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Tag Archives: dating

Gay Relationships: Strengthening Your Conversational Skills – Shyness Part Three

[ continued from yesterday ]Introducing ourselves and speaking to people that we don’t know is difficult for shy people - mainly because they’ve learned to fear rejection. They are overwhelmed by a sense of awkwardness and don’t know what to do. That anxiety can be so paralyzing that these men and women avoid trying anything new or speaking to people they don’t already know. Their fear of rejection makes their world smaller.  Rejection isn’t fatal, no matter how uncomfortable it might seem at the time. The problem is often what therapists call “catastrophic thinking” – a belief that it would be unbearably awful if rejection occurred. But is being turned down for a job or a date really lethal? Of course not. The consequences are far worse if ...

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Gay Relationships: When A Lover Cheats – Relationship Repair For Gay Couples: Part 1

Nothing destroys the foundation of trust and security in a relationship quite like infidelity does. The gay community at large tends to accept more liberal forms of sexual expression.  Without social norms precluding what’s sexually appropriate or not in the context of an intimate relationship, gay men are in a position to choose for themselves the role sex plays in their relationships. As such, most gay couples develop a “relationship contract” of sorts as they begin to merge their lives together about monogamy vs. non-monogamy. For those couples who have agreed to be monogamous, a partner’s affair with another man can create a whirlwind of chaos and pain—and sometimes, the destruction of the relationship itself. While many relationships don’t survive an affair because of the difficulties ...

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Gay Relationships: Fear of Commitment

Ever read advice columns? I don’t think they could exist without letters from women dating guys who can’t commit. It’s almost a cliché: “Joe and I have been dating for 7 years now, and he still hasn’t asked me to marry him. What’s wrong?”  Gay men might phrase it a little differently, “We’ve been going together for 4 years, but we still aren’t living together.” Or “We started off great! But I still haven’t met his family or co-workers. I don’t feel important to him.” Gay men are probably no different from other men in their level of comfort around intimacy. It’s quick and easy for some of us, while for others it seems to happen at the pace of a glacier moving south. Why ...

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Gay Relationships: How Do I Know If His Love is Real?

Dear Dr. Brian: I’m new to dating men and this is the first relationship I’ve been in with a man. I’m not sure if the guy I’m involved with really loves me the way I do him. He’s not really blessed financially and I tend to support him with a lot of his needs. I can’t help but wonder if he’s clinging on to me for that reason. I love him, but I don’t want to continue the relationship if he’s only with me for that purpose. _____________________________________________ Dear Friend: It is very important in dating to pace a new relationship slowly so that you can get to know your dating partner well enough to determine if he meets your needs for a relationship and life partner. ...

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Gay Relationships: Are You Lost In Love?

Western religious marriage rites celebrate the idea of “the two becoming one flesh.”  The other pull is towards safety and independence, and it can be just as powerful as this urge to merge. We fear being engulfed by the other, becoming lost in love. Both of these urges are normal and understandable. If you had no desire to mesh with your partner, you might as well be roommates. But healthy relationships allow each partner to maintain his identity, distinct from the shared identity as a couple. There is a dynamic balance that allows both connection and detachment. We’ve all grown up with the myths about relationships that are pervasive in our culture and in the media. Models of healthy relationships are rare. One model most of...

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Gay Relationships: Dating – Make A Great First Impression – Part Two

( Continued from yesterday ) ...... tips on how to make the most of your initial contacts with potential dating prospects so you can leave a favorable impression of yourself in their minds. Whether you’re single and looking for “The One” or are trying to break into a social group or land a new job with a potential employer, you may only have one opportunity to peak someone’s interest and curiosity in who you are and what you might bring to the table. 5. Practice Core Mindfulness In a first encounter with someone, it’s common to want to be liked and this can lead to being too much “in your head”. Thinking about what you’re going to say next in the interaction or worrying about the other guy’s perception...

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Gay Relationships: Sex, Bad Sex And Really Bad Sex

You’ve probably done it; you’re driving home late at night feeling disappointed – or worse.. Maybe you’re pounding the steering wheel and shouting at yourself. You just finished sex with someone and you’re sorry you did it. You know the bumper sticker that says that the worst day at the beach is better than the best day at the office? Well, this is not true about sex. It’s better to stay hungry and horny rather than have sex that leaves you feeling bad about yourself. Good sex means sex that feels enjoyable while you’re having it, and equally good when you think about it afterwards. Bad sex comes in several flavors, but they all taste pretty bad. You know it’s bad if you feel like you just...

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Gay Relationships: Overcoming Shyness – Part One

If you’re shy, you know the discomfort such bashfulness can bring.  When you must step out of the shadows and speak up, you may experience a racing heart, dry mouth, and butterflies in the stomach.  What others seem to take for granted can become a miserable experience for you. All sorts of social situations can trigger a bout of self-conscious shyness.  Some people find themselves not speaking up for themselves at work.  Others find it makes them anxious to introduce themselves to others at a bar or the gym.  Or they avoid social situations all together, becoming isolated at home.  And more people fear public speaking engagements than fear snakes or spiders. All of us find ourselves a little shy at times, especially if we’re introverted...

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Gay Relationships: “The Insecure Partner” Part Two

( continued from yesterday )  COPING STRATEGIES FOR TAMING INSECURITY 1. Keep a journal of your triggers. Anytime you find yourself getting anxious or insecure, write down the situation, the feelings you experienced, what you were thinking, and how you acted. This running log will help you discover patterns behind your projections so you can more readily short-circuit them in the future should they happen again. Try to write about where your insecurity originated, what your insecurity looks like, the types of beliefs that feed this feeling, the consequences you’ve suffered as a result of its existence, and create a vision for how you will look as a man with a secure base.2. If you find that you project another person from your life (an “ex”, your...

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Gay And Dealing With The Holiday Blues

The holiday season is here – hooray! What’s that you say? You don’t feel like celebrating? The time between Thanksgiving and New Years’ Day is one of the most stressful times of the year. Even if things are going well, there’s a lot to do: presents to buy, cards to mail, schedules disrupted by fun stuff that somehow can feel a little like a burden.  And if things aren’t going well – you’re alone, you’re broke or unemployed – the holidays can be a real setup for unhappiness. No wonder that stress, anxiety and depression run rampant this time of year. Stop and take a breath. First, know that if you’ve got the blues, you’ve also got lots of company. Feeling melancholy during the holidays doesn’t make...

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Gay Relationships: Rejection Sucks! A Gay Guy’s Primer On Dealing With It – Part 1

“Well, it was really nice meeting you, bud, but I don’t really think we’re a match. Good luck to you though!” –or- “Yeah, it was fun! I’ll call you!” –and then the call never comes. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there at one time or another. You know, that stabbing feeling of being unwanted that’s so hard to shake when it strikes. Yep—rejection!  Rejection of all forms is a natural part of being human, from being declined for a job or being refused participation in a certain club. But as a single guy on a quest for a life partner, rejection is an inescapable given in the dating world as you search for a compatible counterpart. There is no way around it! Now in this ...

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Gay Relationships: Intimacy, Vulnerability and Commitment

Intimate relationships come in many flavors: dinner-and-a-movie dates that develop slowly into something else, dating one guy exclusively and becoming boyfriends, establishing something more permanent, perhaps as lovers or husbands or partners.Some relationships evolve hastily; others take time. Some men are comfortable “playing the field,” while others move so quickly to stake a claim on a boyfriend's affections that it feels like a return to California Gold Rush days."An unarmed encounter between two vulnerable individuals is my favorite definition of intimacy. Most of us understand the "unarmed'part of that equation without too much difficulty. But "vulnerable?" That's tougher. Especially for men; toughness is associated with masculinity – vulnerability is something we're taught to avoid. Vulnerability is a paradox. A friend...

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Gay Relationships: Overcoming Shyness – Part Two

( continued from yesterday )Self-doubt and self-criticism are at the root of much shyness. We have mistaken beliefs (“Everyone’s looking at me!”) that hold is back.These beliefs keep us from having the sort of meaningful, intimate relationships we want. A good first step is to notice the self-talk going on all the time between your ears.  Recognize negative voices that give you critical, defeatist messages.  Once you start to recognize them you’re no longer on autopilot.  A thought is not the same thing as a reality....  You can begin to assert some control.  A good place to start is simply by labeling the thought, perhaps saying to yourself, “That’s just a thought.”  Avoid arguing with the voice in your head.  And...

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Gay Relationships: Parents, In-Laws & Relatives

Gay men aren’t the only folks who have complicated relationships with parents and in-laws, of course.  But while straight couples typically get a lot of recognition, support and encouragement from their parents and other family members, things are often different for us.  Some families are very welcoming.  Other families are indifferent or hostile, ...

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Gay Relationships: Stages Of Dating To Mating

It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves. What’s the rush? I think dating is easier for straight couples. For one thing, if your straight everyone wants to fix you up with someone they know. But gay guys are really at a disadvantage when it comes to language about dating.And language often affects how we see and interpret reality. Think about it. There is no gay equivalent of words like “fiancé” or “engaged” that...

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Food: An Unlikely Dough-mance

Guest contribution by Alex Testere, whose previous writing for The New Gay can be found here. Alex Testere will be playing the role of THE INGÉNUE in this year’s performance of “Why Do I Live in New York?”.  You may find him tucked safely inside a sweater ...

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