Are you a single gay man who is looking for reasons why you are still single? Have you reached a place in your life where you are tired of seeing all of your friends partnered or married while you are still sitting there, unattached and completely unhappy? If so, you are not alone.
For all of our wonderful qualities as gay men, our collective ability to date and be in healthy relationships with others has been a historic struggle.
So here are some potential reasons why you’re single, even when you’ve been actively pursuing committed relationships with other men.
You keep waiting for “The One”
If you are a gay man that keeps waiting for “the one” guy to come in and sweep you off your feet, you are going to be waiting for a very long time. There is no perfect gay man – or perfect guy period. All of us have flaws, including you.
You’re just not that into monogamy, and he is
Or vice versa. The monogamy issue is a huge one in relationships, and if the two of you don’t see eye to eye (or man to man) on “extras,” pretending otherwise will only end up with someone getting hurt. Maybe in the future you’ll arrive at a consensus, but until then he’s the one you can’t put into the equation.
You have a ridiculous checklist of needs
Are you a gay man who needs to check off a bunch of bullet points when considering a man as relationship material? For example, does the guy need to drive a certain type of car, make six figures, own his own home and so forth?
If you said yes, here’s a question …
How’s that list working for you? Why don’t you that stupid list and approach dating from the perspective of getting to know a guy for who he is instead of what he owns?
You’re trying too hard
There’s a weird irony when you’re trying to date seriously. You have to put yourself out there and be open to meeting men. At the same time, however, you can’t center your entire life around finding another man. When you do that, you put too much pressure on dating. Your whole wellbeing is tied into your relationship status. This makes it very difficult to actually date.
You fear intimacy
Many gay men fear emotional closeness or intimacy with another man. A fear of intimacy is often about not wanting to be in a vulnerable position where you could be hurt by another.
It’s possible as a gay man you have a painful history that may include discrimination, homophobia, bullying or rejection. A common way to respond to these experiences is to cut yourself off from getting too close to anyone to protect yourself from being hurt.
A fear of emotional closeness makes it difficult for you to develop a connection deeper than a superficial or sexual relationship.
To overcome your fear of intimacy, ultimately you have to take emotional risks with other men. And along with that is the risk you may be hurt.
Therapy with an experienced counsellor or psychotherapist can also help address your fear of intimacy and reduce your blocks to closeness with other men.
Guys love independence. They want to know that you have your hobbies, ambitions and interests don’t rely solely on his. Being his cheerleader is great and wanting to be around him as much as possible is a part of liking someone, but he’ll lose interest if you let your identity become a mirror copy of his. The best boyfriends and partners are ones that compliment each other, not fill each others’ voids. Thinking a boyfriend will cure the emptiness couldn’t be further from the truth. He can’t compensate for areas of your life that need your love and attention. Expecting him to will only lead to frustration and increased unhappiness. Besides, he’ll sniff your neediness a mile away.
You just haven’t met him yet
Social Media leads us to believe that the right guy is just a swipe or woof away. And in today’s gay-visible world you no longer have to shy away from approaching MrBubbleButt to ask for a coffee date. It’s also easy to assume that, since you’ve been searching for your soul mate for 6 months and are still alone on Saturday nights, there must be something wrong with you. But meeting men has never been easy, no matter where you live or whatever your age or what you do for a living, and meeting a guy who makes your heart flutter just doesn’t happen that often. Concentrate on, and love, yourself. That’s your most attractive trait.
You’re a downer
Have you been told by your friends that you are a bit of a “Debbie Downer”? Does it seem like you go out of your way to find the negative in a situation? Have you noticed that people who once used to hang out with don’t seem to be in your life anymore?
Here’s why …
Nobody wants to be around someone who is overly negative. If you are looking for a man to date, he isn’t going to want to be with a guy who is always sad, depressed and unhappy with himself. Think about getting some help.
You’re looking for love in all the wrong places
Grindr isn’t where you’re going to find love. (Sure, you might, and other guys have before, but that’s not your best option.) There are other gay dating apps more geared towards serious dating, as opposed to one-night stands, like Gay Dating Solutions. Additionally, there are other ways to meet men than outside of bars—although that is still a good way. There are LGBT meet-up groups and community service projects where you can meet gay men who have the same interests and values as you do.
You’re not moving beyond transactional sex
It’s no secret that many gay man treat anonymous casual sex as a recreational sport or hobby.
Being highly sexually active or promiscuous is often a response to coming out – often called delayed gay adolescence. As a gay man you probably came out after your heterosexual friends were running sexually rampant. The desire to have a lot of sex can be a way of ‘catching up’ and a natural part of the gay coming out process. Plus it’s never been easier to meet other guys for casual sex than now with gay hook up apps like Grindr, Scruff and Tinder.
However, if you get stuck in this stage of lots of casual sex, you can start to believe that sex equals emotional closeness and intimacy. But the two are actually quite different.
Make sure you’re developing deeper relationships with other men – even if they are only platonic friendships, because this is the first step to developing a deep, loving relationship with another man.
You’re a B*tch
We get it, you’re fierce. But your lack of eye contact, standoffish demeanor, and chilly responses are only reinforcing the titanium wall you’ve built around yourself. You’ve done a good job using witty quips to mask your distrust and disgust for guys that have hurt you in the past. It stops you from getting hurt (again). Unfortunately, it also keeps everything else out, including people that are genuinely interested in getting to know you. Loosen up a bit. You can still protect yourself and show your supreme fierceness without pushing away strangers that could potentially turn into more.
You lack confidence
Many gay men lack the confidence to go after what they want. And this really shows up when I see guys that are smitten with another guy, but are too scared to do anything about it.
Perhaps you’ve seen someone you like, or you know someone you would like to developer a deeper relationship with, but you hold back, making excuses for why they wouldn’t be into you. This is often an indicator that you lack confidence.
There are a whole number of reasons why you might lack confidence, which include your experience of growing up gay in a straight world, internalised homophobia, shame or lack of support when coming out.
To develop more confidence, it’s critical that you embark on personal development, which may include therapy, personal development courses, group work and reading self-help books.
Developing genuine and enriching relationships with others is also an important part of increasing your confidence.
It’s time to look in the mirror and face reality. If you are a single gay man who has one or more of the 12 reasons listed here going on, don’t whine to your friends about why you are still alone. You are doing it all to yourself. Now you know the real deal. Do something about it.
Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?
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