Coming out is such an important time in a gay man's life, you're impressionable, you crave validation and you're exploring what the gay world has to offer. Downloading an app is far easier than going out and standing at the bar, trying to not look awkward, or alone. But the reality is, these apps make users feel dehumanised, isolated and miserable.
Hook up apps are all fine and well. They serve a (I want to say 'valuable' but I can't bring myself to) gap in the market and it would be impertinent and rude of me to suggest otherwise. However, if you are looking for something more it's a real challenge and I've been there, from the apps, the dating sites and the networks that promote promiscuity.
There are plenty of types of breakups, probably just as many as people in this world. There are breakups in which you are coming out of a long relationship, which leads to an also long and some times tedious breakup period.
Dating is a minefield, with many a malfunction just waiting to happen. Everyone has their Deal Breakers; Smokers, kids; A disagreement on what number of cats is acceptable. But wait! There's more! As if dating wasn't hard enough already, life decided to throw in some extra issues for us lady-loving-ladies. Thanks, life.
As ever, I only want to help, so if you want to separate the men from the boys and the woulds from the would-nots, here I have 25 more men you should, if at all possible, avoid when dating. Everything I do, I do it for you.
I was fresh-faced, 16 and in the closet when I logged onto Grindr for the first time. If my girlfriends were to be believed, all the best-looking men are gay - so surely a world of gorgeous, tanned hunks with god-like torsos were only a click away? But what did I find?
It's no secret that gay men and women grow up with a sense of separation from their heterosexual peers, and that this anticipates their exclusion from mainstream culture, especially that of mainstream dating. And fittingly enough the emotionally sterile climate encouraged by Grindr is to the gay man what a crack den is to the heroin addict...
When the first glitch in a courtship appears, it's like that moment when you realise that to get that super fast, super cheap internet, you need to fork out for line rental. Matthew's 'line rental' was his need to have a say in absolutely everything we did together.
When Polly goes on and on about Toby's previous boyfriends, all of them beautiful demigods who adored Polly and would probably have turned straight for had she asked, I should defend myself, or step up my patter in an attempt to impress her. But I don't care what she thinks, so I nod politely and play with my napkin.
Let's get one thing clear: following people around supermarkets checking out their arse is a bad idea, and you know this. But just this once won't hurt, you tell yourself. I'll keep a safe distance this time, you reason. It's only really stalking if they see you, you decide. You are wrong on all counts, but there's no stopping you now is there?