What do you do when your boyfriend of almost five years suddenly tells you he’s straight?

What do you do when your boyfriend of almost five years suddenly tells you he’s straight? That’s what one Reddit user wants to know.

“Yeah, umm. So a quick recap,” the man, who describes himself as gay and “40ish” begins. “We’ve been together 4 1/2 years. During that time he maintained a bisex stance. Fast forward a few disconnects and hurtful phrases later he came out as straight.”

He continues: “We’ve gone back and forth about this before. Like years ago when we first started dating. He kept coming back and apologizing after he brought it up. So now he is straight.”

Just to confuse things even more, the man says, his now-straight boyfriend “says I’m the only guy for him” and that he doesn’t want to break up, even though he’s not romantically interested in him.

“He wants to stay. He also has no other place to live. He does love me. I love him.”

Their sex life has always been “underwhelming,” and they’ve been to couple’s counseling with three different specialists, but, the man says, nothing has worked.

“We don’t know what to do,” he writes. “Our lives are heavily intertwined. I loathe dating and don’t want to start again. He likes the women for the sex but he doesn’t want to deal with the other issues he feels comes with dating women.”

Now let’s check out what his fellow Redditers have to say…

“Ridiculous,” one person writes. “Just break up.”

“Four years isn’t the end of the world mate,” another person says. “It’s a chunk of time but it’s still pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. I dated my ex gf for 5 years from the age of 18, I’m 25 now and it feels like she was just a speck in my past.”

“All of this boils down to basics,” a third person writes. “You have spent fifty four months of your life with him, at the end of which he is stating that he isn’t gay or bi, he is straight. … F*ck him.”

“Kick him to the curb,” a fourth person says.

 

Read more at: Queerty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Accepting It’s Over – Breaking Up and Moving On

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No matter how many times we experience breaking up with someone, it can still hurt and threaten to overturn our lives.     
It can be extremely frustrating when a breakup is difficult to manage – even when we know the relationship is not right for one, or both, of the parties involved.  Losing a relationship can evoke multitudes of uncomfortable emotions.  One may feel embarrassed or hurt and wonder if he is not “good enough”, while simultaneously missing the guy who is instigating the uncomfortable feelings.  Another, sometimes overlooked, reason that breakups hurt so much is that as the relationship dissolves – our own sense of self can dissolve along with it.
It is a wonderful process when you are building closeness and trust with someone, it can also make your feelings at the end of the relationship even more confusing and painful.  A 2010 research study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin finds that breakups cause a change in our self-concept, which can elicit a lack of clarity in our knowledge of ourselves.  Furthermore, when we do not have a clear concept of ourselves, such as in the aftermath of a breakup, it leads to further emotional grief.
Reassessing ourselves after a breakup is a major component to finding closure and becoming healthy again for the next relationship while developing an even stronger and renewed sense of self.  To begin the process of exiting one relationship and rebuilding your relationship with yourself, here are several tips.

Concentrate on yourself. Sever all ties with your ex – as much as you do not want to or think that it is not necessary. Block all electronic reminders – your ex’s number in your phone, if they are a Facebook friend or follow you on twitter, email accounts, etc. Also, clear out any other reminders around you: pictures, ticket stubs, gifts, etc.  Simply putting these things away for a while will help ease the pain of a new breakup, the cliché “out of sight, out of mind” does have merit!

Strive for acceptance of the breakup. Mourning the loss of a relationship is often necessary and “moping” around a bit is okay! Remembering why the relationship did not work out and the negative aspects of your ex-boyfriend can help bring closure. Express your feelings through art, writing, dancing, singing, whatever you enjoy that helps sort and soothe your emotions.  Just be sure to use this time to gain acceptance that the relationship has ended so that your mourning period can be brief and allow you to move on to reestablishing your individual sense of self.

Focus on your future. A tough breakup can also be an opportunity to reassess where you are in your life and where you want to go. Analyzing your self-concept as an individual instead of a couple can be the fresh start to revitalizing your expectations for yourself. Explore your priorities and determine if any have slipped while you were in a relationship. Perhaps you have not spent as much time with friends, exercising, participating in volunteer work or doing hobbies as you would like. Now is the time to take note of what is important to you and to DO these things you have been missing!

Utilize support from others. During a difficult breakup and after, surround yourself with friends and family who are on your side and will support you during this difficult time. Being with others can help you to realize that you are not alone and that you are valued by people besides your ex-boyfriend. Enlist others’ help to gain acceptance of your new single status as well as to assist you in gaining clarity and creating a positive new beginning.

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A Gay Man’s Guide to Surviving a Big Break-up

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Breaking up is hard to do, but the few weeks after are even harder. Cutting things off with someone you treasured is heartbreaking, while keeping him around can keep one or both of you stuck in the relationship. Here, three popular options for dealing with your ex after a break-up, how they actually play out—and what they mean for your mental health.

Post-Breakup Strategy #1: The Cold Cut It’s a case of “out of sight, out of mind,” as you completely cut off communication.
A case history: “I was crushed when a guy I was dating for a year broke up with me and said he didn’t want to talk anymore,” says Jay, who works in finance in New York. “I was depressed and felt it was really unfair. But after a while, I did meet someone else. I know now I needed such a clean break, because it helped me move on. I didn’t have any false hopes—I just built myself back up.”
Why this strategy works: Sounds brutal, but it’s popular for a reason. “From a psychological perspective, this is the healthiest strategy, particularly if you’ve been cheated on,” says Joseph Taravella, Ph.D., a couple’s therapist at NYU Medical Center. Taravella says that it’s not an easy choice to stick to, but it pays off by letting you move on. He recommends asking your friends and family to help you stay busy—it’ll help you feel fulfilled and loved, which you need after a breakup. Staying in touch with your ex gives him the power to still hurt you, even if you’re not together—you may still reel when he has a new boyfriend or hold out hope that things will work out. “The patients who take the ‘clean break’ approach generally make faster adjustments and move forward with their lives,” says Taravella. “As a result, they tend to carry less baggage into their next relationship.”

Post-Breakup Strategy #2: The Friend Zone You’re not going to be lovers anymore, but you’ll try to be pals.
A case history: Ed, a writer in New York, has remained friends with his ex-boyfriend of six years, with whom he broke up a year ago. While he appreciates having his ex’s friendship, Ed admits that their emotional intimacy even now makes it hard for him to move on. “I can’t say it’s been easy,” he says. “He started dating two months after we broke up, and I didn’t. It’s not that I wish we were together, but it does get awkward when, say, he wants to bring his new boyfriend to dinner. I’ve vowed to spend a little more time apart from him so I can meet someone, too.”
Why this strategy works: It’s a nice idea, but Taravella warns against this strategy as a means of deluding yourself: “Many people do this when they still have feelings for the other person,” he says. “They hope that, over time, they’ll get back together. But if it didn’t work the first time around, it often won’t the second time.” Partners doing the dumping also like this because it helps them feel less guilty, but it keeps the dumpee hanging on. Still, it’s natural to want a place in your life for someone with whom you shared so much. Many exes find they can be friends—but only once they’ve both moved on so one doesn’t feel judged or rejected by the other person’s dating behaviors. “It generally it takes time for people to get to this place,” says Taravella. A better idea? Take a temporary no-plans-together break, then rebuild the friendship once you’re both comfortable with the relationship’s demise.

Post-Breakup Strategy #3: Exes With Benefits You’re no longer dating, but you still hook up sometimes.
A case history: “I broke up with my boyfriend six months ago, and we’ve been hooking up a couple of times a month since,” says Tim, who works in the entertainment business in Los Angeles. But what he thought was a no-strings attachment turned out to have several threads from their ruined relationship. “I met this new guy, and we started having sex, too. So I told my ex about it, and he got mad. He said I should have told him first. I didn’t know that was part of the deal. I’d think twice about sleeping with an ex again.”
Why this strategy works: Think you’re signing on for an easy booty call? Think again. One person’s mindless sex can be his partner’s proof that the love is alive. “Emotional attachments linger after breakups, and it’s difficult for many people to separate their feelings from sex,” says Taravella. “More times than not, one person is left feeling alone, abandoned, and hurt.” After all, if someone’s told you you’re not good enough to date, why settle for being only good enough to sleep with him? Not only does one person usually think the relationship’s still ongoing, but it makes it difficult for both of you when one person wants out—then you have to deal with another breakup. And it also doesn’t leave you free to date other people and begin sexual relationships with them without baggage. “Ex sex may satisfy certain ‘needs’ in the short-term, but it’s never a good idea,” says Taravella. Now that you know the pros and cons of these three common scenarios, you can proceed with the best chances of a full and speedy recovery should you have a breakup in the future.

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Gay Love Advice: Is Chatting Online Cheating?

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Reader’s Question: 
My boyfriend and I have been in a monogamous relationship together for three years. Recently, I visited a gay dating website and created a profile. I’ve chatted and exchanged pics with guys but have never hooked up with anyone. My profile says “In a relationship” and I specifically say I’m just looking for friends. Last week, my boyfriend went snooping on my laptop, even though it was well hidden, and read some of my conversations. Now he’s pissed and says being on dating sites is “cheating.” I say it’s just fantasy. Who’s right, and who’s wrong? Is chatting online cheating?
― Anthony S.L., 27, New York City

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Who’s right? Who’s wrong? You are. He is. It all depends. For some people in committed relationships, gay apps and dating websites are harmless fun. For others it indicates that the unwritten or explicit rules of their relationship need to be revisited. Secrets can damage relationships just as profoundly as actions. I don’t know why you felt the need to keep it hidden, but my guess is that it’s because you knew he wouldn’t approve.
Forget about questioning who’s right and who’s wrong in this situation. Instead, sit down with your man and have an authentic tête-à-tête about the real reason you’re chatting with total strangers. Maybe you feel that your love life has gotten a little stale after three years together, and it makes you feel desirable again. Maybe you’re a hopeless flirt. Maybe you really are just looking for friends. Whatever the reasons are, be open and honest about them, and work toward building his trust back. If he asks you to get off the dating site altogether, decide whether that’s something you’re willing to give up in order to keep him.
Then again, maybe he’s upset because you didn’t invite him to the party. Offer to help him create his own profile so that you can send your dirty dick pics to him rather than to that headless torsos. Better yet, create a profile for the both of you together. You know what they say: Two’s a party, and three’s just a hell of a lot more fun.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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My Boyfriend is Boring: How to Deal With It?

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A boring personality is something I do not know how to deal with. I’m such an extrovert in my every day life that I find it difficult having the patience to deal with dull, shy, or unenthusiastic people, but that’s just me. Every once in a while, however, you start to grow feelings for one of these people – Lord knows how or why. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Having a boring boyfriend is hard. First of all, you feel like a babysitter: “How’s about we go hiking this morning?” “What do you want to do today, baby?” “Don’t you think this is funny?” It seems like you’re constantly trying to pull any form of life that might be trapped inside, desperately waiting to see it, only to be disappointed… again.
Here’s the thing. Some personalities aren’t compatible for each other, no matter how great the sex is. While you want it to be something, it’s never going to last if you don’t click. But you can’t control who you like (we all can attest to that). Sometimes we like the most unexpected people with no real reason as to why. If you’re stuck in a situation with an extremely boring guy, there are ways to try and entertain yourself. I know from experience.

Take initiative when planning things. Boring people don’t like to be at the helm because they’re too dull (sorry it’s true). They probably won’t be the first to text you, Facebook message you or plan dates, you will most likely have to do it yourself. It might seem frustrating at first, but you really need to ask yourself if this man is worth it – if he is, then spending five minutes to call a restaurant, Google cool hiking trails, or research cheap theater tickets won’t matter in the end.
Make him feel like he’s the life of the party, even when he’s not. Trust me, I know how soul sucking this can be, but when he feels confident in his social skills, he will always rise up to meet it. While it feels like you’re giving him your power, what you’re really doing is giving him confidence. He’s your boyfriend – he needs support that he’s doing something right. When he’s getting response as if he were fun, he’ll eventually become more fun.
Hang out with mutual friends so he’ll be in a comfortable zone. He will probably thrive in a setting where he knows most of the people there, so hanging out with mutual friends is always going to be a good idea. They’ll bring out the best in him, which will give you many things to draw from.
Do more things he likes to do, which doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice the things you like to do. You clearly have a greater eye for opportunities so you’ll always find the fun, even if the event isn’t something you planned. The important thing is that he’ll be comfortable with you, which will give you chances to bring him out of his shell.
Mesh your circle of friends. Look for ways to bring both of your circle of friends together, whether they’re from work, the gym, college, old high school friends, whatever! Allow yourselves to meet new people from various times and areas in your life – you will get to know each other much deeper, and probably have a wider understanding of who you are.
Do things you’ve never done before, together. It can be as simple as going on a road trip or trying a new restaurant. When you do something that is new to both of you, it will ignite excitement and enthusiasm to do more. Conversations won’t be boring because they’ll be full of new information relating to your experiences.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you!


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Gay Relationships: I Cheated on My Boyfriend. Should I Tell Him?

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Reader’s Question: I cheated on my boyfriend and I’m not sure what to do. We talked about having an open relationship and he was adamantly against it—I was for it, did it anyway, and now I feel guilty as hell. I don’t want to lose him, but I don’t want to lie either. What do I do?


Answer:

The age-old “do I tell him I cheated” question remains a controversial topic and is one only you can personally make as it applies to your value system. Having broken the “monogamy contract” in your relationship will likely be hurtful to your partner. All our choices have consequences, and you will need to decide which course of action you’ll be able to live with. Your infidelity is a flag that your current relationship agreement is not working for you. You are doing you and your partner a huge disservice by not discussing this issue further as it will likely continue to eat away at you and cause further problems in your relationship. By not telling your partner, you continue to betray the foundation of trust that good relationships are built upon and further serve to amplify your guilt and damage your sense of integrity and self-esteem. Covered-up truths have a way of coming out in the long run. While it’s scary and you run the risk of your partner’s terminating the relationship, telling him shows that you care for him by being honest. From there, you can determine if the two of you are truly a compatible match, if there are things in your relationship that need work, or if there are issues within yourself that need resolution.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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Talking with Your Partner about Sexual Matters

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Many of us spend a lot of time and energy hoping to find Mr. Right. We also imagine that when we find him, the sex will always and automatically be fabulous. When we first meet someone new, we often feel so much passion that the specifics of what we are doing don’t matter all that much.

Sooner or later the novelty starts to wear off and we find ourselves wishing he would do things a little differently. Or maybe this guy is wonderful in just about every way…except for your connection in bed. What do you do?
You’ve got a right to express your desires. Getting most of your wants and needs met is important in a relationship. Still, effective communication in the bedroom is different from talking about other stuff. It’s one thing to have your partner tell you that he doesn’t approve of the way you stack dishes in the dishwasher; it’s quite another to hear that he doesn’t care for the way you do oral sex.

In intimate matters our hearts are closer to the surface. Feelings get bruised more easily. Handled poorly, he ends up feeling incompetent as a lover and you feel like a cad. This is not the way to get what you want in bed!

One thing to keep in mind is that for most of us, our lover is the scariest person in the world. If you are having casual nookie with someone and he doesn’t like what you are doing, it’s generally no big deal. It’s very different with a lover. Truth is, you probably care about what he thinks of you more than you care about anyone else’s opinion. If you aren’t pleasing him you can find yourself feeling pretty upset with yourself. Your partner is scary to you not because he’s a bad guy, but because you are invested in him and really care what he thinks.
It is important to understand that you cannot read his mind and he can’t read yours. You may feel absolutely certain you know what he’s thinking – what feels good to him, what turns him on – but you don’t know for certain unless he tells you. Believing that your partner would know what you like “if he really loved you” is to set yourself up for big disappointments.

Ask him if he likes what you are doing. Better yet, stop what you are doing and whisper the question in his ear. Make your question sexy. Instead of clinically asking his preference for something, try doing your best and then cooing “do you like that?”
If you would really like your lover to try doing something differently, be sweet in the way that you ask. Keep it positive. “Oh baby, I’d love it even more if you did this….” Then show him what you want. Smile, be encouraging and don’t require perfection from him. When you find your partner doing something that you like, let him know. This isn’t about faking an orgasm; it’s more about letting your pleasure be big and obvious enough so that you are sharing it with him. When we share our pleasure with someone we care about, the pleasure often becomes bigger still.

If the two of you have a serious problem to talk about, keep it out of the bedroom. Have the discussion elsewhere at a time and in a place where you can give each other your undivided attention. Keep the bedroom reserved for lovemaking and sleeping.
Want to try something new? Exploring new interests with a partner can be lots of fun. It also requires sensitivity from each of you. Trying a new erotic activity can feel a little awkward at first, but broadening your sexual repertoire can keep things interesting. Don’t rush. Don’t laugh at your partner – even if he sounds funny saying “Who’s your Daddy?” (Laughing at yourself is OK.)

Finally, keep in mind that it is that it is in your best interest to help your partner feel like a great lover. Psychologists understand that punishing a behavior decreases how often it occurs while rewarding a behavior increases it’s frequency. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So don’t punish your partner by criticizing the way he makes love. Doing that may make him uninterested in sex with you at all, resulting in a serious case of bed death.

Let him know he’s a great lover and you’ll make it much more likely that he will keep his interest in sex with you. Make some noise when you make love to give him clues about what you are experiencing. Tell him you love it when he does something you like. Compliment him on the way he looks, on how sexy you find him. Look at him with the eyes of a lover, not a critic. Even if you wish he would spend more time at the gym, there are probably many things you can compliment him about.

Let him know you appreciate him sexually – not in a demanding or manipulative way, but in a genuine way that helps him understand your attraction to him.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you!

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Gay Relationships: Tips for Keeping a Long-Term Relationship Fresh

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For anyone who has been in a long-term relationship, there is no single answer on how to keep the spark alive. When you first start dating someone, there is a mixed bag of emotions including butterflies, excitement, and a sense of mystery.
As time goes on, your relationship transitions to long-term status, and the initial happiness of the “honeymoon” phase can wear off. Just because you’ve been with someone for what feels like forever doesn’t mean the relationship has to become stale. The following are six practices that can enhance and maintain relationships over a lifetime:

“The Greet”: Dogs are the acclaimed experts of this practice. They know how to greet their people when coming home. With their entire bodies they demonstrate they are grateful that you are a part of their lives. It’s a key reason we become so attached to them. You don’t necessarily have to wag your tail when your partner comes home, but initiating some kind of friendly greeting can be an important ingredient in supporting your relationship.

Sex Matters: Couples that convince themselves that sex is no longer important after years of togetherness sometimes get into trouble. Sex can grow and develop just like other parts of your life together. To add spice to a sex life that has become routine you’ll need creativity. This can mean ramping up your curiosity about role-play, exploring breathing practices like tantra, or sharing your fantasies. Fantasy makes what is familiar new and exciting again. This is one aspect of relationship development that requires a spirit of fun: sexual negativity and complaining kills sex drive.

Developing You: Many couples fall into the trap of expecting their partner to fill the hole in their lives. Coupledom does not provide an escape from self-development. The truth is there is no effective long term escape from self-development. At any stage of life—even into your eighties and nineties—you need to keep growing in order to reach greater contentment.

Daily Rituals: Aim for a daily check-in. This is some version of “How was your day, honey?” Try to practice this without multi-tasking. Hide the portable electronic devices and spend a few minutes just hearing what you partner did that day. It is your job to know about some (but not all) of the seemingly insignificant details of your partner’s office gossip, health issues, and favorite pop culture references. A “check-in” is a part of my daily practice. As Oscar Wilde said: “Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation.”

Boundaries = Closeness: Everyone needs time alone. You need some friends and activities that are yours and that are not always experienced with your partner. Sometimes you may need to shut the door, put on the earphones, or go for a walk by yourself in the neighborhood. It is okay to “go away” for a while, as long as you commit to authentically coming back later.

Keep Talking: As humans, the key method we have to repair hurts is communication. If you are not a “good communicator” then now may be a time to start learning. Communication is a skill that can be learned, just like knitting or skiing—it just takes instruction and practice. 

Ultimately what keeps long term relationships strong is paying attention to the emotional bond between you. The work of fostering emotional intimacy—which means feeling free to share your feelings without fearing rejection—can be supported by experimenting with some of the practices outlined here.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?



Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you!


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Gay Relationships: 5 Signs Your Boyfriend is Cheating

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A cheating boyfriend can cause tension in any relationship. Everyone hopes their partnership is built on trust, but what happens when that bond is broken and you suspect your boyfriend is cheating? Here are a few signs:

Suspicious Computer Activity
These days, it’s easy to meet men in chat rooms, forums or on instant messenger. Have you seen a suspicious name in your IM window or an unknown chat site in your browser history? A little digging can go a long way. Be careful trying to be a super snooper, though, and give your man space. It’s just as easy to meet friends online as it is love interests. Your partner may just be reaching out for other gay people to talk to.

Sudden Changes in Schedule
Some men may be spontaneous, but most of us keep a set schedule or standard routine in some form or another. This is especially true for day-to-day activities. Has your man’s routine suddenly changed without you knowing why? Did his working hours increase or does he have a new gym schedule? Things often change in our lives. In turn, we decide to try and impress our bosses by working overtime or resolve that it’s finally time to get into shape. But what raises suspicion is how these changes are communicated to you. Was the decision made without your input? Was there an attempt to include you? Are there any signs of progress?

Emotional Distance
It’s normal for the intensity of your relationship to decrease after you’ve been together for a while. There may have been a time when you couldn’t bare to leave each others’ sight and now you both enjoy your time alone. This isn’t a sign that he is cheating, only that the relationship is starting to settle into a loving and comfortable phase. Nonetheless, take note of any emotional distancing. Has he stopped listening or laughing? Does he seem distant or spacey, almost as if he’s preoccupied? Take note if your partner is there physically, but not quite “there” mentally.

Less Time Together
Just as the intensity of a relationship dwindles slightly over time, so may the time you spend together. But spending less time with each other shouldn’t be confused with spending no time at all. Don’t react too swiftly. Who knows, his company may be ready to close on a huge deal and they need him around the clock. Or there may be some other legitimate circumstance that demands his attention. Many huge time commitments like these don’t last for long periods of time and make sense. He may be working 14 hour days, but does he also leave home on weekends? Look for the unreasonable and unexplainable time commitments.

Instinct
Mom always said follow your instincts and this is a time when that motherly voice can come in handy. If your gut tells you that something is wrong or that some other guy has captured your man’s attention, then go with it. But take caution with how far you follow these feelings. Ask yourself if they are legitimate concerns or if you yourself are lacking trust.

These tips aren’t meant to turn your trusting relationship into a game of hide and go seek and there are always exceptions. Trust first, but don’t ignore the warning signs. If there are just too many inconsistencies for comfort, then communicate them to your man directly. Don’t let him hear of your suspicions from a friend. Also, try not to be accusatory. Simply tell him how his behavior makes you feel. He may be dealing with other issues that have nothing to do with cheating on you with another man.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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Gay Advice: How Do You Stop Missing Someone?

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It is never easy to cope with missing someone. Whether the person in your life is gone for a short duration, has chosen to end your relationship, or has moved to a new town, the pain and longing you feel is a normal reaction to loss. Here are some coping strategies to lessen the struggle associated with missing the person:

1. Get off your butt and get out of your house.
Have you read The Great Gatsby? Then you’ll know that pining is not sexy and ends with the object of your affections hitting someone with a car and then getting shot and dying in a pool after she leaves you anyway. Instead, go running, biking, jogging or perform any activity that does not include sitting on your couch and moping, reenacting Girl, Interrupted or eating the entire contents of your refrigerator.

2. Get a gym membership.
Although I don’t believe in body shaming, I do believe in going to the gym in times of emotional turmoil — because at the gym I’m too busy thinking about how much this treadmill makes me want to die than wondering if I’m going to die alone. If you’re still obsessing over romance after you’ve run five miles, you’re doing it wrong. Run five more and then try to form a coherent thought. Don’t you feel better already?

3. Improve your brain.Go out to the movies and see the new Wes Anderson movie or watch Beasts of the Southern Wild again, even if you’ve already seen it twice. Check out that weird local art gallery you’ve never felt smart enough or pretentious enough to go to — the one where they have garbage on the floor that’s supposed to be art and the exhibit that’s just a bunch of dots. Even if you still don’t get it, pretend that you get it, rub your chin a lot and pretend it’s about the duality of existence — because, if you’ve ever been to a contemporary art show, it’s always about that.

4. Get caught up on your reading list.
Remember that thing called New Years’ resolutions where you listed a bunch of crap you knew you were never going to do but held out the hope that, unlike last year or the previous seven, you might do any of them? Well, if you’re going to get that gym membership (a perennial list marker), you might as well actually read those 10,000 books you always say you’re going to get around to. Stop making excuses or saying you don’t have the time. You always have time; it’s just how you use it. And now, less of it will be taken up by Chad Ochocinco’s show — because that got cancelled. Use your new free time by hanging out with your new BFF Philip Roth. But be warned: Phil’s a cuddler, likes to kvetch about his mother and maybe masturbated in his mistress’ tomb. #thingsyoushouldknow

5. Balance your checkbook.
If you are like me and have somehow gone 24 years without getting a checkbook, order one from your bank and then figure out what “balancing” it even means.

6. Create your own dance craze.
If a dance craze could save Greta Gerwig’s life in Damsels in Distress, it can save yours, too, and the possibilities are truly endless. You could make the Wheelchair Hustle, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Slide, The Waka Flockarena or The Bigoted Chicken Dance. Personally, I don’t know why a Chick-fil-a dance doesn’t exist already–because when I think about homophobia, it just makes me want to move like Shakira. These hips don’t lie about equality.

7. Go out with your friends.
Note: This does not say “Use This As an Excuse to Go Out, Get Shitfaced and Make Horrible Decisions That Will Make You Feel Even Worse.” For instance, I would personally recommend not drinking for a while, in order to focus on not being a total mess right now. Have you seen Bridget Jones’ Diary? Learn from Bridget and just say no to the sauce.
But you can have fun in lots of ways that don’t involve drinking, like going dancing, bowling or playing putt-putt. Remember how much you used to love mini-golf as a kid and wanted to be the Bagger Vance of putt-putt? Take this time to reconnect with things you once loved but may have forgotten about, as another opportunity to explore who you are. As with many things, rediscovering yourself is always better with friends.

8. Start a diary and/or see your therapist again.
Sure, avoiding reflection on your problems can be fun, especially if you get a little alligator for getting a hole in one, but you can’t hide forever. So, you should start learning to channel your feelings and get them out in healthy ways, that don’t involve making Facebook statuses about HOW LONELY YOU ARE RIGHT NOW.
I think that therapy is great (because who doesn’t love having people around whose job it is to listen to you talk about yourself?) but you need to do your own personal work, too. As someone who writes about their feelings frequently, nothing in the world makes me feel better about my problems than working them out on the page. It helps me organize them and make sense of my life again. And if you want to go all My So-Called Life and just start narrating your confessional internal monologue aloud to everyone, that works, too. Just say it’s a performance art thing.

9. Obsess about your friends’ problems instead.
Okay, this probably isn’t healthy in the long run, but you will make your friends very happy with your renewed interest in their feelings and the loads of time you will now spend together while eating sorbet and getting all Terms of Endearment, without that cancer stuff. If they ask why you suddenly care about their issues so much, tell them you switched your major to Psych or start stuttering a lot and say you’re auditioning for the new Woody Allen movie. If Helen Hunt can be in one, literally anyone can.

10. Stop smoking and drinking caffeine at the exact same time.
The easiest way to not think about your relationship problems is to give yourself new agonies that eclipse any distress you may have felt before. If you are a pack-a-day smoker and a certifiable java junkie, put yourself into cold-turkey rehab, stat. By quitting the things that sustain you every single day and give you a reason to wake up in the morning, you will ensure that those tears will not be about your loved one. They will just be you slowly losing the will to live. But on the plus side, you’ll live longer.

11. Make a cheesy “Female Empowerment” playlist.
This list should not include anything you would want to put on a mix for someone else, blast from your car or be accountable for listening to in anyway. This is a mix just for you, to be shared with absolutely no one else and burned later. Because of that, you’re going to start listening to a lot of Kelly Clarkson — because (according to almost every song she’s ever recorded) when you’re down, Kelly gets it. She’s been through it. And she’s stronger. For our hipsters in the audience, if it makes you feel better about listening to “radio music,” just remind yourself that she’s ripping off Nietszche. Nineteenth-century German Existentialism pairs nicely with a Dr. Luke-esque electro-pop, don’t you think? After that, throw on some Ke$ha. Because when you wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy and brush your teeth with a bottle of Jack, you are either way too cool for self-loathing or in prison.

12. Start dating other people.
Are you seeing someone in another city and don’t want to do the long-distance thing or casually dating someone you want to be more than casual with? Great. That means you aren’t tied down, and you shouldn’t be tied down by your emotions. You can spend time choosing to feel bad about what may be happening in the future or call up that cute girl you met at the library the other day (because you’re reading now), the one who was checking Jonathan Lethem and Evelyn Waugh. Even if she’s not the one, you’ll feel a lot better and less romantically obsessed if you just learn to keep your options open. You might even (gasp!) have a little fun.

13. Purchase a plane ticket and go anywhere.
Have you ever wanted to just hop on a plane, any plane, and go somewhere you might have never otherwise gone for the weekend? One Spring Break, a friend of mine and I decided to just randomly go to Pittsburgh for the week — because I’d just finished reading Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and I wanted to find out what they were. I instantly fell in love with the city and its rust-soaked charm, and the mysterious “cloud factory” whose reason to exist I couldn’t quite fathom. Pittsburgh’s mysteries are yet unsolved, but I’ll always be glad I went looking for them that week, rather than sitting on my butt at home.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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