Sam Stanley Hits Back at Critics of His Relationship: ‘There’s a Lot of Hate From Other Gay People’

The former professional rugby player announced his engagement to his 59-year-old fiance earlier this year

 

Sam Stanley has hit back at critics of his relationship.

Earlier this year, the former professional rugby player announced his engagement to his long-term partner Laurence Hicks, 59, but some people couldn’t get their head around the couple’s age difference.

In a new interview, Sam has revealed that while he expected some judgement, he was stunned by how much of it came from the gay community.

Speaking to Queerty, he said: “I think if you’d caught the reaction to our engagement online most of the hate was from other gay people.

“That surprises me quite a lot with what gay people alone have to go through in terms of being judged. There’s a hell of a lot of judgement just within the gay community.

 

Sam’s fiance, Laurence, continued:  “Younger gay guys who are obviously not into generational relationships don’t get it at all, particularly the difference in body size.

“Funnily enough, most of our straight friends are very comfortable with it. We both know the intergenerational thing is not everyone’s cup of tea, but please don’t judge either of us without really knowing us or appreciating the love we have for each other and the joy we bring to each others lives,” he added.

Sam became the first English Rugby Union player to come out as a gay when he opened up about his sexuality in 2015.

 

Read more at: Attitude Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make Your Love Last: 7 Tips for a Strong Relationship

It takes more than love for your relationship to work.

Although love is the foundation of any happy romantic gay relationship, love is not enough. In order to have a healthy relationship, both parties have to be willing to work on it.

Most gay couples strive to have a successful and rewarding relationship, yet it is normal for gay couples to have ups and downs. To meet these challenges, and to keep your relationship healthy and happy, you need to work at it. Relationships are like bank accounts – if there are fewer deposits than withdrawals, you will run into difficulties.

 

Here are some tips that may help you improve your relationship (and be better prepared to meet the challenges along the way).

1. Have fun

Gay couples who engage in exciting and enjoyable activities together have greater relationship satisfaction from before to after the shared activity.

2. Develop empathy and really listen to each other

Good communication often starts with a desire to understand other points of view. How many arguments have you had that have just spiraled out of control because no one is really listening or attempting to understand? I think one of the most important things we can all do, whether for a relationship or not, is to develop a strong sense of empathy and compassion. Grudge-holding, bitter thoughts and and negativity towards others will only backfire if you hold onto it.

3. Appreciate the little things

When you’ve been together for quite a while, it might seem easy to take your partner for granted. Say “thank you” more, tell them you love them, or send cute texts (in moderation of course). Let your partner know how much he means to you so they never feel taken for granted. This is probably one of the most important tips for a strong relationship.

4. Learn from arguments

Accept that arguments will happen, and try to resolve them with respect. The strongest predictor of a breakup is ‘contempt’, which is any action whereby your partner feels ‘put down’ by you, whether it is the tone of your voice or what you say. In arguments, we sometimes become overwhelmed and this often leads to behaviors that harm our relationship.

5. Have good sex

Increasing research is pointing to a great sex life as predicting better relationship satisfaction—but not the other way around.

6. Give your partner space

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer used porcupines to explain a dilemma which often exists in human relationships. Two porcupines trying to keep warm will move closer to one another. However, if they get too close they prick each other with their spines.

The same thing happens in human relationships: we want closeness, but we also want space. The key is to find that sweet spot at which we feel the warmth that comes from being in a relationship, while at the same time allowing each partner to have enough space so that neither one feels like they’re being pricked by the other’s spines (feelings of lost individuality, feeling crowded, and so on).

7. Have a good relationship with yourself

The relationship you have with yourself is arguably the foundation on which your other relationships are built, and studies are supporting this notion. High self-esteem predicts better relationship satisfaction, and high self-esteem of both partners is an even better predictor of strong relationship satisfaction. Moreover, people with high self-esteem appear to respond more constructively and positively during conflict when they think their partner is committed to the relationship, whereas people with low self-esteem don’t do this even when they believe their partner is committed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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10 Signs You Are NOT Emotionally Ready for a New Relationship

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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?



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