You’re Not Broken

May 4, 2012

09/03/2023 Update
I wrote the below article in May 2012, and it is interesting to go back and read it 11 years later and see how my views have changed now that I’m older. I was 34 years old at the time I wrote this, so I will go through this piece and add new notes in italics.

Dating involves a lot of patience, time and definitely commitment on the part of both people involved.  The problem many men run in to these days is trying to get too involved way too quickly, often bypassing the importance of establishing a foundation. One thing we all must remember is in order to function in the dating world we need to keep a steady pace and say the right words at the right time.

(The above paragraph is still true; however, I now believe that even having a solid foundation doesn’t guarantee anything. You might feel totally secure in a situation and still end up losing everything or get blindsided.)

I hate my body and I feel overweight. I’m so lonely and bored; I wish I had a boyfriend to cuddle on the couch with. I met this really nice and hot 18-year-old guy online last weekend! I know it hasn’t been very long, but I think I love you. My friends always seem too busy for me and I don’t understand why. I call and text you all the time but you never reply back!

Do any of these things sound remotely familiar to you? Have you ever used or met someone who has said something along these lines? I bet you have and I know I have over my years in the gay dating scene.  What is important to understand is that there is nothing wrong with you or wrong with the person. It took me a long time to realize that there are some things I had to fix within before I could give my entire heart to another person.

The key to dating success is to be comfortable in your own skin and with the direction your life is heading. Do you enjoy your career, do you like the body you see in the mirror every morning after a shower, and do you live in a home that makes you happy? These are all questions that took me years to ask myself after having failed relationships. At some point I knew I had to take care of me and love me in order to love another man. I also had to realize that it was a lost cause to date someone much younger than myself because their life trials were just beginning, and the road to their self-discovery was just beginning, no matter what they say. Over time I finally understood all of these things and quit going out every weekend hoping to find a prince charming to sweep me off my feet and fix everything in my life.

The questions presented above hopefully make you think and consider what kind of man and boyfriend material you are.  Are you the person who drops the I Love You bomb after a week?  Are you the person dating the 18-year-old when you’re 28?  Are you carrying a few extra pounds and complaining that no one wants you?  Is it you that picks up the phone to call and text that new boy all day long?  If you answered yes to these things, it doesn’t mean you’re a loser or a freak.  It just means it’s time to find a new way of approaching the dating world.  It’s not something you fix in one evening while sitting around at home, but something you work on over time with trial and error.  Like me, with a little effort you can learn from your mistakes and eventually become that perfect catch for someone and you can have that prince charming you have always wanted.

I present to you this challenge and hope you will take it seriously.  Start taking care of yourself by eating better, working out and giving to your community.  These steps alone will boost your self-confidence.  Next, be realistic about the kind of guy you want in your life.  We all can’t have (or want) that tan young stallion with abs you can wash your clothes on.  It really is alright to have someone sweet, kind, giving and close to your age that doesn’t have a perfect body.  To complete the challenge, solicit feedback from your friends and take what they have to say to heart.  Our friends are there to point out things to us that we may not realize.  Our friends are there to help us grow and better ourselves.  Keep in mind that while friends are a support system, it’s definitely possible to push them away if you seek their help and then do the opposite.

The key to success when you feel you have truly found the right guy is to take your time and be patient.  Openly give to him and let him give to you, emotionally, mentally and intimately.  Save those powerful words I Love You for another time.  Once you grow with each other you will have that moment one day when your eyes will lock together, and in that instance, you will know that it’s time to express your mutual love.

(I still agree with a lot of what I said above. You do need to love and care for yourself first and foremost. I don’t necessarily agree that an age gap in dating is always a bad thing. Sometimes people just click and are right for one another, even if one is 35 and the other is 23, etc. I personally no longer have any desire to date or try to meet a significant other and prefer to live out my remaining days on this earth alone. For me, this eliminates getting hurt, having to answer to someone else, and having to worry about the other shoe dropping unexpectedly one day. If I’m single, I have control.)

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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