I am 25 years old, and I quite honestly have a lot of anxiety when it comes to dating. With all the apps and the rampant hook-up culture in the gay community, it is so difficult to find out if a guy is just trying to hook up or if he wants to date and get to know you. Plus, many couples are opening up their relationship, which makes it even harder to figure out what they are into or not. I really want a deeper connection with someone, but I am both outraged and a nervous wreck at the same time–are there really no genuine guys left out there anymore? How do I break this negative way of thinking? And how do I ultimately find love?
No matter what, it is always difficult to put yourself out there. The first step for you (and for soooo many others in the dating pool) is to admit that you are indeed anxious about dating! Anxiety is normal and should honestly be expected, but the moment you let go of your judgment of having anxiety, you will also relax a little bit more–maybe in yourself or perhaps even on a date. Another thing you can assess is if the hook-up and dating apps are actually hurting or helping you. If you’ve had it with biased preferences and rudeness from strangers, then take a break – apps are not the only way to meet guys! If you do feel the need for an app in your life, stay clear of the sex apps and go for one catered more towards dating. Create a profile that is honest and realistic, which is the best basis for an online conversation either way. Regardless of how you meet someone, start by communicating and get to know the person even before you meet up in person for a date. A good indicator is how good a communicator the other person is and how well, for instance, texts are responded to. Down the line, once the connection has been made, it is okay for you to voice your concerns and even fears. You don’t want to be needy but being open and honest about feelings and expectations will also create the basis for a deeper connection. Yes, dating can be time-consuming and even anxiety-inducing but if you put in the effort, it will eventually pay off.