Woe Is Me! “I’m Looking for a Queer Partner, But All the Men Around Me Are Straight. What Do I Do?”


May 14, 2023


Image Credit: Anand (1971)

Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.

“I identify as queer. I will start college very soon. Although I’m not looking for relationships at this point, I would love to date in the future. But how do I date other men when literally every other man around me is straight? I’m the only queer boy I know. I don’t want to waste my time flirting with straight boys. I know that, in future, if I want to “settle” in life, it will be with a man. I really feel so lost about this. And we all know how dating apps, especially ones for queer men, are only for sex. Where and how will I find ‘the one’ among straight men?”

— Lost and looking for love

HK: I think being a part of any minority group sort of changes the way you experience life, and I fully understand your apprehension with figuring yourself out in a largely heteronormative set-up. College is the place where you get to express and experiment, and this shouldn’t have to change. Dating and relationships should not be central to your college life, but rather I think you should focus on finding people and communities that make you feel at ease — be it through college clubs and activities, or social media groups. The best part about being in this generation is that you have a lot more resources and safe spaces, where your identity does not need to be kept under wraps; you only need to make the first step toward accessing them! 

If you’re unsure about dating apps, I think attending LGBTQ+ social events (if held on your college campus, or even otherwise) would help you meet someone organically — without hesitation or judgment. Love will find its way to you!

DR: I totally get your concern, but I think you may be getting a bid ahead of yourself. Let me explain: you have said you aren’t looking for relationships right now, and that you’d be starting college soon; I, personally, think you will have way more dating prospects once you’re in college than you do right now. Prior to college, there are people who may not have had the space or exposure to come to terms with their queerness. There may also be people who know they are queer, but would rather wait till they’re away from home to be open about exploring their sexuality. Unfortunately, in the heteronormative society that we live in, one doesn’t always have a chance to bloom till they’re away.

Also, “settling down” is a long time away, my young friend. I think you’ll be fine even if you postpone worrying about finding your person for a few more years. It’ll work out!

AS: If you’re not looking to date right now, I would say don’t put the pressure of finding a future partner on yourself at this point in time. Having said that, finding community and a sense of belonging is definitely important. It’s possible that though you currently find yourself surrounded by straight men, things could look a lot different when you begin college! If apps aren’t for you, for starters, you could try actively searching for queer support groups and collectives online or on-campus, and join those.

AB: Apart from apps, my recommendation would be joining any queer groups on campus, or performing arts societies. Clichéd, yes, but there’s a reason that the stereotype exists — there are a disproportionately larger number of non-straight people in these clubs and even if you don’t run into the love of your life, it’s a great jumping off point for queer life in your university. 

You can’t be on the prowl for “the one” because the laws of the universe always love to disappoint and you’ll never find things when you’re deliberately looking for them. My advice would be to keep an open-mind and an open-heart, and be accepting of the universe. Also, don’t let your single-minded focus on finding a guy get in the way of equally important friendships. Also, also, you likely won’t find your man among the straight men, though. Remember to stay safe!


Written By The Swaddle Team


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