Gay, straight or any shade in between: dating’s changed.
We’re past the tried and true method of ‘gets drunk in bar, makes slightly sloppy move’ and into the ‘swipes, swipes, swipes again’ age – 37 per cent of us have met a partner via an app.
While this makes elimination of guys who have zero chance of meeting your mum easy, it also means that all too often the search for your next hook-up, relationship or whatever gets lost in translation (immediate aubergine emoji pic senders: consider this your virtual side eye.)
Step up: Chappy. A new dating app for gay men from Made In Chelsea’s Ollie Locke, it’s backed by ‘women make the first move’ app Bumble – and is set to make the scene easier to navigate. So that it’s clear if you’re in the market for ‘Friday’ or ‘forever,’ set yourself on the ‘Chappy scale’ as ‘Mr Right’ or ‘Mr Right Now’. You’ll only get matched prospects who are on the same page as you, making the whole thing that much more streamlined.
Once you’re downloaded and good to go, remember it’s always best to be vigilant. From men who claim to be ‘straight acting’ to ‘I posed with a sedated tiger in Thailand-guy,’ here’s some red flags to watch out for.
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'Masc,' 'normal,' 'average,' 'straight acting' – these might all be words a gay man uses to describe his personality because he’s a fan of beer and football. Or it could be a sign of something more sinister: he could be dealing with some insecurity issues, still coming to terms with his sexuality or trying to hide who he is. Whatever the case, you don't want to find out. Move on.
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If you come across an entire profile that's written in emoji, you’ve stumbled on someone who's successfully conveyed they're a millennial. But potential mates still want to make sure that person is capable of writing a full sentence, knows the basics of grammar and can spell most words correctly. Since your dating profile is your selling point, go sell yourself – and don't settle for anyone who can't be bothered to.
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People want to know you are a) sociable and b) interested in people other than yourself. Unforch, if you only have selfies in your profile you’ll come across as both vain and like a lame loser.
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We’re pretty sure no “happily ever after” story started with you being deluged with photos of other men’s nether regions. Or a headless torso. Or a blurred face, or one covered by a gimp mask. You know what we’re saying. These kinds of pics can feel invasive or like a person might be misrepresenting themselves – are they using a pic from 20 years ago or playing some Cyrano de Bergerac style game?
One of the cool things you'll like about Chappy
is how users can only display photos that show their faces clearly in their profiles. To add to the safety component, the app verifies people’s accounts through their Facebook, so you know who you'll be meeting.
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It can be a huge turn-off when you’re trying to get to know someone… and they’re trying to determine the size of your bulge through your trousers. And keep casually mentioning how they live just around the corner every five minutes...
On Chappy, the sliding Chappy Scale lets you weed out any blokes who are only looking for fun. Choose Mr. Right and you'll only match with other men who chose the same - which means all of your prospective dates are hoping for a little spark and the potential for long-term commitment.
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Your profile is an opportunity to list your interests and personality quirks. It isn’t a dumping ground for every complaint you’ve ever had. Don’t provide an exhaustive lists of don'ts in a potential partner – it comes across as negative and whiny. And, you may miss out on meeting a really interesting person because you that said that you refuse to date anyone who isn't vegan or happens to have facial hair.
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Even if you’re looking to casually date, you don’t want to turn up on that first date and find someone’s still living with their ex-partner, in the home they bought together. Steer clear of anyone whose profile says "Separated." In dating app lingo, that may as well translate to married.
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Or a gun. Or drugs. All of that screams baggage, or insecurity issue. Also, posing with a pet that is not your own is also odd. Don't do it.
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It's a fact: some guys spam prospective dates with a totally unoriginal - yet tried-and-tested - formulaic message, just to see who will respond. They get lazy and can't be bothered to try to connect with anyone. Avoid like the plague. You want someone who's responded to your pics and bio and opens the conversation with something that shows they've taken an interest in something specific to you. And no, a boring "Hey" shouldn't cut it, either.
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Although dating apps put thousands of prospective dating options at your fingertips, the only way you'll find out if you really click with someone is by actually meeting up with them. So, if someone takes ages to message you and then hems and haws about setting up an actual date, they're probably just looking to flirt and aren't worth your time. Or they're married, which is also bad.
Keen to try it out? Then download Chappy now and see if Mr. Right – or Mr. Right Now – is just around the corner.