I’m taking creative liberties right from the get-go of this article to say, "Boys, I love ya bunches because you’re my gay brothers." That being said, it’s also time to wake up and get a grip on your addiction to gay apps. Yes, I’m talking to you. You’ve got them all loaded on your smart phone — Scruff, Grindr, Jackd, Growlr — and probably others that have just come out in the last 24 hours. All offering some form of instantaneous gratification — friendship, networking, chat, hooking up, and of course the infamous, "Just checking things out!"
It truly doesn’t matter how you’re packaging up the reasons for having the app on your phone. No explanations needed for your motivation. Whatever makes you happy is my philosophy. Of course, that’s the crux of the matter too. Does the app truly make you happy? Obviously, we all define happiness in our own way, and for you, I don't think your happiness will be found in early onset arthritis due to overt sexting and texting. Quite honestly, app addiction is fast becoming a human condition eradicating the need for face time communication, human to human. It’s nice for once to see something not being blamed on the gays.
However, for gay males, these technological advances have opened up new doorways for committing to not commit. Right? We’re the masters of "I’ll get back to you" and "let’s play it by ear". Now, the app in hand has become a new form of masturbation, so to speak. You can stroke keys, and stroke keys, and stroke keys while experiencing the ultimate edging experience. In those last few moments of stimulating dialogue, it only takes a "Network Error, Please Try Again Later" excuse to free yourself from the possibility of having to let the guy on the other end of the chat down easily. It’s all taken care of because the situation was out of your control, even if it was perfectly in your control because you made up the entire network story.
Of course, now you have to make the choice to block him, ignore him, or create a whole new profile so as not to be found again by Mr. I Think You're Great. Your obvious thought is, "How can he think I’m great when he’s not even looking at my real picture?" Or you might let your own crazy making self-esteem start to make you second-guess yourself. "If he thinks I’m great then he must be a real loser and faking it until he makes it too." Either way, fiction is playing out to be better than truth.
However, if you’re truly serious about a relationship, you might want to examine the relationship you have with your favorite app. It’s very possible it is the jealous lover, confidence buster, and "not enough time" maker that’s keeping you stuck in a perpetual state of never finding a satisfying relationship. A good sign that you may be in trouble is if you find yourself sleeping with your smart phone and jolting awake in anticipation of each little notification vibration. If so, then it’s time for you to uncover the honest truth about you and your gay app!
App = Sex and nothing else.
Trust me — sex is great, love it, and can’t do without it. Yet, if you start finding your sexual conquests can only be achieved via App connections, something may be amiss with your ability to connect on a personal level without the phone in your hand. Plus, phone in one hand, and hand on something else doesn’t constitute a relationship.
Rejection doesn’t mean you’re not worth it
Just because you’re not getting any responses to your profile or chat backs when you say "hey" doesn’t mean you’re not good enough. It’s an App and it’s an App chat. Depending on who has their shirt off, or who’s crank you turn, will actually tell you if there’s any interest. Don’t take it personally. One piece of advice: How you do anything is how you do everything. Think about it, examine it, and see how similar your online activities mimic your other meeting guys activities offline. If your striking out offline and online, How you're doing anthing is how you're doing everything.
Confidence isn’t built upon "Woofs"
Be real, get honest, and stop waiting for the external validation to make you a whole gay man! Just because some guy does or doesn't "Woof" or "Star" you shouldn’t send you running to therapy for the next year. Get your mojo on by looking at yourself without any rainbow colored glasses and just be you. The more real you are, the more likeable you are. And, yes, that’s the honest truth.
Honest you is better than pretend you.
We’ve all had this experience — the 20-year-old picture of the guy who’s actually 40 something, broke, and not even close to being relationship oriented. Come on already. Here’s a wake-up call. If you’re actually 44, unemployed and between jobs, and wanting a Friend With Benefits, then say it and own it with all your heart. You might just be surprised at how good old fashioned honesty works to your advantage.
Addiction is addiction.
Whether it’s sex, drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or apps, everything can become an addiction sooner than later, unless you take precautionary measures. At the moment you cross the line and start finding the only way you can meet a guy is through your app, it’s time to take an app break and start to wean yourself off, one keystroke at a time. It’s not a break up, it’s a make-up with yourself so that you can get out of the app rut.
Apps serve a purpose — creating friendships, flirting, searching for Mr. Right, playing with Mr. Right Now, even business networking. Make them work for you in your way by being completely honest with yourself why you’re using them. The moment you try to make them the holy grail of gay matrimony when in reality you just wanted to hook-up, you might find yourself sorely disappointed and incapable of getting it up..."It" being your self-respect and dignity as a gay man who knows exactly what he wants from life!
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