Dating can be like a roller coaster ride sometimes with its fun highs and frustrating lows. Ever wonder why some guys have more luck with the dating game than others? Ever contemplate what it takes to become more successful with men? Well, that’s a tricky business and there’s no scientific formula that will yield those positive results. I believe dating is partly luck and LOTS of preparation.
Part One of this article will count-down the first 5 out of 10 characteristics that are common to the profile of a successful gay dater. (Part Two - Tomorrow)
The list goes on beyond this as well, but these qualities can provide a starting point for you to assess your possible strengths and weaknesses as a single gay man on the prowl for your Mr. Right and to develop goals for self-improvement that will maximize your efforts out on the dating scene.
10. He lives a life that he loves with a clear vision of his future and is armed with self-knowledge and awareness.
It’s critical that you avoid defining your whole life around dating and finding a boyfriend. This is just one aspect of your life and you don’t want to neglect and avoid the other parts of your identity. Know who you are, what you want, and where you’re going in your life.
Develop a crisp, clear vision of how you want to be and the type of life you’d like to lead and succinctly define your personal values, passions, and life purpose and live according to them. Look and feel your best! And remember, “The Law of Attraction” states that like attracts like; what you put out there and show the world has the tendency to attract the same back to you---and that goes for dating too!
9. He knows his personal requirements and refuses to tolerate anything less.
The best defense that you can have in the midst of all those men to choose from is to know what your non-negotiable needs are; things you absolutely must have or absolutely cannot have in a relationship for you to be with that particular guy. This will help you weed through the potentials and the Mr. Wrongs. And don’t sway from your requirements, no matter how hot he is! You’ll be saving yourself a lot of grief in the long run.
8. He has a solid knowledge of what constitutes a healthy relationship.
Be aware of the ingredients of a healthy partnership. This can help you detect any red flags in your dating relationship that might be “deal-breakers” or areas that the two of you could work on together. Such qualities include each person having a strong sense of self with solid boundaries, open communication, flexibility, commitment, ability to have fun, capable of non-defensive conflict negotiation, having emotional connection and intimacy, affection, sexual compatibility, etc.
7. He has a strong support system, access to resources, and is comfortable being alone.
It’s important when your single to have a good friendship network going (they can be great match-makers sometimes) and have a circle of people in your life who support you and care about you. Additionally, become knowledgeable about the resources that exist in your community for LGBT individuals as additional components you can add to your network. And learn creative ways for coping with loneliness by utilizing this alone time for self-reflection, relaxation, and movement toward your personal goals and vision.
6. He has overcome a lot of the male socialization barriers that can interfere with relationship quality of life.
“Men are tough. Men don’t cry. Men don’t show emotions.”You know, all those mumbo jumbo messages all of us men, gay and straight, had to internalize growing up. These scripts that are supposed to define manhood limit our ability to live freely. As a result, many gay relationships tend to be highlighted by competition, status, power/control struggles, and lack of effective communication skills and expression of feelings.
Put two men together in a dating situation with the same socialization scripts, and these are relationship killers! Define for yourself what being a man means, develop comfort with your masculinity and gender, and don’t be held back by these prejudicial sanctions.
( Part Two Tomorrow )
© 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