At dinner few months ago, friend of mine confessed that it drove him crazy when well-meaning friends and co-workers told him they had no idea why he is still available when he is such obvious husband material. It's true; my friend is a sexy guy with a great personality and a fine job. To say that he has been frustrated by his lack of success in dating would be an understatement. Problem is, my buddy's job keeps him busy. He's also involved with volunteer projects with kids, and he lives near his aging parents so he can spend more time with them.
While Jack (not his real name) is a sociable guy with many friends and contacts, it could be a long time before he finds Mr. Right. While he has friends, his social circle tends to e restricted primarily to a group of men and women he's especially comfortable with. When you take a look at it, the circle isn't all that big.
So - perhaps the best definition of madness is "doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Yet this is exactly what many of us do. We keep living our lives the same old way and things stay pretty much the same as they always have. We are waiting for lightning to strike us.
If you would like to make some changes in your romantic life, you might start by making a list of the men you've dated or been in relationship with over your lifetime. Where did you meet them? Are these men similar in any way? How happy were you with your connection to them?
Jack and I sat down with a list of the guys he's dated or been in relationship with over the years. It wasn't long before patterns started to emerge. The guys Jack had dated were often attractive guys physically who were unavailable emotionally. The guys were often on the rebound from a recent relationship break-up. They needed someone to care for them while they licked their wounds.
Some men just prefer the single life, and good for them. Others, though, find they are so frustrated with dating they rebel at the thought of going out and looking for someone; they become homebodies. Nothing wrong with recharging your batteries. Realize, though, that home isn't likely to be where you find someone to share your life.
Where are you investing your time? If you're a gay man and you want to meet other gay men, are you spending time where you are likely to find them? Someone once asked bank robber Willie Sutton why he robbed banks. He famously replied, "Because that's where the money is." Are you spending your time where there is likely to be a payoff for you?
If you find that almost all of your friends know one another, consider that a clue. Staying with the investment analogy, it may be time to diversify your social portfolio. Keep your old friends, but try doing something different as well.
Lots of men find bars and clubs are great places to meet other men. Be aware, though, that if you tend to be shy, if you are a non-drinker or if you are considerably different from the demographic norm at the place you are frequenting, meeting someone there may not be easy.
I'll talk more next time (PART TWO) about what you can do to make connecting with someone more likely.
John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. - www.bodymindsoul.org.