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Tag Archives: relationships

Gay Relationships: The Controlling Partner

( Gay Relationships Advice Column By Dr. Brian Rzepczynski ) Dear Dr. Brian:   My partner and I have been together for 9 years and we have a problem with control in our relationship. My partner says that I’m too controlling and it’s gotten to the point where I feel like I have to watch everything I say for fear that he’ll think I’m trying to overpower him. He says that I try to control how he thinks and feels in most situations of his life. I’ve asked him to write down the areas of his life where he feels I’m controlling him, but he resists this. I’m not sure what to do and I’m getting to the point where I’m questioning whether this relationship is viable. Any advice...

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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 Relationshps: When A Lover Cheats: Relationship Repair For Gay Couples: Part 2

[ continued from yesterday ] When the “relationship contract” has been broken by an infidelity in a gay couple’s partnership, the foundation of trust and respect has likely been damaged. Some men opt to sever their ties, unable to cope with the boundary violation that’s occurred, while others decide to work at rebuilding their relationship. Each couple must decide for themselves which option best suits their needs and will be determined largely by the level of investment and commitment each has to endure through the painful tasks involved in recovering from an affair. Surviving and healing from an affair is possible and requires both partners to take responsibility and channel all their energies into repairing their relationship. Part 1 of this 2-part article series addressed the possible reasons ...

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Gay Relationships: Imitation Intimacy – Some Men Talk A Good Game, But Can’t Deliver The Goods

It started off well. He was so sincere, open and interested. Or at least he seemed that way. He swept you off your feet. He could be so romantic, and his attention was always focused on…you. Maybe you thought, “At last. Someone who really appreciates me and isn’t playing games.” You started to lower your guard and let yourself feel hopeful. Had you found Mr. Right?   Predictably, that’s about the time the game playing was just starting. He’d confess his love for you one weekend, then you wouldn’t hear from him for two weeks. Or after what seemed like a great weekend, you’d find an email in your inbox on Tuesday, breaking up with you. What’s up with all that?  Some men have a problem really ...

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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: The First Date: Assessing His Boyfriend Potential – Part Two

( continued from yesterday ) While it’s impossible to get the full scope of a person on a first date, you should be on the lookout for any possible “red flags” that would halt the possibility of a second date. Or perhaps he will have inspired some intrigue in you to invest further in getting more acquainted with him. So when conversing with the man sitting across from you, think about some of the following points to help you ponder how you’d like to proceed with this particular gentleman: Does he appear to take care of himself and have good grooming and hygiene?  Does he maintain eye contact with you as he speaks or is he looking around the room at the other guys (very disrespectful!)...

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Gay Relationships: Fixing That Romatic Rut

It is easy for us to get stuck in ruts in relationships. That’s true whether the relationships are dating ones or long-term, committed ones. We human beings are creatures of habit.  Often we don’t like change much, especially if keeping things the same helps us feel safe. Many of us will choose safe-but-boring over new-and-possibly-better any time we have the ability to make the choice.  On the other hand, we human beings also have an inborn desire to change and grow.    When something is hurting us, or we find ourselves feeling stifled or deadened, we experience something inside of us that cries out, “There is more to life than this!” We find ourselves considering the need for change, even if...

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Gay Relationships: The Boyfriend Evaluation: Getting to Know Him – Part One

So you made it through the first date with this new guy and he’s intrigued you. You find him attractive, enjoyable to be around, and with the little bit of information you’ve been able to obtain at your first contact, he seems to meet some of your personal requirements and needs for a potential boyfriend thus far. So now what? Now you’re about to embark upon the fine art of dating and courtship. Together, the two of you will begin the process of getting to know each other better through going out on dates for fun and recreation and learning about one another in a variety of different contexts and situations. Through this relationship-building process, you’ll slowly begin forming an emotional bond while gauging if the...

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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 Relationships: I’m “Out” – He’s Not!

( Gay Relationships: Advice Column By Dr. Brian Rzepczynski ) Dear Brian: My partner and I have been together for 20 years and are very much in love.  We are both very successful. I am out with friends and family. He is not out with his family – or at work.  We have a house together. When he is on the phone i have to remain silent so as to not be  heard.  He often gets dragged out  to events after work because nobody knows he has someone waiting for him.  When his family comes to visit – I move into a hotel for a night or a few days. I realize he is operating from a point of fear. I  want to be supportive. However – I...

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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: Building Your Risk-Taker Muscles – Part Two

( continued from yesterday ) We don’t have to be victimized by the system! In actuality, gay men and lesbians can take pride in the fact that we are quite resilient in the face of having to deal with so much stress to achieve the self-acceptance that can be more easily afforded heterosexuals just because their sexual orientation matches the expected mainstream norm. We rock! And that requires self-esteem. 8 Quick Tips for Greater Risk-Taking Efforts If you find that you struggle with shyness, insecurity, anxiety, or inhibition about going after the things you want in your life, the following suggestions might help you in building more confidence and motivating you toward taking more initiative and being more proactive over making your desires come to ...

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Gay Relationships: 5 Deadly Mistakes Gay Couples Can Make – Part One

 Whether you’re just starting out in a new relationship or have been long-term partners for many years, how does a gay couple maintain their relationship over the long haul and sustain that “magical spark” that drew them together in the first place?  Relationships do require attention and focus, and this article will present five deadly mistakes that you can make that can wreak havoc in your partnership, almost ensuring conflict and unhappiness. Remedies will also be offered, and keeping these points in mind can help stave off relationship discord—and even prevent a potential breakup from ever being considered! Deadly Mistake #5: Getting into predictable, monotonous routines: Once you get into the groove of your relationship, you can begin to feel comfortable with the safety and familiarity...

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What Makes A Healthy Gay Relationship?

"Healthy relationships require patience, creativity, skill and commitment. It can be hard work, but few accomplishments in life are more satisfying." Healthy intimacy is a dance that honors and enjoys our partner while not losing our sense of individuality. Time and activity with our partner must be balanced by activities we do by ourselves or with people other than our partner. There is a saying that healthy families are alike, but unhappy ones are each unhappy in their own unique way. I’m not certain that this is strictly accurate. Still, there are certain attributes of relationships that tend to mark them as healthy or unhealthy..... There are gender patterns that seem to emerge in relationships: men tend to be good at maintaining individuality (perhaps at the ...

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Gay Relationships: Dating For The 40+ Gay Man: Seven Steps To Success – Part 2

 [ continued from yesterday ]    Midlife is sexy!   Here's Part 2 of the seven tips to help boost your dating success as a 40+ single gay man to enhance your readiness for a relationship! STEP 3: DESTROY THE MONSTER IN YOUR HEAD What we say to ourselves impacts our mood and behavior. The “monster in your head” is that little voice that whispers (and sometimes screams) negative statements about yourself and the world around you. Our internal dialogue impacts whether we look at life through a lens of optimism and hope versus pessimism and negativity. Examine your self-talk as it pertains to being middle-aged and your views on dating and gay men. Create a list of all the thoughts that come to mind about these topics unedited...

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Gay Relationships: Putting On the Brakes In Your New Dating Relationship for Everlasting Success – Part One

So now you’ve met a new guy who you really like and you both are eager to begin exploring the potential that exists in your new dating relationship. This is commonly called “the honeymoon phase” of a relationship and is definitely an exciting and invigorating time. It’s a time of aliveness where the attraction you have for your new boyfriend prospect bubbles over, causing you to think about him and wanting to be with him every waking second. The separation pangs when you are apart nag at you and distract you from your daily tasks. You ache to be with him and find yourself preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies of what “could be” that fuel your desire even further. It’s A Chemical Reaction! There’s actually a clinical...

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Gay Relationships: When Sex Gets Boring

“I’ve got to beat the clock before we each lose interest.” Someone recently made that statement to me about his erotic life with his partner. His experience has been that erotic interest between two people dies pretty quickly, so you better get in as much sex as possible during the early years of the relationship. If you don’t have good sex early on, it’s never going to get any better. Single guys sometimes tell me they get tired of their sexual routine, too: sex may be easy to get, but it’s often not deeply satisfying. They find themselves in a rut, feeling like they ought to be enjoying themselves more than they actually do.... Feeling like sex has become a chore can take a toll on...

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Gay Relationships: Shy Guys Make Good Boyfriends Too – Part 1

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 ...

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Gay Relationships: How To Be The Most Romantic Partner Your Lover Has Ever Had – Part One

A candlelit table for two at the best table in a fancy restaurant.  Champagne.  Soft music.  Tender words   The essence of romance, right?  Maybe, but romance can mean many things.  “Sexual attraction, suitable conditions for lovemaking, fascination and enthusiasm” are a few of the definitions in my dictionary.  The trouble is, while many of us enjoy lovemaking we’re often a bit bewildered about how to actually be romantic.  The word 'romantic' can seem old-fashioned and strange; it makes us think of flowers, boxes of chocolates, and syrupy romance novels.  Not our style, we think. Romance is one of the things that make life with a boyfriend different from life with, well, a friend.  There’s a spark, a certain way of being with someone.  Romance is a ...

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