“I’m so fed up with being a “nice guy” and getting nowhere for it. I continue to be perplexed by my situation and want to understand better why others act the way they do, what I am doing wrong, and what things I can do to improve myself. I’m not perfect and don’t pretend to be. I’m not a model, but I’m often told by people that I’m “hot” and how nice and sweet I am.
I am passionate and good in bed and believe I have a good personality and sense of humor. I have my own place, a new car, a great job, and I’m very successful in my career that holds a lot of promise for more growth and success. So I guess my biggest question is why am I alone? I treat the guys I have gone out with really well. Yet, it never seems to be enough. I just want to build a life with someone who has ambition, dreams, and who will love me and look out for me as I would for him.” – ( Gay Man, age 29 )
This young man is not alone with his predicament. Millions of singles, both gay and straight, face the same frustrations and challenges involved in their dating quests for their true life partners. Finding a compatible, quality guy to settle down with is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, so it’s important to assess how your dating experiences and choices are matching with your needs and goals, particularly if you’ve been dealing with a series of dating mishaps and dissatisfactions.
The question of “why am I still single?” is a very complex issue that can’t be done justice with answering in a short article, but this piece will package some key points that will hopefully get you started with figuring out your own situation if you’re pondering this common question; perhaps it will become a launching pad for you in approaching your dates differently.
There are a multitude of reasons why someone may still be single when they truly desire a relationship. Maybe they keep attracting the same kind of partner who’s wrong for them, or they’re unrealistic in their standards, or they have weak social and dating skills, or they fear losing their personal freedom, among many others.
Many gay men have a difficult time establishing and maintaining intimate relationships because of internalized homophobia or intimacy fears. And then it becomes very easy to take on a “victim mentality” and become overly-focused on the flaws of the men we date. Taken a step further, one can then begin developing beliefs like “It’s never going to happen for me; they always turn out to be such losers” or “Gay men aren’t capable of having long-term relationships”, among others. These are all false, of course, but easily born out of frustration and hopelessness.
The truth is, we can’t change other people. What’s most important at this juncture is to relax, take the emphasis off of the other guys and why they are the way they are, and put your energy into examining the role that you may play in this problem, because that’s where the key to success is in you taking charge of your life and making personal changes where they’re needed. Below are some suggestions to get you started in the right direction:
2. Know yourself completely and develop your vision. This is the most important step! Be very clear about who you are, what you want, and how you’ll get it. Do this not only for your individual life, but also create a relationship and life partner vision. What are your needs, wants, values, and requirements for both? What’s negotiable and what’s non-negotiable? Be very specific.
3. When you begin dating, use this vision as your guide. Collect information and experiences from the men you date to gain a solid knowledge of who they are and make sure they’re in alignment with your vision. At the first sight of a non-negotiable trait they possess, disengage to avoid getting more invested and keep searching. A lot of people ignore these signs and then they get in too deep. Avoid this trap!
5. Identify your relationship beliefs. These pre-conceived notions and thoughts may be holding you back and sabotaging your efforts. Some examples of self-defeating thoughts might include: “All the good ones are taken”; “Gay relationships don’t last”; “I failed at relationships before, so I will again”; “Gay men can’t commit. I’ll be alone forever”, etc. Work at creating new beliefs to dispute these and gather evidence to prove these negative ones wrong.
So in a nutshell, work aggressively at the above points and you’ll be at a good starting point. Other things to consider might be to live your life to the max and a relationship will happen when you’re not pressuring yourself so much because you’re happy and living with purpose. Become really attractive “on the inside” and you will attract similar people (The Law of Attraction).
Be visible, take risks and stretch out of your comfort zone, develop skills to boost your confidence and cope with feelings of loneliness, develop solid boundaries, and always stay true to your vision no matter what. Good luck with your quest! One good catch deserves another!
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com