I have decided to create a profile on an online dating site. As I make my plans for doing this, I've decided on a few rules to protect myself.
1. Never make the first move. If I make the first move, I automatically become the supplicant, which puts me in a position of disadvantage. I want to be the gatekeeper, not the person begging for an opening. This is especially important as I get older. I do not want to be the typical "old gay man" trying to get others to pay attention to me.
2. Define from the outset the limits of the first date, namely that we will meet for coffee and conversation, and nothing more. Naturally, this pre-empts premature hook ups. But it also avoids awkward dinners with someone uninteresting. If I say from the outset we will not have dinner on the first day, I forestall the risk I'll be trapped buying a meal and enduring it with someone distinctly not for me.
3. Remind potential dates to keep their expectations reasonable before it begins, and I will do the same. There's a one-in-a-billion chance that I'll actually find someone dateable online (or in real life), so no one, myself or others, needs to go into a situation with their hopes too high, only to have those hopes frustrated yet again. If everyone has reasonable expectations, then no one will be too disappointed, and if by some miracle I actually do meet someone dateable, then it will be all the more awesome.