Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating

This series examines my plunge into the world of internet dating. I had my share of pitfalls as well as my share of triumphs and discoveries about myself.

Part 1: The Let Down

As I ventured into the gay dating world, I was filled with apprehension. I didn’t want to get mixed up with anybody who didn’t respect my boundaries. Although things with Cowboy Mark ended for related reasons, my optimism for a relationship with Anderson dwindled as he began rehearsals for another show and there was no time for me.

I felt a little bit selfish not being more patient—not waiting around—but after 3 weeks of not seeing him, I was lonely. I needed a change.

That’s when Hunter came into the picture. Hunter had come into my office months earlier. I had just gotten back from Canada and he’d stopped by to take care of some business for school. He had his suspicions of me and tested the waters.

“Canada, eh? I served my mission in Alberta. And last summer I lived in Toronto on Church Street?”

“Really? Isn’t it great?” I exclaimed as he sat across from me in my desk.

His bright blue eyes twinkled a bit with curiosity as he probed. He described in detail his experiences living amongst the drag queens, clubbing, and the annual gay PRIDE parade.

I was cautious. I knew exactly what was going on, but I played coy. I wasn’t ready to be that open at work. I wasn’t that ready to flirt with another guy in public. I smiled. I blushed. I did not—however—let on that his advances—his bashful grin, his directed gazes at my reaction to his more pointed descriptions—were making me very happy deep down.

It was all lost on me, I suppose. We both left it at curiosity for a couple of months. I met Anderson and Cowboy Mark and learned my lessons there while he went on his own journey in a new school with new people.

Then, running into him one day, I came out to him. I explained that I was closeted-ly coy that day and that we should hang out sometime. As we found out months after that exchange in my office, it was an interesting transition for both of us.


“I don’t know why I even suggested we go to Olive Garden. It doesn’t make sense to go on a date somewhere I eat and work on a daily basis even if the food is pretty good. You’d think I’d be sick of things like everything else,” he chuckled.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s been a difficult transition here. That’s all.”

“Oh. I see.”

“Friends have been hard to come by and everyone’s just interested in sex. They’ve lost touch with a part of themselves.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“You know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t believe in the Church anymore—I’ve even asked that my records be removed—but that doesn’t mean I have to shed all of my morals and sleep with every guy I see. You can’t abandon the spiritual because everything happens for a reason.”

By this point, I had forged an identity as an active, gay, dating Mormon and this really struck me. He might not be LDS anymore, but he was in a place that I respected. Spiritual and confident. It was really endearing to find someone that valued that balance in life and was actively pursuing a relationship.religion That moment really moved me. There really were other good guys out there who had been through this without “losing touch” or becoming bitter in some way. I pulled up all of the shields and defenses I had down. I’d already found blonde, blue-eyed Hunter cute, but at that moment, my heart got a little caught up in the possibility of a serious relationship with him. In that moment, he became one of the few people in that inner circle who could ask me anything and receive a completely honest answer.

“I haven’t really figured out this gay thing yet, you know?” I said as we finished our dinner. I want to have everything, but know that I can’t. It’s not often you run into somebody like you.”

“That’s very true. Especially here. That’s part of the reason I’m leaving.”

My jaw dropped (figuratively speaking).


“I’ve prayed and meditated and this isn’t where I’m supposed to be. I only have a few friends here and I don’t think my major’s working out like I thought it would….”

I slipped into a mild funk of disappointment—frustrated in part that I could get worked up over him so easily and then be let down just as easily.

I think he sensed that as the waitress asked about the check: “Together or separate?”

“Separate,” he said without any of the ritual, gay-date hesitation.

We were just friends.

Friend Zone

In consolation, though, Hunter offered a bit of advice as he walked me to my car: “I’m sorry we didn’t get to hang out more. You’re even cooler and cuter than I’d thought. I’m only saying this because it’s helped me, but I think it would be a good idea for you to try using the internet to find guys. Not one of those skanky, hookup sites. Something honest and open and rated PG-13.”

I was a little dumbfounded. It was as if I had failed at dating. That’s what desperate, horny guys use. Was I that desperate and out-of-control? Coming from anybody but him—someone with values and integrity—I would have been offended, but he meant everything he said and cared for everyone he knew, so I took the plunge.

End, Part 1.


C.J. said...

First, I've been inspired by you to write about some of my own dates, over the next few days (plus today and yesterday). It's been cathartic!

Second, and more important, internet dating isn't for losers. I know a number of people (mostly straight, but I think the same rules apply...although that's easy for me to say, as I'm not gay and thus really shouldn't speculate on what it's like to be gay) who are looking for Mr./Ms. Right (one of whom just finished up a painful divorce), and they've had some pretty good success with it. One of my best friends met his Ms. Right on the internet!

Although, hearing this exchange from your perspective, I wonder if I've inadvertantly made people feel bad by suggesting internet dating to them. In actual fact, I was suggesting it, because I think you can meet a MUCH higher quality of people doing it than doing so-called "traditional" dating. I don't know anyone who's met Mr./Ms. Right in a bar, but I do know lots of people who've met and married people they've met online.

I met Jim in class; our first big conversation was a debate about religion. But, despite being a walking stereotype, in some ways, I promise I really am an interesting person. I dated a lot of jerks before I met Jim, and I met them all the "regular" way.

Unknown said...

It's really tough to meet someone that you are interested in only to find that he isn't available. It's even worse if they are available and aren't interested.

The internet can work. I know a few couples, including my sister and brother-in-law, who met that way.

arodomon said...

haha internet dating is for horny and desperate guys.

JP said...

That was a really interesting story and a really well written one at that. It does hurt when things just don't work out despite the fact that things seem so good at first, but I guess that's just how things work out sometimes.

The internet is a great resource but it isn't without it's own traps and pitfalls. Be cautious, my friend.

All the best.

Anonymous said...

I just like to point out that I met my bf online :P lol

Anyway yeah sometimes internet dating does seem to suck but then again my mom has told me stories about how couples have met up online and even got married so who knows

Too bad things didn't work out with him but glad you enjoyed that date anyway

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@CJ: The best guys that I have dated were a result of interactions over the internet. It might only sting a little to suggest such a thing as internet, but the stigma survives because it seems like a quick fix and so much can go wrong. I must say, though, that I wouldn't give up any of these adventures good or bad (...well, maybe a few of the bad ones).

@Green and purple: I've seen a good share of same-sex couples who've found each other, too. It's comforting.

@ardomon: I've met plenty of them to know it's part true. :P

@JP: Luckily, I haven't had too many regrets. Creepers have been few and far between.

@Ethan: It's okay that things didn't work out. Hunter is as positive and happy as ever.

Anonymous said...


I think finding guys in internet can be quite difficult, especially if you are looking for a serious relationship. I've encountered many gays who are just interested in sex.

However, I met in internet a boy who became my best friend now. So, just be patient and careful.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Ok he is so how about you are you happy now? (I mean in general)

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@jonedrahadian: I've def. had some good experiences as well and made some friends.

@Ethan: I'm doing well. I'm happy and still looking for that special someone.

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