gay dating

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Quick Tips for Building Your Risk-Taker Muscles in Dating

Introduction

There is probably no greater topic of importance to gay dating and relationship success than self-esteem. How you feel about yourself definitely translates itself in everything that you think, feel, and do. Having confidence and a belief that you have value and worth gives you that extra boost you need to take risks that will improve your life. It gives you that little extra sexy appeal and makes you feel positive and attractive to yourself and others. It also helps you in making sound and responsible decisions that will ensure you're living with integrity. Additionally, when you feel good about yourself, you're more likely to set boundaries with others to avoid being taken advantage of and helps you feel more able to be assertive and to go after what you need and what.

Much of the quality of our life comes from the choices we make. To grow as a person, we must be able to step outside our comfort zone to break free from stagnation and reach for progressively higher goals that lead toward self-actualization. The ability to take risks and "go for it" is correlated with a solid sense of self-esteem. In dating and relationships, being able to take risks is critical to being able to reach the visions you've set for yourself as it pertains to your love-life. Approaching that cute guy across the bar entails risk. Telling your boyfriend that you love him is another form of risk. Without having the confidence and motivation to conquer our anxieties and inhibitions about being vulnerable, we will never be able to realize and experience our romantic and relationship potentials to the fullest.

What follows in this short article is a tips list of things you can do to build your self-esteem and risk-taking muscles. The ideas may sound a little text-book and some suggestions may seem a little far-fetched, but I encourage you to pick and choose the points that make sense for you and apply those most relevant for your current life situation. Self-esteem is such a broad-based concept and once fixed, it can be difficult to challenge. Achieving positive self-esteem and confidence can't be accomplished from reading a tips sheet; it requires consistent practice and diligence in challenging oneself to think, feel, and behave in ways that are in greater alignment with the type of person you want to be. If you find that you struggle with low self-esteem or anxiety about making things happen in your life, it's important to be persistent in your efforts to overcome those things that bring you down and to enlist the services of a coach or therapist who can work with you to personalize your own program for self-esteem enhancement.

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Gay Dating & "The Average Joe"

Opening Remarks

Gay culture highlights youth, muscle, and good looks as valuable assets and commodities when it comes to sexuality and relationships. All one has to do is turn the pages of your favorite gay newspaper or magazine (that doesn't necessarily have to be sexual in nature) and you'll be distracted by photographs and advertisements of attractive men with chiseled bodies oozing sex appeal to titillate the senses. Or log on to any dating or personals site on the Web and you'll find hosts of men demanding youth and rugged masculine good-looks as personal requirements in their profiles to consider even corresponding or chatting with them.

The harsh reality of the worldwide gay community and society at large is that physical attractiveness is deemed a significant value and those who fit the mold of how this description is defined are admired and rewarded with social privileges and positive reinforcement. This isn't to say that being a "hottie" is all it's cracked up to be...they can struggle in the dating realm as well as they are often times pigeonholed with superficialities or viewed solely as sexual objects. Dating hardships for the "very good-looking" (VGL) could be a whole separate article! But it can often times be a different experience for those who do not espouse the redeeming qualities or status awarded to those labeled as "beautiful" by cultural standards.

So what if you are a single gay man who might be lower on the "hotness scale" because of your physical appearance and looks, your age, your weight, or because you may have a disability? It can feel like your worth in the gay community means nothing and it can undermine your confidence in your dating efforts...but only if you let it! This article will offer some insights and tips for helping the Gay Average or Not-So-Average Joe navigate through the sometimes cruel dating waters of the gay community to maximize their success as single men on the hunt for Mr. Right. This isn't intended to be a Pollyanna approach to the situation because the cold reality is that it is unfortunately more challenging and competitive for those that don't necessarily fit the prototype of "VGL". But it's also not a lost cause! As you will see, developing and accessing a positive self-esteem and sense of sexiness that we all embody, no matter who we are or what we look like, goes a long way toward attracting the attentions and affection of a significant other.

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Gay & Single on Valentine's Day--8 Holiday Survival Strategies

INTRODUCTION

For those singles unhappy with their relationship status, Valentine's Day can represent a sense of foreboding and dread as it highlights all the things they wish they had in their lives. Everywhere they look it seems like there is a happy couple on every street corner, and it seems inescapable to walk into a store without some image or product associated with the holiday being shoved in one's face to reinforce the value of love and relationships.

However, I am here to tell you to stop the madness! Don't let this particular day dampen your spirits or cause you to feel depressed! As you know, Valentine's Day has become very commercialized and contributes to the stigmatization of being single-if you let it! Never forget that being single is an opportunity and an outright valid choice by many. Our society puts considerable pressure on us to become partnered and can cause one to feel minimized, left out, and "less than". Not true! Recognize the power and growth potential that the single lifestyle affords you and embrace the fact that Valentine's Day is just that-a day like any other day that's intended for you to live it to the maximum and keep striving toward your dreams and goals.

But at the same time, it does seem near impossible to shield oneself from the hoopla that the media places on Valentine's Day. And if you are struggling with trying to reconcile with your single status, it can be a difficult day if you allow it to define how you feel. So what follows is a list of tips and activities that you can try on for size to help you overcome "The Valentine's Day Blues". They're not earth-shattering ideas, particularly if you don't feel that there would be any viable substitute for having a hot guy on your arm for the evening, but they just might be a catalyst to help you take some positive actions that might help you achieve a renewed sense of spirit and perspective.

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Am I Mr. Right?

Introduction

So you're single and looking for Mr. Right. Perhaps you enjoy the freedom of this time of your life and date recreationally, keeping your options open until "the right guy" comes along. Or maybe you're the type who feels like dating is his sealed fate, forever going out on dates with guy after guy, only to walk away from each experience disappointed and questioning whether you'll ever find a compatible life partner. Whatever your situation, it's important to remember that finding Mr. Right is only part of the equation to landing a successful relationship. The other part, which is actually more important, is to become Mr. Right yourself.

The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like. What you put out there in your life will be mirrored back to you. This theory purports that, for example, if you exude confidence and positivity, this will draw like-minded people toward you like a magnet. Conversely, if you portray a demeanor of depression and pessimism, you will likely attract those with similar qualities...if even! So whether you're happily single and just "going with the flow" or are frustrated by your lack of return on your dating efforts, the most important thing you can do for yourself at this phase of your development as a single person is to invest in yourself and become Mr. Right. You want to be at your best so that when your Mr. Right actually does enter your life, you'll be ready and available for him and won't potentially miss out on a golden opportunity.

Evolution of A Great Guy

Self-actualization, or striving to reach one's full potential, is at the core of this evolution toward becoming Mr. Right and is a lifelong process for all of us as we grow, change, and learn valuable lessons through the challenges we face in our everyday lives. By taking the emphasis off of preoccupations with why it's so difficult to find a decent man and ruminating about if you're going to be single forever, you can channel these feelings and unproductive thoughts toward something meaningful that will actually impact your life in a positive way. This is not to minimize the value and importance of having a special man in your life for companionship and intimacy--it is a basic human need to achieve a sense of belonging and connection. But until that time comes, putting all the focus on something external to you that you may not have much control over only leads you toward feelings of helplessness and powerlessness that will sabotage your ultimate goals. You can't will Mr. Right into your life. You only have control and responsibility over yourself and your choices and actions. Take advantage of this valuable phase of your life as a single gay man to get your life in order so you won't have any distractions to keep you from snagging that special stud. Nothing would be more brutal than missing out on him because you weren't emotionally available or even aware that he was right in front of your face.

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Dating Slumps & the HIV+ Gay Man

Introduction

Ok, guys, let's face it. Dating can be a frustrating process when you're single and on the market for a long-term committed relationship. Trying to find a compatible guy for romance and companionship can make you feel like banging your head against the wall sometimes as you struggle to figure out where to meet these men in the first place, and then to go through the whole screening process...it can feel like a full-time job sometimes!

But what happens if you are HIV+ and looking for love? I get letters frequently from single men with HIV who voice difficulties with the gay dating scene trying to find people to date. Dating can be hard enough at times, but for those with health issues or disabilities, the problems can be compounded and the sense of hopelessness and uncertainty doubled as these men question whether love is even possible for them in a gay culture that seems fixated on shallow definitions of what makes a man attractive and "viable."

I'm not going to sugar-coat things. The harsh reality is that having HIV can complicate the process of meeting people for dating and can make it more difficult. The availability pool for dating prospects will be reduced because there are a percentage of men who will not date HIV+ guys. That being said, having HIV does not preclude you to a permanent life of singlehood unless you choose that lifestyle consciously.

The fact of the matter is that you can realize and live the dream of having a life partner if that's your vision. Vast numbers of HIV+ gay men are currently enjoying long-term relationships and you, too, can join these ranks if that is your desire. This article will offer some strategies and suggestions for improving your dating success to empower you to "go for it" and keep the motivation burning for your boyfriend quest.

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Getting Down & Dirty With Your Dating Values

Introduction

Are you single and frustrated with your dating efforts? Tired of spending all your hard-earned cash at the local coffee shop for what seems like the millionth blind date? Or maybe things have been going smashingly with your new guy until he pulls the rug out from under you just as you've started to open your heart to him. The scenarios are endless in the gay metropolis of dating, but the one thing that's for certain is that there's no magic formula on how to snag your Mr. Right.

There are lots of things you can do to promote your chances of success, however. And this article will elaborate on one such secret that might help clear the confusion and point you in the right direction as you continue your quest for a compatible boyfriend. Sometimes pure luck is at play in meeting a quality man, like being in the right place at the right time. But more often than not, a lot of preparation is needed to date smartly. A good mixture of self-awareness and interpersonal skills is just what the doctor ordered, as you would be wise not to be led solely by your physical attraction meter when screening for potential dating prospects. Your first step before you ever set foot into the dating jungle is to have a solid sense of identity--to know who you are and what you're looking for. Without this knowledge, you'll likely wander and connect aimlessly with men crowding the dating pool who have little in common with you except being single as well (and sometimes not even that!). Your time and heart are too precious; so don't waste them in a pursuit that's not armed with some kind of map or guidepost to help lead the way. And that's where your values come in!

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Watch Out! The Dude's A Player! (For Gay Daters)

Introduction

I was recently interviewed by freelance writer Caroline Stanley from MSN.com for a cover story she was writing about dating "player-types". This article includes the content that I contributed for her research into this topic. This article will shed some light on the profile of a "player", provide some tips for the "ex-player" to promote successful dating relationships without letting his past destroy genuine opportunities, and suggest potential warning signs for the gay dater that might signal that the guy he's seeing might actually be a "player."

What Is A Player?

My definition of a "player" is someone who's not really on the "up and up" in his dating interactions and intentions with others. His words are not congruent with his behavior. This type of individual tends to be manipulative and self-centered, using people to meet his own needs in a selfish way that disregards the feelings of others. He tends to be very crafty and creative in his efforts to win a person over to obtain gratification of his sought-after goal and can be insensitive to the needs and wants of the other. Once he's gotten what he wants, he tends to taper off his contact with the person or completely disappears with no word. Sometimes he's purely after sex; other times it's about conquest (the thrill of the hunt, and once he's been validated that he's desired, he withdraws).

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Shy Guys Make Good Boyfriends Too!

Introduction

You look up from your book at the coffee shop and become paralyzed with nervous anticipation as you see the hot guy you've been smitten with from afar sit down at the table across the room. He's alone today and what a great opportunity it would be to finally approach him and introduce yourself. But the anxiety is mounting as you visualize yourself doing this and you bury yourself back in your book. You feel your face burning as you berate yourself for not having the guts to make yourself known. "He'd never be interested in me!" "I'd just die if he rejected me!" "And what if he did show some interest? What would I say? He'd think I'm a complete idiot and loser the second I'd open my mouth!" These thoughts swirl through your mind as you look up to find another guy has swooped in for the kill and has been invited to sit at the table with the object of your desire. Another missed opportunity!

If you're a shy guy, and don't want to be, dating can be a frustrating and daunting experience. When you're out and about, it looks so easy for other guys to approach and cozy up to other men. Or if you do have advances made toward you, you just want to kick yourself when you freeze up and don't know what to say and feel like you've made a bad impression and scare him off.

This article will shed some light on the symptoms and psychology behind shyness and offer some suggestions for breaking free of its chains that hold you back from experiencing a satisfying social and dating life.

What It's Like For The Shy Guy

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Gay & Single on Valentine's Day: 8 Holiday Survival Strategies

Introduction

For those singles unhappy with their relationship status, Valentine's Day can represent a sense of foreboding and dread as it highlights all the things they wish they had in their lives. Everywhere they look it seems like there is a happy couple on every street corner, and it seems inescapable to walk into a store without some image or product associated with the holiday being shoved in one's face to reinforce the value of love and relationships.

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Stinking Thinking of the Gay Single (And How to Overcome It!)

Introduction

“Guys suck! I’m never going to find a decent one who wants more than a one-night stand!”

“All the good ones are taken!”
“I’m not attractive enough to land myself a boyfriend”

“Gay men and relationships just don’t mix. Why even bother?!”

Do you ever think such thoughts?  If you’re single and on the market for a boyfriend, it certainly can be easy to get jaded and develop these and many more pessimistic thoughts about the gay dating scene.  Especially when it seems like you’ve done just about everything to promote your “dateability” and consider yourself a “good catch”, yet still fall short of accomplishing your goal or vision, negativity can seem to just flow out automatically as you vent out your frustrations and try to make sense of the injustice of it all.  But while it may seem natural at times to move toward this way of thinking in your upset, one must be very careful trudging in this territory because it can be detrimental to your well-being.

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