match. If not, that's fine- you've gained valuable dating experience.

    Dating and sex get easier with more experience and the only way to get it is to go and get it, at least that's what I've found out.

    Hope that helps.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 3:50 AM GMT
    why not try getting introduced to someone through a friend ? she or he could be ur wing man icon_biggrin.gif .... and i definitely don't think ppl should wait to become sthing before u date, ur wasting good time. I think just as much time should be put on gaining ur confidence back.

    GoodLuck ;)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 6:03 AM GMT
    Dont worry its very normal to start late... I started even later than you, at like 29 or so
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 6:08 AM GMT
    MagillaNectar saidI'm 23 - just told one friend about a month ago I'm more into guys than I am girls and have never done anything with a guy. I want to say some things on this subject. I'm not fully in shape, but I'm not overweight by any means. Truth is, you don't have to be stunning to get who you want - it's self confidence. Unless I want a guy who's gonna have high expectations for my looks - I wouldn't think about how fit I need to be. That's not what I'm attracted to. But as for starting to date, there are two routes I'm considering - one much more than the other.

    Internet: Don't do this. There are too many risks involved (people with weird emotional issues, superficial people, etc.) OKCupid is the best option for guys our age though. Adam4Adam and Grindr seem more like hook-up sites which is not something I want.

    In-Person: Go to a gay bar - ask a friend if he wants to come along to be your wing man. Talk to someone and shoot the shit. If they're aggressive and are just looking to hook up and that's not what you want say it to them. "Sorry, but I'm just looking to get to know someone." My sister met her boyfriend at a bar and they've been dating for 4 months now and he's an awesome guy. You can tell a lot about a person when you talk to them. Another option is to ask your friends if they know any other gay guys and meet them (in a group or at a coffee shop alone) and decide if you feel a connection.

    If you're wondering why you should take my advice, I don't know what to tell you but I plan on doing the In-Person one very soon. The internet was more for anonymity. But you sound just like me: good group of friends, sociable, and not experienced.

    Above all, be honest about what you are looking for and the same person will come to you.


    There is absolutely nothing wrong with meeting people on the internet. You can vet people from a distance before having to meet them in-person, and you can keep them from finding out something like your cell phone number when it's something they may prove later they shouldn't have it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 6:08 AM GMT
    Oh, and I didn't start dating until I was 25.
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    Oct 11, 2011 6:08 AM GMT
    just be yourself and be safe all is good if u stay true to who u r.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 6:11 AM GMT
    Keep thinking the way you do, and the next thing you know, you'll be posting a thread entitled "How do I start dating in my early 30's". Just relax about it. Don't think so hard about it. And don't be so body-conscious.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 6:15 AM GMT
    Trollileo saidDon't fret, OP. I'm 20 and have yet to have a relationship. I'm not in a rush to be in one, either.


    same....I've never even kissed a boy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 6:20 AM GMT
    Vidur saidHi there,

    Just found the site, really liking it so far. To my question:

    I'm 23, known I was gay since I was about 8, and have been 'out' for just under a year.

    I'm really wanting to meet someone and start dating but, there's one small thing getting in my way; I've never dated before. Personally, I think this is a little late (I know some will argue that) but, for some reason I've never been comfortable enough to get out there and actually find someone.

    Now, to clarify, when I say never dated, I mean to the fullest degree. Never kissed, let alone hugged, a 'date' before. For better or for worse, I've never had any 'encounters' before either.

    I'm a fairly good looking guy and have a good group of friends so I'm not entirely unsociable either.

    I guess what I'm asking is, how does someone in my situation, someone with absolutely zero dating experience, even start? I don't know if it's fear, shame, or embarrassment but, as much as I want to date, I'm dreading it because I'm so 'new'. I mean, 'What will he think?', 'What about sex?'. icon_neutral.gif

    Just so you're aware; I live in a reasonably large city with an active gay community. I'm also in college too but, it has no LGBT organizations.


    Well, whatever you do, just don't use grindr. I've met only douchebags from there. The only exception was this once I met a Brazilian guy who lives like 10 minutes from where I live. But then he was just into a one night thing as well. Damn damn damn damn damn!

    I hate boys.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 6:21 AM GMT
    dekiruman said
    Trollileo saidDon't fret, OP. I'm 20 and have yet to have a relationship. I'm not in a rush to be in one, either.


    same....I've never even kissed a boy.


    I kissed one at 21..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 6:22 AM GMT
    GreenHopper said
    dekiruman said
    Trollileo saidDon't fret, OP. I'm 20 and have yet to have a relationship. I'm not in a rush to be in one, either.


    same....I've never even kissed a boy.


    I kissed one at 21..


    at 19 icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 6:34 AM GMT
    I would recommend these books to you guys. I have only had three boyfriends in my life but have had great relationships that lasted a good while. I mean I feel where you at but a lot of it is looking to yourself and finding thoes qualities within you and believing in them. These books helped me out when I started to date again. My first bf/fiance passed away so it's been hard having only been in two relationships where there was a break up. I would consider myself a rookie in the dating department too but I'm better for having been through the experince. Let it start some where and beleive in yourselves.

    My Guy: A Gay Man's Guide to a Lasting Relationship - Martin Kantor

    Finding the Boyfriend Within - Brad Gooch
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 7:15 AM GMT
    Dahling, dating is not some public bus that you have to wait and it will just come eventually. You have to start being active and live your life icon_smile.gif

    Yes, personally I think 20 is a little late to start, but so what - it is never TOO late. So just talk to some nice guy online, go out on a date, have fun, try to flirt a little - maybe it won't work out the first time but hey - I have dated sooo many guys and it still hasn't totally worked out, so cheer up : ))

    But seriously - do something.

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 7:20 AM GMT
    You just... do.

    There is no real magic answer here. There are a lot in the same boat as you. Take it day by day and just try meeting people. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 7:25 AM GMT
    Trollileo saidDon't fret, OP. I'm 20 and have yet to have a relationship. I'm not in a rush to be in one, either.


    Until you meet spaghettimonster in person icon_eek.gif
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Oct 11, 2011 9:37 AM GMT
    TrevorMark saidYou just... do.

    There is no real magic answer here. There are a lot in the same boat as you. Take it day by day and just try meeting people. icon_smile.gif


    Most are in that boat.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 11, 2011 9:14 PM GMT
    You just gotta put yourself out there. Start hitting up people. Heck, start making it clear, by casually talking to people. You wanna date someone, you gotta put yourself out there. Chat with someone you like for a while, and then bring it up maybe. Say, "Want to go on a date?"

    Rejection might happen or people will accept. It doesn't hurt to try.

    Start chatting with people, but you should try to make your goals clear when you talk to people also. Maybe, you can't be boyfriends, but maybe after talking to someone you find that you'll make good friends, and he'll probably know of other good people you can possibly get to know..

    You never know. There isn't really a dating 101 book out there, so your best and really only choice is to get started on the dating experience.