[ continued from yesterday ]
If you have a hard time figuring out what your values are, just look at how you spend your time. This screams volumes in terms of what’s important to you. Or look at your emotional reactions to things as an additional gauge and look below the surface to see what value has potentially been triggered.
Your Values & The Pursuit of A Partner
So what’s this all got to do with dating? Everything! The most successful couples in relationships have shared values. Nothing provides the sustenance and glue to a partnership than values; everything else pales in comparison. You and that guy sitting across from you at the coffee shop may be totally attracted to each other (but he’s SO hot!), but if you don’t have comparable visions or philosophies of life, you’ll be setting yourselves up for tons of conflict and disappointment.
Having knowledge of your values will help you screen potential dating partners much more succinctly than just “winging it.” Knowing what your needs are for a partner and a relationship are expressions of your values and provide the map to finding Mr. Right. If you desire monogamy and he states he only engages in open relationships, this is a values clash and you won’t likely be a good fit as lovers. Or maybe you oppose drug usage and he admits to regular marijuana consumption. Turn away, no matter what your hormones are saying! It’s important to not fall into the trap of thinking you can change another person or that maybe someday they’ll have a change-of-heart.
Your Values & Your Dating Behavior
Solid self-awareness of your values not only helps you weed out guys who would be totally wrong for you from the real potentials, but they also can help you stay centered and true-to-form when meeting and getting to know men. It boggles my mind sometimes how heartless people can be in the dating world, treating each other with such disrespect and cruelty. From the guy who says he’ll call you and never does, to the guy who talks trash behind your back to all his friends, to the guys online who don’t reciprocate trading pictures as promised or log off at the last minute just before you’re ready to make plans to meet…These are all but just a few examples of the ways we gay men treat each other when we should be supporting each other.
Values sometimes seem to have gone by the wayside, but if you can bring them front-and-center in all your interactions, you’ll feel much better in your own skin and won’t have to experience any unnecessary guilt. If you value honesty, make sure that you politely let the guy on your first date know that you didn’t really feel that it was a match. If you say you’re going to call him tomorrow, make every effort to do so. Living your values gives you a sense of authenticity and an aura of confidence that is very attractive.
So there you have it! One of the secrets of successful dating explained that so many people tend to think would be a no-brainer, but is so often overlooked and taken for granted. By being yourself, expressing your true sense of self in every word and action, you’re showing the world the canvas of your identity and will increase your odds of attracting other similar guys. And by being true to your values, you will be less prone to molding yourself around a relationship with a man just for the sake of being in one because you’re making conscious decisions to honor your beliefs and what’s important to you to be happy. It is hoped that this will be a good jump-start for your quest for an equal, and remember---values are sexy!
© 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