This is a photo of a gay couple on a date.

9 Scientifically Proven Dating Tips for Gay Men

Dating is no picnic in today’s hookup culture. Everyone is looking to get “off” or to get “in” that we forget how to connect on intimate levels, much less genuine ones. Trust me; I feel your struggle.

However, instead of thinking we’re fighting a losing game, we single gay guys need to rise to the occasion! Dating is supposed to be fun. It should lift our spirits, not tear us down. Why have we made it so complicated?

I’ve spent hours researching scientific ways we can make the gay dating experience better for, not only us but for the lucky men we choose to date. Here are some things we should always remember, take note:

1.  Ask thought-provoking questions

One study has shown that rehearsed lines, i.e. “So what do you do?” or “Where are you from?” or “Do you come here often?” or “How long have you lived here?” had an adverse effect on a date. Everyone’s heard these same lines before, but instead of being a cliché, you can get his answers by asking different kinds of questions.

To make him think, you need to pull him out of his comfort zone. One way to do this is by relating each subject with curiosity — I mean, genuine interest. In a nutshell, listen to what he says and respond authentically.

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“You like comic books? What did you think of Batman vs. Superman?” or “Do you ever wish you were an only child?” or “That’s so awesome you like to cook—what’s your favorite dish?” “You lived in Europe? Wow! That’s amazing. I’ve always wanted to go. What was your favorite part about it?” Listening and responding is key, have the conversation flow organically rather than letting it stifle away into nothingness.

2. Make him think you have a dark side

I hate narcissists (like, really hate them), but even though I try to veer them away, I can’t help but have sexual tension with them; as it turns out, I’m not the only one. Psychological studies have reinforced previous research showing that narcissists are more popular than others at first impression. Why? Because they’re more appealing. They give us something play with.

We’re visual creatures, but personality is something that sinks in our brain long after the person is gone. When we see a guy who is physically in shape, we tend to associate him with a host of other positive traits (even if it doesn’t apply)—it’s called the “halo effect.”

Related: 7 Reasons Being Gay and Single Is Fabulous

People with exploitive personalities are more efficient at creating confidence and humor, but over time, it tends to decline once the observer realizes he’s an asshole. However, a dash of narcissism makes a good impression short-term. Goodness is essential, but allowing yourself to be as mysterious and alluring like a vampire will go a long way.

3. Make him feel like hottest guy in the room

Staring at a hot guy who just walked into the restaurant kills the moment, especially on the first date. I understand we can’t help ourselves, but if you’re digging him, the last thing you want him to think is that you have a wondering eye.

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If he catches you checking out the goods, he’ll find it hard to trust you in the future, and he might assume you’re only into him for sex. Don’t get me wrong, we all like sex, but this is a date. At least pretend like you’re investing more in the relationship.

4. Make eye contact

Studies have shown that keeping eye contact for at least seven seconds is crucial—no more, no less. Anything more than 7 seconds is just creepy if you ask me.

Related: 5 Qualities You Should Look for in a Boyfriend

It’s weird when you go on dates, and the guy is only staring at your biceps, chest or crotch. I mean, thank you for noticing, but what else do you find appealing about me? I want you to penetrate my goddamn soul! Be aware that I have eyes too. Never stare at something I might feel insecure about, i.e. a prominent mole, a bald spot or birthmark. Keep it eye to eye. That’s how we like it.

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9 Scientifically Proven Dating Tips for Gay Men
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