Let’s face it. Many of us are insecure. It’s tough not to be when we live in a world where our value is often based on our appearance. We’ve created this gay beauty culture. We believe that we need to look a certain way, (white, masculine six pack, and big butt) in order to be worthy of love. This is not true, but it’s so ingrained in us, perpetuated by the gay media. So yeah, a lot of us don’t want to admit it, but we’re deeply insecure. This makes it really difficult to date. Here are 10 tips to dating as an insecure gay/bi man.
1. Don’t buy into homonormative and heteronormative ideals
The first and most important thing about dating as a gay or bisexual man, is throwing all the “shoulds” out the window. There’s no way a relationship “should” look. There’s no reason you “should” be dating anyone if you don’t want to. There’s no reason you “should” be in a monogamous relationship, if you don't feel that monogamy suits you. From the day we’re born, we’re told all of these lies about how a healthy relationship is supposed to look like. You need to do what’s right for you, and not aspire to these ideals that, honestly, don’t work for the majority of queer men out there.
2. Believe that you are more than your appearance
Believing you’re more than your appearance is a lot easier said than done, especially in a time when most of us meet our partners by swiping right. (And let’s be honest, the main reason we swipe is based on looks.) Gay beauty culture is as pervasive as it is toxic. As corny as it sounds, you need to learn to love yourself.
3. Get off gay hookup apps
They can be terrible for your confidence. People blocking you after showing them a face pic. Feeling 100% objectified. It can really make you hate dating (and all men for that matter). Get off gay dating apps, or if you need some advice about how to use Grindr in a way that you don't go insane, take a look here.
4. Stop talking half-naked selfies
This only feeds into your insecurity. You become obsessive over your own looks and your appearance. Cool it with the shirtless selfies for a little bit.
5. Focus on your friends
Often times, we got so caught up in trying to find a man that we completely forget to spend time with our friends. That’s what happens when you line up three first dates in a week. Make sure to focus on your friends and spend time with them too.
6. Find a realistic and balanced diet that works for you and your body
Don’t go crazy. Don’t cut out all carbs, fats, alcohol, and sugars because you’ll drive yourself nuts. Similarly, don’t stress if you can’t go to the gym seven days a week. Find a moderate and healthy balanced diet and work out regimen to keep your body and mind healthy.
7. Don’t strive for perfection—strive for your personal best
As queer men, many of us strive for perfection, but the thing is, no one is perfect. Repeat that if you need to. Nobody. Is. Perfect. Even if someone projects the image of being perfect, or having this fabulous lifestyle, it’s (often) primarily a facade. So instead of striving for perfection, strive for your personal best. Set realistic goals for you and you alone.
8. Harness your "F#ck it” attitude
This is the best advice my grandpa has ever given me. He said, “Sometimes you just have to say f*ck it.” He then clarified, “Not f*ck you, just f*ck it.” And then he threw his hands up in the air in an adorable old person way. I’ve done my best to live by his advice, and when I’m feeling insecure, that’s when I really try to listen to his advice. (It’s also when it’s hardest to!) Sometimes, it’s just not worth it to worry. It’s too exhausting. Say “F*ck it!” and call it a day.
9. Cut down on the drinking and drugs
We all have those nights where we end up drinking too much and crying about how we’ll never meet a guy. This isn’t great for our self-esteem and confidence. So let’s do our best to cut down on these nights. Remember, alcohol is a depressant, so it can bum us out, especially the morning after drinking.
10. Cuddle with some friends
I’m one of those people who believe that cuddling solves all problems. While this isn’t always true, I’d say cuddling does solve a solid 75% of them. Find friends and cuddle on up with them. Not in a sexual way. Just in a “I don’t have a BF and I need to cuddle right now because everything sucks” way.