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How did gay and bisexual men navigate the dating scene before the advent of gay dating apps like Adam4Adam? As you all know, we’ve been around since 2003 and indeed, 20 years is a long time, long enough for the dating culture to change.

Anyway, we are asking because a curious gay man posted the same question online. The original poster (OP) explained: “I was just curious because back then being gay wasn’t as accepted as it is today, I even remember some people were fired from their jobs just because they were gay but I digress.” He added, “I’ve read about the handkerchief code but wasn’t sure if that was only regional to California or what not. Just curious.”

“It really wasn’t that mysterious. You met at a bar or wherever and hooked up or exchanged numbers. It was certainly easier in places like San Francisco where you could assume everyone else at the grocery was gay,” one of the gay men on the thread wrote.  “The difference I would say is that you had to have the courage to walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself and express interest.”

Adam4Adam blog readers, do you still approach strangers today and ask for their number even with Adam4Adam around?

Further, one gay man shared, and we quote:

You had to meet out doing things.

I met gay people as a teen working at the mall.

I met gay people in college through the gay student group.

I met gay people through gay rights groups.

And then I moved to San Francisco and met gay people everywhere.

By the time I came out in the mid-80s the hanky code thing was pretty much over.

I think that was a 70s thing. Maybe early 80s.

Meanwhile, some replied, “Actual dating was better. There was known cruising sites, if that was what you were looking for, with the added bonus of everyone knowing it was a one-off thing.” He then added, “It’s sad to watch guys looking for something serious on hookup apps nowadays. If you wanted something serious back then, you had to put in the work of actually getting to know someone and make it work. Seems to be a lost skill now.”

Do you agree with the man above, guys? Does no one invest time and effort in genuinely getting to know and understand others to make relationship work anymore?

Having said all that, which do you think is better: traditional dating or online dating? In what way? What are the differences between the two?

Share with us your thoughts and stories in the comments section down below!

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