Gay Male Couple Seeks the Same 4 Friendship
Knowing how and where to meet other gay men for friendship and dating has long been a challenge and complaint for single guys, but the task is made that much more daunting for partnered men. How does a gay couple go about finding other couples who are similarly committed to their relationships for genuine friendship and companionship?
I get that question a lot as a coach. “I never see other gay couples out and about. Only singles.” “Yeah, I meet other couples but it always ends up with them wanting to have sex.” For partners seeking like-minded comrades, it can sometimes feel very isolating. This article will offer some creative suggestions for enhancing your exposure to other gay couples with the hope of promoting your chances for building your friendship circle.
Gotta Have Friends!
Although it’s slowly changing, it’s hard to be gay when our relationships aren’t recognized or validated by society. This lack of affirmation and absence of visible gay couples to act as role models makes having a strong social support system extremely important. Some gay men do not have the luxury of family support to celebrate their relationship, making the LGBT community and heterosexual supporters a vital source of strength for feeding our self-esteem as a couple.
And having another gay couple in your support network can be a bonus. Knowledge of the joys and hardships a committed relationship can endure, a feeling of affiliation and normalization can grow when a gay couple shares a friendship with another gay couple; this commonality can breed mutual understanding and a strong bond can develop. Friends are beneficial to your relationship because they bring fun, diversity, and support from stress in ways your primary relationship may not meet such needs or can help enrich it.
Create A Friendship Vision
Just like when you were initially dating your partner, you will want to screen potential friends for compatibility with your values and lifestyle. Not just anybody will do! Make sure they have something of value to bring to the table that will positively enhance your lives.
Exercise: It would be helpful for you and your partner to sit down and develop a “friendship vision.” What does friendship mean to each of you? What’s the purpose behind trying to seek other gay couples for companionship? What will you gain or lose by doing this? What would your ideal friends be like? What would you be looking for in terms of values, interests, maturity, etc. Are you looking for intimate friendships where you can share thoughts and feelings about your lives or for purely social recreation?
Before you begin your search, make sure you and your partner are in agreement on all aspects of friendship choices and practices. Being in alignment will minimize potential conflicts and ensure you’re both “on the same page” about what this means and how to go about executing things. Keep the channels of communication open and perhaps write your vision down and journal about your needs and experiences along the way.
“Gay-Dar” For Gay Couples
Fine-tune that “gay-dar” because now the quest for good friends begins! Here are a few ideas for putting yourself in settings where you’ll increase your chances of meeting other gay couples.
1. Keep your eyes peeled for other couples at restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, galleries, etc.
2. Attend community events, fund-raisers, gay pride parades and festivals.
3. As a couple, think of a cause or charity that’s meaningful to you and volunteer for an organization together. Lots of couples also attend political rallies and theatre. Larger cities have LGBT community centers where you could help or attend their social activities or support groups.
4. Attend church. Metropolitan Community Church, for example, tends to attract a large gay population. See if there are any near you.
5. Let your friends know you’re in the market for expanding your circle. Attend their parties or throw your own party and allow “friends of friends” to come.
6. Form a special interest group or club, such as a book reading club that discusses LGBT literature or a couples’ group. Advertise it in local media.
7. The Internet can be a vehicle for searching and placing personal ads for meeting other gay couples. Just be careful about sites that have sexual cruising sections as you might be setting yourself up for attracting the wrong type of men if you’re looking solely for platonic friendship. There are also multiple online gay social networking clubs available for professional or social networking.
8. Place a classified ad in the personals’ section of the newspaper indicating your interest in meeting other gay couples. Spell out what you’re looking for and screen respondents accordingly for “goodness-of-fit.”
9. Create an online discussion forum at places like yahoogroups.com specifically catering to gay couples. This could be a great opportunity to meet people from all over the globe and could perhaps spark your interest in exploring travel.
Final Thoughts & Resources
Some additional tips to ponder as you go about cultivating new friendships:
· Go slow. Just like any relationship, friendships take time to develop. You can’t rush intimacy or you risk sabotaging your ventures.
· Screen prospects thoroughly together. Your friendship quest is intended to bring more richness to your life, not to bring more stress on you by becoming a counselor to someone who is codependent or needy and sucks the living energy out of you, for example.
· If you and your partner are seeking platonic friendships only, be mindful of those men who are actually hunting for sex and could view you as a possible 3-way treat. Be clear about your intentions up front, but not everyone will be respectful of that. Practice good boundary-setting and assertiveness.
· Don’t abandon your single gay friends and straight fans. They are a vital part of your network too!
· Balance your search for friends with attention focused to all the other parts of your life. Always keep your relationship with your partner as the number one priority.
And finally, two resources of interest that might jump-start your quest include:
1. The Partner’s Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples has a national listing of Organizations Supporting Same-Sex Couples. Go to www.buddybuddy.com/orgs.html and see if there are any organizations in your area that you could join.
2. Meet Gay Couples (www.meetgaycouples.com) is an international forum where gay couples can correspond and cultivate new affiliations. Check it out and perhaps put a posting up of you and your partner!
Best wishes on your friendship expedition!
© Brian L. Rzepczynski
Brian Rzepczynski, Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach: “I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.” To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs, and teleclasses, please visit http://www.TheGayLoveCoach.com
Brian Rzepczynski holds a master's degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University and is also a Certified Personal Life Coach through The Coach Training Alliance. He launched his private coaching practice, The Gay Love Coach: Man 4 Man Coaching Services (http://www.TheGayLoveCoach.com), in 2003 and works with gay men, both singles and couples, on developing skills for improving their dating lives and relationships. He publishes a free monthly ezine called "The Man 4 Man Plan" that has helpful articles, tips, resources, and an advice column relating to gay relationships and dating. He is also the co-author of the 2005 self-help book "A Guide to Getting It: Purpose & Passion."