‘Should I? Shouldn’t I? Will he? Won’t he?’ defines the chain of thoughts that run through every gay man’s head before messaging a random stranger they think that fits into their description of a “perfect partner” (basis a profile alone) in the big bad world of online dating.
I was in a similar dilemma 2 days ago. Following my daily ritual of trying to find my ideal partner, I logged onto a popular gay networking site without any inhibition or expectation. I clicked on the ‘Users Online’ tab and began my hunt for Mr. Right. A picture of a good looking man in his late 20’s staring away from the camera sitting in a little wooden boat representative of a lost soul drew me to click on the ‘View Profile’ tab. Sourabh was 30, 6 feet tall and made a decent attempt to make his profile an interesting read. After reading a profile like his, gazillion thoughts ran through my head like always, ‘Should I message the guy?’ ‘His hands don’t seem manicured?’ ‘Will he even reply back?’ ‘Will I be his type?’ I finally typed out a message that made me sound fun at the same time intellectually stimulating. Keeping my fingers crossed, I clicked on the ‘Send Message’ tab.
I didn’t hear back from him till this morning. Faintly remembering who Sourabh was, I viewed his profile again to refresh my aging memory. He had replied back with his coordinates and a few smileys. With the ‘Should I? Shouldn’t I? Will he? Won’t he?’ routine re-playing in my head, I finally pushed the buttons on my phone to call Sourabh. What followed was an hour of interesting, attractive, good conversation and SMS’s in abundance.
In the gay community, I have learnt to keep expectations at level zero, even if conversations over phone and chat with your potential partner are absolutely impeccable. I have learnt that the hard way, after my heart being broken and me having broken hearts ‘n’ number of times.
However, I am human at the end of the day. Ain’t I? I would be lying if I said I did not have expectations from my date with Sourabh. A good looking interesting career oriented lad having graduated from one of the best business schools in the country with similar interests as mine at the same time out of the closet to his family, Sourabh was truly a catch. So do you blame me for having expectations?
I am fairly certain, a few days later I will read back on this blog and laugh, with or without Sourabh by my side. And I? I continue to be a dreamer in this big bad gay world of online dating with my expectations remaining galore.