James Finnegan (born in 1981) discusses a relationship that started in his thirties and reflects on dating in the 2010s.
So we’ve been together over two years. I guess not long in the scheme of things but we kind of hit it off straight away and lived with each other for the majority of that time.
Roslyn Burge: How did you meet?
We actually met using an app on the phone. It’s an app where you can talk to I guess like-minded people and meet up if you want to. We met each other on that. Started talking and decided to go on a date and hit it off from there.
Had you used that app before to meet people?
I had. So we’d been using it for a while and we both saw each other on there but never actually said anything to each other for a while and just randomly one day we started talking to each other.
Does anybody meet anybody stone cold, face to face anymore?
No, I don’t think so (laughs). I know a lot of people who have either met that way [using the Grindr app], and even just for recreation (laughs). A lot of the periods while I was single, it was easy. I think particularly in the gay community, it can be hard to find people without really putting yourself out there at the risk of danger unless you restrict yourself to gay bars and areas. So it was interesting. You’re able to meet a lot of people around your area that you wouldn’t have even known were either there or gay.
So where would you meet?
It depends. I must admit sometimes I have taken that risk and let them just come over. Other times you would meet out and maybe go to the movies. It’s definitely made things easier for a lot of gay guys in particular.
But it’s even more and more so in the straight community now, but those kind of apps originated with the gay community as a way of identifying each other. Although it does have its down sides where people don’t really go up to each other and talk any more. It’s like you see someone, even in a gay bar, and a lot of people, rather than going and say hello, they’ll open their phone and see if they’re on Grindr (laughs).
Credit: James Finnegan interviewed by Roslyn Burge in the Australian generations oral history project, ORAL TRC 6300/293, National Library of Australia. Recorded on 20 June 2014 in Sydney, New South Wales.