Finding companionship, a fling, or a lifetime of love is something everyone strives for. However, finding love as an LGBTQ single hasn’t always been easy—because it hasn’t always been safe to be out of the closet and open. In some communities, it still isn’t. One of the bright lights for those looking for something other than a straight relationship, has been the evolution of gay online dating and mobile apps. Here’s a closer look at how gay dating has changed over the years.
If we go back to the beginning of time, most marriages were arranged by family members or community matchmakers. These matches were less a choice than an expectation, and were always between men and women. Those who were LGBT either stayed in the closet, or had affairs on the downlow. Slowly but surely marrying for love became popular in more communities, with the expectation that couples were of the opposite sex. However, 60% of communities around the world still have arranged marriages—few of which are same sex.
Newspapers grew in popularity around the world in the 1700s, with ad-hock personal ads trickling in here and there. By the 1900s personal ads had their own section in both magazines and newspapers, and there were even some publications dedicated solely to singles. There were even a handful of gay publications. By the 1950s gay personal ads could be found in some publications, mostly men looking for men.
With the invention of AOL in 1995 came the ability to connect with others online, and so began the unofficial introduction of online dating. Soon after in 2000 came online personal ads on Craigslist and E-Harmony. Initially geared toward straight couples, gays were soon embraced by some of the major online dating sites. By 2003 Skype began connecting couples, and Facebook became a game changer—by providing the instant opportunity to connect and chat for free. These changes made gay online dating easier, but it 2009 LBGTQ-online sites really took off.
In 2012, location-based dating apps are born, Tinder for straight love and hookups, Grinder for gay love—and a long lists of worthy gay dating websites and apps. Not only are there now LGBTQ-only online and mobile dating, but niche-specific sites. This includes hookup only sties, transgender only, open only, fetish only, thruple only, and advanced search features within most sites that allow you to get really specific about what you are looking for—such as swinging and orgies. These sites allow you to find love or hookups in almost every country in the world. For those looking for more than just a night of fun, you can be clear in your profile about what you are looking for, and really take your time to get to know your potential prospects.
Matchmaking has been around since the dawn of time, but it is not until recently that the LGBTQ community could find local and online matchmakers who help to facilitate true love. This goes beyond the computerized filters available at online dating sites, to skilled matchmakers who ask the in-depth, personal and personality questions designed to match gay singles with a likeminded, lifelong partner.
As you can see, gay dating has come a long way—with online dating making it easy for LGBTQ singles to have a safe place to find the lust and love they desire.
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