Dating App Guidelines From a LGBTQ Therapist
With the mixture of wintry weather, the new year’s resolutions and Valentine’s Day coming up, love is surely in the air, or maybe lust. You can have fun, be safe and enjoy your dating experiences. We all know apps are all the craze when it comes to meeting new people for dates or dare I say it, a one-night stand. (Don’t worry, I’m not judging you, I’m a therapist) From Grindr to Jack’d to Tinder to Scruff to POF and many more, you have many different virtual places to meet people. As a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in providing counseling services for gay men and the LGBTQ community, I’ve heard it all. Here are a couple tips on making sure your virtual interactions and meetings go well and that you are putting your best foot forward in dating.
1. Don’t shame.
No Fats, No Fems. Masc for Masc. We’ve all heard these in the gay community and used on dating apps. It is understandable you may have likes and dislikes and certain specifics you are attracted to. Still, there’s a difference in saying “No This, No That” versus saying my preference is “This”. Saying what you don’t like is more than just operating from somewhat of a deficit mindset, but it is also extremely shameful to those who happen to fit into the category that you are denying.
2. Be clear in your intention.
Humans and sexuality, currently, go hand in hand, but we all know that sexuality and sex are not necessarily synonyms. Still, there are moments when the app can be for a “hook-up” for you and then moments later be a dating app with the intention to find a serious relationship—or they could intersect often. Clarity is your friend! Let people know where you stand and what you desire. It makes things easier for the both of you and allows for bonds to form based on honesty and transparency.
3. Don’t be a “bag lady”.
I love the sultry sounds of Erykah Badu when she exclaims, “Bag lady, you gon’ hurt yo’ back draggin’ all them bags like that.” Now, we all have baggage, but we shouldn’t be carrying it around like it is a gift to those who choose to acquaint themselves with us. At best, travel with carry-on baggage during this year that will fit in a small compartment. “Pack light!” Licensed Professional Counselors, like me, are the people who help you sort through all of that, not potential mates from dating apps.
Hopefully, these relatable tips make you think—and hopefully gave you a few chuckles— because 2018 is all about being your best self! As always, a part of that is finding a space to work through what can make that hard and I am surely available at Amy Wine Counseling Center. Have a great start to the new year!