Happily Single – Society places a huge emphasis on being coupled and singles are often stigmatized and viewed as the lost souls of the world. For many gay men; however, remaining single might be the best decision. Are you remaining single by choice or because there are internal conflicts that prevent you from connecting to someone on a deeper level? Through purposeful inquiry you can become more aware of yourself so you can make decisions that are aligned with your values.

Dating Survival Tips for Gay Men

“I don’t think there’s enough passion between us”, “I don’t think we are a complete match”, “I’m not feeling a click”, “I don’t think there’s enough chemistry on my side”, “We’re not sexually compatible”, “I’m not ready for a relationship”, “It’s not you; it’s me”, “I’d like for us to remain friends”.

Oh…the perils of dating! We’ve all been on the giving or receiving end of these statements and it never feels good either way. Sometimes nothing is ever said, and the situation just fades away causing us even more confusion. Dating can be very difficult, especially in the online environments we often find ourselves.

So how do we take care of our personal well-being in dating situations?

Here are some dating survival tips to consider:

1). Date for dating’s sake – Get rid of the expectation of finding “the
one” and just date. Meet people with the intention of getting to know them and
learning about who they are. Avoid getting emotionally caught up too soon. Release
the pressure and expectation that this might be “the one” for the long-term.

2). Actions don’t necessarily speak louder than words – We’ve all been
told that “actions speak louder than words” but this isn’t always so. Be wary
of interpreting someone’s actions as meaning that they are into you or that
they actually want a relationship with you. Some guys may say sweet things, buy
you flowers or gifts, treat you to dinner, introduce you to their friends and
family or initiate sex as a part of their own dating rituals. These actions may
hold no specific meaning to you whatsoever.

3). Have fun – Enjoy the process of dating. Put your best self forward
and have fun. You cannot control another person’s thoughts, feelings or
behaviors. You also can’t control the outcome of the experience. You can allow
yourself to have fun! Be lighthearted about it all – stay in the moment, enjoy
your dates and let go of your attachment to the outcome.

4). Stay focused on your life – Make time to plan activities apart from
dating. Remember that dating is only one aspect of your life. Do other things
that bring you pleasure and balance your dating life with other important life
areas – having a rich full life makes you a very attractive person overall.

5). Learn how to handle rejection – It’s never easy to be let down but don’t
personalize the rejection. Recognize that everyone has their own psychological
issues and relationship histories that they bring into dating situations. If
someone tells you they don’t want to go forward don’t make it about you. There
can be any number of reasons that caused them to back out, and they probably
have absolutely nothing to do with you. If you need to, you can talk about the
experience with a friend, therapist or coach to help you to quickly move on.

6). Focus on your well-being – Take care of yourself every day by asking
What can I do to take care of myself today?  Perhaps it’s exercising,
meditating, or going out with friends or family. Do whatever is meaningful to
you. Make a commitment to yourself to do something each day that makes you feel
good.

Finally, always remember what my grandmother used to say:

“Men are like buses, there is always another one coming”!

 

 

 

I Am Gay, Happy and Free!

You’ve heard it countless times that happiness comes from within, and this is absolutely true. Yet it’s also a fact that we sometimes need external motivation in order for us to achieve what makes us happy. Everyone has a different idea of what they need to be happy. No matter what it is, we all desire joy in our lives.

As gay men, we sometimes look outside of ourselves and make comparisons. We may feel that we come up short in some way. We don’t have the right body. We don’t make or have as much money as our friends. We don’t even have so many friends. We don’t travel and lead exciting lives like other gay guys we know.

If you’re like me, you may have often wondered, Where do I fit in? I know I’m gay, but I don’t always relate to what’s expected of me as a gay man. Well, the truth is, when you come to realize and accept that you don’t have to fit into anyone’s mold of what it means to be a gay man, freedom and happiness ensue. You now get to create your life in your own unique way. You step into the driver’s seat, and you become the leader of your life.

Here are a few tips you can use as a guide to live authentically and increase your happiness:

Acknowledge your need to be happy. Although most of us say we want to be happy not everyone has a strong enough desire to make it their primary goal. We get bogged down by life’s challenges, which can lead us into frustration, anger and even depression. Although we may not always have control over what happens in our lives, we definitely have control over our thoughts, interpretations, and reactions to life events. Ask yourself: Do I want to be right or happy? What is most important here? Then refocus your attention on your emotional well-being. What would make you feel better in this moment?

Let go of the status quo. If your life no longer feels like it fits who you are, it’s time to be honest with yourself. Give up the need to be like everyone else. Stop behaving in preconceived ways because you are gay and think you must live accordingly. You don’t have to live an “image” of what it means to be gay. Learn to live authentically by being true to yourself, not what society or anyone else dictates to you.

Know what makes you tick. Every individual is different in the way they perceive happiness. Although we all share the basic goal of happiness in life, we may have dissimilar outlooks on how to get there. One man’s heaven is another man’s hell. Understanding your personality and preferences will give you clarity on what makes you happy and how you can remain in that state for longer and longer periods of time.

Discover the things that make you happy. Start to brainstorm and make a list of the things that bring you joy. Jot down everything and be truthful. This may include material items, or intangible ones like being loved by someone, getting your dream job, traveling around the world, and so forth. Engaging in activities, and spending time with people, in places, and with things that bring you joy on a more frequent basis will definitely increase your happiness.

Make an action plan. Once you have identified items on your list that are crucial for your happiness, it’s time for implementation. Set goals that are aligned with your authentic self; develop a plan, and make a commitment to make them happen.

Seek support. No man is an island. We all need support and encouragement. Locate a mentor, therapist, or life coach who can support you in achieving your goals. Make an investment in yourself. You are your number one asset. Don’t neglect yourself. Give yourself the gift of someone who can fully support you on your journey.

Get moving and be happy. Remember, as you shoot for happiness you must also savor the journey and choose to be happy each day. In every stage of life we can always find things to be grateful for. Acknowledge your achievements and be grateful for your life as it is right now. You can still set goals while embracing the now. Cultivate the positive feelings you experience as you move forward, knowing you are on the path to being all you want to be. You’ll discover that you are already a much happier guy!

“How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now, and there will never be a time when it is not now.”

~ Gerald Jampolsky

The Happiness Choice – Simple Ways to Find Joy Today!

Happiness is a choice. It‘s true. You can choose to let life’s circumstances get you down or you can choose to be happy no matter what challenges life brings.

Happiness is already within each of us and we are born to be naturally happy! So why is it that, as we get older, we forget where to find happiness within ourselves and, instead, allow outside forces to undermine our joy?

You can determine your own happiness by following these simple strategies:

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Cliché, I know, however it’s so true. You don’t have to let life’s troubles and problems get you down. Yes, there will sometimes

be troubles because life isn’t always perfect, but you can definitely choose your reaction to situations. Look at the positive side of things and work hard to see the good in people and circumstances.

Find something you love to do and do it. Do you have a lifelong passion, dream or desire? Mine is singing. Connect with activities that bring you joy, and make time for them. Taking small steps towards a dream or goal will help you feel like you’re accomplishing something. You’ll find drive and determination to reach your goal when it’s something you absolutely love to do.

• Do you have a gift or talent you’re not using? One reason so many people are unhappy is that they’re not doing what they’re called to do with their God-given talents. Each and every one of us has a purpose in life. You have natural gifts and talents to help you achieve your purpose, so use your gifts effectively!

When you’re feeling down, don’t wallow in your sorrows alone; do something about it. Seek out support. Call a friend who you know is positive and cheerful. Talk about your feelings and listen to their advice. So often, people allow themselves to go deeper and deeper into self-pity or depression because they think it has to be that way. If negative feelings persist, seek professional help. The truth is, you don’t have to be sad and you shouldn’t be. You can decide to be happy. You just have to make up your mind to do so.

Think about all the things you have to be thankful for. Often you may get so caught up in what’s wrong with your life that you forget to look at what’s right and good. Take a step back and reflect on your life. How far have you come from, say, six months ago?

~ Do you have family or friends to be thankful for? Yes, it’s true, they may not always be everything we’d like them to be, but imagine life without them. Now, be thankful that you have them in your life.

~ Do you have a job? Maybe it’s not your ideal job, but in today’s economy, those of us who have an income can be thankful for it. You can always make changes to find or do something new.

When you’re feeling down, journal your thoughts and feelings. Often you’ll find that just getting your feelings down on paper will allow you to work through them, helping you to feel better about yourself and your beautiful life!

If you’ve been prone to look at life negatively, then you’ll have to put more energy into seeing and choosing happiness. But don’t let that stop you from being happy! You, too, can learn to be happy.

Practice the steps above and train your mind to focus intently on the positives. When you feel a negative thought coming on, or your mind gravitates toward the negative, learn to recognize it, stop it in its tracks, and then start thinking happier thoughts. Pave the way to a happier and more joyful life.

Starting from this moment onward, make the conscious choice to be happy!

Gay and Single – Not Alone

Society projects an idealized image of a fulfilled life as being straight and married with children. This is viewed as the pinnacle of success in the hierarchy of love. At the very least we should all have a significant other in our lives. With the advent of gay marriage, many gay men are feeling even more pressure to be coupled. It’s true that gays have become increasingly more accepted into mainstream society; however, the expectation of being partnered has also increased as a result. It’s okay to be gay nowadays but it’s not too cool to be gay and single anymore.

Single gay men over thirty or forty are often viewed as the lost souls of the world. People look at them and wonder if they are “afraid of commitment” or just “unlucky in love”. They also tend to feel sorry for them because they don’t fit the mold of what society deems as acceptable. But is a person defective because they are single and living alone?  Is anything really lacking in their lives?  Admittedly, being single does pose some challenges but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be faced alone. When a person in a relationship encounters a struggle, they can usually rely on their spouse or partner to help them through. Does this mean the single gay man is doomed during a similar crisis? On the contrary – many gay singles have developed intimate and loving relationships with friends and family members. Although these relationships may not be “legitimized” by the larger society, they are no less valid or important. In fact, these relationships can actually provide a much stronger support system to the individual than having just a spouse or partner to rely upon.

It takes a lot of character and ego strength to live life on your own. Many gay singles have a wealth of strengths and capabilities so they don’t always feel the “need” to enter into traditional relationships. In fact, they should be admired for their courage, resiliency and contributions to society.    

We all need to take a deeper look at our thoughts, beliefs and social prejudices- especially in the area of relationships. What’s “right” for one person may not always work for another. There are many gay men who remain happily single by choice. Let us recognize and accept this as a valid life option without projecting our own biases or fears about “being alone” upon them.


As Featured On EzineArticles

Attracting Positive People Into Your Life

According to the law of attraction, we’re always transmitting positive or negative energy. Others detect this and respond likewise.

When you attract like-minded positive people, together you can focus on obtaining your desires. Positive individuals will encourage and give you support. On the other hand, negative people will tell you that you can’t achieve your goals, and that they’re too difficult or unreachable.

If you’re continually bombarded with negative phrases in your thinking, such as “I just can’t make ends meet,” “There’s never enough,” or “I just can’t seem to get ahead,” then you’re attracting more negativity into your life.

The universe will always respond to your song, so make your song harmonious with your desires, not your frustrations!

If you find yourself focusing on your small paycheck, physical ailments or unfulfilling relationships, it’s time to make a change. Maybe your parents were role models of criticism instead of encouragement, or maybe you’ve always surrounded yourself with negative friends.

Whatever the reason, it’s time to break this particular cycle of negativity. Consider raising your standard of expectations. Find people to associate with who emit positive energy.

When seeking other positive people, consider people you admire and identify their traits that you especially enjoy. You’ll be generally attracted to people who have a similar sense of humor or who hold the same set of values.

Here are some ways to attract positive people and create more positive energy in your life:

1. Seek out positive qualities in other people. It’s far easier to view someone’s faults before seeing their goodness. Challenge yourself to look only for a person’s good qualities.

2. Keep in mind your own finest qualities and project these qualities to the world. This leads you to self-awareness and increases your self-esteem.

3. Exercise compassion toward everyone, including yourself. Negative energy obsesses about unattainable goals. However, positive energy allows us to realize when we’re doing the best we can.

4. Value others’ opinions. Positive energy is open-minded. Pay attention to all points of view and do your best to understand them, regardless of how different from your own they are.

Trying to change someone’s mind is usually useless; so, even if you’re right, save your energy, understand their opinion, and move on.

5. Refrain from judging. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Negative energy is significant in judging others and loves finding fault. Judging produces negative energy and attracts more of the same back to you.

6. Be honest. Express your true self in thoughts, words, and actions.

7. Don’t be afraid to admit to having occasional negative thoughts and emotions. We’re all human, and negative thoughts are a part of human nature. The important thing is not to obsess on them.

8. Celebrate the success and happiness of others. Negative energy is jealous, but positive people are thrilled when others succeed. Use someone else’s success as a motivator to cause you to be a better person.

9. Balance pleasure and serving others. If you spend your life trying to please others, you may find yourself ignoring your own needs. Positive energy is balanced.

10. Persevere in spite of fear or defeat. We all experience defeat and disappointment! Rather than bemoaning a setback, use it as an opportunity to learn new things and prepare for your next challenge.

11. Follow your dreams and desires. Embrace your joy every step of the way as you achieve your goals.

People with positive energy approach the world with an open heart and a sense of humor. They refuse to be colored by cynicism and bitterness. They strive to see the best in the world around them, revel in the success of others, and diligently pursue their own goals.

Becoming a positive person today will help you attract more positive people into your life tomorrow. The more positive people that surround you, the more you’ll feel joy, contentment, and fulfillment in your own life!

How to Grow a Backbone

Do you feel as if everyone is taking advantage of your good nature? Do you think they would still do it if you were more assertive?

Becoming more assertive is a goal that many of us want to achieve. We feel disrespected and we want to be able to stand our ground without guilt or fear. Developing a backbone is not an easy task, but it can be accomplished if you’re committed to it.

Here are some simple tips that will enable you to strengthen your assertiveness as quickly as possible:

1. Stop apologizing. Many of us use the term “I’m sorry” far too frequently and often at inappropriate times. Think about when you use those two simple words. Is it in a situation that you truly should be sorry for?

  • Once you’re able to stop apologizing for every little thing, you’ll become more assertive. Learn to differentiate between when there’s a need to apologize and when there isn’t. For example:

              ~  Hitting someone’s cart in a grocery store because you  weren’t looking warrants an apology.                 

              ~  Drinking the last cup of orange juice before your partner is not a situation that warrants an “I’m sorry.”

               ~  If you’re watching television and your child prefers to sit in the chair you’re sitting in, “I’m sorry” isn’t appropriate.

2. Speak up. Tell those around you what you need. Assertiveness requires good communication skills. Be clear and firm with what you desire. Practice standing up for yourself by conveying your wants and desires to others.

  • There’s no need to be aggressive or nasty. Simply communicate that you have thoughts, opinions and needs, too. Once you begin to express these better, the people around you will learn how to appreciate and respect you more, too.
  • If you want to develop a backbone, this isn’t the time to be a mouse and stand in the corner. Voice your opinion and be proud of what you have to say; people will take notice and listen.

3. Be committed and patient. It’s wonderful that you’ve decided to make positive changes in your life. It’s something that you should be proud of! Unfortunately though, a complete transformation won’t occur overnight. You’ve entered into a journey, and you must be willing to stick it out!

  • You’ll experience good and bad days, but you mustn’t give up. As long as you remain committed and patient, you’ll succeed in what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Focus on the big picture down the road and imagine how much your life will improve once you’re able to stand up for yourself.

4. Work on your body language. Body language is extremely important in any situation. When trying to become more assertive, your body language must reflect this as well.

  • Stand straight, speak up, make sure your hands aren’t crossed over your chest, and maintain eye contact with whomever you’re speaking with.
  • If you look assertive, people will perceive you as such. If you keep your eyes on the floor, have your hands across your chest, or mumble incoherently, you’ll have trouble to get your point across.

Assertiveness can help you in your personal life, career, family, and many other areas. Though it may take a bit of time, as long as you make positive steps to grow your new backbone, it will be there before you know it!

How to Demand the Respect from Others

Do you ever get the feeling that your first name should be Doormat? Do you feel as if people take advantage of you on a daily basis? Have you been allowing this to happen?

If you responded yes to one or all of these important questions, it’s obvious that you don’t have the respect of others, but that’s why you’re here to learn!

Respect is something you earn. However, no one deserves to be taken advantage of. Fortunately, it’s possible to change how others treat you!

Implement these simple suggestions and you’ll receive the respect you deserve in no time:

1. Live by the Golden Rule. Most of us are aware of the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would want done to you” is a wonderful philosophy when attempting to garner respect. Always treat others as you expect to be treated. People will tend to reciprocate and treat you the same way. If they don’t, then you can ease your way out of the relationship over time, if possible.

2. Place yourself first. An example of this is telling your friend that you cannot watch his dog so he can go away for the weekend because you’re busy with your own personal appointments and schedule.

You have to make yourself a priority. If people see that you respect yourself, then you’ll inevitably be respected, too.

3. Use strong body language. When speaking in person with others, portray the fact that you’re strong and important. Stand straight, look people in the eye, and speak forcefully but not overwhelmingly so.

  • If your body language shouts, “I am important and I respect myself,” you’ll undoubtedly gain the respect of others.
  • Those people who stare at the floor when speaking, avoid eye contact, and whisper their words are telling others that they don’t believe they deserve respect and attention. Always remember to stand tall and proud; you’re important and you deserve to be recognized!

4. Speak positively. In addition to having strong body language, the words you use to express yourself are also extremely important when trying to earn the respect of others. Learn to speak positively and authoritatively. Don’t be boastful, but don’t demean or belittle yourself either.

Leave the impression that you’re intelligent, well spoken and confident. If you portray yourself in this manner others will treat you the same way.

5. Surround yourself with the right people. Let’s face it: there are people in this world who are disrespectful to everyone and everything. No matter what you do to command respect, nothing may work!

You might need to take some time and rethink those you’re hanging out with. They may not be the kind of people who have your best interests at heart.

6. Stand up for yourself. If people are disrespectful to you, how do you respond? Do you say something to the offending person or do you just go on with life? People treat us in the way we allow ourselves to be treated.

If you confront the individual and voice your opinion and unhappiness, chances are good that person won’t treat you that same way in the future. It’s not about being confrontational, but a simple “I don’t appreciate how you’re speaking to me” can go a long way.

We all have a desire and need to be respected. By making some small changes, you’ll be able to open yourself to receiving the respect of others, while learning how to also express your respect. Use these techniques in all interactions every day to gain the respect you deserve.