Overcoming Loneliness as a Gay Man

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Loneliness can be a bitch at times, and for some people it can hit harder than for others. And regardless of how one might identify sexually, loneliness can sometimes overwhelm those within the LGBT+ community.

At least it does for me at times, though don’t know if it’s specific to me being gay.

For some, this loneliness can stem from sexual or gender identity discrimination, or even from rejection from their biological families.  Though some might say these feelings of loneliness is to be expected despite our community’s supposed mandate of love and inclusiveness, and trying to ‘choose’ our families.  Unfortunately not everyone can fit into the existing cliques or social circles.

I was reading an article about gay men battling loneliness and it got me thinking about my own life.  A lot of the time, I feel isolated from others but this is something that comes and goes in my life depending on what’s going on at that point.  One day I can feel great, loved, and on top of the world.. but the next I can be curled up in the ball staring at my phone thinking nobody even likes me enough to call.

Obviously, left unchecked this can lead to depression, anxiety, loss of confidence, and all sorts of other issues in my life.

When it’s really bad, I feel like I’m on a deserted island looking across to the mainland where everyone else is enjoying life, and I can only watch as there’s no way to get across to the others.  So in others words, I’m curled up on my sofa feeling sorry for myself, watching people’s posts on Facebook or Instagram of how fabulous their lives are.

Obviously social media isn’t an accurate depiction of people’s lives, but when you don’t hear from people sometimes that’s the only way to hear about what they are up to.

Anyway, the article I was reading (link is at the bottom of the page) listed several ‘tips’ on how to overcome this loneliness.  And although accurate with its advice, it was fairly generic if you ask me, with a focus on substance abuse and reaching out to a therapist.

Often people will tell me if I’m feeling lonely then I just need to get out and be around other people.  Because apparently (in their mind) it’s just that easy.  And for them it probably is.

What those who don’t suffer from feelings of loneliness don’t understand is that you could be standing in the middle of a crowd filled with people you know, and you’ll still feel alone.  It’s like there’s a disconnect from others around you.

When we were all first coming out or realising our sexual identities, we would isolate ourselves or pull away from those around us to ensure our ‘secret’ isn’t found out.  That proverbial closet prevented us from making meaningful connections with others (family included) because of how different we felt from them.  This was probably an emotionally stressful period for most.

After coming out, those feelings of isolation probably went away for most people as they started to meet other people like them and build new social circles.  But for others, that might have highlighted for them how they don’t fit into the groups around them.  Even when those groups are comprised of other people supposedly like them with similar interests.

When I first came out, I met an amazing group of people some of which I’m still in virtual contact with now over 20 years later.  We were mostly all new to being out and living in a small town, so we all came together to support each other.

But like anything in life, this only lasted for so long as people moved away, moved on, found relationships and so forth.  It’s a recurring situation through life, and sometimes it’s hit me harder than others, contributing to those feelings of loneliness as I would try to move past it all to find new friends all over again.  And again.

Most self-help articles advise the best thing to do is to join a social or interest group as a way to feel less lonely.  And for some people this works.

For me, this was only fleeting as I tried several different outlets over the years – gay softball or bowling groups, naturist social groups, gay geeks, cinema groups, etc – but nothing truly fit me.  Sure, I’d meet a few new people and start going out a bit more, but then as people broke off as they tend to do, I was still left in the same situation wondering where everyone went.

So where does that leave me?  Trying to meet guys through the ‘dating’ apps or nightclubs usually leads to failure as these are more for those looking for sex and they’re focused more on physical interactions.  And after all these years, I’m just so over the whole bar and club scene these days.

I try to reach out to people when I’m feeling lonely, but unfortunately that doesn’t always work out.  People (in London) are generally always busy or booked up well in advance, so there’s little room for last minute plans.  Or they are the type that only want to be around when things are going good, so will purposely avoid you when you’re down.

Like anything in life, this too will be a work in progress as I try to help myself.  Or maybe I’ll just wear out my Netflix subscription by spending another weekend at home alone on the sofa.

Who knows. 😉

Source: 5 Tips to Overcome Your Loneliness as a Gay Man

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Hopeless Romantic

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Hopeless Romantic: A person who is in love with the idea of love.

Yeah, well I suppose I’ve been called worse things over the years.  :/

My major bone of contention in my personal life is my lack of a love life.  How the hell I’ve reached my mid-40’s and still have yet to have an actual relationship is beyond me. It’s something I’ve worried and stressed over way too often, and has become a bit of a bane to my singleton existence.

It’s something I’ve always been open to since I came out back in my early 20’s, and have watched with envy as those around me went from relationship to relationship like it was the easiest thing in the world.

But sometimes I have to wonder if perhaps I’ve overly romanticised the ‘idea’ of finding that special person and of being in love.  That I’m allowing myself to get stuck in the ‘fairy tale’ idea of being in a relationship.

And funnily enough, I’ve actually had friends say something similar to me in the past.

After more than two decades of just hookups, casual flings, and people never wanting to actually ‘date’ me, it’s hard not to get frustrated by it all. I know what I want and am more than willing to give things a try, but it generally ends only being one sided.  And me being left with an aching heart wanting more than that’s being offered.

I’ve lost track of how many guys I’ve spent time with over the years where we’ve really connected on a personal level, and not just sexually.  But when it came down to things perhaps becoming more serious (ie: boyfriends or a relationship), they would continually back off stating they only wanted something casual.

Some people have said that perhaps I should focus on other aspects of my life instead.  For instance, I may not where I’d like to be career-wise but if having a dream job doesn’t fulfil anything special for me why should I strive for it?

An oft repeated conversation with my partnered friends would be about how being in a relationship isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  And how they couldn’t imagine what it’s like on today’s dating scene… but are in happy, committed relationships.  Apparently.

And these same people will occasionally imitate that maybe I’m getting my hopes up regarding finding a boyfriend, that I should just go out and have ‘fun’.  That perhaps I should ‘lower my standards’, and say ‘yes’ more to anyone who messages me regardless if I find them attractive.

The problem with this is how my brain interprets their words.. either they don’t think I’ll ever find love so should give up trying, or that I’m not all that attractive so shouldn’t hold my breath for anyone good looking to want to be with me.  That I basically shouldn’t get my hopes up.

I know.. my brain can be such a bitch sometimes.  😦

I’m no different than anyone else out there, regardless of how many relationships they’ve had in the past.  I have hopes and dreams for the future, and how I’d like to spend my life with someone special.  To stop being the only singleton at the party, or on holiday alone, or the only person in my family that isn’t in a relationship (and I have a big family on my mother’s side).

I don’t expect to fall in love with some Greek god, or the most beautiful man in the world because on top of being a hopeless romantic I’m also a bit of a realist.  I’m well aware that not a lot of guys will find someone like me attractive, regardless of how I view them.  I’m more interested in them as a person than whether they’ve got abs, the perfect smile, or some other superficial trait.

I also don’t expect for life to suddenly become ‘perfect’ with no issues or drama when I finally meet meet that special someone.  I know relationships take work and are sometimes harder than being single (and vice versa..), but that’s okay because I understand that and am willing to put in the work.

The issue I have is finding that someone to put the work in with me and build something together.  And I don’t know how much more open to that idea I can be when those around me aren’t.

*sigh*

Digital Dating – The Fake Profile

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Online dating has now become such an integral part of the dating world that sometimes it’s hard to remember what life was like without it.  More and more people are meeting new partners, lovers, and whatnot online than ever before, and there are an ever-growing list of apps and websites for people to use.

Sadly with all this technology it has also brought with it those who’s only goal is to scam you via a fake profile.  This could be to get some personal details from you to steal your identity, financial information to rip you off, or to get you to spend money on other apps or websites by signing up for ‘trial memberships’.  Or any number of things they try to get out of you.

Most of the time these fake profiles can be easily identified as they’re openly advertising some business or website to garner more customer traffic.

But for others, it can be a bit more difficult to spot.  Mostly because these people do their best to showcase exactly what you’re looking for, all wrapped up in a gorgeous, model-like package.  Sometimes it’s just too good to be true.

Scammers

A ‘scammer’ is someone who’s sole purpose online is to trick people in giving them money by illegal methods.  A lot of the time these people will spend weeks chatting you up, gaining your trust, only to end up asking you to send them money to help with their bills, an emergency that’s come up, or perhaps even to buy a ticket to come visit you.

But don’t believe it.  This is how they operate and are most likely chatting to multiple people at once.  These aren’t easy to detect without checking IP addresses, language analysis, or analysing their submitted profile picture (they generally use the same pic on different sites, so once flagged on one it’s flagged overall).

Imposters

These profiles are clearly using other people’s photos and details, sometimes even using a celebrity’s images. Or they’ll just be using generic stock photos they’ve downloaded from the internet.  Most of these pictures will look like standard headshots or as if they’ve been taken professionally.

As well, the imposters will generally not have more than one photo on their profile.  And if they do, then the additional pictures will most likely just be variations on the first one.

Too Beautiful for Words

Carrying on with the imposters, some will use pictures of what you might think is probably the most gorgeous guy (or gal) in the world, and just looking at their pic makes you drool.

It’s sad to say that profile may be fake, as they’re playing into your need to feel attractive and want for someone better looking than you to be interested.  Sure, sometimes it’s not really about looks or body shape, but on your personality and who you are as a person… but if it feels fake, then it probably is.

And let’s not even start on those who use their own pics from years or decade past, from when they looked hot AF.

Profile Discrepancies

Sometimes these imposters or scammers can’t seem to keep their stories straight.  For instance, their profile will say they’re living in Manchester but every day it shows them a different distance from you – when chatting on Tuesday they’re 4.5 miles away, but on Thursday they’re 4000 miles away, then apparently around the corner the next day.

But it can also happen that what they say during your chat contradicts what’s listed on their profile… and as soon as you call them on it they’ll either disappear, change their profile, or accuse you of something silly to take the pressure off them and make you feel bad for even pointing it out in the first place.

Chat Offsite

Be leery of those who ask fairly quickly to chat off the site you’re already on.  A lot of the time, this will be to move to another chat site of some sort.  These other sites may be free initially but there’ll be in-app purchases or you’ll be required to sign up for a ‘trial membership’ that doesn’t get cancelled and you end up being charged.  They purposely make these difficult to cancel as well.

Or the popular one is to ask for your mobile number so you can chat on Whatsapp or exchange email addresses.  Again, be careful of this as scammers can use these details to sign you up for all sorts of things, which could end up with you being charged for services you didn’t ask for.

Relationship Status

Some advice out there states to avoid those profiles that state the user is widowed or a widower, as they’re using the sympathy card to lure you in.  And perhaps this can be true, but it leaves you dismissing a possible new partner because of their status.  This should probably be the last thing to look at when determining if they’re a fake.

All in all, just use your common sense before giving out personal details online.

Be safe.  Be sane.  Be real.

A Day in Pompeii

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April last year I had the idea that I wanted to visit and explore the ruins of Pompeii, possibly staying in nearby Naples as they was the closest big city.  I was considering it for my summer holidays last yet, as I generally always take a week off around my birthday.

But I made the mistake of asking an Italian mate of mine his opinion of visiting Naples, and whether he could suggest which areas to stay in.  His response – go somewhere else.

He literally didn’t have a single good thing to say about the area – dangerous, dirty, uninteresting – and suggested I go to Sorrento instead on the other site of Pompeii (about the same distance from the ruins, but to the south).

Well, I look into staying in Sorrento or further south on the Amalfi Coast (as he also suggested), and the rooms were probably at least 3 times the cost as they were in Naples.  And from what I read online, there really wasn’t anything historic in that area.

It was more of a tourist trap, even if the views are gorgeous.

So I talked myself out of going and went to Spain instead (again).  Barcelona and Sitges were amazing, but it was more a beach holiday than the city/historical break that I’d wanted.

Anyway flash forward to my disappointing trip to Paris this past Spring (read about that here and here), I started to think about where I wanted to visit next, and I looked at Pompeii once more.  Figured the weather might still be decent in late September…

Only this time I almost gave up booking as it seemed like EVERYONE was visiting that area the month before I was looking to go… including my Italian friend (and his husband) that talked me out of going last year!!  The cheek!

I almost went somewhere else, but said screw it.. I want to go to Pompeii.  So I booked my trip, and I had an absolutely amazing time.

Honestly, I don’t know what my friend’s issue with Naples was as I quite liked it.  Perhaps it helped that I had rented myself a little studio apartment in the historic area so it was easy to walk around everywhere (which I did.. my poor feet).

But think it also helped that I met several locals that made me feel welcome.  One guy I was chatting to online as I arrived offered to pick me up and show me around the area a bit in his car.

I was somewhat hesitant (being a stranger and all..), but I went with my gut and we had an amazing evening driving up the coast, and then he took me to the ‘best pizzeria in Naples’ according to him – the pizza and home-made beer were astounding.

I spent most of the next day relaxing in the studio before going out in the afternoon for more wandering around the city.  This time I ended up just north of the historic area where it was clear this was the ‘real Naples‘ – narrow streets, washing hanging from the doorways/balconies, people talking to their neighbours across the street.

It really allowed me to see the true city away from the tourist crap, and I love that about a city.

Finally on the Sunday I made my way out of the city to Pompeii.

I hadn’t realised just how big this excavated city really was until 4 hours later when I was still walking around and still hadn’t seen it all.  Guess the online travel bloggers were right after all – don’t try to do all of Pompeii in one day.  It was just too much.

But luckily the route I’d unintentionally took (I just picked a direction and started walking, then got out the site map to see where I was) allowed me to see most of the major buildings – the amphitheatre, multiple gardens, the Basilica, the baths, and the grand theatre (pictured to the right) just to name a few.

But more than anything it was just amazing to be standing in a place so enriched with history (and mystery), to see the reconstructed ruins, and read about the different buildings (had the site guide on my mobile).

Just being there made all the idiocy in planning the trip worth it.

As for Naples itself, I do hope to return for another visit sometime in the future and see more of the surrounding areas.  There was just too much to see in such a short period of time.  Plus now I know some people in the area, so that helps.

Now.. where to next?  😀

Feelings of Frustrations

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Following on from my recent post about how lazy I’ve been with my writing, there’s been another thing that’s been bothering me – my job.  Or more specifically, how I’m treated at work.

After 4 years, I’ve basically gotten to my breaking point with this place. Not only am I basically left alone to completely run our department myself (the ‘site supervisor’ rarely comes into the office or calls me’), but I’m also the only one from my division not working out of head office.

The rest of the regional office I work out of is full of another division, and is mostly made of up of ex-tradespeople turned supervisors/managers.  So needless to say, they’re not the most professional office-wise.

But because of this situation, I’m literally cut off from both those around me and those within my division at head office.  I work completely alone (with occasional assistance from head office when they feel like it), and the rest of the people in the office tend to ignore me or forget I’m even there.

It can be quite lonely at times, especially as my phone rarely rings (work is mostly email based), and it be nice just to have someone to chat to as I go about my day.

The ignoring got to an all-time low last week – I’d just returned from an extended weekend break in Naples (Italy), and not a single person in the office asked how my trip was!!! 

Instead, they were all fawning over this girl (my old colleague before she got moved last year) who had just returned from a drug-fuelled weekend in Ibiza… who had been off the same three days I was.  They kept asking her about the parties she’d attended, raptly listening to her funny stories of things that happened, and laughing at how strung out she still looked after being back a couple days.

I literally sat there most of the day absolutely livid and wondering if I was just imagining things. I came very close repeatedly that day to yelling out ‘I enjoyed my holiday too, thanks for asking!‘, but I restrained myself.  Somehow.

Perhaps they’d just thought I’d been off sick (even if I’d said the week before I was going away..), but even so then shouldn’t someone at least have asked if I was feeling better?

The funny thing is I don’t really care what these people think of me.. or at least I shouldn’t.  It’s not like I’d ever be friends with any of them outside of work, or even have much in common with any of them.  I should just ignore them as they do me (I regularly get missed out on coffee runs).

In fact there have been times over the years where I’ve literally cringed when I’ve heard some of them talk, be it about politics, vocalising their overt trans or islamophobia, or just their general cluelessness about the world around them.

I suppose a lot of it comes down to the pure liberalism of how I live my life, and how that really doesn’t fit into those I work amongst (I literally was the only one in my office to vote ‘Remain’ during Brexit..).

I keep telling myself I need to start looking for a new job.. and I really do after this incident.  How can I keep working in such a toxic environment?  My boss can’t (and wouldn’t) do anything about it, cause what can he really do?  ‘Make’ them talk to me like I’m in grade school?

Besides, he doesn’t even work in my office.. and never comes to visit.

*Sigh*

Yeah.. I need to look for a new job where I’m more part of a team, and where people actually interact.  Where it isn’t a matter of piling everything onto me to complete (single point of failure..), and the workload is shared.

If only it was that easy and simple.

Getting The Juices Flowing

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Now if I was in a naughtier frame of mind, that title could mean this was a totally different type of post… but as I generally don’t talk sex on here, or at least not in an overt blunt manner, that’s not what that title means.

For anyone who’s been around these parts lately (or not so lately, to be more accurate), you’d have noticed a decidedly lack of activity since mid-August, with the previous couple of months being very sporadic.

Once again, I’ve become a lazy blogger and writer, and it’s becoming increasingly hard to get back into the flow of things.  To get those creative juices flowing, so to speak.

Or maybe not…

Repeatedly over the past few months, I’ve had ideas for blog posts or things I’d like to write about but I just haven’t.  More than anything I just keep dreading the thought of sitting down at the laptop after a full day’s work in the office in front of the computer.

My eyes (and brain) can only take so much I think.

So instead of writing I’ve been voraciously devouring books on my Kindle, gotten re-addicted to Candy Crush, and watching Netflix like it’s going out of season.  So instead of writing cause I don’t want to be in front of the laptop, I’m glued to the tv, my tablet or my Kindle… not much different, right?

And all the while I’d doing that, I’m having ideas pop into my head of things to write about, or possible (fiction) stories to write, and so forth… but yet I still don’t do anything about it, and the ideas either continue to rattle around my head or get forgotten into the ether.

So what the hell has prompted me to actually sit down today and write?  How’d I manage to shockingly drag my ass out of bed or off the sofa to sit in front of the laptop?

To be honest, it almost didn’t happen at all.  I was all snug and warm under the duvet, with unlimited lives on Candy Crush and could have easily just stayed there all afternoon.

But what kept going through my head was snippets of a conversation I’d had with a mate at a birthday party in Soho.  A mate who’s had some short stories or poetry published, and is about to have more of his work published in the next six months or so.

And as thrilled as I was to hear of how well he was doing and the palpable excitement in his voice as he explained his plans, all I could think about was ‘why isn’t this me?’.

Yeah… good old jealous selfish me couldn’t just be happy for him, but I had to think about how that’s exactly where I want to be in life.  Well, not exactly.  He writes poetry and children books (with a touch of horror), whereas I’m looking at LGBT fiction, with a side of M2M romance thrown in.

But from our conversation last night, I can understand why he’s doing so well at the moment – he’s working at it.  He dedicates time each and every day to write a certain number of words.  He makes sure he takes the time to hone his writing, and pushes himself to accomplish it even when he’s not feeling up to it.

And me?  I’m just sitting here like a bump on a log wishing I could be published.  And haven’t done a damn thing to get to where he is at the moment.  Or more accurately, where I want to be.

I know the only person that’s going to drive me to succeed is me.  Not my mate, not some mythical publisher who’s going to come out of the woodwork wanting to put my words into print.

Not even you, the lovely people who’ve taken the time out of their busy days to stay with me even when I wasn’t sure I was coming back.

I know I need to get off my ass and motivate myself to do something about what I want out of life.  And if I don’t, then I only have myself to blame when I don’t succeed.

Here’s hoping this is the wake up call I need to get my butt in gear… time will tell, right?

The Trials of Being an ‘Average’ Gay

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Life as a gay man can have it’s ups and downs.  And if you’re considered an ‘average’ gay, then you may be in for a few additional ones.  At least that’s the way society and the media makes us believe.

We all know that a lot of gay men out there can be very superficial when it comes to appearance (and I include myself in that generalisation…), but have we reached a point where the stereotyping is starting to harm those who may not fit that perfect mould?  Not everyone can have the body of a Greek god with perfect hair, muscles upon muscles, great abs, a large package, etc.

Unfortunately, the media does tend to paint the picture that only the most attractive amongst us could possibly be considered successful, happy, or desirable.  That you ‘must’ look like an Abercrombie model in order to be attractive.

When you really get down to it, the actual percentage that would fit that stereotype is probably quite slim, whereas the rest of us could be considered average with varying degrees up or down.  But yet we’ve somehow allowed ourselves to buy into the shallowness and try to strive to reach that unattainable ‘perfection’ and hotness – the perfect body, the hot AF boyfriend, the ideal life.

What a load of crap, huh?

Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone.  Not everyone is turned on by an awesome set of abs, pecs that are marble-like slabs, a chiselled chin, or an ass so tight and peachy you could bounce a quarter off it.

There are whole sub-sects of the gay community that perceive things differently, and have different ideals of what is beautiful (bears, chubby-chasers, etc).  But sadly the media would consider them ‘average’ and perhaps even dismiss them for not wanting to live up to what’s considered an ideal.

Regardless of what you find attractive, it’s more likely that this ‘yearning’ for what others have is due to all of us (gay, straight or anyone in between) regularly comparing our lives to those around us, or to those depicted in the media.  And as much as we know deep down it’s all a facade, we can’t help but to buy into the happy-happy everyone posts on their social media and think ‘I wish that was me’ or ‘I want that’.

But does that necessarily mean your life will be more difficult when you’re just considered ‘average’ (*gasp* the horror…)?  Are you less likely to become successful at you job, or snag that man of your dreams?

Well… yes and no.  It’s all dependant on how you approach life.

As difficult as it can be at times, you can’t live your life comparing yourself to others.  There’s no magic formula for where you should be in life by a certain age, just a bunch of pressure you’ve put on yourself.  And there’s nothing saying that you have to have the same things in your life that your friends or family do.

And that’s the joy of life – it’s different for everyone.  And no matter how you look, you might have the same insecurities, hopes or dreams as that super hot guy beside you on the tube, or as that regular bloke sitting across the pub from you.  Or you might have different ones.

In the end, the most important thing in life is how we perceive ourselves and we really shouldn’t allow the media or other people’s perceptions of beauty to detract from our own self worth.  We should own our average-ness and not allow others to make us feel ‘less than’ because we don’t fit their mould.

Because when you get right down to it, you’re exactly who you’re supposed to be right at this moment.


Can’t help but look around and question whether or not you belong? Magazines, online publications, and nearly every TV show might show a gay couple cuddled up, but why do they all look like supermodels?

Source: The Trouble With Being Average Looking in the Gay Community – GayGuys.com

Is it a Hookup or a Date?

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Sometimes I honestly wish gay men came with instruction manuals.  Or at least a translator so you can truly understand what the hell they’re saying… and what they actually mean.

I’ve never been that lucky in love (don’t get me started…), and I always seem to have issues determining what a guy really wants from me.  Is he just after sex?  Does he want to get to know me more as a person?  Is this just a booty call, or is it a precursor to potentially something more?

And the most frustrating part is when you ask them point blank what they’re looking for and you still don’t know afterwards.

Now don’t get me wrong… I enjoy sex just like any other man out there, and have had the (*cough*) occasional hook-up but sometimes it truly is hard to figure out what a guy wants.

For instance, if you’re chatting with a guy online or on an app, and they keep saying how much they want to sleep with you or how hot they think you are, then you generally know if you’re meeting for a coffee that it’s probably just a precursor to having sex.  Or at least they’re trying to maintain a pretence of civility by meeting in person first.

But what about the guys that say they ‘want to get to know you better’ or they like you for ‘more than just sex’.  Does that mean they actually want to get to know you, maybe actually go on a date?  Or is that just ‘gay-speak’ for not wanting it to just be an anonymous shag?  So they can yell out the correct name during sex?

For some reason, it’s become more difficult of late to determine if someone just wants something casual or actually wants to go on dates.  Or they claim to want to just be friends, but then make the moves on you when out at the pub.

At what point do you draw the line?

It just seems in this day and age of casual hookups, open relationships and all these ‘dating’ apps, that most (single) gay men out there don’t seem willing to actually date any more, let alone be willing to commit to anything more.  They’d rather just ‘try before you buy’ – jump into bed with someone first, and then if the sex was any good they’ll decide if they want to find out more than just the other guy’s sexual preferences.

I’ve heard many guys proclaim that ‘love is dead’ or ‘romance doesn’t exist any more’, and that just makes me sad.  And I can’t help but wonder who the hell hurt them so bad that they’d give up on love.

As a society, we’ve become so damn non-committal about everything in our lives of late and not just about romantic relationships. It’s like we’re all afraid to commit to something just to find out later on it wasn’t worth it.

And sadly we’re all guilty of it too, just some more than others.

Who hasn’t tentatively agreed to plans with someone just to turn around and cancel or reschedule when something more interesting comes up?  Or cancelled that ‘date’ with the sort-of cute guy from the app when your crush calls up last minute wanting to ‘hang out’.

If only there was a way to cut through all the bullshit and just be honest with each other without any ulterior motives or worrying that we’ll hurt someone’s feelings.

Gawd forbid, huh?


Does that man you like want a hookup or a date? Learn 7 signs he’s looking for a hookup and not romance. Do you know these signs?

Source: 7 Obvious Signs He Wants to Hookup and Not Date

Paris Pt 2 – Breathing at the Basilica

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Continued from Part 1

When it was all said and done, I was unsurprisingly happy when my last day in Paris arrived.  Usually when I got to the end of a holiday, the last thing I’d want to do is to go home but this time I was counting down the hours.

In fact at one point earlier in the trip, I’d actually looked at changing my train ticket to an earlier one, but it was way too expensive.

Unfortunately for me, I’d been ‘smart’ about my bookings and ensured I had a late train back to London.  Which meant after I’d checked out of the hotel, I had the entire afternoon and early evening to kill.

How silly of me.  LOL

But unbeknownst to me, the worst part of that entire trip had yet to happen as I made my way to the train station to stow my luggage, and walked to the area of Montmartre.

I’d decided to use my last afternoon to spend the afternoon exploring the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre.  It’s a gorgeous church and has amazing views once you climb the hill at Montmartre.

And amazing it was.  The hill up to the church wasn’t too bad, and at least there were steps and benches you could stop for a breather as you make your way to the top.  Plus it was the first truly sunny day whilst I’d been in Paris, so there were loads of people out and sitting on the grassy hill enjoying the rare April sunshine.

It was all lovely and bright, and even a street-hawker’s attempt to get some money out of me didn’t change things.  The church inside was absolutely gorgeous and well worth the climb up the hill.

What wasn’t so great was my own stupid decision to climb the 300+ stairs to the top of the church for the stunning 360 degree views of the city.  I’d been warned by friends not to do this, but I figured why not since I was already in Paris and I may not get an opportunity to do this again.

For an overweight smoker, that was not a great idea. A really bad, almost dangerous idea.

To get to the top, you had to walk up an enclosed, narrow, winding staircase which had barely any windows and nowhere to stop to catch your breath.  I obviously didn’t run up the stairs and was trying to pace myself, but about half of the way up I started to have chest pains and difficulty breathing.

I expected to be winded after the stairs, but not that.

By the time I’d reached a brief outer walkway before the last of the stairs to the top, I literally couldn’t breath and sounded worse than the most extreme asthmatic.  And the pains in my chest had me scared shitless that I was going to have a heart attack while in Paris.  Alone.

The people behind me caught up to me about 15 minutes later, and they checked to see if I was ok and had water, as they could hear me all the way down the stairs.

After a rest, I eventually made my way up the final narrow stairway (I had to squeeze my fat ass through in a few spots) to the top of the basilica and stayed there for at least a good half hour totally ignoring the views while I tried to catch my breath.  At one point a kind older gentleman there with his adult daughter started to rub my back to help me with my breathing… not sure if it helped or if he was just trying to hit on me.  LOL

Once I taken my prerequisite pictures of the view (amazing.. but not worth that agony), I slowly made my way down the stairs (separate staircase) and spent the next hour on the hill near the church catching my breath.  And downing a couple bottles of water in the process.

And that pain in my chest?  It lingered with me for a couple of days after I’d returned to London making me wonder if I had done some sort of damage to my heart or lungs…and gave me a really good scare.

Which of course was also a catalyst for me to try to quit smoking again by going back to the vape (it’s been almost 3 months now), so at least one good thing came out of it.

Now if only I could get my fat ass to the gym. 😉