Tag Archives: gay dating

RULE 26: STOP WAITING TO BE PERFECT

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Match.com has launched the 2015 campaign ‘#loveyourimperfections’, encouraging us all to embrace the things that make us unique. I have contributed to the campaign with this post which is a challenge to all those who read it to stop waiting to be perfect before you feel like you’re worthy of love. After all it’s our mistakes, misbehaviours, quirks, habits and our little obsessions that make us who we are.

If you are waiting to lose weight before you are ready to find love then you will never find love. If you are waiting to have the perfect six-pack before you are ready to find love then you will never find love. If you are waiting for anything about you to change before you are ready to find love then you will never find love. If you are waiting to be perfect then you will never find love.

I used to think that I would be ready for love and a relationship only once I had controlled all the external elements of my being, that only when my body, job and social life were in ideal alignment then would I find the perfect guy. The fact is that my life will never be perfect and neither will yours.

Stop waiting to be perfect to feel that you are worthy of love whether it be love from someone else or self-love. It’s exhausting to pursue perfection. Why? Because there is no measureable end goal. The finish line is always moving. How will you know when you’re perfect? The pursuit of perfection does not lead to happiness. It leads to dissatisfaction with the moment. Perfection does not exist and as such the pursuit of perfection is a pointless cause.

But who wants to be with a perfect partner anyway? Personally I don’t want to be with someone who wants me to be perfect, in fact, I want to be with someone who loves my imperfections. I want a man who will love me even when I’ve put on weight, when I haven’t gone to gym for three months, when I’m sick and when I’m feeling ugly. My future partner needs to understand that sometimes I shave and sometimes I don’t, that sometimes I trim my chest hair but most of the time I look like I’ve been stranded on a tropical island for months with only a Wilson volleyball as a companion. My future partner needs to understand that these external things do not define who I am and as such I don’t want a relationship that fluctuates depending on such things. The right person will love me for who I am always not who I am sometimes.

It’s our imperfections that actually make us the most beautiful. The Japanese have known this for centuries. Kintsugi, the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin mixed with powdered gold is based on highlighting imperfections as beautiful fragments of the overall story. As a philosophy it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. We should apply this same approach to mending the parts of us that we see as broken and imperfect.

My body is covered in scars and marks. I have a long scar on my knuckles from when I cut myself working in a cocktail bar, I have a scar on my chin from when I was dumped by a wave on family holiday and I have little stretch marks on my sides from when I went through a growth spurt in grade 8. All these blemishes represent moments in my life and instead of hiding them, I have chosen to embrace them as markers of memories.

Only once you have learnt to appreciate all the parts that make up who you are will you then be ready for love. In the end though, it’s not about being ready for someone else’s love but learning to love yourself.

Watch the campaign video here to see how the things that embarrass us about ourselves might actually be the things that others find endearing. 

Image by Willy Vanderperre

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MODERN GAY PERSPECTIVE: LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF (AGAIN)

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We are told that in order to be happy we need to “love ourselves”, to discover the joy within and to build our self-esteem but nobody really tells us how. In this personal post, guest writer Joshua Vaughn shares his story about depression, losing his self-love while in a relationship and then the five steps he took to find that love again. 

Life as a gay guy can often be a battle, we don’t have it easy. Let’s admit it. I mean, lets really admit it. You can say that us gays have the same opportunity as our straight counterparts – and yes that is true, we do, possibly even more. But do you think many straight guys have ever had to reveal news about themselves that could potentially result in exclusion from social circles, family or their community? Have straight guys ever had to cover up who they really were in fear of punishment, abuse and rejection?

Moving beyond coming out and self-discovery, let’s look at the gay dating world. How many times has your attention been driven to the topless six pack Grindr profiles? Or how many times have you had to describe yourself as ‘masc’ in order to be accepted by another?

Yes, life for everyone is tough, but as gays, it is a little more complex.

For a large chunk of our lives we have had to cover up who we are.  Once we come out, we go on to label ourselves to fit in, to impress others and to feel loved, but really all we truly need to do is to love ourselves a little bit more.

Loving yourself is a constant habit, it takes work. I have recently come out of a relationship where by the end, I was a completely different person. Walking into the relationship I was confident, I knew who I was, I was witty, charming and an all-round social butterfly. Towards the end of the relationship, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and constantly in fear of losing my significant other. I was a hermit who lacked energy and on some afternoons I was completely bed ridden. It is safe to say I was a completely different person. People would automatically assume that it was my significant other’s influence that made me become a total different person, but it wasn’t him at all. It was me.

I accept full responsibility. Why? Because I forgot to love myself. I was so invested in the relationship, I put him before me. My needs and wants fell by the wayside. I became secondary and as a result I suffered immensely. Slowly but surely my mental illness got the best of me. I let the relationship dictate my happiness (relationships are add-on’s, not a core feature in life!) I needed to learn how to love myself again, and I needed to do it fast!

After hundreds of Google searches, kindle downloads, self-help blogs, talks with good friends and professionals, I came up with a plan to become the best version of me. I won’t go into the importance of loving yourself, there are plenty of articles on Google that cater to that, but what many articles don’t address is the actual practice of loving yourself. And that’s what it is. It is a practice that needs to be included into your daily routine so that it becomes a habit.

Now this may not apply to everyone, however I would recommend that you simply try it out for a week or so, you really have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain.

  1. Firstly, know the person you want to be. Create a wish list. Let’s be realistic here. You don’t want to totally transform yourself into someone else. I’m talking about creating a list of qualities about yourself that you want to shine more, to develop. Think back to a situation where you thought you handled it well. Or even think back to a better time. Mine was to be more positive, charming, energetic and adventurous.
  1. Come up with a motto. Like an affirmation, decide on a piece of text that you can always refer to. It can be a goal of some sort. A reminder of why you are doing this. Mine is ‘ Be the best person I can be, and everything else will fall into place’. I wrote this down along with the qualities I want to shine listed in the previous step, stuck it on my bedroom wall and referred to it daily.
  1. Strengths! Everyone has them. And write them down! Keep a strength journal. Every day I would write down my ‘wins’ for the day. They could be as little as having a good hair day, or as big as doing well in a presentation. Focusing on my positives and telling myself that I am amazing made a heap of difference.
  1. Fake it till you make it. Embody the person you want to become in step 1. Think like that person, walk like them, talk like them. I embodied the version of ‘me’ that was confident with who he is. I walked tall, spoke with certainty and charm, I oozed positivity. And after a while it worked, I slowly became that person.It takes 30 days for something to become a habit. This is going to be hard, but trust me it will pay off. Some people may disagree with this step, but hey, sometimes we get to such a dark place that taking a break from the person we are and focusing on the person we can become is the only option.
  1. Treat yourself like a child. Speak to yourself as you would a 5 year old child. Be kind to yourself. If you screw up or make a bad decision, think about what you would say to a five year old, and say it to yourself. Admit that you were wrong, but be kind and gentle so you can move forward.

At this point, I can say confidently that I am better than my old self, I am now the best version of myself. People have noticed and commented. I am excited about life again. I am excited to explore and roam. Sure I have off days when I feel like I have lost my footing. When this happens, I acknowledge that I feel this way and am mindful of my thoughts but I use the steps above to get back on that path.

Remember, only you can make yourself feel loved and happy, it’s no one else’s job.

Have you had a similar experience? Have you had to learn how to love yourself again? Comment below!

Image by Sylvain Norget

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THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE FOR ONLINE DATING

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This article was originally written by The Modern Gay for Match.com

I have been using the internet to communicate with other gay guys my age since I was fourteen-years-old. What started as a means to explore my curiosities in the privacy of my bedroom has matured into a means by which I have met romantic partners. In the early days of internet dating you were warned not to share too much detail about your life for fear of being taken advantage of but as we have become more comfortable with this digital medium we are more open to sharing our phone numbers, private pictures, personal stories and even our home addresses.

When I was eighteen I signed up for one of the few gay dating sites that existed at the time. The internet was the only access I had to the big gay world but because I was still in the closet I was reluctant to use a real profile picture for fear of being outed. Like many other questioning, young gay guys, I established a false profile, using an image that I found online. I created an alluring persona of the ideal “straight-acting”, high school jock and used this disguise to communicate with other guys. Luckily though, I quickly realized the pointlessness in pretending to be someone you are not, both digitally and in real life. Although my fake profile allowed me to comfortably chat to other gay guys (something I could not do while I was still in school) I knew that these relationships would never eventuate into anything more than an internet fling. I deleted my accounts and stopped using the internet for chatting until I was comfortable enough to establish a profile that reflected the real me, with genuine pictures included.

Since then I have met some great guys through dating websites and apps. Along the way I have also learnt some valuable lessons about online dating, the most important of which is honesty. Pretending to be someone that you are not is pointless in the long run. Sure it may allow you to escape the reality of your life in the moment but ultimately it’s a dead end and people inevitably are hurt. I also strongly believe that we should only be in relationships with people who love us for who we are and not for who we think they want us to be. The best way to attract these people into your life is to be honest from day one, and this means being honest in your online profile too. Exaggerating your height, body type or income may increase the views on your profile but what happens when you meet your love interest in person and he realizes that you are not a six-foot-two footballer with a six-figure salary? Such superficial things as body type and salary should not even matter in a loving relationship but they will become an issue if you have lied about them from the start.

While honesty is certainly the most important rule in online dating, here is a list of 7 practical ways to improve your online profile that will hopefully lead to happily ever after.

Image by Steven Kohlstock

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THE GAY AMERICAN MEN OF INSTAGRAM (GAMI)

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An outsider’s satirical view on the gay American men of Instagram.

The gay American men of Instagram (GAMI) must have an abundance of energy and equal amounts of money. I see them on Instagram and I wonder how they have the stamina to lead the eventful lives that they do. If they’re not at a pool party surrounded by equally beautiful men then they’re at a trendy restaurant playing drag bingo or trying out the latest hot-yoga-hip-hop-boot-camp-spin-fusion class. In their spare time they’re running cross-country to raise money for homeless youth or flying business-class across the globe to visit friends in exotic locations. And they’re documenting all of this with the precision and skill of a professional photographer, always ensuring that the angles are right, the timing perfect, the lighting adjusted and the appropriate filters applied. I don’t understand how they do it but I’m intrigued.

Never do I see pictures of them alone, unless of course it’s a gym selfie or an artistic semi-nude picture taken on a mountain trail. They all seem to be very popular, regularly hashtagging “bestie” under pictures of different guys and girls. How many best friends do they have? They must never feel lonely. The GAMI are fascinating and I’m certainly not the only one who is fascinated by them. These men have a combined following of millions. While some use their huge fan base as a means to inspire and raise money and awareness for LGBTI causes, others are happy to simply entertain their adoring fans. And they have plenty of adoring fans. Gay men from around the world love to comment on their pictures, openly daydreaming that one day they too will have fabulous lives.

But how do they do it? How do the GAMI have the energy to maintain their very social social lives? Where do they find the time to attend all those gay parties in all those gay cities throughout the world? And how do they fund their lavish lifestyles?

I can only assume that the GAMI must be making a fortune in their respective careers, although I’m not 100% sure what their careers entail as they never appear to be working. Are they doctors? Dancers? Hairstylists? Make-up artists? Models? Businesspeople? Designers? Whatever they do they must be doing it well because the GAMI are always decked out in the most stylish clothes (when they’re wearing clothes) and always eating in the most expensive restaurants (when they’re eating). Do they ever have downtime or a bad hair day? Do the GAMI get pimples? Do other gay men of Instagram ever reject them? While I’m sure there are plenty of regular gay American men who are also on Instagram and whose lives are unexcitingly normal, I never see them. They do not appear on my news feed or garner enough likes to justify following.

But then again maybe the GAMI don’t always lead such fabulous lives. Perhaps they are smart enough to realize that Instagram isn’t actually a reflection of the real world. Perhaps they have worked out that with clever editing they can make their lives seem much more interesting than they really are. Either that or the gay American men of Instagram have an abundance of energy and equal amounts of money.

Image by Remulo Brandao for Coitus Magazine

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MODERN GAY DATING: YOU ARE NOT MY TYPE

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This article was originally written by The Modern Gay for Match.com

“What’s your type of guy”, she asks. “I don’t really have a type” I respond “but I would probably say that he’s of Mediterranean decent, 6-foot-3, 80kgs, long dark-brown hair, bronzed skin, light eyes, Roman nose, sumptuous lips, slim build with a light covering of body hair and a scattering of tattoos. He’s thirty-two years old, most probably university educated, successful in business, speaks several languages, dresses like a GQ model and has the wit of Russell Brand coupled with the boyish charisma of Harry Styles”. As it turns out, I certainly do have a type.

“What was your last boyfriend like” she inquires further. “English decent, short blonde hair, 5-foot-10, smooth body, 20-years-old, with the style of a surfer and the wit of a doorknob” I reply. As it turns out, my ideal type of guy and the guys I actually date are completely incongruent. Why is this the case? Why is it that our ideal type and our actual type are often entirely different? Can we do anything to bring the two into alignment? This is something with which I have been struggling of late, compounded by the big “three-zero” which looms on the horizon.

What began as a creep towards the age of thirty has now turned into a full-blown gallop and as I approach the next milestone in my life I become increasingly anxious about the type of men that I find myself dating. When I was in my early 20s and dating guys similar in age to me it was fun and carefree. It didn’t matter much to me what their long term goals and aspirations were or even if they had any. Nor was it of much concern whether or not they were the type of people I would be happy to introduce to my parents or friends. Now that I’m in my late 20s and still find myself attracted to those same guys, the things that never seemed to bother me back then have now become of greater importance. Yes he’s pretty but what else does he have to offer? Yes he is full of youthful energy and always up for a good time but does he think that Palestine is a new fragrance by Kim Kardashian? Yes he’s great in bed but would… To continue reading click here.

Image by Mariano Vivanco

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THE DATING GAME: LESSONS FROM THE FIELD

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The following is an extract from an article originally written by The Modern Gay for match.com.

“The Dating Game” as it is often referred is an intricate play of tactical maneuvers, distinct rules, and pre-determined positions between two foreign teams who are brought together to achieve mutual victory. The problem though is that nobody knows the rules, the positions are ever changing and the maneuvers that are learnt in training normally don’t work on the field. What’s even more complicating is that after kick-off the game rarely goes to plan as off-sides are called, red cards are given, fouls are made and penalties awarded. More often than not, someone is bound to get hurt or sent-off and ultimately one or both teams leaves the pitch feeling like a loser. In the end, when we date as if it were a game, nobody wins.

While I don’t claim to be a love professional or a coach, I have certainly been on my fair share of dates and I feel that I have learnt a few lessons along the way.

Like many other guys there was a point in my life when I didn’t want to play the game anymore.Wait three days before you message him. Don’t write back straight away. Play it cool. Be mean, keep them keen. Don’t act too gay. Sleep with him regardless. I followed all the rules and believed that with practice would come perfection but I never seemed to score a goal. Then came a series of terrible dates. There was the guy who spoke only about his ex-boyfriend for the duration of dinner, the personal trainer who refused to eat anything that wasn’t green and the gorgeous Italian boy whose English skills were much better online. After a season of disappointing results I was ready to call a time-out or retire early.

I decided to take stock of the situation, to look back over all my dating experiences to see if there was a common problem that could explain my past failures. To my surprise, after deep analysis, I realised that I was in fact the problem. There were three mistakes that I continuously made which could explain why dating was so daunting. These mistakes turned into three lessons that have changed my entire perspective on dating.

Firstly, I realised that I was placing too much pressure on the outcome of the date, willing for it to be a ‘happily ever after’ love story before the referee’s whistle had even been blown. While I have always considered myself to be an independent person, in retrospect, I went through a stage where I was eager to be in a relationship. I empathised with Charlotte from Sex and the City who in one episode desperately exclaimed, “I’ve been dating since I was 15. I’m exhausted. Where is he?” I shared her pain and translated it into a period of binge-dating where every failed attempt at love seemed to be one step further away from Mr. Right. One should never approach dating or love from a place of such desperation. That was my first mistake.

My second mistake was framing dates as if they were job interviews. Will he like this outfit? What questions will he ask? What questions should I ask? What if he doesn’t like me? I hope I give a good impression. Should I be myself? Should I be who I think he’s looking for?

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MODERN GAY ROMANCE: DATE LIKE A STRAIGHT GIRL

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I have decided that dating like a gay boy has been quite unsuccessful thus far. In a bid to improve my romantic prospects, I’ve undertaken informal ethnographic research into a subgroup of the human species, a group that has long been committed to the procurement of suitable, long-term companions. Henceforth I have decided to date like a straight girl.

Straight girls, being a very goal-oriented species, know how to locate, persuade and secure a potential mate. As such there is much that we can learn from this mysterious group. First though, we must look at how straight girls and gay boys differ in order to broaden our understanding.

Straight girls feel the pressure of time in their late 20s. Gay boys feel like they’re 20 for the rest of time.

Women are well aware of aging and for those who want to have children, there comes a time in their 20s when they realize that their body clocks are ticking.  This pressure to find a partner and have children before it’s “too late” encourages single straight women to take stock of their lives, mentally mature and make any necessary changes to find a proper mate. Gay men on the other hand have no such pressure and therefore feel that time is limitless. As a result, we are never forced to really grow up and spend the rest of our lives acting like we’re still in our 20’s. Not having that moment in time to take stock of our lives means that we don’t stop and think what it is we are really looking for.

Straight girls are looking for men who can be daddies to their children. Gay boys act like children who are looking for sugar daddies.

Straight girls look for a partner that will be a suitable father to their children. They wonder if their man will be able to provide for his family in the future. Does he share the same values? Is he patient? Is he loving? Gay boys on the other hand are looking for guys who can provide for them in the moment. Does he turn me on? Is he hot? Is he good in bed? Personally, I would like to have children and hope to find a man that not only satisfies my needs now but who will also be a loving father in the future. I’ve realized that these kinds of men can’t be found amongst the headless torsos of Grindr.

Straight girls look for men with big ambition. Gay boys look for men with big…

Sexual chemistry is an important part of a relationship but it’s not the most important part. Many gay boys place too much importance on physical attraction, dating men with big biceps, big chests and big egos. After a while though the attraction wanes and the relationship fails. Then they repeat the cycle, finding a man of similar ilk and wonder why that relationship disappoints too. Long-term relationships are built on shared values, friendship, mutual understanding, love and patience and straight girls understand this. Straight girls look beyond the purely physical and are attracted to men with ambition, goals, intelligence, humor and other qualities that exceed the peripheral.

Straight girls look to build a home with their partner. Gay boys look for partners at clubs that play house music.

As a gay boy, there comes a time in your 20’s when you realize that gay clubs are all the same. Wherever you are in the world they tend to be filled with the same people (10 people you meet in gay clubs), play the same music and leave you with the same feelings at the end of the night.  Sure, they can be fun on the odd occasion but when you make clubbing the primary means by which to pick-up men, you are bound to be disappointed. Straight girls have realized that their future partner probably wont be found on a sweaty dance floor and those that have already found their significant other can attest that staying home is far more enjoyable than shooting tequila in a crowded club.

Straight girls know that promiscuity doesn’t lead to love. Gay boys think that being promiscuous will make them feel loved.

Many straight girls use their early 20’s and college years to experiment sexually so that by the time they are in their late 20’s they’re ready to settle down. They have learnt that one-night stands and drunken hook-ups don’t lead to long-term relationships; they lead to hangovers and heartbreak. It takes much longer for gay guys to realize that sexual intimacy doesn’t equate to love. Unfortunately for some guys that realization never comes. They find themselves in an endless loop of short sexual encounters, hoping that the next one will be the one that makes them feel loved.

As Albert Einstein said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results”. If you’re looking for love and haven’t had much success in the past, then it’s time to rethink your approach. Straight girls certainly have the right idea, probably because they’ve had much more time to perfect the art of dating. Maybe it’s time then that you too dated like a straight girl?

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MODERN GAY PERSPECTIVE: OLDER GAYS AND YOUNGER BOYS

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There is something disconcerting about older gay men enjoying the company of younger gay guys. While I realize that this isn’t a practice that is typical only to the gay community, there is something particularly unsettling about seeing a group of 60-year-old men socializing with boys 40 years their junior.

Recently I saw images of a group of gentlemen who were probably in their 60s, enjoying a spring day on a yacht surrounded by a dozen scantily dressed young guys who were no older than 23. The sight of the grey-chested men posing amongst the hairless bodies of the younger guys made me feel rather uncomfortable.  I wondered how these young guys had befriended the older men in the first place. I wondered how the older men were comfortable to be photographed in the company of guys who looked like their children. I wondered what the conversation would be like and I wondered what everyone on the yacht hoped to get out of the experience.

I never understood how young gay guys can be comfortable in these situations when they surely must be aware that the only reason they are included is to be the visual stimulation and sexual fantasy of their hosts. While I am completely pro intergenerational friendship, I find it hard to comprehend what a 20-year-old twink and a 60-year-old grandfather have in common. It would be wrong to assume that these boys don’t have legitimate friendships with these older gentlemen but the fact that they all looked adolescent, presented well in speedos and are known to be overly flirtatious makes we wonder on what grounds these “friendships” were formed.

Before you start accusing me of being a jaded, jealous gay I should make it clear that I critique these boys based on my own experiences with older men and women. When I was 18 years old and living on the east coast of America an older lady took me under her wing (so to speak) and taught me a thing or two about the female species. The only thing we had in common though was that her son and I both played football. When I was 19 years old I had my first encounter with a much older Southern gentleman who invited me to spend the summer with him on his plantation in Alabama. The only thing he and I had in common was that we both liked whiskey. Both these early experiences left a lasting impression on me. Although it was fun to be looked after and spoilt, there certainly was the feeling that I was indebted to this man and woman. The attention was exciting at first but that feeling quickly waned when I realized that these encounters were based on superficial characteristics and not on deeper, legitimate commonalities. They weren’t interested in my opinion or my values or my intelligence or my goals for the future; they were interested in something else.

When I was somewhat older and living in Milan I became even more aware of the older/younger gay man relationship. In Europe, particularly amongst the wealthier classes there is a culture of older married men having affairs with young handsome guys and in Milan there were plenty of rich old men and just as many young handsome guys. Although I never had any personal affairs with these men a few of my friends forged “special” relationships. I was often invited to join them and their older companions at complimentary dinners in extravagant restaurants, to sit at tables at the most exclusive clubs and to spend weekends lounging on yachts. This may sound appealing to some but for me they were uncomfortable experiences that I was unable to enjoy. To be frank, I felt like a prostitute. In return for my company I was offered food, alcohol and excessive experiences but there was always the underlying and unspoken expectation that at any time I would be called upon to offer more than my company. I couldn’t partake in this behavior and luckily I stopped it before I lost all of my dignity.

I wondered then and still do now, how some boys my age are so comfortable in these situations. Are they more confident in their sexuality or are they blinded by the gifts and attention? Are they ignorant to the real intentions of their older friends or are they willing participants? Why did I feel cheap and used while others seemed to revel in the company of older men? Maybe I have a stronger sense of dignity and self-worth or maybe I’m not secure enough with myself to enjoy the experience without worrying about the repercussions? Either way, I would suggest to any gay boy who finds themselves in a similar situation to ask themselves “what is this experience worth to me?”. If you’re happy to enjoy a free holiday in exchange for swanning around a pool in your speedos in front of 60-year old men then go for it but if you have the slightest intuitive doubt that something’s peculiar about the situation, rather stay home and enjoy the company of men from your own generation instead.

Image by Willy Vanderperre 

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RULE NO.22: THERE ARE TOO MANY BOYS

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It’s hard to find “the one” when there are so many choices.

There’s a marketing theory that suggests that when we’re given too many choices we experience anxiety and buyers regret. This is called the “Paradox of Choice” whereby more choices leads to less happiness. One would think that the opposite is true, that the more choices we have the happier we will feel but this is not the case.

Lets look at an example. You’re in a restaurant with a friend and there is a huge selection of dishes on the menu. You see many different options that look appealing and finally after much deliberation you make your selection. Your friend chooses the schnitzel while you choose the steak. When your food arrives you instantly feel that you may have made the wrong decision. You look around at all the other tables and see the variation of delicious meals being consumed by patrons seemingly more happy than yourself and  you regret your decision. As you bight into your steak, you wonder “what would life be like if I was eating schnitzel?”.

This theory is ever present in the modern world of gay dating. Through the power of Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr we are exposed to images of thousands of gorgeous men from all over the globe. From the beaches of Brazil to the clubs of Tel Aviv, the internet has created a virtual gay community comprising of men that we never would have known without physically visiting those cities. While its fun to perve on these guys from your phone or computer it has created the “the anxiety of choice” conundrum – more options equals higher regret. Being aware of all these men who appear to be better looking and having more fun than the men in our immediate communities has created this anxiety of choice.  The most troubling thing about this anxiety is that the choice is not real. In a restaurant you can choose your meal from a finite selection and that choice will be served to you. In the online world, chances are that you’ll never meet those men about who you fantasise and yet you compare your attainable options to those which are infinite and unattainable. You might even be waiting for Mr Right who’ll hopefully appear in the form of some American adonis with gorgeous friends or worse still, you might be in a relationship treading water, until something better comes along. Having too many choices, whether they be real or imagined is affecting the way we date.

Couple this with apps likes Grindr and Scruff and you have a selection of 200 men at your fingertips. These apps are supposed to help you find potential mates in your immediate area but when there are so many options, how do you know that you’re going to make the right choice? If you’re like me then you probably keep pressing ‘refresh’ hoping that someone even more exciting than the last will magically appear.

This technologically advanced world has brought the universe to our fingertips and created digital communities which have helped countless gay men seek advice, solace and information but it has also given us too many choices.  In this restaurant of life, with its countless dishes and delicious choices, I wonder if we’ll always keep looking around at what everyone else is eating and never be satisfied with whats on our own plates.

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RULE NO.16: YOUR BOYFRIEND IS A REFLECTION OF YOURSELF

 Patriota Twins Moden Gay

Is who you date a reflection of who you are?

A friend of mine once admitted that he was sexually aroused by the sight of himself naked in the mirror. Instead of other forms of visual stimulation, he openly admitted that when it came to special “alone” time, his own reflection was enough to do the job. There are two things you need to know about this friend: 1. he’s extremely handsome by most people’s standards and 2. he makes Narcissus look like Mother Theresa. I’ve watched the string of boyfriends that have come and gone through his life and although they’ve been of different ages and nationalities, they’ve all had one thing in common – they look identical to him. This made me think about boyfriends and whether or not one’s boyfriend is a reflection of one’s self.

Have you noticed those cute gay couples who look like they could be brothers or father and son for the matter? Sure, some may argue that couples begin to look and act similar over time, much like dogs and their owners but I would suggest that who you choose to date is in fact a reflection of yourself. The short-buff-gym-dude dates other short-buff-gym-dudes much like the narcissistic model dates other narcissistic models or the blondes date blondes etc. So then what does it mean if you’re like me and you date people who are polar opposites? Is this the reflection of  subconscious self-love issues? Maybe. But I would choose to think that it is because you are attracted to people who have qualities that complement your own (whether physical or not).

I’m not assuming that everyone who is attracted to someone of a similar aesthetic or nature is narcissistic, I’m simply discussing extreme examples of the phenomena and trying to draw conclusions. From a more positive perspective, dating someone who looks like you may be a sign that you are comfortable with your inner self. A few years ago I broke up with a boyfriend because he liked things about me that I hated about myself so clearly there was something wrong with him. Now I realise that you can’t truly be open to love if you haven’t accepted yourself, although this realisation hasn’t changed the types of men I date.

There are obviously other factors involved in the subconscious attraction process (like LOA – Read Here) but it’s much easier to look at the superficial reasons so I would love to hear your feedback on the observation that who you date is indeed a reflection of yourself. 

Photo Credit: Patriota Twins by Rick Day for FantasticMag

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