Being gay is a pain in the ass. And, no, I’m not talking about the frankly traumatic experience of coming out, or the awkward conversations that inevitably arise at dinner with you’re grandma, but the unrelenting frustration that comes with dating other gay men. Dating is not the butterfly-inducing, exciting, care-free experience our heterosexual counterparts get to participate in, but a disappointing and laborious challenge that one rarely succeeds in. Dating apps, freedom of sexual expression and an acceptance of promiscuity within the gay community makes being 20 and single a very different experience from those around me.
The issue is that gay relationships typically fall into one of two categories: (1) the acquaintance which rarely lasts outside the bedroom and (2) the whirlwind, tragedy of a romance which goes from barely knowing first names, to appearing on each other’s respective instagrams within 2 weeks of meeting. The former is easy to avoid. No Grindr. No alcohol. No gay bars. You'll be fine, and probably celibate. It’s the latter, ‘gay-ting’ in its intoxicating torture which is a much, much harder devil to escape.
In this woeful tale of Romeo and his Romeo, it normally starts with a mutual friend and pre-drinks: you're introduced to each other as “my other gay friend” and left by your (generally) female flatmate to somehow bond over the fact you both like men, although in the majority of cases this is your only common interest. If you somehow manage to get past this fact, once you start talking you suddenly find yourself compromising on their attributes — ok, so he may not be the blonde you've always dreamed of, but he has a nice smile and an interesting music taste. This settling for the guy that is front of you continues, until you eventually agree to a coffee the next day. Coffee turns to drinks. Drinks turn to dinner. Dinner turns to sex. Before you know it, you’re saying ‘I do’ to being his boyfriend, thinking against all chances you've found the one for you. It’s only been 3 weeks, but hey, maybe its just meant to be. But thats when it starts: you realise you've compromised too much. That because you’re gay and you fear there are only about 2 other gay people you can date, you’ve settled for what’s in front of you. You start to realise that the music taste you once found interesting is now pretentious; the habits you thought were endearing are now downright annoying; and the attraction you compromised on doesn't compare to passion you now feel for the really hot other gay friend your flatmate somehow ‘forgot’ about. You (inevitably) break up, knowing you’ve made the mistakes which you’ve made countless times before, and will continue to make. You get a 70cl of vodka, head to the nearest gay bar and end up having relationship (1).
If my editor wants my opinion, it’s this: being gay and single is more than just a pain in the ass. It’s shit. I’m going to stop dating and get a dog. It’s less emotionally draining.