No matter who you are, modern dating can be tricky and difficult in some cases—and gay sober dating can be especially challenging. According to data from the New York Times from 1992, people used to meet their dates through their friends or their social circle about 68% of the time. To put that in context, that means that people were meeting for the first time almost exclusively in person in a relatively tight-knit social context. Needless to say, that’s not the case for people looking for love in 2019.
According to a 2018 piece from The Verge, some 40% of people said that they had met their romantic partner online in the last year, whereas only about 24% said they’d met through a friend. Though this definitely shows a shift towards the technologically-enhanced convenience of dating online, these new methods aren’t without challenges of their own. When you meet someone in person, you get a sense of who they are and what they look like almost immediately. You form an impression of them and pick up on all kinds of other subconscious signs that might help predict whether you two share a connection. When it comes to online dating, much of the connection is done through digital conversation without recourse to any of those cues. And though online dating might be relatively good for “normies,” it’s trickier for anyone who’s sober—and especially tricky for gay sober dating.
More generally speaking, the issue of drug and alcohol abuse as it relates to the LGBTQ community is a thorny one in general. “The use of drugs and alcohol is increased within the LGBTQ community, simply because LGBTQ people are facing some unique challenges on a daily basis,” says Stefan Simonovic of First Beat Media, a company dedicated to providing online dating opportunities for those in recovery, including gay sober dating. In fact, according to 2015 statistics from the National Institute of Health, people in LGBTQ relationships were more than twice as likely as straight singles to have used drugs in the last year. Though this is obviously a problem in itself, it’s even more of an issue when it comes to sober dating. “The data implies that LGBTQ singles are presented with an even more limited choice when it comes to finding a partner, assuming that dating someone who is drinking or using is out of the question for them,” Simonovic says.
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case for much longer thanks to First Beat Media’s services for gay sober dating. Though the phenomenon of online dating in general is relatively new, the trend of apps and services specifically for gay singles is an even newer trend. Even so, the latter are still just as useful as the former in their functionality, albeit catered to a different group of people. The same is obviously true of First Beat Media’s gay sober dating services. Like any other program or app, users can fill out their profiles with their information, choose some pictures to load as well, refine what they’re looking for and start exploring the databases for someone who might be a good fit for them.
On most online dating services, going on a first date typically means having at least a few drinks to get comfortable and acclimated—which is obviously not a possibility for anyone who has fought to get sober. If the statistics about gay sober dating are to be believed, that risk should only be higher, on average, for LGBTQ people in recovery! Fortunately, services like the ones from First Beat Media can help pre-sort the dating pool to avoid the risk of relapse. Instead of looking in the general population for a good romantic match, these services limit the pool to people who are in recovery themselves. That way, the stress of getting to know somebody on a first date gets whittled down to the more mundane concerns of making a good first impression (rather than dodging drinks all night or providing an elaborate backstory for not imbibing).
Though it probably goes without saying, everybody in life deserves a chance at love. Finding a new romantic connection and growing closer and closer together is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, no matter the context of how it happens. Though the state of the industry recently meant that sober singles had a harder time finding that connection, services like First Beat Media’s for gay sober dating are starting to close that gap. Whether the goal is to meet someone for a lifelong connection or just to have some fun with a romantic fling, it can all be accomplished without putting your sobriety at risk.