As every gay man knows, finding the right guy is just one part of the dating equation. Even in a world of marriage equality, Internet dating apps and progressive parents setting you up on blind dates, we all could use some advice on how to make that first date a memorable one. We reached out to our friend, Mr. Lamont Scales, Founder of Better Way to Meet, and talented matchmaker, for some tips and suggestions on modern gay male dating life.
First Date Tips from a Matchmaker
Better Way to Meet is an old-fashion matchmaking service for single guys looking for love.
- Try Something New
Like many American cities, Atlanta has plenty of successful men but all the wrong venues to meet them. In a city with a thriving gay nightlife, LGBT networking events, LGBT-affirming places of worship, LGBT sporting leagues, Piedmont Park, and a booming gay district, it still seems extremely hard to connect with other gay men. Sure, you can “connect” with plenty of men — gay and straight — via mobile hook-up apps, online hook-up sites, online dating sites adapted for gay men, private gay spas, local parks, the gym of your choice, or a bar. But those meeting places don’t usually foster long-term relationships. It’s time to try something new and different! Let a professional help you find your next date.
- Pick an Interactive Date
If a guy’s idea of a first or second date is ‘Netflix & Chill’ or dinner and a movie, politely decline or run. We all know how “Netflix & Chill” will end or at least how he may want it to end, and dinner and a movie is such a boring date. A first date shouldn’t be a meet and greet where it feels like a job interview or a quick hookup. A first date should be fun. Yeah, that’s it. Nothing else, just fun. What other adjective would you like to use; entertaining, enjoyable, exciting, or pleasurable? You can pick one. Plan a date that shows you put forth some effort and shows you are an enjoyable person to be around. Go play pool, bike riding, or indoor rock-climbing. You can event take a walk in the park or a painting class together. This will allow both of you to relax and have a great time.
- Make Sure There’s Chemistry
What is Chemistry? Chemistry is a mix of physical attraction and emotional connection, which usually develops through great communication, body language and a great experience. You will know you have great chemistry, with a guy, when you enjoy his company so much that time flies and you don’t mind. Chemistry is like putting on your favorite pair of jeans. It just feels right! You feel confident, sexy, and comfortable in his presence. That’s the type of connections matchmakers aim to achieve when pairing two guys together. In order to achieve chemistry, both parties must present their best selves, be engaging, and flirt. Strike up a good conversation, lean-in, and touch each other — this is what flirting looks like, FYI.
- Be Open-Minded
After the 2017 presidential election, everyone should push themselves to be more open-minded — even when it comes to dating. If you have never dated outside of your race, try it as see if love can blossom. Regarding HIV status, there have been significant scientific advances in HIV prevention and treatment. If an HIV positive guy is on antiretroviral medications and undetectable, you can’t get HIV from him. Guys can also take PrEP to prevent from getting HIV. What about age? Aaliyah sang, “Age ain’t nothing but a number”, so consider dating someone a little older or younger than you. I write all of this to emphasize that you shouldn’t limit your dating options when it comes to ‘Mr. Right’. If you open and expand your options, you may be pleasantly surprised at who you connect with effortlessly.
- Don’t Be a Debbie Downer
No one wants to hear your problems on the first date. If you hate your job, keep it to yourself. If you can’t stand your last boyfriend, keep it to yourself. If you don’t like yourself, by all means, keep it to yourself. First date conversations should be surrounded with positive and enjoyable topics. Talk about what makes you smile, because it will make him smile as well. He’ll also get a chance to see your better side and appreciate the things you enjoy.
- Pick Up the Phone and Call the Next Day
After the date, don’t send a text message, give the guy a quick call. Text messages are great for short and quick comments, but a text message can’t convey your full range of emotions. A conversation over the phone, can allow you to express much more and you can gauge his feelings as well. A phone call also shows effort, which every guy wants to see in the initial stages of a relationship.
LAMONT SCALES is the owner and creator of Better Way to Meet. He has worked with numerous LGBT organizations across the country and has been providing professional counseling services for gay men since 2004.