Location: New Jersey
I’m 25, openly gay, and have never been in a relationship. I consider myself intellectual & attractive, with a great sense of humor–many people that I meet are amazed that I’m not taken. I tend to be hyper-analytic and super-honest, neither of which has gotten me very far in my dating life. I’m very self-aware and work hard at self-improvement and reinvention. I just can’t seem to find quality men! I don’t care for the gay scene, and I hate the depersonalizing nature of many gay online dating sites. All too often, I feel frustrated with being single, and I end up having a random hookup just to be close to a guy. Do you have any advice? I seem to be stuck in cycle of dating, disappointment, and reinvention. What can I do to meet Mr. Right?
I do have some advice, pup. I hope you will take it to heart. My first suggestion is that you jettison the whole Mr. Right concept. My experience tells me that most folks who are stymied in their search for a partner have too precise a mental picture of his/her ideal mate. This “knight in shinning armor” concept rarely translates very well into the real world. No one is perfect; all humans have flaws that those who love them learn to overlook. Some people, both women and men, gay and straight, have such a specific script of the person they are looking to nest with that they dismiss out of hand loads of plausible potential prospects, which is a huge mistake.
For example, I had a client in San Francisco, a straight guy. He wasn’t particularly handsome, in fact he was kinda dumpy, but he was a genuinely sweet man with lots to offer a mate. He desperately wanted to find the woman of his dreams. Unfortunately, he scripted himself right out of the market. His ideal mate had to be a redhead…a real redhead, if you know what I mean. He also insisted that the woman have a big set of knockers. I take it that he developed this script after years and years of consuming big titty porn. But wherever it came from it was his undoing.
At any rate, my client would dismiss out of hand, any woman who didn’t fit this very specific profile. And his dating life was a disaster. I had to help him understand that he narrowed the pool of potential candidates till it virtually evaporated. I asked him, “How many natural redheads do you suppose there are out there in the Bay Area? Of these, how many are single? Of these, how many have a monster rack on ‘em? Of these, how many would fall for a guy like you?” It was bitter medicine, but it was the dose of reality he desperately needed.
You, Eric, may be suffering from a similar condition. I can’t really say for sure from what you write. What I can say with some confidence is that you’re not particularly accommodating when it comes to the foibles of others. Look how you describe yourself — “hyper-analytic and super-honest”. Is that just a easy way of saying you are really overly critical and downright bitchy? Maybe, just maybe that’s how others perceive you. And that ain’t gonna land you a man no how!
You say you can’t find quality men. Again, that’s more of a comment about you than the number of quality men out there. Maybe all the quality men find you way too prickly to get close to. Your frustration may even make you edgier. And sometimes frustration morphs into desperation and there’s nothing more unattractive than that. You may be inadvertently hanging a big sign around your neck that reads: “Steer Clear, Trouble Ahead!”
Relationships are curious things. They almost never happen to someone who is desperate for one. Or if the desperate person actually finds a relationship, inevitably it’ll be a disaster. And here’s a tip: casual hook ups for sex are fine and dandy for what they are. They relieve sexual tension and not a great deal more. I advise you not to expect them to magically transform into a long-term relationship. That only happens in fairytales.
OK then, what might you do? I suggest that you simply cease the pursuit of a mate and let him find you. That’s right, just let it go. Instead of investing all that energy in pursuing that illusive relationship, focus your attention on bettering yourself and the world around you. You apparently already know how to do this since you say you work hard at self-improvement and reinvention. Wonderful! But how do you go about this self-improvement and reinvention? Is yours a solitary endeavor, or might you join others while making this happen? Do you take classes? Enjoy the arts? Do you read? Cook? Are you an outdoorsy kinda lad? Are you of service to others? Do you volunteer? Do you like pets, gardening or crafts? Are you political? Are you athletic? Do you travel?
If you do any of these things you will automatically find yourself surrounded by like-minded humans of every stripe. Listen darlin’, just because you’re queer that doesn’t mean you are restricted to the gay scene. There’s no need for a ghetto mentality in this day and age. Instead of slumming on those tiresome gay online dating sites. Look elsewhere for your fulfillment. You are more likely to encounter people who share your values if you spend your time on online at sites that reflect your interests and there’s a zillion of them. Look for websites and forums that feature your interests and concerns. And unless it’s the American Nazi Party or the KKK, you’ll no doubt find other homos who will broaden your social network. And the larger your social network, the more likely you will encounter a soul mate.
Finally, if you don’t find precisely what you are looking for online, then it’s up to you to make it happen on your own. I suggest that turn to a site like craigslist and post there. Start a club, or a discussion group. Initiate a gathering of like-minded people for an outing or an endeavor. Whatever you do direct your energies outward. Stop with the navel gazing already. You are in the prime of your life, and the world is your oyster. But first you’re gonna have to get of your pity pot.
Hey dr dick! What’s that toll-free podcast voicemail telephone number? Why, it’s: (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!