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I am out going and shy at the same time is that possible? I am laid Gay Dating in Portland, Oregon Buckobrian. In my early 20s, I hooked up off and on, but it never developed into anything. I have a few lesbian friends but no male friends. When hookup apps were introduced, I used them infrequently. Now I go totally unnoticed or am quickly ghosted once I reveal my age.


Most nonwork days, my only interactions are with people in the service industry. I am well-groomed, employed, a homeowner, and always nice to people. I go to a therapist and take antidepressants. However, this painful loneliness, depression, aging, and feeling unnoticed seem to be getting the best of me.

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  • I cry often and would really like it all to end. Any advice? The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness.

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    Loneliness, Hobbes explained to me, is an evolutionary adaptation, a mechanism that prompts us humans—members of a highly social species—to seek contact and connection with others, the kind of connections that improve our odds of survival. Being lonely, on the other hand, is subjective: Random cool cousins LAG never got to know. Volunteering gigs you fell out of. I see others, gay and straight, having long-term relationships, getting engaged, getting married, and it makes me sad and jealous.

    Some of them are jerks—and if them, why not me? I know your advice can be brutal, Dan, but what do I have to lose? When I first started dating again after the end of a long-term relationship, one of my friends warned me about this, and she was so right. I'm warning you, too. Female, non-identifying, four-year Portland resident, single.

    Use the internet!

    That way you won't end up with some gun-loving weirdo. But also, just because someone has a 99 percent compatibility with you online, it doesn't mean they'll laugh at your brilliantly stupid puns, or support your desire to enact guerrilla-style sketch comedy in the middle of the street with strangers.

    Megan Burbank: Online dating doesn't do it for me.

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    Or it hasn't yet, anyway. I have been on one Tinder date, ever , and it was so fucking boring that I haven't done it since. It felt sort of like being kidnapped. You know things are bad when you find yourself fake-laughing at a guy's unfunny joke, while remembering Amy Poehler's advice to teenage girls not to laugh at a boy's joke if it isn't funny, and then realizing the reach of internalized patriarchy it's in you! I think if you're going to online date in Portland, you should be pretty direct about what you want in your profile.

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    I think mine says something really dickish like, "If you use LOL as punctuation or enjoy sending shirtless mirror selfies, save us both the trouble. But I get a much more self-selecting pool of applicants. Bri Pruett: IRL meet-ups are my typical MO, because this is such a small town. You probably have a long-term Portland crush: You follow each other on IG and Twitter, and you pay attention when it looks like they're seeing someone. A little dance I like to call: The Social Media Long Game. Or SMLG.

    It's a good way to find something that sticks. Jay Flewelling: I liked online dating for many years in the sense of starting off with many questions answered that can never be known in real life. Such as, I know this dude is gay, his age, and a little bit about his interests. But I recently deleted my OkStupid account entirely. Now that I don't have that crutch, I find myself being pushed to make moves in real life when I wouldn't normally.

    That was the discovery, whereas before I would notice someone and NOT make a move, even if it was just saying "hi," because I'd think I'd just roll through profiles on my phone later. No thanks! I want to meet a real person in real life. I'm out there playing soccer with eligible bachelors because a I want to meet real people, and b I'm being scouted by the Timbers. Sarah Mirk: I just joined Tinder for the first time two weeks ago, because I'm super busy these days, and not looking for a long-term boyfriend or relationship.

    I want to date around and have a good time, and Tinder seems like a good place for that. I've had positive experiences with the app. I've also heard a lot of horror stories, but none of that happened to me. I wasn't inundated with dick pics.

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    I've had good conversations about books, technology, gender, and dating in Portland over messages. Tinder feels very public—and that's good and bad.

    Dating State of the Union

    I didn't get on it for a long time because I'm a private person, and it felt like raising a flag to say, "I'm single, I'm dating. Portland feels like a small town. If you're on Tinder, people are going to tell your coworkers and friends, or people are going to run into you on the street and say, "I know you from Tinder.

    But dating around shouldn't be embarrassing. I had to ask myself, "Am I ashamed that I'm single or that I'm dating? A "successful" person is in a long-term monogamous relationship, and that's screwed up in a lot of ways. Society instills a lot of shame around dating. Straight male, five-year Portland resident, currently single.

    Author of Swipe Right: My dating advice for guys on Tinder would be stop trying to "hook up. It's a silly app. Just keep it light, have fun, and get her number so you can meet in person to see if you two click. Amory Jane: I think, for the most part, Portlanders are more open-minded about polyamory and monogamish relationships than other places in this country. I think it's because of the more progressive views here, and that Portland is or at least was a place for misfits and weirdos.

    We're more accepting of folks doing things outside the norm. We have classes on open relationships at She Bop, and that can be a great place to start. I also would recommend doing some soul-searching and trying to figure out what you truly want. If it doesn't feel like a good fit for you, don't have an open relationship just because other people are doing it.

    If you don't know whether it is for you or not, keep an open mind, talk to other non-monogamous people for support, and take things slowly!