( Continued from yesterday ) - here's the next five characteristics common to the profile of a successful gay dater.
5. He has addressed any issues pertaining to internalized homophobia, feels a sense of acceptance and pride with being gay, and has overcome a lot of the gay stereotypes and myths that abound about gay men and dating.
Coming out isn’t for everyone, but the more accepting you are about your sexual identity, the greater quality of life you can experience. You don’t have to live a double life any more, you no longer have to lie or hide behind secrets, you can live with less fear and stress, and your self-esteem tends to be higher in most cases. It’s not an easy feat, however—there’s years worth of shame to work through, but for most people the journey is beneficial as they can then live more authentically and truly be themselves. Dating and relationships can be made difficult without a resolution to this, particularly if both men are in different places of the coming-out continuum.
Additionally, it’s important to counter any myths or stereotypes about homosexuality because these can be limiting as well. “All the good ones are taken.” “Gay relationships don’t work.” “All gay men want is sex.” “I have to be a stud to land a man.” “Guys will come to me.” If you believe any of these statements and the many others that exist, recognize these as misinformation that can be confusing and distort reality and work hard at challenging and defeating such negative self-talk so that they don’t get in the way of your goals.
4. He knows what dating means and how to do it instead of just having sex.
For many gay men, having sex and/or jumping into a relationship too early is a common phenomenon. Because of our homophobic society, we were never taught how to date, so gays don’t typically have pacing rituals or milestones like our straight counterparts do for dating. This, coupled with relief after years of isolation and having a strong need to feel loved/wanted/connected, fuels us to rush intimacy too quickly and establish premature connections without knowing more about the other guy. It’s important to build a foundation first as this helps us make good choices. Learn how to pace and slow things down by learning how to add courtship, flirting, and romance to the mix.
3. He is emotionally and physically available and ready for love.
Have the time and space to invite a person into your world. It will be difficult to establish a connection with someone if your time schedule is too booked up. Also be ready emotionally by ensuring you’ve resolved any baggage from your past or addressing any current personal issues that may distract you and sabotage your efforts at love. And most importantly, be yourself! Don’t be someone that you think he wants you to be. Don’t mold yourself around someone just to be in a relationship. You’ll end up resenting him and yourself for your dishonesty. Remember to live by your personal requirements and have your own individual identity.
2. He has a well-rounded repertoire of dating skills and knows how to use them.
Dating skills include such things as knowing where to meet men (pick venues aligned with your vision!), being assertive, having good communication skills, being able to initiate and maintain conversations, differentiating between guys who are cruising vs. serious dating candidates, knowing how to flirt, etc. The more developed you are in these types of skills, the more savvy and confident you will feel when in social situations and you’ll be more magnetic!
1. He is a go-getter and takes charge of his life. He makes things happen!
Nothing will happen in your life unless you take the proactive steps to make changes. This is not an easy task, especially if you’re shy or hesitant because of past efforts that didn’t work out, but you have to be the chooser and take risks. In most cases, things will not fall in your lap. You will need to do the work involved in making your vision become a reality. Whether it be combating procrastination or dealing with fears of rejection, conquer your anxieties directly. And do it NOW! The more you run or avoid anxiety, the stronger it gets. And don’t put your life on hold either. One man once told me, “I’ll start dating after I lose weight.” No! Live your life to the max now while you’re working on such goals. There’s no greater loss than postponing living your life.
So there you have it! Ten areas where you can assess yourself on the successful dater scale. Dating can be fun AND challenging, so the more prepared you are for inviting love into your life, the greater the chances of victory. Identify the strengths and weaknesses you may have from this profile and make a commitment to yourself to develop goals for improving up your weak spots and follow through with them. While it’s not foolproof, you will greatly improve your chances in the dating pool and you’ll also be strengthening your personhood in the process, adding more value and richness to your life. Your Mr. Right is out there. Now go get him!
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
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