Past Issues Man Portrait Fed up

Published on November 1st, 2013 | by Healthy Gay Lifestyles

Stuck Between a Rock and a Hardon?

by Tim Unruh

Been trying out the dating scene and relentlessly searching for that once-in-a-lifetime happenstance connection that will result in finding your soul mate and lifelong partner “till death do you part”? Been looking for love in all the wrong places and feel like you are just stuck, and ready to give up? For those that think it’s tough in the straight world, you should give it a whirl in the gay world. I know, I know, it shouldn’t be any different for straight guy looking for straight girl vs. gay guy looking for gay guy, right? Well I’ve got news for you it is, and those that have walked a mile in my moccasins will know exactly what I’m talking about.

There are a couple of major factors that make it very different.

Number one, many gays are closeted because of their fear of rejection in society so they have to date discreetly and secretly. So you’re already forced to sneak around and basically live a lie just in your everyday life, and now you are going to try to meet other gay people, go to dinner or a movie, and develop a relationship all under cover? Sounds fun, huh!?

Number two, the “gay world” is a small world, believe me. Not many of us out there to start with, and then subtract the ones that haven’t even cracked the closet door and chances are pretty good that whoever you do meet has probably been through what I like to refer to as the “gay circle of life ” a few times. If you’re straight, your chances of meeting that special someone in a bar scene is probably not too bad. But let’s be honest here friends, that just probably ain’t gonna happen in a gay bar. Been there, done that, and it’s just a different scene; and one not typically real conducive to being struck by cupid’s arrow, and if so, it’s probably not going to be much more than a superficial wound. So social media is a good place to start, right? Throw out a few pokes on Facebook, creep through some pictures on Instagram, throw out a Tweet here and a Tweet there, and then dive right on into the good stuff… Grindr and Manhunt! Yeah, now we’re talking!

I will never forget many years ago when I was still way, way back in the closet, fearful of my son and friends ever discovering my deep dark secret, when I accidentally stumbled upon a site called Holy smokes, you would have thought I had just hit the jackpot! And for a closeted gay guy in his mid-forties, desperate to experience the things that I had been longing for my entire life, I actually probably had! At that time I certainly wasn’t looking for romance, or relationships, or a soul mate. I was just curious, and wanting to find out anything, everything, that I could about the things that had been going through my head for forty-five years. I searched through the pictures, I read the profiles, sent the first message, my heart pounded, and so it began…

Oh the stories that I have to tell. Like the 26-year old that looked a lot like a 50-year old in real life. Not that I have anything against 50-year old guys, it’s just that, umm did you think that I wasn’t going to notice? There was another time that I was chatting with a nice looking, and very nice sounding “single” guy for about two weeks and finally got to the level of comfort of asking him if he would like to meet. He said that he would love to but confessed that he was actually married and that he and his wife wanted to do a three-some. Slow down there buddy, that’s moving a little bit fast for this ole country boy! Oh and how about the one that showed up about a foot taller and 150 pounds heavier than what he indicated in his profile. He walked in, picked me clear up off the ground, threw me on the couch and said “I like it rough!” Whoa there tiger, I have a herniated disc in my lower back, arthritis in my knees, and been fighting severe stiffness in my neck, so how about just pizza and beer!?

There have been some good stories as well. Throughout my experience with the gay hook-up sites and apps I have met many people, some that are close friends yet today. As a matter of fact, I met one of my best friends in the world online and he planned Bret’s and my entire wedding a year ago. So at the end of the day, do I regret going through the experience? No I don’t, but it wasn’t long before I came to the realization that this wasn’t what I was looking for. After experiencing all that Manhunt, Grindr, and all of the other “hook-up” sites had to offer I came to the realization that they were exactly that, hook-up sites. Believe me, I’m not here to criticize or condemn any of you that are using these sites. They have a purpose, and they work very well for that. But I wanted more, so here is what I did. And I recommend it for any of you that find yourself in the same situation.

First of all, make sure that you are ready to begin the dating scene and are looking for a long term relationship. If you are just looking for NSA friends and hook-ups then keep on keeping on with the aforementioned sites. Have fun, be safe. If you are interested in dating, romance, a long-term relationship, and finding your soul mate, then delete those apps and sites and let’s look at other options. I chose It’s not magic, it’s not a silver bullet, it takes time, but it’s simple and it works. Take time in creating your profile and description. Be honest, tell the truth. If you are 40 years old, don’t use your senior high school portrait for your profile picture. Remember, you are hoping to meet this person in real life, and they will notice. Be very specific about what it is that you are looking for, and do not be afraid to clearly communicate that you are looking for a long-term relationship and not a one-time hook-up. Once you are up and running, be patient and take your time. Remember, you are trying to find someone who can change your life, not just your relationship status.

I’m not going to kid you, I had my ups and downs throughout my search. I encountered just about everything imaginable, and at times I had to just put it aside and walk away, sometimes for weeks at a time. But in November of 2010 I got an email that said someone had “winked” at me on There were the typical first emails back and forth. Emails soon turned to texting, and then there was that first phone call. I will never forget our first official meeting; walking around the back of my vehicle and seeing Bret for the first time. It will be three years next month and since that magical weekend we have come a long ways together. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, were married in 2012, we are now planning to build our dream home in the country, and it all started with that one little “wink” on a dating site.

So, if you feel like you are at a dead end and frustrated in your search for that special someone, then here are a few simple tips.

  • Lose the hook-up sites and apps. They are for fun, not relationships.
  • Look at other options like Match, Zoosk, Chemistry, and even Facebook.
  • Be honest when creating your profile and be very specific in what you are looking for.
  • Be patient, “good things come to those who wait”.

Good luck and happy searching!


Tim D. Unruh – Writes a blog called that shares his life story of his struggles with growing up gay in small town rural America. How he learned to deal with his sexuality, religion, depression, alcohol abuse and coming out to his son, friends and family.

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