So I touched on this topic in my first book, Grindr Survivr, I think it's in the Tinder Chapter (of was it the Communication Commandment Chapter), but I've had a recent revelation that warranted an update. Before, I said the problem with apps is that some people will definitely fancy you from your photos, and a lot of people will definitely not. But the gray area is infuriating. Where a guy matches you on Tinder, he chats, but the conversation doesn't really go anywhere; he may not ask you any substantive questions. At best you'll get a short response and "wbu?" (what about you?) I found these types of individuals to be infuriating. In part, because they give you just enough energy or attention on the app that you don't lose complete interest, but not enough to swap numbers or meet for a drink. Needless to say over the years, I've wasted far too much energy chasing hot guys and models who did this. I'm calling this "The Meh Zone."
And needless to say, I have spent hours and hours wasting time on many a hot guy or model who was more than happy to put me there with no chance of escape. I guess I deluded myself or I hadn't really appreciated the sea change that apps had created in the gay community. My apologies to my British readers, who sometimes criticize me for tooting my own horn, but I think I have a fairly interesting personality. I have a good sense of humor. I'm engaging. I'm a good story teller (you bitches are reading my blog, aren't you?) I'm very loyal, and I think I'm fun to be around. Maybe I'm delusional, but hey "Fake it till you make it." But I say this to explain what I would tell myself. "If only the hot guys would give me a chance, they'd see how amazing my personality was. And once they see that, they'd genuinely want to date me." I say this because this has happened on more than one occasion. I have gotten a few really hot guys to date me.
But not in the past few years...
This experience is increasingly rare. In fact, I think app culture has so minimized the need for a personality, or, possibly, the vast amount of choice that living in a large gay Mecca offers means that you just won't get the chance to stand out of the crowd in any meaningful way - at least not without looking like a psycho, which defeats the purpose of showcasing the good aspects of your personality. I have some other theories as to why this might be happening. But they all lead me to one virtually inescapable conclusion:
YOU CANNOT ESCAPE THE "MEH" ZONE!!!
You can't escape the Meh Zone, so my advice to you (and to myself) is to STOP TRYING!
People get confused about my writing all the time. My writing is not designed to take a crap on dating apps. It's to highlight the need for some sort of moral code or system of ethics, because gays treat each other terribly. And it's designed to eliminate needless suffering. And I'm tired of living in a city where thousands of gay guys are single and annoyed, because they "can't find a man," all the while they are hopelessly oblivious to the fact that their own behavior patterns are sabotaging them. Feeling sad and lonely over your dating life can often be needless suffering. And at least, in myself, I see a lot of the suffering comes from feeling like I'm trapped in the "Meh" zone. Once I accept that I will most likely stay trapped, the solution becomes obvious. Stop giving time and attention to people who view me, my accomplishments, my values, my intellect, my sense of humor, my pectoral muscles with a blase attitude! If they don't recognize your value, LEAVE THEM ALONE! You don't have to tell them off or act the fool. Just leave them be. Chasing someone who's not that keen creates needless suffering. So end your own suffering! Let them be...
Yes, it's disappointing, because at least in my case, that eliminated 90% of the super hot guys that match me on Tinder. But oh well. That's life. I find that I'm happier when I'm engaging with other people and they're genuinely engaging with me. Moreover, I know I have to make room for guys who might have genuine hearts and loving personalities.
Now, in typical lawerfly fashion, I'm going to make a large sweeping pronouncement and then offer exceptions. But here goes... There are two possible ways to get out of the Meh zone, but these roads are perlilous and will most likely leave you feeling like a knob end (and not in a good way).
1) Hope that you meet the guy in person somewhere. If you guys match on Tinder and have mutual friends or you guys have similar interests, this might be a possibility. But it's highly unlikely. But you never know who you might bump into at a club or bar. So you can occasionally chat to a guy on apps, take his bland, useless conversation and then hope that you guys cross paths some day. So that's very unlikely.
2) Hope to be the super hot guys drunken mistake at 3AM. I know this sounds odd, and this mainly applies to Grindr chats (possibly Tinder if you live nearby), but the only other option is to keep the door of communication wedged open slightly, and hope and pray that he gives you a chance when he's drunk and desperate after a night of heavy drinking. For me, my ego is too big for this shit. If I know I'm someone's literal last choice, then I don't want to do it.
So there are some ways out of the "Meh" Zone, but as I said, they're not ideal. But most of gay dating is not ideal.
The best thing to do is stick with the people who are engaging and interested from the very beginning.
Which leads me to one of my new set of Grindr Commandments...
Don't Punish a Guy For Being Super Keen on You!
Things move very fast now online, and if if a guy wants to move forward with you, don't freak out (as I often do). Yes, it might seem off-putting if a guy is too eager or desperate. But if he's cute and interested in you as a person, it can't hurt to give him a chance. But this is advice for another blog entry.
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