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Dating advice and tips from Gay And Single

The greatest rule for online dating - be yourself! As there is only one You, you'll already be standing out from the crowd. But here are just a few more ways to make sure you get noticed...

Writing the perfect dating message   How To Write The Perfect First Message

Their photos are great and their profile was hilarious - you definitely want to message this person! Your fingers hover over the keyboard, but you're stuck - what do you say?!

No problem, we're here to help you write something eye-catching and totally awesome!

Our top tips to writing the perfect first message will help you steal the attention of your dream date:

- Make your subject line stand out. This is the first thing they'll see and you want it to be good. A simple 'hi' isn't very unique - try thinking outside the box. This person is going to be getting tons of messages entitled "Hi" so don't be afraid to stand out! Make sure they just have to open your message. Questions are great for this, things like "Have you heard?" Then start your message with a fact or joke.

- Read their profile. From their favourite food to their interests, use their profile to start a personalised conversation. It's always nice to know that someone cares enough to read your information. You'll look genuinely interested and they will be more inclined to reply. Taking a genuine interest in what they have said instead of a physical trait is very attractive! "I see you love hiking, me too! Where do you go?" Ask questions and share your own experiences too.

- Google Icebreakers. From asking to play '20 Questions' to 'Truth or Dare', the internet is full of icebreakers to help you get to know each other.

- Keep it light. Be as positive as you can. Try to make them smile with your message. Be light-hearted and save any negativity until later on. Avoid heavy topics like politics or your exes, unless they ask you first. Imagine you have met this person face-to-face for the first time - what would you talk about to make them like you? Treat your messages the same and you're onto a winner!

- Be Funny. Having a sense of humour is attractive. It's one thing to say you're funny, but you should be showing this in your messages. "Click. Nope. Click. Nope. Click. Uhhh. Click. Hmmmm...that's a dramatic re-enactment of the last 4 profiles I've read, ending with yours. You look like someone I'd actually like to get to know..." It works because you've made light of a situation you are both in.

- Find Common Ground. If they think they've got things in common with you, they are more likely to respond. Read their profile, make note of an interest you share, and start with that: "Looks like we both have a sense of adventure! So tell me this (name), if you won a free holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?"

- Be Complimentary. Commenting on their looks or physical appearance makes you look lazy, because anyone can look at a photo. Complimenting them on their profile shows that you have read it, understood it, and taken time to read it.

When writing your Introduction imagine you're introducing yourself in a face to face social situation. How would you say hello? What would you say to get their attention or start a conversation? Try to ask engaging questions that will tempt them to visit your profile page and reply. Make sure to keep your subject line snappy and intriguing. It's the first thing your match will see so make it count.

- Make It Personal. When we say send loads of messages, we don't mean the same message every time! Of course you can use the same phrases and lines in the early stages, but as time moves on it's the personal touch that will get you the replies!

Sparking up a great conversation is easy - plus the more messages you send, the more you'll receive. So get out there and get messaging today!

What makes the perfect first message to a new date.   The Winning Message Formula

1) Introduce yourself. Saying hello and telling someone your name instantly makes you look more approachable.
2) Compliment your match. Highlight what you like about your match's profile or picture.
3) Tell them why you're the perfect match. Read their profile and make sure you fit the bill. A great way to get their attention is to mention hobbies you have in common.
4) Ask an engaging question. This simple action makes sure the conversation continues and doesn't stall. Ensure it's an intriguing enquiry that'll make your match want to write back.
5) First impressions are everything. There's never an excuse for spelling mistakes. It makes you look lazy. Always re-read your message before you send it to avoid sounding rushed.
6) The most intriguing first messages are always short and snappy. Leave a bit of mystery and there will be more to talk about later.

Use a real human name
Usernames like Greeneyes or Funkychick put people off before they even see your profile and make you look like you've got something to hide...

Have more than one photo
People with more than one photo look more genuine and attractive. Try to capture different angles and sides of your character.

Be picky about your profile photo
Make your best photo your main one, because this is what will be seen first. Save group shots and funny photos for your second or third photo.

First impressions are vital in online dating. Do you want to come across as a creative and fun person? You can, in an instant, with this guide on uploading creative photos...

As soon as a someone sees you have more than one, you instantly look more genuine. Upload many photos of you in different settings doing the things that you enjoy.

Experiment with different camera angles. As long as your face can clearly be seen, move the camera around to get the best angle. Top tip - pointing the camera downwards is more flattering than pointing it upwards.

Smiley photos always get more views, but have you tried laughing in your photo? Have a look back and see if anyone has taken a photo of you mid-cackle. You will be looking genuinely happy and will instantly look like a fun person.

Choose an object or pet that either means something to you or helps express who you are. Bit of a gardener? Surround yourself with flowers! Love to read? Casually take a photo of you with a bookshelf behind. As long as you are still the main focus, props can help paint a picture of who you are.

Find a worthy winner of your affection by adding a flash of fitness to your profile. You'll be in with a sporting chance! If you play a sport, attend a weekly class or support a team - upload a photo of you doing what you love. It's an instant way to show off your skills.

Don't just list the sports you love, explain why and how often you like to keep fit. Questions and answers are a great way of naturally talking about your active pursuits.

Think about everything that sets you apart from others and write a bit about it. Sly hints get you a lot more attention than detailed essays as they lead people to ask you questions. So if you happen to know more than 5 languages, write: "(As well as the language of love, of course!) I speak 4 languages. Which ones? Ask me!"

On Gay And Single, we make it easy for you to list and search for particular interests. You can add the interests: Keep Fit, Sports (Playing) and Sports (Watching). You can also search for others who like this too by adding a filter to your search!

If you see that someone else is interested in sports or fitness - send them a message. A shared interest is a great way to break the ice. It will also make you stand out from the crowd. If their favourite team has recently had a big win - congratulate them!

Be Active
A lot of members like to search by who most recently updated, so make sure you're top of this list! Make adding and editing your profile a habit. Add in some new interests or answer some more questions. Even logging in frequently will get you noticed - so don't be a stranger!

Great, now you can watch the replies roll in ;)

Make that first introduction stand out from the crowd with these top tips   Introduction Messages

Photo uploaded? Check! Profile written? Check! Awesome! Now you're ready to send messages.

If only there was a way to introduce yourself to loads of singles at once...there is! Let us introduce you to the Introduction message!

Where do I find it?
If you haven't already sent one, it'll be available on your homepage. If you're on a mobile, you'll find it under Complete Your Profile (below Latest & Nearby).

Can I send one?
You can send one once you have either uploaded a photo, written some profile or answered some of your questions.

What do I write?
First of all - choose a catchy subject line. Questions are great and intriguing. Next, introduce yourself. Keep it short, summarise who you are and who you are looking for.

Do they work?
A lot of connections begin with a reply to an Introduction message. By sending one you are maximising the chances of contacting someone compatible. is not the place to blend in. Increase your views and attention by making your profile something to shout about...

Profile Photo
Make it count. Your profile photo is the first thing everyone sees. It needs to give a good first impression and stand out from the rest on the Search screen. Make sure your photo is clear, bright and just of you.

Top Tip: Wearing bright colours or standing next to something interesting will help you stand out! The colour red has been proven to create interest from other members.

Profile Information
There's so many ways to add personality to your profile. Inspire people with your story in your About Me section, reveal the real you by answering questions in the Q&A feature and don't forget to fill out who you're looking for!

Filling in as much of your profile as you can will help you look interesting. But remember, you don't need to write your whole life story. Save something for your dates! Hints and short anecdotes will make you seem more intriguing and help spark up conversation.

Top Tip: Adding Interests and Characteristics will increase the amount of searches you appear in.

Purchasing a VIP Bolt-on will ensure that you stand out in Search. It highlights your photo and guarantees you more exposure.

Top Tip: Check out all the other Bolt-ons available and see which ones suit you best.

Your first message on Gay And Single is Free   Your First Message Is Free With Gay And Single

Want to make the most of Gay And Single? We tell you how! - Messaging

Seen someone special? Why not send them a message for FREE?! The first message is on us. Click the 'Message' button on their profile and take a leap, before someone else beats you to it! You can send a first message to endless members, and with unlimited characters.

Before you send a message you need to write a subject. Make this short, snappy and eye-catching to make sure the recipient has to open it!

Be Original
Include something about yourself that is not written in your profile to attract attention.

Ask them questions to show that you are interested and entice them to reply

Be Positive
Avoid negativity and focus on things you enjoy and good traits that you have. Always check your spelling before you send.

The more messages you send, the more replies you will receive. It's the golden rule of online-dating. So, even if you think you've found 'The One', don't set your heart on one person. There's a whole site out there! And when you get replies, never play hard to get. If you leave your response too late, they'll think you're not interested, forget about you and move on, and no one wants that.

This is how you get replies
Be your best self, never try to be someone you're not. Imagine you've just met this person face-to-face and simply started chatting. Use the same language and this will give your messages a natural, easy-going first impression. If you don't understand something they've said, don't worry about looking dim, ask them to explain! It will be a great conversation starter and make you look interested...

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Make sure your profile picture is the best it can be   Make Your Photos Picture Perfect

Here's what makes the perfect profile picture:
1. Smile and the singles smile with you! It's been proven that members love a big smile, but then who doesn't! You'll receive up to 40x more messages with a photo, so don't be invisible
2. Action! Other members love to see shots of you enjoying fun hobbies, evenings out or nice events.
3. New New New! Members love to see current photos so don't be afraid to get snapping!
4. Fix Up, Look Sharp! Our observations show that many members are attracted to photos where the subject is smartly dressed or at an event.
5. Show Off! Where possible, try to get someone else to take the picture for you, so matches can see a full view.

Here's a few pointers on what to avoid when choosing a photo to upload:
1. Night... If your picture is taken in a dark environment or your face isn't clear, this can be a bit of a turn off for other members.
2. Who? Try to avoid uploading a group photo, it can be hard to distinguish you from the crowds. Your profile should be all about you, and no distractions!
3. Clearly... Our members like fun selfies, but try to crop out anything distracting or messy. Also make sure that mirror is nice and clean for a nice clear picture that shows you off in your full glory.
4. Keep It Clean. Keep your pictures appropriate for the members viewing you. Shirtless or underwear pictures are not permitted so please leave the bedroom photos behind.

Don't leave fellow singles in the dark - having a photo will boost your attention immediately! Already have one? Add more! Show off different sides of you to really shine above the rest! Here's a few pointers...

First Face First
Your first photo you upload is your main photo. This is the first thing people will see of you in Search or in Encounters. Make it count! It should just be of you and should be clear and in focus.

Get Personal
Add your personality into your photos. If you're always laughing, upload a photo of you roaring with laughter. If you're crazy about your dog, cue the photo of you both out on a walk.

Mix Things Up
We recommend that you add a new photo, or mix up your old ones at least once a week. This will put you straight to the top of the recently updated.

No filter
We want your matches to see the real you. Don't be shy, come out from behind those fake filters and show your true self.

Move on in your search for a partner   When To Move On?

So, we've all messaged that special someone, thinking they would be perfect to date. We wait a few minutes, hours, maybe days and get absolutely nada, nothing, not a peep of a response. No wink, no message back. You don't even see them online again.

Take our advice. Maybe, just maybe, they just aren't that into you. We'd suggest you keep your options open, reach out to numerous members who catch your eye, not just one or two people. That way you are likely to have more fun getting to know singles who you might not have messaged originally.

Your most common dating questions answered   Your Questions Answered

Sometimes online dating can feel a bit like a rollercoaster. Don't fret, we've identified the three most common stresses and how to cope with them...

"They haven't replied to me...
In an ideal world, your messages would always get replies. There are lots of reasons why someone may not reply to you. The important thing is not to take it personally. There are plenty of singles online, move on and find someone else to talk to.

"How do I find 'The One?'"
With so many different singles available, it's hard not to feel overwhelmed, especially if a lot of them seem unsuitable. Help is at hand! Add filters to your searches to narrow them down, by age, location, hair colour and even interests. You are also in control of who messages you too. Adding Inbox filters will allow you to concentrate on the communication from those most suited to you.

"I'm not into this person...
For whatever reason sometimes we come across people we get a bad feeling about. If you simply have no interest in talking to this person again, click Ignore on their profile. This will prevent them from seeing you or talking to you any further. If someone is being offensive or malicious in any way, click Report on their profile and our moderation team will investigate them.

Wink at people you would like to meet   Wonderful Winks

Winks. You've seen the button on everyone's profile. You've probably even received a few. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions...

What is a wink?
Winks are a simple way to tell certain singles that they have caught your eye.

How do I send / receive a wink?
The option is available on every profile - look out for the wink symbol! You can view your own winks in your Inbox. When you're browsing through singles in Search, you will see a wink symbol next to someone's photo. You can send someone a wink without even going onto their profile, although we don't recommend this! A wink is more meaningful if they can see that you've visited their profile page too!

When is it best to send a wink?
Winks can be great icebreakers, and an easy way to let someone know that you are interested. It grabs attention and if they are interested, they might send one back or send you a message thanking you. If the person you're messaging hasn't written their profile yet - send a wink. Winks are great but it's worth knowing that messages are more personal and will have more of an impact.

What happens if they wink back at me?
This is the perfect time to strike up conversation. You've broken the ice, you know they are interested, so now it's time to get personal. Send them a message to keep the ball rolling...

If you're getting loads then it's ok not to reply to them all. Check out the sender's profile and if you see something you like use this to your advantage in a message. If you'd prefer for them to make the first move, perhaps just send them a wink back. If you're not interested, you can just ignore the wink.

Let other know what's happening in your life with your dating diary   Dating Diaries

Dating Diaries are a unique dating feature on Gay And Single. Full of community spirit, they're a great way to hear about fellow single's lives and experiences.

Here are our top tips:
Hook them in with your title. The first thing they'll see will be your diary title. Catch their eye as they browse through recent diary entries. Make it short, snappy and mysterious....

Make them laugh
Got a funny story or a joke? Share it! The most popular diary entries are the funny ones. Cheer people up and you'll be amazed at what happens to your Inbox!

Start a conversation
Get people talking to you by asking questions. Find people with similar interests by asking people to get in touch. You'll come across more approachable if you invite people to message you.

Now it's time to start your story...

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Play encounters the great yes no maybe game   Play Our Encounters Game

You don't need to spend hours trawling the search pages for a partner. There is an even quicker way!

Play Encounters and you could find a mutual match in minutes. The Encounters page allows you to view potential matches we think you might like, one by one. Based on what you see, you simply click YES, MAYBE or NO.

If someone else plays and selected YES on your picture too, they will appear in the "Matched" menu on the Encounters page and the rest is history!

Maybe you are looking for someone just like you or maybe you want someone who is poles apart. Whatever you're looking for, your best chance to reel them in is with an up-to-date profile.

Writing a bit about yourself could pique the interest of your perfect mate who would otherwise pass you by. If you already have a profile written but you haven't updated it in a while, now is the time for a refreshed list, showing others that you're ready to meet someone.

Are you struggling with what to write? You are not alone. If you are not sure what to write, our easy 3 step system works every time.

1) Start your profile by describing your best attributes. Think how a friend would describe you.
2) Discuss what you are looking for in a partner. Set your matches' expectations by telling them if you are looking for something more casual or a serious relationship.
3) Invite matches to message you. Maybe set them a little challenge. Phrases like "If you like what you read, send me a message. I love to travel so tell me about your favourite place in the world!" can be very effective and helps avoid awkward small talk.

Remember - a little profile is better than an empty profile.

Charity begins at home. Do you know the easiest way to dramatically boost your popularity on the site? Simply log in regularly. Yes, it really is that simple!

Here's why...

As soon as you log in, your face pops up at the bottom of everyone's screen announcing your arrival. That's a lot of singles seeing your face!

The more you use the site, the more likely it is that people will spot you. If you update your profile or photos, for example, you go right to the top of the list of Recently Updated.

Your profile also tells others when you last logged in. People are more likely to contact singles who look like they're on the ball because you're more likely to reply.

So log in more often and we guarantee you'll get so much more out of the site!

Look out for the signs around Gay And Single! You can now add emoji into your messages, diaries and profile.

Use emojis in your messages   Gay And Single Now Has Emojis. YAY!

But what are they, how should I use them, and how many emojis is too many? We've answered your questions...

Where can I use emojis on the site?
They are available to use in your Profile, Diaries and messages.

Which emojis are available?
There are over a thousand different emojis available to you, from smiley faces to dragons, shoes to ghosts - you're bound to find the right one to decorate your message!

When should I use them?
Use them to add character. Think about using them in the titles of your diaries and subject lines of your messages, as this it the first thing people see. They are a great way of breaking up detailed profiles and adding humour to messages.

How many emojis is too many?
Emojis may be fun and new but you still want to get your point across effectively. Using too many can be a distraction from what you are trying to say. Use them as much as you like, as long as emojis don't outnumber your words.

Search Gay And Single for the perfect match   Search For Your Perfect Match

Want to make the most out of Gay And Single? then use site search to narrow down your potential matches.

Badges appear on photos in Search. They provide helpful information about people with just a glance.
New member - Profile updated - Message them for free or VIP status

Add these to narrow down your searches. Filter by anything from Interests to Hair Colour. See below for a more detailed guide on how to filter your matches.

Sort By
Prioritize your searches by Last Online, Latest Joined, Newest Photo or Recently Updated.

Search Layouts
When using a computer you can change your search layout. Choose to see photos only or photos and additional member information.

Website filters are a great way to narrow your matches   Using The Website Filters

With so many great members to look through, you might want to save yourself some time and set some search filters to harness the best results.

On the search page, you will find a "Filters" menu (on the left-hand side if you are on a desktop pc). Select your preferences from the drop-down menu to narrow down your search. You can sort by Height, Interests, Religion and much more.

Don't forget you can also sort by age and location at the top of the page too!

Don't worry if you want to change these settings later. You can find and change these filters under your Account Menu.

Which Filters Can I Use?
You can set your preferred age range and distance to narrow down your messages. You can also specify that they must have a photo, if this is your thing.

What Happens Next?
Once you've enabled your filters - check your Inbox. Your messages will now be split between filtered and unfiltered. Your unfiltered Inbox will have all of your messages, whereas your filtered will only consist of the singles that meet your chosen criteria.

Do My Messages Get Filtered Out?
If you contact someone who has set up filters that you don't match, your message will go into their unfiltered Inbox. It is still sent and they can read it, but we send you a short notification message, just putting your mind at rest that should this person not reply, this may be why.

Search filters are no laughing matter! Discover compatible singles by narrowing down your searches. Here are all the things you can search by...

Physical Traits
Got a certain type? You can choose to search by build, ethnic origin, hair colour/length and height. Don't get too focussed on appearance though, the one for you may not necessarily have the hair colour you normally go for.

You can search for whether they have children, how educated they are, their marital status, income, religion and occupation. Knowing this upfront provides a great ice-breaker, "So I see you're a legal eagle, me too!"

Search for people with certain interests, how often they like to drink, whether they smoke or by their eating habits. This is where you really start to get to know the person.

Don't Forget!
It's easy to get lost in filtering your own searches, but think about all the other singles doing the same. If you haven't added Interests or Characteristics you'll be almost invisible to some really compatible people. Take a look at your own profile and see what you can add.

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