The 3-Date Gay Dating Plan – Getting Steady in No Time Flat

So many people focus on the first date. What to wear. Where to go. What to talk about.

Big mistake.

From this issue came the Three Date Plan – a battle plan for determining your ideal match in just three dates.

Warning: the Three Date Plan is not for everyone. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, or where you want to end up, I don’t recommend it. But if you’re ready to get serious know what you want, and are sick of the hookup and heartbreak cycle, read on.



The goal:

Get to know each other. Hardcore.

The Set-up:

I must discourage you from seeing a movie, a show, or going to a party. You don’t want distractions, or an external source of entertainment. You need to face each other and see if you have what it takes to interact for a concentrated period of time. A Starbucks works wonders. Or a bar before the crowds roll in.

So choose the place – and make it somewhere between the both of you. Then set a time limit, and make other plans for afterwards. This way there will be no awkward “when does this end?” business. I recommend anywhere from 1 and a half to 3 hours for The First Date.

What you should do:

The first date is like a job interview – a chance to get a handle on the human sitting across from you. Here you will sit, face each other, and talk. Nerve wracking? Sure. But entirely necessary.

Brush up on your date’s online profile beforehand, and then come with questions. Was there anything they mentioned that intrigued you? Challenged you? Mystified you? Let them talk about it. End the date with a strong hug and (if comfortable) a kiss on the cheek.

Once the date is over, follow up within a day (none of this 3 day or wait for them to respond stuff.) And while text messages are convenient, we’re working in the real world here – so give a call. Tell them you had a great time, and would love to see them again.

What you shouldn’t do:

People love talking about themselves. For this reason, I defy you to not utter a word about yourself unless your date asks you. If your date ends and the guy or girl didn’t ask a single thing about you, consider The Three Date Plan at an end. You want someone who really wants to know about you.

THE SECOND DATE – The Real World

The Goal:

See how your date interacts in larger groups.

The Set up:

Your second date should take place at a public event. If you like barhopping, invite them out with your friends (and let them know they can bring their pals). Concerts, museums, movies, and game nights are also fair game – so long as friends are there as well.

What you should do:

Meet your steady in advance, alone. You don’t want to flank them with your friends without warning. Tell your friends your date is coming, but don’t ask them to put on the kid gloves. In the long run, your date will need to co-exist with them.

Through the night, stay with your steady. If you’re comfortable with physical contact, try it out and see how they react. Take this chance to observe them carefully. Are they at ease with your friends? Are they legitimately contributing to the evening, and having a good time?

At the end of the night, leave when your date leaves. Tell them you had a great time in a quieter place, and then give them a peck on the mouth. Spare the tongue just this once, and say goodnight.

What you shouldn’t do:

DO NOT flirt with anyone else. You are not significant others yet, but there is a certain level of respect here. Also, refrain from talking about recent exes or hookups.

Conversely, if your date does either of these two things, beware. It points to either a self-esteem issue, or a braggard complex. You don’t want to get competitive, and you don’t need jealousy this early on. You’ll have plenty of time to rehash your pasts later – but in the first two dates, consider it off-limits.

THE THIRD DATE – Get it out in the open

The goal:

Show your cards.

The setup:

If you’re still talking, still making plans, then you might be ready to make the next move: invite them to your place. But you should also trust your gut. If it feels like you’re not far enough along, lather-rinse-repeat dates one and two a few times. Over the course of the repetition you will get to know each other better.

Finally, when you’re comfortable, initiate The Third Date.

What you should do:

Have activities prepared. Whether it’s a DVD, a few hours playing video games, DVRed shows on your television, whatever. If you have things in common (which you do, if you reached this point!) it won’t be very hard to pick activities.

Now, with little but your roommates (assuming they’re there, or you have any) to interrupt, now is the time to have the meaningful conversations. Hold nothing back. Ask more questions, really get in there deep.

Nothing should be off-limits. Because if this goes well – and if you’ve made it this far, the chances of success are higher than they’ll ever be.

At this point I leave it to you to act on instinct. From the past two dates, has your steady proven to be what you’re looking for? If so, move boldly ahead. If not, feel free to end your journey here, go back online, and start from scratch.

What you shouldn’t do:

Don’t hold back! If there’s something your steady should know about you, reveal it. In order to set up a serious relationship with real compatibility, you can’t begin by lying, or hiding parts of your past or personality. This is about finding true chemistry, not forcing a situation and you want a relationship built on honest chemistry, not farce.

Don’t feel like you HAVE to continue this. If something feels wrong – it’s probably for a good reason. Unless you want to eternally swallow down an issue with their personality, their past, their body, whatever, now is the time to exit. Tell them you’ve had a great time, but you don’t think something long term can come of it.

Finally, don’t fight them if they decide that this isn’t right for them. You are not here to convince them that you’re right for them. Remember that you are driven, not desperate.


Humans are strange and random creatures. Everyone is different, and so they will behave, react, and think differently. The Three Date Process doesn’t guarantee you success with anyone. Don’t expect it to. What this process ensures is a lot less wasted time, and (when completed successfully) a better shot at actual chemistry. Anyone who doesn’t stick through it with you is not compatible with you. If you can’t bear your date halfway through it, then they aren’t meant for you.

Dating is not about accepting what you can get. It’s about toughening your shell, weeding through the snowflakes that aren’t meant for you, and finding your true steady.

It’s tough. It’s bloody. It’s backbreaking work. But, if you’re seriously ready to get steady, then you’re already willing to put in the effort, face the heartbreak and the challenges, and come out on top.