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*

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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.

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

I Get Attached Too Easily

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I don’t know why it is, but whenever I meet someone new romantically (for lack of a better word…), I somehow end up getting super attached a lot quicker than I’d like.

It’s something that has occurred for me many times over the years, and despite me actively trying NOT to do this, it still happens without warning.  I can’t seem to help myself.

It’s usually the same old story – meet some cute guy, there’s an instant mutual physical attraction, and we get along like gang-busters.  We’ll end up chatting and texting very regularly, with the conversations becoming quite intimate while also getting to know each other.

And yeah, sure.. there’s some great sex.  That should be a given.  😉

Once I like a guy, I’m basically done and have no interest in continuing to look around for someone else.  I’m always open to seeing if this could potentially be something more than just a casual thing or friendship.

And perhaps it’s that openness to see where things go is what scares them off and causes them to put the brakes on whatever has been going on between us.  It’s not like I’m immediately suggesting we get married, but what’s wrong with showing interest in being more than friends-with-benefits?

What I do find interesting (and slightly disturbing) is how I seem to not have any say in where things go between us.  How the whole decision whether we should date or not is solely in their hands.  How by being so open and honest about what I’d like I’ve somehow given them all the power in whatever ‘relationship’ we’re in.

Messed up, huh?

What can I say.  I wear my heart on my sleeve, even when I’m trying not to.  Even when I’m trying to be cold and distant as a way to play the ‘game’, I still end up being the emotional one.  The one who gets their feelings hurt.

It’s just who I am.

And should I really have to change who I am as a person to get a boyfriend or relationship?

I should hope not… if someone likes me, then they should like me for me, not for their idealised version of my personality.

Because isn’t that the whole point of dating and finding a partner in life?  To find someone who accepts you for who you truly are, and not try to change you into someone you’re not?

I really hope so… and I really hope that guy shows up soon, before I go all ‘Fatal Attraction’, bunny-boiler on some poor unsuspecting guy.

Kidding… I think.  😉

 

Self-Help (Article) Overload

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Over the past couple of years, I’d gotten into the habit of posting re-hashed versions of self-help articles that others had written. I would read them, and then rewrite them from my perspective.

It works to an extent, as it allowed me to give my opinion on a wide range of topics, most of them being things I felt I was going through at the time. So in my mind, I was sort of doing a bit of self therapy by writing my version of these pieces.

I honestly can’t say if it was a good thing or not, or even it was anything remotely original. Sometimes it even felt like I was just rewording what had already been said instead of actually giving my option on the topic.

But as well, I noticed after awhile that I tended towards two main types of topics – gay dating tips and mental health issues.

And I’m by no means an expert in either subject.

It probably gave a contrasting and possibly confusing blend for those reading my site – one day I’d post about the joys of online dating profiles, and then the next about needing to build up self-esteem.

Or perhaps (to some) it gave them more of an insight into how I viewed the world.. and that’s the perspective I’m REALLY hoping people went for. 😉

For awhile I found myself constantly searching the internet for interesting articles about whatever idea had popped into my head, or whatever depressive or anxiety-ridden ‘symptom’ I’d convinced myself I had that day .. and then any links I didn’t use that day, I would save them in my blog drafts to use another day.

So today (or is it last night now..), I was scrolling through the saved drafts, and it’s a plethora of cheesy and almost ridiculous sounding articles. Though, some could be helpful…

  • 7 Obvious Signs He Wants to Hook Up and Not Date
  • The Thirst is Real (kinda don’t want to know about that…)
  • Secrets of Happily Single Gay Men.. Who Really Want a Boyfriend
  • Writing Your Way to Happiness (I still might read this one..)
  • What Your Friends with Social Anxiety Want You To Know
  • Table For One – The Rise of Solo Dining

And the list goes on and on.. over 100 saved article links or potential post ideas, some even ranging as far back as 2013!!

To be fair, when I was regularly ‘writing’ these posts, it was usually because I wasn’t happy about something in my life so wanted to get some perspective and help myself somehow.

But it was also usually because there really wasn’t much actually going on in my life at that moment (or day), and my own loneliness or insecurities drove me to the keyboard to ‘fix myself’.

I can’t honestly say if that was a good thing or not, if it even helped at the time, or even if I’ll never do it again if I continue to post regularly.

Though I do have to sometimes laugh at myself… posting tips on online dating or maintaining a relationship, when I was sitting home alone and still had never had a boyfriend.

Maybe I was self sabotaging my own personal life by over-thinking it all.

And maybe I still do.. while sitting at home alone. 😉

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

Dating Debacles – The Clown

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Nope, that’s sadly not a joke.  I actually went on a date last week with an actual clown (and Charlie Chaplin impersonator).

And no, he wasn’t in full make-up at the time.  LOL

To be honest, I’d been somewhat hesitant to meet this guy (Argentinian-Italian mix) as there was something about his manner that put me off a bit.  We’d been chatting for a couple months at this point, so I figured might as well.

Alarm bells started going off right away when he called me out of the blue last Sunday evening, wanting me to meet him right away.  He was just finishing work and didn’t want to go home… so he just assumed I’d be home alone and ‘desparate’ for some company.

As if.

I eventually put him off meeting until the next evening after work around 7pm so I could go home to freshen up before meeting.  Especially as I hadn’t shaved my head or trimmed my beard in weeks, so I was looking quite shaggy.

But then I got a message from him around 4pm while still at work saying he wanted to meet at 5pm… which was when I finished work.  Which meant I didn’t get a chance to go home to freshen up or anything.

I don’t know why, but his eagerness and changing things on me last minute kind of pissed me off.  To the point where I almost cancelled on him.  Maybe I should have.

I eventually agreed to meet him at the station closest to work (Forest Hill) as I could walk there with time to spare… and ended up actually being about 20 minutes early.

Once he’d arrived, we’d decided to head to the pub across the street (since none of the coffee shops in that area are open past 5pm).. only to find out he doesn’t actually drink.  And I got the feeling he was a bit critical of those who do, even if he never came out and said so.

Anyway, we both got soft drinks (booooo…. where’s the vodka??) and sat on the little terrace to chat.  And surprisingly, he was quite the charmer throughout the conversation.  He kept complimenting me on my eyes and hands for some reason.. and I found myself being drawn to him physically, even though I didn’t necessarily find him that attractive.

And the farmer-joe cover-alls he’d shown up in didn’t help any either.  And that made me feel a bit too shallow for my liking..

Anyway, one thing lead to another and he asked if he could see my flat.  This was after holding my hands several times and staring deep into my eyes.. And even serenading my on his little eukele.

Like I said before, he was a charmer so I figured ‘what the hell’, and went with it.

What a mistake…

I honestly thought I was having sex with the clown from Stephen King’s ‘IT’….

He kept biting me through it all, and not little love bites either.  He was biting so hard that I was afraid he was going to break the skin… and he kept doing it after I told him time after time that I wasn’t enjoying it.

Oh.. and he kept talking to me in Spanish and getting me to agree with him by saying ‘Si’ after every statement, even though he knew I didn’t understand what he was saying.  For a ‘clown’, he was extremely agressive, rough, and controlling, which I definitely don’t enjoy.

And he absolutely refused to do anything more than just kiss me chastely on the lips.  No hot, passionate kissing.. which is one of the things I enjoy the most.

And yes, I did try to stop things several times because of all of the above.. but then he started being sweet and nice, and next thing I knew we were right back to where we were before I’d stopped things.

It was like he didn’t care what I felt as long as he got his rocks off.. which he did while we were standing in the kitchen, against the washing machine … ok, that part was kinda hot.  LOL

Afterwards, I walked him to the bus stop to ensure he could get home ok, and then he explained the no kissing thing – he said I had really bad breath (whaaat!?!?!) and that he only kisses when he’s ‘in love’.  He then proceeded to criticise my weight (but he’s into chubby guys?), eating habits (based on what little he could see on my kitchen shelves), grooming habits (if I’d been able to go home after work, I would have been able to shave and trim my beard..), and so forth..

Overall it left a very bad taste in my mouth (and I don’t mean from my ‘supposed’ bad breath.. I was chewing gum too).  Not to mention the bite marks all over my shoulders, back, and neck, which were quite painful for a couple of days after.

I do NOT respond well to negativity and guys being overly critical of things they have no right to even bring up, especially on a first date.  And the more I thought back on our conversation at the pub, the more it makes me realise I should have seen the warning signs sooner.

I’m sure he’s expecting me to come crawling to him to ask for a second date… because in his eyes I don’t have enough self-esteem to want more in my life than a biting, overly-critical clown.

Good thing I don’t like clowns.  😉

Why Are You Single

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Life can be frustrating when you know what you want but never seem to find it.  Especially when it comes to romance and relationships.

It’s bad when someone asks ‘why are you still single’ while extolling how wonderful and ‘nice’ you are.  It’s almost like they start looking to find out what’s wrong with you.  Or start talking down to you about ‘needing to be patient’ or having just ‘not found the right guy yet’.  As if that is supposed to make you feel better.

The worst though is watching those around you seemingly jump from relationship to relationship without batting an eyelash.  They make it seem so easy that it can make you feel worse about yourself.

Perhaps there’s a reason you’re still single.. and maybe it’s one of the below.  Or maybe you just meet a lot of jerks.  LOL

Your friends take up too much of your time

Friends are the rock that can help you get out of a hard place, and be there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on.  But if you have such a wide circle of friends that you’re spending all your time trying to maintain those friendship, when do you get room for your love life?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having lots of friends, as ultimately they do help you be a better you and perhaps mold who you are as a person.  And sometimes they even become our families so it’s important to nurture that connection.

But when it gets to the point where you’re spending all your time appeasing their happiness and your own gets left by the way-side, then you need to make a few minute changes.  Allow yourself some time for your and your own needs.  Allow yourself space to meet someone interesting.

Your confidence becomes cockiness

Let’s be honest – we’re all immensely attracted to a confident man who knows what he wants and how to get it.  But at what point does your confidence turn into something less attractive?  Or perhaps it makes you seem above the rest of us who aren’t as comfortable in our skins.

As artificial and plastic as the gay community can seem at times, there’s something to be said for coming across as a flawed, compassionate human who’s still working through whatever baggage they have.  And having baggage isn’t a bad thing, it just means you’ve lived life and have the battle scars to show for it.

All in all, leave your ego at the door and allow yourself to be open to new possibilities.  Nobody is perfect, not even you.  So why judge others as if it was true?

Always looking for something better

To be honest, sometimes the grass is greener right where you are but you just can’t see it.  Too often guys will spend all their time still looking for something better, even when they have something great already in front of them.  We’ve been brainwashed to think there’s got to a perfect guy out there for us, when in fact there’s no such thing.

You could be allowing something really great that has potential to grow into something amazing slip through your fingers.  Relationships are never easy and it’s even harder to find a meaningful one.  So why give up before you’ve even tried to see where things can go?

Stop throwing away the good guys just because they’re not what you think as ‘perfect’.

Are you ‘ready’?

Who hasn’t said at one point or another  they’re not ‘ready’ or ‘looking for something serious’ right now?  Do you really understand that’s just you giving an excuse why you’re not dating at the moment, and that really you just love being single so you can play the field?  And that’s ok to admit that.

Basically all you’re doing is allowing yourself to procrastinate about your love life.  You’d rather push perfectly great guys away so you can have some ‘fun’ instead of being willing to see where things may develop.

What a waste… especially when there’s an actual connection between you.

Hard to get is more than your mantra

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a strong, independent guy who marches to their own beat in life.  In fact, that’s insanely attractive in a guy because you just know they’ll always give you space in a relationship or not become overbearing because value their time alone.

But… if it gets to the point where you’ve become stubborn or can’t conceive of allowing anyone into your life because of your independent spirit, then potentially you’re missing out on something great.

It’s not a matter of whether someone special or new fits into your life plans, but instead how including them could move you closer to where you actually want to be.

Work work work

There’s something to be said about having a healthy work-life balance.  When you’re living to work instead of working to live, you’re risking burning yourself out and then not having anyone there to help you pick up the pieces.  Work is important, but it shouldn’t be the only thing in your life.

Also, if you have no personal life who are you going to vent to when you’ve had a bad day?  The cat?  Even the strongest among us need someone they can turn to that isn’t part of their daily work life.  With the right balance, you canhave an amazingly successful career and someone special at home to help you decompress.

Leave your work at work.

You’re afraid to settle down

When you’re a free and independent spirit, you might think the idea of settling down means the end of your fun, carefree ways.  That having a relationship means you’ll stop trying to achieve something in life, or that the other person will stifle your joie de vivre.

Perhaps instead you’ll actually shine even brighter than ever by letting someone special in.  They will inspire you to become a better version of yourself.  Your life could be even more enriched by including them in your life, and vice versa.

So drop your ego at the door, and give them a chance to show how you can enhance each other’s lives.

You have intimacy issues

Being intimate with friends, family and some short-term loves can be easy.  It comes second nature as there’s no pressure or worry about where things may lead.  You’re just cool and comfortable around each other.

But when it comes to something more serious, your cool factor plummets to the point you’re terrified of saying or doing the wrong thing.  Or that you stop feeling like yourself around the other guy, and maybe even feel like you’re losing yourself somewhat.  And that’s all normal.

Love can knock you off-centre and gets you thinking about situations differently than you might with a friend. It can kick you ass, but once you’ve honed your ability to manage these new feelings, you’ll be flying.

Nobody is psychic

How the hell are you going to get the man of your dreams if you’re sitting back waiting for him to ready your mind?  If you’re not telling him what you want or need, then it’ll be a crap-shoot whether he gets it right and you’ll ultimately be disappointed when he doesn’t.

And the reverse is true too.  If you like a guy, then just tell him already!  Stop playing coy and unassuming, and let him know you want to get to know him more.

This post has been inspired by – You’re Awesome, But Here’s Why You’re Still Single: – GayGuys.com

First Date Tips for the Gay Man

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Even though it can seem that nobody goes on actual dates any more, there are still some guys out there that do want to spend time getting to know you before heading to the sheets.

Shocking, I know.  LOL

Sadly, especially with the advent of the smart phone apps, most of us don’t even bother following a few basic first date guidelines.  Sometimes we’ve spent so much time chatting online to each other, it’s like you’ve already had your first or second date, just without even meeting.

Bust is this a matter of getting too familiar too soon?

The whole point of a first date is to get to know someone new and see if there’s any connection between you.  It’s not to unload your entire life story, or to complain about your ex, prattle on about your newest gadget, or to extol the virtues of your new workout routine.

It’s all about see what you have in common and if there are any sparks between you.

Some of the below may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many guys forget about them.

Do something mutually fun and affordable

All too often guys will go along with their date’s ideas even if it’s something they don’t enjoy or maybe even can’t afford.  There’s no rule that says one of you needs to take charge and decide what you’ll do on your date, or that one of you should be submissive when it comes to making a decision.  It is, after all, your date too so you do have a say.

And let’s be honest – unless you’re a sugar daddy looking to snatch up some young money-grubbing twink, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing something on the cheap.. but perhaps not so cheap that you’re eating dry ramen sitting in a park.  LOL

Overall, a date should be fun and interesting.  And the most important part is spending time to get to know each other.  So if you both have an interest in the arts, why not tour a local art gallery (some of which may even be free..).  Or if you’re both foodies, why not sample the wares at some weekend market.

A first date doesn’t have to be some big lavish production.  Just go enjoy yourselves and each other’s company.

Casual is the best way to go

As clichéd as it may seem, too many gay men out there will spend hours picking out just the right outfit, or even go shopping for something new because they think that will impress their date.

But when you get right to it, is there really any point?  He’s going on a date with you, not your designer duds.

Now that’s not to say you should rock up in your paint-splattered (unfashionably) torn jeans and a dirty sweatshirt.  You still do need to look presentable when meeting someone new, but it’s also equally important to be comfortable in what you’re wearing.

Don’t go on a date wearing a button-up shirt and chinos when you’re really a jeans and t-shirt sort of guy.  Be yourself and dress accordingly.

Pick somewhere quiet and easy to get to.. for both of you

When you live in a big city, it can occasionally difficult to find a place that is mutually beneficial location-wise to both parties.  And all too often, guys will purposely try to choose a place to meet that’s closer to them than the other person.  But is that really fair?

On top of that, the whole point of a first date is to be able to talk to each other.  But if you’ve chosen to go to the movies on your date, you can’t exactly talk during the film (please don’t.. it’s annoying hahaha).

Instead pick somewhere that’s realistically reachable for both of you and isn’t too crowded or noisy.  For instance, if it’s a nice day then why not grab a couple of ice creams or gelato and go for a walk in the park.

And yes, the old stand by of meeting for a coffee is always a great option.

It’s a date, not a competition

As fun as meeting for a round of mini-golf or enjoying a few games of bowling might seem for a first date, it’s actually not that great an idea.  In fact, it’s leaving you (or your date) open to be humiliated.

Because let’s be honest – nobody likes to lose, and if you’re competing during a date, there’s always going to a loser.  And that may put a damper on the possibilities of a second date.

And yes, gay men do like to be competitive, even if they’re not into sports of any kind.  In the end it’s not about the game but about the results that will affect the outcome of the date.

To bar or not to bar

It’s all too easy to suggest meeting for a few drinks on your first date.  And sometimes that may be a great way for both of you to relax since you’ll both probably be nervous.  But the last thing you want to do is to get drunk.  Or for your date to think you’re a lush.  Or that you live on the gay scene and are a party animal.

As well, absolutely do NOT go to your local gay bar or the hottest place around.  You’ll be more likely to run into someone you know, and then will come the awkward questions about what you’re doing there.

Instead, why not go somewhere new that neither of you have been to.  Or hit up some out of the way cocktail bar for a more cosy atmosphere.  Or better yet, go for a nice quiet meal somewhere fun.  Just make sure it’s somewhere you can hear each other speak without having to yell at each other.

Be engaging and listen 

Who hasn’t been on a date and spent the entire time listening to the other person just talk about themselves without engaging you once?  Unfortunately, this is a lot more prevalent than you’d think.

We all love to talk about ourselves (even if we don’t like to actually admit it..) and whatever hobbies or activities we’ve been up to, but how is that a conversation?  It isn’t, so why not hush yourself and engage your date in an actual conversation.  Ask the other person what their interests are.. and then actually listen to what they have to say.

The more you engage and converse back and forth, the better the overall date will be.  It’ll be memorable for the right reasons, and not for being an ugly, self-centered car-wreck.

Date + Friends = Recipe for a non-date

It’s way too easy to just invite your potential date to join you and your friends to hang out.  It may seem like it’s a ingenious way to get to know your new beau while getting some friendly feedback at the same time.

Wrong.  Oh so wrong.

Just think how uncomfortable that would be for the guy, to be forced to hang out and engage with people he doesn’t know, when all he wants is to get to know you.  And by doing this, you’re essentially sending him the message that you’re really not interested in him romantically, but more as a ‘pal’.

Save the meeting of your friends for somewhere down the line if it turns into something.

Time limit or no time limit?

There are loads of people who think you should set a time limit to how long a first date should last, generally no more than three hours.  But is this realistic or setting too much of a limitation on how much you allow yourself to enjoy the other guy’s company?

Obviously, this is something that needs to be decided on an individual, date-by-date basis, as not all dates will be same.  Perhaps you’ll be getting along like gang-busters and want to spend the night together.

Or perhaps you just don’t gel that well, so it’ll only last a short while.

Some say if you spend too much time together on the first date, then you’re not giving them an opportunity to want to learn more about you.

But then again, if the spark is there right away, then that first date may turn into the second or third without either of you even trying, perhaps leading to something more.

And ultimately, isn’t that the end goal?

This post has been inspired by — 10 Gay First Date Tips That Should Be Obvious! – Gay Pop Buzz

Being an Awkward Flirt

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As someone who can be somewhat socially awkward at times, it can be absolutely terrifying to go out and interact with other people.  Just the idea of going to a pub or social gathering where you’re forced to chat or interact with other people can be almost debilitating.

But adding flirting on top of all that??  Hot damn, that can be scary as fuck!

But because of the fear of rejection, a lot of socially awkward people will be more comfortable flirting online.  And that anonymity allows them to show how amazingly flirty they really are, but they clam up once it moves into a public situation.

Obviously like anything in life, you need to make an effort to get a result.  If it feels like you’re making an absolutely massive effort but getting nowhere, then maybe you’re just coming across as a bit too subtle.  Your idea of being a flirt may not be the same as other guys.

Despite how tricky it may seem, this is something you truly need to be in it to win it.

Get out of your own head

Regardless of the situation, a socially awkward person can sometimes spend too much time over-thinking or over-analysing things.  Perhaps you’ll worry that you’ve said the wrong thing, or didn’t come across as interesting as you’d have liked.  Or you’ll worry that you’re coming on too strong.. or not strong enough as the case may be.

Instead you just need to stop thinking, calm the fuck down, and just listen to the other person.  Listen to the words coming out of their mouth and their inflection.  Watch their body language and whether they maintain eye contact or if they’re too busy looking around the room.  As you listen to the other person, both vocally and physically, you’ll find you’ll start reacting to them instinctively and naturally.

And he’ll definitely notice, as it’ll make him feel important.

Flash your assets

And no, that doesn’t mean getting your ass out for everyone to see… well, depending on the party you’re at I guess.  LOL

This is more about knowing what you’re good at and improving upon those skills as a way to increase your self-confidence or self-esteem.  It could something silly like a party trick, or being able to make the best G&T ever, or perhaps it could be a personal interest you could use as a talking point when meeting someone new.

Whatever it is, it’s obviously just the tip of the iceberg of who you are as a person, but it at least will allow someone new to get a glimpse inside.  And everybody knows that the more confident you are in yourself, the more this will shine through to others around you.  Your feeling of self-worth will improve as you go along, so why not improve upon it so it shines through.

It’s also about putting your best face forward.  If it’s clear that you’re not taking care of yourself, then that’ll be a massive turn off for the other guy.  It’s not necessarily just about your physical appearance (not all guys are into washboard abs.. just saying), but about taking care of your hygiene, knowing what looks good on your body shape, and allowing your amazing personality to shine through.

Own yourself

We’ve all been there – you’re at a party and some guy you just started chatting to is all over you.  They’re practically straddling your leg, breathing in your ear, with their hand down the front (or back) of your pants.  It’s one thing to be flirty, but when you’ve bypassed someone else’s boundaries, then you’re definitely getting into a no-go zone.

As adults, we need to be aware of our own and other’s personal space, and respect this at all times.  If you’ve draped yourself over someone and you can tell they’re feeling uncomfortable, then you really just need to back off.  Give them some room to breath and wait for them to invite you back into their space (if or) when they’re ready.

Make the first move

It seems these days that guys are totally afraid to show their interest in another person until that other person has shown their hand first.  It’s like we’re all afraid to be vulnerable and show emotions, even if it’s a solely physical manifestation of one.

There’s nothing wrong with flirting subtly (though not so subtle that it couldn’t be recognised with a microscope) and showing interest in the other person.  If you don’t show them you’re interested, then how are they going to know?  You can’t just keep waiting on someone else to make the first move, regardless of how scary that may seem.

Let down your defences

All too often, especially when you’re socially awkward, you’ll tend to approach social situations with hesitation and a pre-conceived idea of how other people will look at you.  That they’ll judge you for every word, action, or reaction you give.

Basically you put yourself on the defensive before you even walk into the room, let alone start talking to someone.  And what this means is, deep-down, you’re judging yourself and making yourself uncomfortable about a situation before it’s even happened.  You’ll start shaming yourself for actions you ‘may’ take, which will only make it worse.

Instead allow yourself to have a more open mind to whatever may come along, be it a new friend, a bit of fun, or even the possibility of a new boyfriend.

You just never know what might happen if you let someone in, so just go for it already!

This post was influenced by — How to Flirt When You’re Socially Awkward – GayGuys.com