Gay Advice: How Do You Stop Missing Someone?


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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Gay Advice: When The In Love Feeling is Gone


Reader’s Question: The first year with my boyfriend was amazing.  We connected so well. Now, in year two, I feel like he takes me for granted, and I do the same to him. I have to admit that this has happened to me before. What can I do to stay contented in relationships when the “in love” stage of the relationship starts to wears off?

Dear Max,
The beginning of a relationship, during the “in love” stage, is delicious. We feel euphoric. We enter into the intoxicating feeling that we are “at one” with another person. However, according to long-range studies, the romantic obsession stage only lasts an average of about two years.
Then what? 
The first romantic stage happens by instinct. The second, longer stage of relationships takes some effort. When you and your partner move into the reality that you are two different people, you are going to need additional fuel to sustain the closeness over the years. 
There are five major food groups for relationships. If you know which of the five your partner wants the most, you can focus on giving him food that best nourishes him. And once you know your own favorite food you can ask for it often.

Dr. Gary Chapman calls these five food groups The 5 Love Languages in his very popular book of that title. Here they are. Which is your primary dialect?

1. Words of Affirmation. Some of us especially need to hear that we are good, attractive, funny, kind or loveable.
2. Quality Time. This is when your partner has your focused attention. In quality time, there are no electronic screens present.
3. Receiving Gifts. For some people, visual symbols of love mean the most. This doesn’t mean diamonds and furs, but can take the form of love notes, token surprises, and thoughtfully conceived homemade gifts.
4. Acts of Service. These are actions like making dinner, dealing with the landlord, or doing the laundry.
5. Physical Touch. This includes sex, but can also be hugs, cuddling, back scratches, or holding hands.

What If I Don’t Know My Language?
If you are trying to figure out your primary “love language,” Chapman suggests you ask yourself one of these questions:
1. What have I most often requested of him?
2. What does he do—or not do—that hurts me the most deeply? The opposite of that could be your love language.
3. How do I regularly express my love? You may offer what you, yourself most need.

It’s Efficient
If you don’t know your partner’s primary love language, you could be spending a lot of energy giving him something that doesn’t have much impact. If his love language is physical touch and you put a lot of time into creating thoughtful gifts, you still might not be giving him what he needs. 
With less energy expended on your part you could be stroking his head while you watch the dog sleep, and it could be a much more powerful way to express your love.

Is This The Whole Answer?
So if I figure out his favorite love language and give it to him regularly, can I be assured of a successful long term relationship?
Um, no.
While Chapman’s book makes it seem like that’s all we’ll need, I believe there’s a little more to it.  (Easy answers sell a lot of books, but they don’t usually work out so well in real life.)
However, customized expressions of love, plus good communication skills, are a powerful combination that can get a couple through a lifetime of trials.

What are good communication skills?  If you can talk about a difficult subject with him and end up feeling closer afterwards, rather than farther away, then you already have very good communication skills. 
If you can’t do that yet, there is always time to learn. I admit to being biased, but couples counseling is a great place to learn it.

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

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Relationship Advice: Living Together as a Gay Couple

Often in a long-term relationship, gay couples ultimately face the question of whether or not to shack up. The prospect of living together offers the advantages of spending more free time together, building the level of intimacy and the sharing of financial resources. For gay couples, living together is no longer a big issue since same sex marriage is now legal across the United States. However, there are several key factors to consider before taking the plunge.

The ‘Dust-Bunny’ Factor

Are you and your mate as careful about where you throw your clothes at the end of the day?….How many dishes stay in the sink and for how long?….How about that shower curtain? It may seem trivial, but these little things can eventually drive you out of your love nest or even out of the relationship altogether. If you occasionally get the hebee-jeebees in his bathroom or kitchen, then you can’t expect to feel comfortable when living together. If you consider your man more of a neat-nick than you could stand living with, then you either would have to adjust your habits or accept that living together could hurt your relationship. Consider carefully whether you and your boyfriend can handle each others personal habits before you agree to live together. Remember, you can have a successful long-term relationship without necessarily sharing your living space.

Can You Balance Your Collective Budgets?

This is not as much of a question of salary as it is a question of spending habits. If your financial priorities are on different wavelengths this can cause serious disagreements when living together. If your mate would blow his money on his social-scene to keep up appearances before paying the rent, he is obviously not a good candidate to split your valuable resources with. Also, if one partner in the relationship carries the brunt of the financial burden, this can ultimately cause resentment. It is inherent that when you share a living space, you are sharing your wealth, so think with your head, as well as your heart before making this decision. If you have similar long-term financial goals, this can be a promising sign. Decide whether you and your significant other are in agreement with your financial priorities before taking the financial risk of living together.

Test The Waters With a Romantic Get-Away

Another key factor is how much time you currently spend together. If you already spend the majority of your free time together, you may find it overwhelming to spend every night together, as well. If you both have individually busy social lives, it may help to live together so that you can spend time together while still making time for other friends and activities. If you haven’t already done so, you may want to take a trip together to test the emotional waters. Spending an extended period of time together can test your patience with each other. If by then of the end of the trip, you don’t throw your lover overboard, you’re on the right path.

There’s no quick and easy way to know if moving in together is right for your relationship. Take your time in making this decision and don’t ever let yourself feel pressured. Many financially strained people find themselves rushing into living with their partner to cut down on living expenses. In these difficult times, it can be tempting to fall into this trap. If you’re in a financial rut, remember it is ultimately up to you to clean up your own financial house. Think carefully about the progression of the relationship, as well as your personal growth before taking the plunge.

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

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6 Ways to Save Your Relationship From Depression


Even the strongest of unions can break down under the strain of mental illness or depression. Here are a few coping strategies:

Relationships can break down quickly under the impact of depression.
While many depressed partners decide to leave for good, I think it’s more common for two people to stay together and try to tough it out. If that’s the situation you’re in, you need more than hope to make a go of it and eventually restore the relationship.
As my partner and I discovered, one of the first things you need to do is learn all over again how to communicate, how to be with each other. If we hadn’t done that, I doubt we could have kept going over the last 10 years.
There are methods that can help you start the process of healing the relationship but they take a lot of practice and commitment on both sides. If you can stay with them, they’ll help you just as they helped us.
Keep in mind that they won’t solve every problem and they won’t cure depression. They can help keep your relationship going while the depressed partner is getting treatment for the illness.

Communicating Goes Beyond Words

A lot of the advice you hear about relating to a depressed partner is all about words.
There are countless lists of the helpful things to say and the things you should never say.
The problem is that the words alone don’t express what you mean. Communication comes from total presence of a person. When you and your partner are talking, you’re much more attuned to facial expressions, physical signs and, above all, the tone of voice than to the bare words.
You’re in motion when you try to relate to each other, and you’re both responding to a dozen changes that all the senses are picking up. In the midst of depression, all those signals you’ve gotten used to either disappear or take on different meanings that block each of you from getting through.
The methods we’ve learned help us get behind those signals and better understand what we need from each other. Everything depends on our working together.
That’s the first step, but we couldn’t get started on our own. Here’s how we got going and what we learned:

Get Help Together

You may be able to master new skills on your own, but you’ll come to a lot of rough patches. A skilled counselor or therapist can guide you through the early stages and give you exercises to practice. A good professional can also introduce you to techniques you might not otherwise hear about.

Make the Commitment

It’s important that you agree to work with each other over time. This is not something you can do in 20 minutes a day. You’re trying to learn skills so well that they become second nature. Eventually, you’ll both know when and how to use them without prompting. But that takes a major commitment and a lot of time and practice.

Find Out What the Triggers Are

One of the best starting points is to discuss what each of you feels and needs, and also to identify the triggering incidents that send you into a tailspin. Each of you lists on paper what you feel in the relationship. When you read these to each other, you’re both likely to discover a lot of misconceptions each of you has had about your partner. Then you can each list the types of incidents that stir the deepest feelings of anger, hurt or injury. You can’t try to evaluate what your partner is identifying. The point is to be alert to the danger spots so that you can try to keep them from setting off a confrontation.

Stop the Rush to Judgment

Psychologist Carl Rogers believed that conflict began with our habit of making judgments. We hear an opinion or witness an action, make a quick assumption, pass judgment and react. We’ve worked for a long time with a method to interrupt the process the mind goes through to make the snap judgment. It seems instantaneous, but you can interrupt this sequence.

  • First, you perceive something – hear a statement, see a facial expression, catch a glance from your partner. It’s a trigger that starts up the process.
  • Next your mind identifies what that perception is and interprets it. You assume you know what it’s meant to communicate.
  • Then comes an emotional response. If it’s a sensitive trigger in the context of depression, it’s likely to be negative. You feel angry, hurt, frustrated.
  • You form a judgment. You’re being attacked for no reason. Your partner refuses to listen, is angry and is blaming you for something you didn’t do.
  • Lastly, you fire back and you’re off to serious argument.

This all happens in a split second, even though your mind is doing something quite complicated. What you can learn to do, after a lot of practice, is to stop the process before making that final judgment and launching an attack. It sounds simple, but it’s hard to do: You have to check out your interpretation with your partner.
You say something like: “Here’s what I just saw, here’s how I’m interpreting it. Am I right? Is that what you meant?” You may find you’ve missed the mark completely – or you may find you were right. But even if you read the message correctly, now you have a chance to probe what’s wrong. It’s amazing how that pause and questioning can stop the escalation of feelings into a fight.
But remember: As we did, you may need to learn the method from a therapist. He guided us in practicing it. And we agreed to work on this every time we felt we were running into trouble. We’ve used this basic tool for a long time, but we can easily forget. Even when that happens, however, we both have the model as a reference point. There’s a good chance that one of us will realize what’s happening and try to take us back to where we went wrong.

Listen to the Other Side

Once you’ve been able to interrupt the rush to judgment, both of you can listen to one another’s concerns more easily. The hard part is to listen without trying to evaluate or judge. There’s a strong urge to interrupt, criticize, dismiss – all by making those quick judgments you’re trying to be conscious of. The best thing is to listen silently and concentrate on what your partner is saying. They’re describing how they see things, and that’s what you need to understand.
After that, it’s helpful to mirror back what you’ve heard to show that you really do hear what they’re saying. The feeling that you’re being heard and understood is a powerful one in any relationship. It’s an affirming and hopeful experience.

Be Realistic

It’s easy to expect too much too soon from any method. You may try it for a while, but have trouble making the new techniques work. That happens with any kind of therapy and with the process of recovery as a whole. The onset of depression has changed everything, and you’re scrambling to make things better.
You need to be patient with yourself and your partner. Give yourselves plenty of time to internalize new ways of relating to each other.

Have you and your partner been able to work on relationship issues while treatment is underway? What are the key problems you’ve tried to work on? Which methods have been most effective?

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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10 Signs You Are NOT Emotionally Ready for a New Relationship


Just because you want a relationship doesn’t mean you’re ready for one. I know what you’re thinking right now. “Of course, I’m ready for a relationship. It’s what I’ve been waiting so long for! I just need to know how I can get one started!”

Well, I’m certainly not arguing that you want a real relationship. I’m asking if you’re ready for a real relationship. That one’s tough to answer, because it entails really looking at yourself and your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in a real, open, and honest way. And that’s never easy.
One thing I can tell you is that I’ve been there. I’ve been in that spot where all I could think about was how I so wanted a real relationship, with all of the affection, understanding, support and love that comes with it. And that’s when I asked myself this very same question and I realized that I didn’t like the answer. I had some major changing to do.

Are you ready for a relationship?
The ability to know if you are in a place to enter into a romantic relationship with another can be difficult to know. Let’s face it – love is complex! Perhaps a more effective way of knowing the answer to the question – Am I relationship ready – is to look at the warning signs that likely suggest you are not ready.
What follows are 10 Signs that strongly indicate you are not yet ready to be involved in a romantic relationship. Generally speaking, if three or more of these signs apply to your situation, it may support a larger mosaic of evidence that you need to work on yourself more
Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!

1. You keep attracting the same types of people who are unhealthy for you
If you have a history of entering into relationships with people who are unhealthy for you and keep repeating that pattern, what will be different in a new romance?

2. You are settling for someone because they are simply interested
Many people believe they must enter into a given relationship with another because that person is simply available, with no other prospects in the pipe-line. For obvious reasons, settling for someone because they have shown interest in you is not a recipe for long-term, lasting love.

3. You are hoping someone will “save you”
Hoping to escape your own emotional pain, you believe entering into a relationship with someone will save you from your emotional pain. In truth, no lover can do this for us. We can only create change for the positive by facing and ultimately working through our life issues – hopefully through insight oriented counseling.

4. You confuse love with obsession
Confusing love with obsession means that we instantly attach ourselves to another, even though we have not given ourselves a chance to truly know the person. Usually, those who confuse love with obsession attract mates who are emotionally unavailable. Characteristically, there is a pattern of obsessive love that is destructive in nature.

5. You feel you “Must” be in a relationship due to pressure
As mentioned previously, many people feel they need to be in a relationship with another because of family and societal pressures. If this is the case for you, it may be helpful to ask yourself the question: Isn’t love supposed to be organic? Can I really force love?

6. You want to fix someone
To a lesser or greater degree, all of us are co-dependent. Humans must depend on one another in the larger scheme of things in order to survive. With that shared – if you want to enter into a relationship because you need to “fix” someone, it simply isn’t going to work – not for you or the person you are interested in. The need to fix another is a classic sign of co-dependency.

7. You just got out of a long-term relationship
This is one that many may dispute but needs to be included. If you have been in a relationship with another for an extended period of time (3-years or more) and recently got out of it, there is simply no way you are ready to move on to a new one. It takes time for the mind and heart to heal. As a general rule, it takes at least a year (if not more) to work through the aftermath of a relationship that recently collapsed.

8. Your self-esteem is deeply wounded
Much of this point relates to other signs mentioned here. If you are in a place where your self-esteem is deeply wounded (aka in the crapper), you need to carefully think about your ability to function in a healthy, meaningful way in a romantic relationship. See point #3.

9. You feel sexually confident
This point simply means that you are not worried about “pleasing” your mate. In other words, your desire to become intimate with another feels equal when it happens, devoid of worry or concerns about “being enough” for a potential mate. In many ways, this means channeling the positive attributes of so called narcissism.

10. You don’t love yourself
We hear this term – self-love – but what does it really mean? It means being able to look at yourself in the mirror and accept who you are as a person. It means having the awareness that perfection is never possible and that you can only be the best person you can be at this exact moment in time. If you are not in this place, you simply are not relationship ready.
If any of the above sound like you, then you need to start looking inward and making some changes to your life in order to get yourself ready to be with someone else. The good news? Once you have these licked, you will be ready for a real relationship. And then you’ll be in good emotional shape to start attracting the kind of man that you want to be in a relationship with, and he’ll want to be in a relationship with you too.
Why? Because you’ll both be emotionally healthy. So, when Mr. Right does walk into your life, you’ll both be in the right state of mind, in the right place, at the right time. And it doesn’t get any more right than that.

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!

Don’t get fooled by FREE offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a free 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

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Gay Couples: 8 Tips For Moving In Together

Some say moving in together is the proverbial kiss of death. Others think it’s the best thing since sliced bread or since the invention of dildos. Moving in with your significant other is a big deal – from fighting for the covers every night to waking up with the person you love each morning, this new chapter in your life may be rife with happy moments and potential conflicts. While there’s no foolproof plan for avoiding relationship complications after you move in together, following these tips will help make the transition that much easier.

1. Establish Ground Rules
Now is the time to lay down the house rules that not only benefit the two of you as romantic partners, but as roommates, too. Whether it’s “Keep the toilet seat down,” “No stuffed animals on the bed,” or “Dirty clothes go in the hamper, not on the floor,” getting clear on one another’s guidelines will help keep the romantic spark between you alive. The realities of living together aren’t always an aphrodisiac, but you can focus on making the best of what you’ve got by getting clear on your shared boundaries.

2. Redecorate Together
Whether one of you is moving into the other’s home, or you’re both moving into a new place together, collaborating on the décor will not only bring you closer, it will give each of you a sense of ownership in your new abode. At the same time, a home makeover gives you the chance to find out how you work together as you blend your lives.

3. Divide And Conquer The Housework
When I moved in with my now husband three years ago, we quickly established I’d do the dishes and he’d do the laundry, a set-up that has kept us both happy and sane. I’m thrilled I never have to count quarters and lug our dirty clothes to the Laundromat. He’s ecstatic he can enjoy dinners we take turns cooking without worrying about the post-meal mess. He takes out the garbage and cleans the bathroom. I sweep, dust, and vacuum. Neither of us loves doing household chores, but it’s so much easier getting through them knowing we’re getting equal help from the other. Nothing kills the mood faster than resentment over lingering dust bunnies in the bedroom.

4. Tackle Your Finances
Before you move in together, talk money. Are you going to have a joint account? How will expenses be split? What about insurance? And don’t forget that your financial discussions should continue after you unpack. Check in with each other periodically to make sure you’re both on the same page financially. Set a common savings goal — say, a trip to Paris, or buying a home — that creates a sense of shared partnership and helps you both stay on the same financial track.

5. Get Out Of The House
Once you’re in the comfort zone, it can be tempting to spend your evenings ordering Thai take-out and catching up on your Netflix. Resist the trap! It’s essential to the vitality of your relationship that you get out and explore the world together. Go see a band you love, catch a movie, go out for dinner, work out together, party with friends. Sharing new experiences creates stronger bonds and a deeper sense of intimacy.

6. Maintain Your Privacy
The occasional communal shower aside, all other bathroom activities should be kept private. Maybe you’re in that phase where you want to do everything together, but some things you should do by yourself, period.

7. Spend Time Apart
Enjoy quality time without each other. Now more than ever, it’s important to nurture your other relationships — including the relationship you have with yourself. Not only do those bonds give you a more well-rounded support system — one you’ll need down the road — time away makes time spent together that much sweeter.

8. Show Your Love
Express your appreciation for your man: bring him chocolates, cook up his favorite meal, put on a sexy underwear, etc. After all, relationships aren’t rocket science. Sometimes, it’s the small gestures that go a long way in making sure you don’t turn into an old gay married couple before you’re, well, an old gay married couple.

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

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Happy Gay Couples: Tips to Ensure a Long-Lasting Relationship

Everyone knows that perfect couple that just seems to have it all. How do they do it? Well, the secret to a happy relationship is more than just loving each other, it’s putting in that extra effort to make the relationship last. Are you searching for that ideal, enduring love? Well, you’re not alone. There are a lot of gay men out there searching for the right formula to maintain a long lasting, happy relationship.

Having a long-lasting relationship is not as easy as simply finding that special person. Relationships take hard work. If you are lucky enough to have found an amazing person that you want to be with for a long time, I congratulate you! But you should probably check out this article to make sure that your relationship stays as happy and healthy as it is today.
Happy relationships mean listening to each other, talking things out, remembering to make the other person feel good, and keeping things exciting. Read on to find out more…

1. Give each other space to flourish
When you first get together, you may want to spend every hour of the day with your new love. Work and other commitments can seem to be obstacles that keep you away from each other. But in reality, spending time apart, doing things individually can be enormously beneficial to a relationship. At the very least, it gives you something to talk about. But more importantly, it shows that both of you don’t want to possess each other. If you want a relationship that will stand the test of time, allow your boyfriend to be supremely himself. This may mean giving him space.

2. Be loyal
Never belittle your boyfriend in front of other people. Even if you think he’s wrong, support him in public. Always hold the line with your loved one, and only air any serious disagreement or problem you with him in private.

3. Deal with disagreements constructively
You are bound to have disagreements from time to time. In order to stop these from becoming conflicts, here are some of the things to do:
  • keep it specific: rather than “you always do that”, focus on the incident you’re talking about;
  • make it about you not him: “I was disappointed…” is much better than “you upset me…”
  • really listen to him and seek to understand what he’s saying instead of thinking about your next response.

4. Be truthful
If you want to build up trust, you need to live out the behavior you expect of him.  We all know how little lies can soon become big ones, so be honest.  Make sure you don’t promise more than you can deliver.

I’ll say it again, relationships take work. If you really love the person that you’re with, you should put as much work and effort into the relationship as you put into other passions in your life.
If you’re up to the challenge, follow these tips to help keep your relationship happy and healthy. And try sharing them with your man… after all, happy, long lasting relationships come from both parties making an effort to make them great.

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!

Don’t get fooled by FREE offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a free 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

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Gay Relationships: Dealing with a Bully, Abusive Boyfriend

Love can blind us to bullying in unforeseen ways. You probably won’t see it until years down the line, and even then you still try and mask it with past memories—“Somewhere inside is that man I fell in love, so I’m going to keep on keeping on.”
Sometimes boyfriends change into bullies right before your very eyes and you’re the only keeping yourself from escaping. The last thing you want to do is waste your time being chiseled away by a beautiful monster. Check out the signs:

#1) He makes you feel guilty for things that aren’t your fault.
No matter what it is, you’re the first person to blame because he feels most comfortable to do it. Maybe it’s tied to invisible tension or bitterness, but the compassion he once had has disappeared into something unfamiliar. You’re always a target.

#2) He blames for broken dreams.
You’re living in an apartment you never thought you’d be living in. Life hasn’t turned out exactly how you expected. The relationship has shifted into something you hadn’t anticipated—and it’s entirely your fault. He says your job sucks, your stamina and drive isn’t up to par, or that you’re holding him back. Instead of being grateful that you have each other, he focuses on artificial things he himself lacks.

#3) Your name has changed to “What’s wrong with you?”
You forget something: “What’s wrong with you?” You misplace his favorite things: “What’s wrong with you?” You didn’t hear something he said an hour ago: “What’s wrong with you?” Everything becomes an excuse to make you feel inadequate in some way.

#4) He makes people choose sides: “Do you agree with him or do you agree with me?”
He unconsciously seeks to drive a wedge by rallying troops. They’re your closest friends and often feel so uncomfortable that a seed of resentment gets planted in their minds. You’re left in a corner not knowing how to react.

#5) He interrupts you constantly.
This is directly tied to cockiness and cynicism. He feels like he’s always right, which limits attention span on others. He doesn’t want to hear it because he wants to be the “right” voice, the loudest and proudest to solve problems.

#6) “Thank you” has left his vocabulary.
Effort matters very little to him. Even if you’ve done an incredible job at something, there is still no validation. It’s hard to tell what’s on his mind because he never expresses acknowledgment in a healthy way (as he should). Without the validation, you’re left feeling like a slave with no real purpose.

#7) You feel pressured to ask permission for every little thing.
Some evil voice inside reminds you that you’re not free to think for yourself. It’s as if your boyfriend has convinced you nothing can be done correctly without him being involved. Without him, you’re always wrong.

#8) Indirect compromise.
Otherwise known as passive aggression. He rarely talks out problems and leaves everything unresolved. The silent treatment seems to be his greatest form of compromise because if he ignores it, eventually you’ll come begging for his forgiveness.

#9) He’s always threatening you.
His favorite thing to do is threaten the relationship or sex: “We’re seriously done if you do this…” or “I am not having sex with you. I’m so pissed off.” It’s a game that should be played maybe a handful of times in an entire length of a relationship, but he loves pulling out the threats any chance he can get.

#10) Your friends feel awkward around you both.
It’s become something out of your control and your friends are starting to notice it, and are growing uncomfortable very quickly. As time goes by you notice less and less invites to parties and more nights of watching Netflix with your man and hearing him complain about everything.

Learning to recognize bullying behavior in your boyfriend is an important skill that every gay man should have. It also can save you a lot of heartache and pain down the road, especially when you spot the bullying early and move on. Remember, it is important to distance yourself from anyone who consistently bullies other people.
Boys who bully others often become abusive in dating relationships. As a result, their partners are often left feeling responsible for the bullying and lose self-esteem. Remember, bullying is not your fault nor is there anything wrong with you. Bullying is a choice made by the bully and he alone is responsible for his behavior. You also cannot change him. He has to want to change.

If you are experiencing any of these abuses, it’s important to recognize that this is bullying (and abusive) and is not part of a normal relationship. Repetitive bullying behavior, even if you are only a bystander, will eventually take a toll on you.
Find outside support and look for options on how to terminate the relationship. Ending an abusive relationship is often best done with the help and guidance of other people. The bullying and abuse often escalates when a relationship is about to end. So be sure to find help for your situation.

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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Top Common Reasons Why Gay Relationships Work and Fail


“Society desperately needs to see healthy gay couples functioning in successful relationships.”

Back in the 90’s, I worked at Linden Oaks Hospital, a psychiatric clinic in Naperville, Illinois in their outpatient department providing counseling to all ages and populations.We did a lot of work with couples and used a handout with our clients that taught them about attitudes and ingredients for having healthy intimate relationships.

I still use that handout in my clinical work as it is a great resource in helping couples assess their own relationship functioning, as well as to use it as a guide for developing goals to work on. Linden Oaks is credited for this content, which is outlined below. The word ‘relationships’ is being used instead of ‘marriages’, as was specified in the handout.
While written for a heterosexual audience, we can certainly adapt this information to our gay partnerships as the following content illustrates issues that are universal to all relationship styles. Hopefully you will find it useful as it applies to evaluating your own relationship for maximizing its success.

Top 10 Reasons Relationships Work
10. “Our relationship is first…not third or fourth…”
9. “We’re able to compromise…”
8. “He acknowledges and validates me…”
7. “Humor…we know how to have fun…”
6. “We’re friends…”
5. “We accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses…”
4. “Everybody’s responsible and no one is to blame…”
3. “We have a healthy dependence/mutuality in our relationship…”
2. “We can disagree without attacking…”
1. “We’re able to really listen and communicate with each other…”

Top 10 Reasons Relationships Fail

10. “We’ve just grown apart…”
9. “We’re just not in love anymore…”
8. “He’ll never change…”
7. “I don’t have any emotions/feelings left…”
6. “All we do is fight…”
5. “There’s just too much resentment built up…”
4. “We can’t work out problems with children…”
3. “There’s no intimacy or ‘fire’…”
2. “I just can’t trust him…”
1. “We just don’t communicate…”

Tips For Lasting Love
• Ability to solve problems
• Active listening
• Ability to express and validate feelings and needs
• Personal responsibility
• Love and romance
• Friendship
• Forgiveness

Adding ‘Gay’ To The Mix
Some additional factors that I might add to the list for making relationships work that are more specific to gay men in a couple include:

• Having solid self-esteem and comfort with being gay

• Both men being at the same level of “outness”; and the more “out”, the better to allow for more openness, relaxation, and honesty in all environments
• Having a support system of people who honor, value, and validate the men’s relationship as a gay couple

• Each man having his own individual identity, as well as commitment to a relationship identity to allow for more balance and vitality

• Having a clear agreement about monogamy vs. non-monogamy in one’s relationship and having an understanding of what that means and looks like and abiding by that faithfully

• Recognition that relationships take effort and work

• Having a shared vision for the future as a couple

• And most importantly, as in all relationships, communication is key! Productive conflict resolution is critical! Honesty is a must! The ability to be flexible is also important.

This article merely scratches the surface of what constitutes a healthy gay relationship. There are many ingredients that go into creating a successful partnership, but the topics discussed here provide you with a basic foundation of what’s most needed to get you on the right track. What’s important is that each couple defines for themselves what works best for them and what happiness and fulfillment would look like for them.
The above skills will help promote a working atmosphere to help the two of you co-pilot the type of relationship you’re seeking. Identify your strengths and weaknesses as a couple from the tips and craft a plan for making things even better between the two of you.

Society desperately needs to see healthy gay couples functioning in successful relationships. Could you be a role model as gay partners if you choose? If so, let us all share the wealth and wisdom with each other as a community, to learn from each other on what it takes! Cheers to your relationship success!

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

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Ex with Benefits: Bad Idea or Harmless Fun?

Running into your ex is common in the LGBT community, especially when you’re in a gay neighborhood. At the gym, in the bar, or on the streets, we’re bound to run into an old fling at some point or other. Sure it might be a bit awkward, but what happens when the sexual feelings come back? Is it a smart idea to follow through with it, or should you leave the past in the past?

Depending on how the relationship ended determines a lot of how it will survive afterwards. I’m still friends with a few of my exes, but most of them are long gone. I have to admit, if one of them called me up and offered either to take me out for a drink or take me to bed, I might just go for the latter. But despite how great the sex may be, I will eventually have to face reality. What happens when the sex ends?
It’s hard to truly get over a breakup, especially if it was a long term relationship. It’s more than just the intimacy and sex. It’s the memories, the Christmases, the birthdays, the trips, and everything else you did together. To have sex would be like going back in time and reliving all those feelings you’ve tried desperately to subdue. However, if you’re both in agreement that it’s only about sex, is it possible for your ex to turn into a Friend with Benefits?

Let’s say enough time passes for the healing process to be over. You’ve officially moved on and you’re able to cope with each others presence without running away crying in the bathroom. Surely this would make it okay, right? The truth is it doesn’t matter how much you’re over him. It doesn’t matter how easily you’re able to stay detached emotionally. Once you’re with each other, everything will become familiar again. And it’s this familiarity that messes us up.
I’ve known plenty of gay men who have turned their exes into F**k buddies, and they’re fine with it. For some reason it doesn’t seem to bother them nor their exes. In fact when they mention it, they laugh. Whether it’s due to maturity or a strategic agreement they’ve set, they’ve managed to keep their “new” relationship purely sexual. But no matter how much they appear to be okay with it, it’s clear that the conscious effort of keeping emotions at bay is easier said than done.

Ex sex is different from makeup sex. Sure it might be tempting to take out all of your feelings on your ex to show him how much he’s hurt you (or vice-versa), but at the end of the day, the only thing you’re damaging is your heart. Nothing is worse than false hope, and if there are any leftover feelings you have for him, sex will cause you to over-analyze. Though for some people it may work out, for most gay men it will always lead to regret.

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!

Don’t get fooled by FREE offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a free 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

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