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COLUMN: Finding a gay or lesbian partner using smart phones
I was talking the other day to a lesbian friend who is gorgeous looking, bright and very positive about life, but who is finding it difficult to find a partner. There is no doubt the way of meeting someone special has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. Faced with this challenge, my lovely friend created a profile on an internet site, made contact with someone she thought seemed interesting and started a dialogue. “Tell me more about yourself,” she was asked. “I like reading, love travel and enjoy eating out with friends,” my friend sent back. Then came the reply: “I don’t think you are my type”.
I burst out laughing hearing this story. What chance have we got with internet dating if this is the way we relate to using it? When is anyone given the chance to get to know each other? The danger to personal mental health by using these sites is well documented. The sense of being whammed, banged and thank you madamed can also have very negative consequences over time.
So what are the alternatives? If you go to bars or nightclubs you often see others on smartphones trying to pick up. What happened to old-fashioned social skills; to the art of chatting someone up with charm and wit? Picking up lovers in bars seems old hat if you can get sex so easily using a smartphone at home.
The problem with smartphone sex is that it is difficult for anyone to really get to know anyone else properly. Like my lesbian friend, the wrong words in the wrong order meant rejection. Being truly intimate means finding out about one another, where part of you is now part of the other and vice versa.
Maybe getting quick sex is all you want from your smartphone and it is not on your radar to find a partner right now. But what about those who really want to find someone special, spend intimate times and get to know each other well? How do they start navigating the web to find a partner?
The first thing is that honesty works; telling the truth about your age and looks is paramount. Tell lies and you end up with liars. What about dating as a must from the start? Go out – to a movie, for dinner, whatever – and get to know each other. This is one way we can beat the impersonal rejection that smartphone sex can bring.
Whatever you do, don’t take the homosexual landscape too personally. There is a lot of rejection out there which has absolutely nothing to do with you. It is just the culture of the landscape.
I felt relieved that my lesbian friend laughed as loudly as I did when she read the words on the screen, “I don’t think you are my type”.