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So you end up wondering “What’s the matter with me? ” As an openly gay man with over thirty years of experience as a therapist, I have seen scores of single gay men sabotage their efforts to find a partner, placing obstacles in their own path —without having the slightest idea as to what they are doing and why.

Fortunately, I have also learned how to identify and name these self-defeating and often hidden hurdles—and have discovered that they are beliefs that too many gay men repeat to themselves, often without even knowing it.

They are as follows: In my experience, this internalized belief is the poison that prevents some gay men from building a healthy relationship, and also why many mess up the ones they already have. Few of us grow up unscathed by family, peers, and a society hostile to our attractions and behaviors.

Some of us have been bullied as children; physically, verbally, and emotionally abused at tender ages by our peers and family members for being gay before we even recognized and understood our same-sex attractions.

I have had several grieving gay men tell me: “If I move on, it will be like I am forgetting him” which is just not true.

A variation of this theme is when a relationship ends, but you just don’t want to let go of it—even if the guy is still alive.

Contrary to heterosexual fears, legal gay marriage has given the institution an enormous boost in importance.If you find yourself consistently in these patterns, perhaps you are, as the song goes, In the old days, when I was coming out, being gay had more of an outlaw quality.Nonmonogamy was a political statement, and gay rights advocates saw marriage as constrictive, patriarchal, heterocentric, flawed (perhaps due to the 50% failure rate) and therefore not worthy of pursuit, especially in light of how gay men of the era were still getting ejected from their jobs, homes, families and blackmailed and arrested for who they were.In my clinical and personal experiences, these feelings can be so deeply hidden as to be difficult to recognize, articulate and resolve.My clients rarely, initially state or even recognize that they feel unworthy of love, but their behaviors tell a different story. Once in a relationship you may feel a constant need to control the other partner to make sure he stays connected and faithful to you.

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