I’m Swearing Off Grindr And Going To Bars

Something happened a few times that really bothers me and it happened again, kind of. I have a few other posts I could post today, but because I’m still super upset, I’m going to blog about this instead.

See here’s the thing. I’ve never been officially diagnosed with any social anxiety issues or social problems, but I’m socially awkward as crap and usually find dating, like all social activities, easier with my smartphone involved. I usually turn to Grindr or Scruff, because they’re the most popular apps that gay guys use. I figure we can chat for a bit and then if things go well we can meet for coffee or food or a movie. Then if that goes well, then well, you know, whatever.

Oh yeah, I’m gay, so, if you were lost… Grindr is a gay thing. I think most straight guys and girls know what Grindr and Scruff are, but, just in case. Also I’m not a fan of declaring sexualities or whatever, because science tells us that sexuality is fluid and things change a lot and what you’re into now you might not be into later, like if you used to like chicken livers when you were little but now can’t stand them because they smell like throw up, you know? Gross. But anyway, I’m using those statements declaratively in this post because it makes things easier. A good label is a like a post-it note; easily removed after it’s no longer needed. So, the Grindr and Scruff apps, gay dudes use them to find each other and hookup and date and stuff. For someone like me who for whatever reason has a hard time going out by myself and meeting new people and doing the mingling thing in bars and what-not, they’re super helpful.

There are two types of problematic guys that I’ve come across in my Grindr and Scruff dating adventures. There are guys that seem to want to immediately start “hanging out” without ever actually hanging out anywhere first, which is really stupid because I know “hanging out” doesn’t mean hanging out. There are also guys who never ever seem to actually want to do anything besides text and message and chat for months, which is also really stupid, because when you live like a mile apart and you both claim to be single, what’s the fucking point of all the useless messaging? After a few days or maybe even a few weeks of chatting, let’s meet over coffee, or let’s get a drink, or let’s go see a movie. This is not rocket science. This is all so very basic. As socially awkward as I am, and as nervous as I get meeting new people, if I can do it, so can you assholes.

The problems that I’ve been having lately have been more of the latter. There is this really cute guy that I’ve been trying to get to hangout with and meet since the beginning of the year. Normally after this long, I’d assume he wasn’t interested, but he keeps randomly messaging me weeks later. Then we keep messaging and texting. Then we make plans to hangout and then we never do because, I don’t know, his salamander broke his leg, or he’s busy and just doesn’t respond, or he doesn’t take the hint that I’m out somewhere and he should just come meet me for a drink on Bardstown Road. Or whatever. Now, don’t get me wrong; if your salamander broke it’s leg, definitely get it seen to by a salamander leg-mending professional, but then I feel like it’s up to you to make new arrangements to meet because, like, my salamander didn’t break it’s leg, yours did.

So I’m swearing off of Grindr and Scruff and I’m just going to start going to bars because at least face-to-face people will tell me yes or no and at least there’s alcohol there. I’m so shy and socially awkward that all it’ll probably amount to is me rolled into a ball into the corner, avoiding people and their salamanders, but that would probably be a step up from never meeting anyone face-to-face at all.

By Eric Shay Howard

Eric Shay Howard lives in Indianapolis. He's a teacher, a literary editor, and writer. He's a graduate student in the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA in Creative Writing program at Eastern Kentucky University. He also has MBA and BA degrees.


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