Biggest Relationship Mistakes

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Whether you’ve been in a relationship or not, it’s pretty much common knowledge that they take a lot of work.  Regardless of the connection or commitment to each other, there will always been some issues that crop up, but it’s a matter of know how to best deal with them and move past them.

And sometimes it’s all about how you act towards your new partner.  So here are a few helpful tips.. but of course, each relationship is unique.

Going Too Fast

Let’s be honest.. the quickest way to turn off your potential new partner is to jump in too deep, too quickly.  Just because you had a fantastic time on your date and had a lovely good-night kiss (or even more amorous activities hehe), it doesn’t mean you’ll be together forever.  You have to let things happen naturally, you really can’t force things.

super intimateGoing Too Slow

On the other hand, if you take it so slow that your new partner starts to think you’re not interested, then you may end up losing them to someone new.  That’s not to say you should immediately become more physically or emotionally entangled, but at some point once that connection has been made, it’s best to move things along a bit.  Even if it’s just a small step at a time.  Whatever pace works for both of you.

Not Finding the Time

Life can be busy for all of us at times.  But if you’re not making an effort to find time for your significant other (or even dating itself), it makes the other person feel like they’re less important than other things in your life, and you’re bound to drift apart.  Relationships need time and effort to prosper, and if you can’t find time for your sweetie, then they won’t be your sweetie for long.

A Lack of Boundaries

Boundaries aren’t just about how you interact with each other, but how much outside intrusion you allow into your relationship.  Clear expectations need to be set for each other, including how much (or little) meddling you allow in, as well as boundaries with each other.

gay-17Taking Your Partner for Granted

In the beginning, we always go out of our way to make the other person feel important.. So where did that go?  Regardless if the relationship is new or you’ve been together for decades, always do something to make the other person feel special and don’t let the humdrum daily routine to take that away from you.

Trying to Change the Other Person

We all have certain expectations when it comes to our potential partners, and as long as you’re wiling to compromise to some degree then it’ll all go swimmingly.  But if you’re rigid in your ideals and continually try to make the other person fit into some mould that you ‘think’ is your ideal person, then you’re probably setting yourself up for failure in the long run.

Not Giving Your Partner Enough Space

Relationships are hard, and sometimes you each need to take some time apart.  Even if you don’t really want to.  Without being a mindreader, you need to keep an eye out for cues from your partner and just back off for a bit when they need a bit of space.  You can’t force togetherness 24/7, as even the happiest of couples need some time apart.  It’s healthy for both of you, as well as the relationship.

Having No Life Outside the Relationship

And off the back of that point, you can’t cut yourself off from your friends and loved ones from before you started the relationship.  And you can’t expect your partner to do that either.  It’s healthy to continue to have friends outside the relationship, even if they’re mutual friends.  And not just friends, but also maintain the interests and hobbies you had before.  You can’t stop being you just because you’ve found someone special.

And let’s be honest, sometimes you just need that best friend to talk to, as some topics may be a bit outside the boundaries with your new cutie.  ;-)

Looking -assesThis post has been influenced by the article –> 8 Biggest Relationship Mistakes | The Daily 8

Lumiere London

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A couple weekends ago, some friends and I spent our Saturday night wandering around central London checking out the displays for the Lumiere London show http://www.visitlondon.com/lumiere.

It definitely made for a different and unique way to spend a Saturday, while getting to walk around parts of London most of us have never been to before.  Usually they just keep things restricted to Oxford Circus or Regent Street so this was a nice change.

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The whole exhibit was cool to a point… but let’s be honest, after 2.5 hours of walking around in the cold with a bit of light slushy rain (some parts of London got some light snow), we were exhausted and couldn’t wait to warm up.

The thing was the exhibits weren’t generally all grouped together.  There were a few that were nearby or in the similar locations, but for the most part you had to walk and walk and walk to get there, and then there was actually a queue to get into a park (Grosvenor Park in Mayfair).

What was it?

Lumiere London was a free light festival in 30 locations across some of the capital’s most iconic areas:

  • Mayfair
  • King’s Cross (didn’t make it to this area, as was too far away)
  • Piccadilly, Regent Street and St James’s
  • Trafalgar Square and Westminster.

20160116_222236Click HERE to find out more about the installations.

Finding Inspiration in the Past

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I had a bit of a revelation the other day when looking through some old posts, mostly back in February 2013.

Firstly, it was one of my busiest months EVER for posts – a total of 34 posted items in that month, averaging just over one a day.  Admittedly, this was during my unemployment period, so I had a lot more time on my hands to write on a regular basis.

But what truly opened my eyes wasn’t the number of posts themselves, but more the content of the posts and how varied they were. They weren’t all just about my life.. in fact, I think there was only a couple in all of those published posts.

The variety came from posts about my predictions for the upcoming Oscars ceremony (including a recount of tweets I’d sent to a friend in Canada while watching the show), movie reviews, music videos, opinion pieces, articles based on things I’d read in the news or Facebook… and a multi-part piece of fiction I’d called ‘My Name is X’.

As I scanned through the different topics and posts, it got me thinking – when did I stop posting and writing with such variety?  When did I stop seeing things online and think ‘This could make a great blog post’.

These days it seems all I do is write about things in my life – be it about my love life, work, or a recent holiday – as well as tons of ‘self-help’ articles, either original in nature or influenced by another posting I’d read somewhere else.  Neither type of post are bad in anyway, it’s just a habit I’ve gotten into over the past year or two.

Or even my recent ‘hunk of the day’ posts as a filler for not writing anything.

I’m the first to admit that my writing habits keep changing with whatever is going on in my life at the time, as well as where I’m living.  Because I don’t have a specific writing area (ie: no desk or table in my room) but do have somewhere to spent time other than in my bedroom, I find I don’t open my laptop as often.

Of course, that could just be me making excuses why my writing habits have slacked.. and maybe I really am.

But the trip through memory lane of past posts has made me realise how little I tend to read through the news these days, or be willing to post on what I think about certain topics and not just the most recent how-to article I’ve read.

In fact, my usual habit when getting home from work is lounge on the sofa to watch tv and play on my iPad.  It’s not very productive, as I could also use the iPad to create posts for the blog.

Another thing that has gotten me thinking about my writing habits is how dead it is at work while we continue to wait for things to get going…

So I’ve been using the time to work a novel I started well over a year ago and stopped for whatever reason… I’d only gotten as far as the 4th chapter in the story, but since Friday I’ve written close to 4000 words, bringing the story into the 6th chapter!

Basically what it’s shown me that in order to be more productive in my writing I just have to get on with it and actually write things.  Because the more you write, the better a writer you’ll become and the more you’ll want to write.

And if it gets me back in the swing of things (and hopefully finally finish the novel lol), then guess that means I need to get off my ass and get back on the writing horse.

Watch this space….

A Long Overdue Update…

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I keep saying I’m going to write an update on things that have been going on over the past couple of months, but for some reason I never seem to get around to it.

In fact, I never seem to open my laptop much these days.  I tend to spend most evenings plunked down on the sofa watching TV (Big Bang marathons mostly..) while playing on my mobile or iPad.  And that’s not a bad thing really.

I could give the excuse that because I don’t really have anywhere to put my laptop that I don’t think of turning it on.  Sure, I may not have an actual desk or table of any sort in my bedroom to sit at and write, but I could easily take it to the living room and sit at the table there..

Perhaps I don’t think of doing that because most evenings my flatmate is also sitting at said table as it’s where the tv is and where we eat our meals, and it really isn’t that big of a table to begin with.

boredomOr perhaps I’m just giving myself excuses why I haven’t been writing at all lately.. well, except for last Sunday when I sat in the local coffee chain for a couple of hours and banged out a post or two.

I could lie to myself and say that maybe I really just haven’t had much to update you all on over the past couple months, but that’s really just a load of bullshit. LOL

The last actual post I’d wrote before the holidays was all about the work recent work centralisation to head office (see previous post), and how I wanted to ensure I didn’t have to move offices due to the travel time and costs.

In the end, I was able to snag a position on a brand new contract that allowed me to stay at my existing office.. along with a (very slight) raise to go along with the new role.  Double bonus!

The contract was due to go live two weeks ago after the holidays, but it has sadly been delayed while we wait for the contracts to be signed off and the client to send through the first few jobs.

It’s been a bit odd the past couple of weeks not having a regular routine when it comes to the workday, but it’s been good at the same time.  It’s allowed our team to sit down, look through things in detail, and basically create the processes ourselves from scratch.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such autonomy in a job before, even if it’ll be temporary.

The other upside of this is it’s required me to really dig deep and recall some of my dusty Excel skills, as I’ve barely used them over the past couple years.  It’s amazing how quickly it all comes back when you’re creating massive work trackers and linking them to other spreadsheets to calculate works.

Unfortunately, by the end of last week we all got a bit bored.  There really was only so much pre-planning we could do as it seemed we’d done everything we could with what information we had.  It didn’t help much that our manager has been out of the office for the past few days in meetings, so haven’t had much instruction or direction for what else we could be doing.

Anyway, here’s hoping the manager is back in tomorrow and has some news regarding the launch, or at least can give us a bit more direction.

But who am I to complain if the company is willing to pay us to do very little, right?  :)

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How to Make Yourself More Dateable

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Being single can really suck at times, and trying to navigate through the gay dating scene can seem almost like torture.  But yet we’re willing to be masochists and jump right back in, even when it seems like we’re not getting the results we’d like.

But are we actually letting the world make us believe that it’s our own fault that we’re single?  Well.. yes and no.  When you’re not making yourself available or open to opportunities, you’re not doing anything to change your situation.

Allow room for spontaneity in your life

We all have people in our lives that seem to be constantly busy, and are never up for anything last minute.  These guys tend to organise their lives so far in advance that you end up trying to find ways to fit yourself into their diary instead of just going with the flow.

Too many seem afraid to allowing spontaneity into their lives, as if it’ll make the world spiral out of control if the day isn’t perfectly organised.  If you don’t take the risk to get out there and put yourself in new or unplanned situations, then how do you expect to meet someone new?  Or if you can’t change your plans, why not invite your crush-du-jour to join you.. it’s a great way to see how they interact with your friends, and vice versa.

Be proud to be yourself

Dressing_for_success_tips_on_dressing_for_an_interview_330x330Let’s be honest – there are way too many fakers out there, with their perfect lives and fabulous vacations, which they’ll recount to no end to ensure you’re green with envy.

Seriously, what’s the point?  What do they truly expect to gain from hiding who they really are from a prospective new beau?  They’re setting themselves up for disappointment and heartbreak because they’re secretly afraid of being judged for who they really are.

Instead just be yourself from the start, goofy quirks and all.  Because in the end what you really want is someone who gets who you really are from the start, not some hyped up version of yourself you think others will like.  Don’t dim your own light around others, because the most valuable trait you can possess is your own authenticity.

Know your moral compass

Too often we’ll meet people who’ll try to sway us from our goals and focus in life, be it our dreams for the future, how we relate to others, or even how we choose to live our lives.  These goals are what fuel our drive and motivation, and we should never allow another person to judge us or bring us down based on their own limitations.

Basically it’s your life, and it’s the only one you’ve got to live.  So why not make a stand for who you are and what you believe in, instead of letting that new sexy guy over-ride your ideals and thoughts.  And when you enter the dating scene knowing what you want and look for, then you’re more likely to find someone compatible with similar morals in life.

To thine own self be true

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We’ve all faced the feared question in job interviews – Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years? – and regardless of whatever corporate drivel you spew out to impress that prospective boss, what does it really matter if you’re not the man you want to be.

Too often we focus solely on improving our careers or material possessions instead of working on improving ourselves.  Why not take that extra energy and put it into your own life.  Improve who you are as a person, and in the long run that ‘career’ will find itself to the happier, more contented version of yourself because you’re actually ready for it.

Love yourself.. emotionally

We’ve all heard the cliché that you’ll never find someone special if you don’t already love and appreciate yourself.  And despite it being trite, it’s actually true.  So how do you expect to meet Mr Right when you’re projecting the idea that you’re undateable or not good enough?

You’re an awesome human being, and everyone around you knows it and loves you for you .. so why don’t you?  Stop being scared of loving who you are as a person and trust that others will appreciate it as well.  Let your positive light lead the moths to your flame.

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Be good towards others

Part of life is we all make mistakes and no-one wants these broadcast to the world, so why is it we spend so much time shaming others when they screw up?  Who cares if someone did something wrong, or doesn’t fit into your perfect mould of how a man should act.  It’s probably not the end of the world (unless they’re some maniacal evil genius, obviously lol), so why not just laugh it off and focus on how the person makes you feel instead.

Stay focused

The best way to make a guy feel important and admire you for it is to give him your focus.  When you’re chatting with some cutie focus on him and what he’s saying, not on what’s going on around you or any possible messages you’ve receive on those dating apps.  Put away the mobile, stop staring at the exit to see who’s coming or leaving, and instead just truly listen to what he has to say.  It’ll make all the difference in the world.

Don’t live to work

Too many people put their careers before their personal lives, and in the end both tend to suffer for it.  How are you going to fuel your creativity or recharge your zest for life if you allow your work to overtake every other part of your life?  By ensuring you’re enjoying life itself, you’ll end up more satisfied in life and you’ll find you’re giving a visible value to your world.

Trust your instincts

brasil-gay-beachStop going dating with blinders on, because you’ll continue to miss on the crucial red-flags that’ll end with you in tears wondering why ‘Prince Charming’ doesn’t love you and turned into such a dick.

It’s crucial to be open-minded but not so naïve that you let the other guy walk all over you.  Be strong and courageous in your dating life, but don’t neglect your gut instincts.

You’ll be much happier for it.. and you’ll find your real ‘Mr Right’ in the end.

This post was inspired by: 10 Ways to Make Yourself More Dateable – GayGuys.com

The Work Centralisation Issue

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So as many people know, I haven’t exactly been super happy in my current job but haven’t had much of a chance to look around for something new, let alone actually change jobs.

I could just be making excuses, but between moving flats and planning my recent holiday, I kept telling myself that I’d wait until the New Year before I started looking for a new job.  I just wanted to get myself settled in the flat and enjoy my impending holidays, and then I’d get going on my job search.

Just like anything, the best laid plans usually go astray.

I was totally getting excited about going away in about a week’s time when the managers called the entire administrative staff into the conference room.  We’d been noticing there had been several ‘impromptu’ meetings at the office with some higher ups from head office, as were understandably leery going in.

Well didn’t we all get the shock of the week… they announced that in 4 weeks, they were merging all the domestic administrative staff together.  At head office.  In Ewell, which is on the outer edge of London.. barely.

As it stands, that’s in about a week’s time.  Damn.

From a business point of view, I can understand the centralisation as it could lead to higher efficiency, as well as a reduction in overall payroll since each department would deal with all the contracts instead of just one or two.

For our point of view, this couldn’t have come at a worst time.  Not only did they want to move us to head office, which would cost each of us a lot more in transport, but they wanted it all done by December 9th.. just before Christmas.

A lot of people already travel over an hour to get to work each day.  I know I used to when I lived at my old place.  And if I had had to travel to head office from there.. well, it just wouldn’t have been possible.

The timing was especially bad for me, as we were given the news on a Wednesday and I was going on holidays the following Monday.  And we’d been given an initial deadline of Tuesday to advise whether we’d be transferring to head office.. so because of my holiday, I had about 48 hours to make up my mind.

They’d purposely left everything last minute (which is sadly legal..) so that we’d have no choice but to agree to moving to head office.  Or quit.. well, technically accept redundancy, although hardly anyone would actually qualify for any sort of payment.

That’s right.. once again I was faced with redundancy.  I’d last went through this at my old old company when the contract I’d worked on got moved North to a small town called Crewe, up towards Manchester.

The last thing I want to do is have to travel close to 2 hours each way just so I have a job.. but it’s looking like I’m going to have to, as I haven’t had much luck looking for something new outside the company.  I’ll have to leave for work around 6am each day, possibly not getting home until at least 7pm.

There goes any hopes of a social life, huh?

tired-at-workI’ll just have to make the best out of a bad situation.. which is why I’ve applied for a couple new positions within the company, one of which is similar to my current one and would allow me to stay at my current office.  The other position is a manager role at head office, because if I’m going to have to make the trek there every day, I might as well do it for more money.

There’s no guarantee that I’ll get either role, but it doesn’t hurt to try at least… and my preference is clearly the role at my current office.  Mostly for the easy trek to work.

So fingers crossed things go well and something comes up.. again.

An Adventure in the Sun

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It’s amazing sometimes how something as simple as a brief holiday or getaway can recharge your batteries or help you realise your own self-confidence.

That’s what happened to me on my recent trip to Gran Canaria, staying in the Playa des Ingles/Maspalomas areas.

For me, this was my first real holiday in close to 3 years.. and by that I mean my first time abroad in that time.  I’ve done the occasional weekends in Brighton, Manchester or Edinburgh, but for some reason I still yearned for an adventure abroad.

And what an adventure it was.

20151117_174642It was a bit scary to going holiday alone, but it wasn’t the first time.  Although before was usually to stay with someone in that city after chatting online for awhile or meeting in person in London.

This was the first time in about 5 or 6 years that I’d gone away totally alone.  A Spanish mate of mine was going to be there around the same time, but we barely saw each other over the week.  Too bad, but it was good as it pushed me to actually get out there and meet people, which I did.

Also, instead of getting a hotel room or staying in one of the resorts, I’d rented a fully fitted one bedroom apartment through AirBnB.  It was perfect – quiet, with a kitchenette and a little balcony, and was a 5 minute walk from where all the bars were.

From the moment I landed, I could feel the difference in the air.. Somehow, the place seem super-charged sexually and you could feel how laid back everyone there was.

I easily absorbed this vibe and found myself more relaxed and confident with myself than ever before.  I even went out wearing a shirt completely unbuttoned, meaning anyone could see my belly and chest hair.  And for a shy guy with body issues like me, that was an accomplishment!

In fact, I was so relaxed that between the beach and the apartment, I was basically naked all week.  I’d even rigged a bit of cover on the balcony so I could sit out there naked, day or night, without anyone being able to see (much).

20151120_144736The relaxed atmosphere carried on to the beach.  Everyone seemed chilled, friendly, and didn’t give a damn what you looked like naked.  Or at least that was my perception of it.

I’m normally quite shy when on a nude beach, never standing up or walking around naked, and usually getting dressed while laying down.

Instead, I found myself not really giving a shit if anyone looked at me, and found myself standing up, walking around, and even going down to the water’s edge to go swimming in the ocean.. which meant walking through the clothed people walking along the beach.

And oh my god.. the feeling of being naked in the sea was absolutely amazing! This was my first time swimming in the ocean ever, and I had to keep pinching myself to remember that this was a reality, not just some dream.

I had a surreal moment while swimming in the ocean – I pinched myself when I realised that here I was, just a regular guy from small town Canada, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, on a small Spanish island off the coast of Morocco.  Was totally an ‘oh my god, this is actually real’ moment. Lol

20151120_184744Now as for the men… all I seemed to meet were Italians!! LOL  I know I totally have a type and all, but that was just too funny… not that I was complaining, as they were all super sexy guys. ;-)

At one point on the beach, I was laying down on a sun-bed reading when I realised that I was on a Spanish island and the only language I could hear spoken around me was Italian.  Hahaha

In the end, this holiday was exactly what I needed.  I felt refreshed, confident, relaxed, sun-kissed, and more comfortable in my skin that I’d been in years.  I just need to keep that feeling going now that I’m back in London.. especially with all the crap going on with work (more on that later).

For now, I’ll just revel in all my wonderful memories of my week on the Island and all the fun I had while there.. and start planning for a return trip soon, possibly in the Spring. ;-)

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Flirty Friday

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Yeah… I’ve been stupid lazy lately with the writing.

I try to tell myself it’s because I don’t have a desk at my new place (may go shopping this weekend.. maybe).

I try to tell myself I don’t have much to say.. but that’s a load of crap. I just hate blogging from my mobile or ipad to be honest…

So instead.. so sexy guys to get you through Friday and into that weekend mood. Lol

~M
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