4 Ways Gay Men Worry More About Dating

Do gay men really worry more about their love life than straight men? “Yes”, says a new study developed by dating website, EliteSingles.com. “But it doesn’t seem to make them any less happy overall.” The dating site used data from over 20,000 Americans, in addition to data from individuals in other countries. This is what they found:

– Gay men in the US are 3.5% less confident than straight men.

– The data also shows them 3% less secure, 2% more anxious and 2% more misunderstood.

– Happiness level on par with straight men, however.

– Gay men in the UK showed a similar pattern: -3% confident, -3% secure, +4.5% anxious, +3% misunderstood.

Dating can be tough at times, but how we cope with the knock-backs and dead-ends can define our future successful relationship. Whilst gay men are used to counseling female friends through the woes of dating, is there anything they can learn from their straight brethren? Here are four key ways in which gay men think differently when it comes to dating:

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1. Gay men lack confidence: In the study, gay singles scored themselves a staggering 3.5% lower than straight men on how confident they feel, and there’s no easy explanation for why there’s such a big difference. Lamar Dawson, writing for The Huffington Post, says “Whatever your reason, it’s hard to let others in and it’s hard to accept the love we deserve. The most important thing to know is that you are worthy of love and you have love to give.”

2. Gay men feel more insecure: Gay men also scored themselves 3% lower on the ‘secure’ scale. Why? Feeling insecure can encompass a great number of things – feeling jealous, paranoid and having trust issues are perhaps the most common manifestations, and these can be hangovers from past relationships. But, most often, gay singles actually feel more insecure about themselves, and this has much to do with internal conflict of ‘what you’re meant to be like’ and ‘who you are’.

3. Gay men are more ‘anxious about the future’: Gay respondents were more likely to describe themselves as ‘anxious about the future’ and, when it comes to dating, this can be cumbersome. Whether we’re worried about settling for the wrong person or on the brink of long-term territory, our fears about the future can inhibit us from making a commitment.

4. Gay men feel more misunderstood: There’s nothing more personal than dating – it exposes our true selves to the world, in the hope that we’ll find someone who can accept us for who we are. Feeling self-conscious can really complicate things! Careful cultivation of our own sense of self will always help you feel more prepared for finding ‘the one’.

Though it does seem that gay men may worry more, the same study also asked respondents how ‘happy’ they felt and produced no significant difference between gay and straight men. Less than 1% scored themselves lower, which would suggest that worrying about our love life more actually has little impact on our general happiness.

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Also undertaken in the United Kingdom, the study had remarkably similar results there.

EliteSingles’ resident psychologist Salama Marine had this to say: “Lack of confidence can come from a difficult former relationship, or even stem from childhood,” before adding “this can be a real problem whilst dating.”

To build more confidence when dating, Marine suggests these practical steps:

Make a list of all your qualities and be honest with yourself. Write down everything you have to offer someone in a relationship. For some people, this exercise can be really helpful because they can – literally – see just how valuable they are on the page in front of them.

If you feel that it’s not enough to realize this by yourself, why not talk with your friends? Just by asking simple questions like “Why are you my friend?” and “Why do you like to spend time with me?” you can realize your own value in other people’s eyes and learn to believe that you are a good person to know.

Fix reasonable objectives. When people want to change, they tend to forget that it needs to be done step by step – it’s important to fix doable objectives to avoid any disappointment. For example, it’s not easy for everyone to just walk up to someone they like in a bar and start talking to them. In this scenario, online dating can be really helpful; it can help you to realize that meeting and dating completely new people is not a big deal – you just need the practice!

This data and post was provided by EliteSingles.com. EliteSingles is part of a global network of leading online dating sites, helping more than 2,500 singles find love each month in over 20 countries worldwide.

The Science Behind Why So Many Women Want to Befriend Gay Men

For years, friendships between straight women and gay men have been a subject of pop culture fascination. Books, television shows and feature length films have all highlighted this unique relationship, noted for its closeness and depth.

But with society’s attitudes toward gays and lesbians changing, it’s become all the more important to build a holistic understanding of the relationships between gay and straight people.

As a researcher in social psychology, I’ve often wondered: why do straight female-gay male relationships work so well? Why are straight women so drawn to having gay men as friends? And when do these relationships typically form?

During the course of my research, I’ve discovered that the most interesting, compelling – and, arguably, most theoretically coherent – explanation is through the lens of evolution.

Specifically, I believe evolutionary psychology and human mating can help explain why relationships between straight women and gay men tend to flourish.

A safe bet

At first glance, this explanation may seem quite counterintuitive. (After all, straight women and gay men don’t mate with one another.)

However, this is precisely the reasoning behind my approach. Because gay men don’t mate with women – or compete with them for mates – women feel a certain level of comfort with gay men, and the process of forming a close friendship can occur relatively quickly. With heterosexual men (who, by definition, are sexually attracted to women), the process is longer – and potentially more fraught – because men may be grappling with their own sexual impulses.

In other words, because gay men are attracted to their own gender, they’re a “safe bet” for women – at least, from a sociobiological standpoint.

About three years ago, I initially tested this theory in a series of experiments that have served as the foundation of my research programon gay-straight relationships.

In these experiments, straight female participants were shown fictitious Facebook profiles depicting either a straight woman, straight man or gay man. The female participants were then asked how likely they would be to trust the individual’s dating advice.

I also recruited gay male participants, and had them complete the same task (with the gay men viewing Facebook profiles depicting a straight female, gay male or lesbian female).

The experiments, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, demonstrated that straight women and gay men perceived one another to be trustworthy sources of relationship and dating advice. In other words, when it came to dating-related matters, there was an almost instantaneous level of implicit trust.

Still, more needed to be done to support the hypothesis.

Cracking the why and when

Recently, my colleagues and I at the University of Texas at Arlington developed a series of four related studies.

We titled the four studies “Why (and When) Straight Women Trust Gay Men: Ulterior Mating Motives and Female Competition,” with the hope of better establishing why straight women trust gay men and when straight women would be most likely to seek out gay men for friendship and guidance.

For the first study, I wanted to replicate the finding that women trust gay men more than straight men or straight women. This time, however, I wanted to see if women would only trust gay men’s dating-related advice as opposed to other types of advice.

It turns out straight women only trusted a gay man’s advice about a potential boyfriend more than the same advice from, say, a straight man or another straight woman. In other words, it’s not like straight women totally trusted gay men on all matters. It really only had to do with one thing: dating and relationships.

To further examine why this might be the case, we had women imagine receiving information from either a straight woman, straight man, or a gay man about their physical appearance and the dateability of potential boyfriends. We then asked the women how sincere they felt the responses were.

As expected, the female subjects seemed to perceive the judgments coming from the gay man to be more sincere because they knew that he wouldn’t have any ulterior motives – whether that meant wooing the subject (which they might suspect of straight men) or competing for the same romantic partner (straight women).

For the final two studies, we wanted to figure out when women were most likely to befriend and place their trust in gay men. We predicted that this would most often occur in highly competitive dating environments, where a trustworthy source like a gay friend would be valued by women jockeying with one another for a boyfriend.

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To test this, we created a fake news article that detailed extremely skewed sex ratios, indicating that women in college were competing over a very small pool of men. We had women read this news article and then indicate how much they would trust a straight woman or a gay man in various dating-related scenarios.

When women read the news article about the increased competition, their trust in gay men was amplified. Not only were women more apt to trust gay men under this condition, but we also found that they became more willing to make gay male friends.

Beyond dating advice

The downside is that if a straight woman values her gay male friends only for dating advice, the relationship could become quite superficial (see Chris Riotta’s essay “I’m Gay, Not Your Accessory”).

However, the strong trust that women initially form with gay men can serve as a primer; eventually, this trust could extend to other areas, with the friendship blossoming over time.

Other findings – combined with our own – show that there seems to be an extremely strong psychological underpinning for why women are so drawn to gay men.

For instance, a recent study in the Journal of Business and Psychology revealed that straight women tend to hire gay men over other heterosexual individuals because they perceive gay men to be more competent and warmer. Furthermore, marketing researchers have suggested that straight women prefer to work with gay male sales associates over others in consumer retail settings.

These two findings alone could have many positive implications for gay men in the workplace. Because many women seem to value input and contributions of gay men in these settings, it’s likely that we’ll see a more inclusive workplace environment for gay men.

Although much of this research focuses on why women are drawn to friendships with gay men, another obvious avenue of exploration is whether or not gay men are similarly keen to form friendships with straight women.

Unfortunately, there’s been very little research on this. However, it’s possible that gay men connect with straight women for some of the same reasons. For example, in a study I conducted in 2013, I found that gay men also look to women for trustworthy dating advice or tips for finding a prospective boyfriend. Other researchers have suggested that gay men value the positive attitudes towards homosexuality that women tend to have (relative to straight men).

In this case, the implicit trust seems to be a two-way street.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

AllMale.com Opens Up Online Dating For Gay Men

When it comes the greater acceptance of the LGBT community and the advancement of equal rights, it’s easy to get caught up in the frequent news stories regarding the social progress being made. However, while significant headway is being made in the court system regarding same-sex marriages, antiquated State laws are still governing many of the equality protections, or they are being hampered by enforcement agencies with an overly conservative point of view.

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“We have long been proponents of full equality nationwide,” said Sean of AllMale.com. “While we are continuing to see the country moving in the right direction, there are still far too many pockets of discrimination and places where being open about your homosexual identity is a difficult obstacle to overcome. That’s why we continue to put so much effort into the care and discretion that the All Male dating platform affords all of the men in our dating community online.”

If you are sitting in a big city or living in a metropolitan area, you may be surprised to hear how many places are still very discriminatory towards LGBT individuals. A fair amount of restrictions still exist that hinder the success and well-being of minorities. A couple of examples include obtaining employment or even leasing an apartment. Because many people are still unaware of these injustices, HBO host John Oliver even did an in-depth story about the difference between what people think should be true and what is actually happening in the country right now:



“We would love to live in a world where everyone could just go to the exact same dating site and be who they are without any repercussions socially,” added Sean.  “But that just isn’t the world we all live in… at least not yet. So as long as some people want to treat others as outsiders, everyone at www.AllMale.com will continue to offer a safe, secure and completely open environment online that is continuing to help men of all local areas, ethnicities and backgrounds to meet other like-minded men for romance, intimacy and more.”

Post contributed and authored by the AllMale.com Staff

Mench’D: A New Long-Term Dating App for Gay Men

Many gay men know of the smart phone applications, Grindr, Jack’d, and Scruff. These apps are largely utilized to connect gay men for dating, networking, friends, friends with benefits, or just for hooking up. However, there is a new app on the gay dating market now: Mench’D. This up-and-coming app is unlike other popular gay dating apps because it focuses on establishing long-term relationships (LTRs) between gay men. While the other apps out there largely are used for short-term dating and casual sex, the goal of Mench’D is to establish more long-term relationship connections among gay men and to minimize the “quickie” culture of other apps.

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I was curious about this application, so I decided to give it a try. My first impression: I thought the app had some very good qualities. Similar to OkCupid, the app allows gay men to report important lifestyle information (e.g., whether you smoke, have children, want to get married, etc) used for general compatibility. Also, I like how the app has photo-upload categories. For example, the app encourages you to upload a “face” picture, a “body” picture, and “group” shots with friends. Unlike Grindr or Jack’d that allow 100% “body” shots or “headless torsos”, this app allows users to view more pieces of one’s life that aren’t inherently connected to sex. Along those same lines, the introductory video feature on Mench’D is great in my opinion because it allows gay men to showcase their personality rather than just their physical appearance.

I feel that this application is a step in the right direction for gay men looking for more than just sex or short-term dating. Granted, not all gay men are looking for a LTR, however not all gay men are looking for a quick fling either. Gay men who are more long-term oriented may benefit from this application because it allows them to connect based on similarity and personality in addition to physical attraction.

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Currently, the app does not have as many users compared to other mainstream dating applications. However, the good news is that this app is steadily growing. The CEO of Mench’D, Justin Maxx, is hopeful that the application will continue to expand its user base. Still curious about the goals and implications of the new app, I decided to interview Justin about Mench’D:

Q: Why do you think single gay men need Mench’D?

     Justin: I think our community needs a platform that encourages LTRs. Many gay men have vocalized shared frustrations over using Grindr and or other location-based gay “dating” apps. Mench’d is the first matchmaking app on the smartphone.

We think our community is finally realizing that we need a platform like this.

Q: What makes Mench’D different from other gay dating applications?

     Justin: Mench’D functions by utilizing a series of questions to determine one’s personality and compatibility level with other gay men looking for love in their area, pinpointing an exact percentage of compatibility. It’s sexy, simple, and we are growing constantly – a little over 800 users join monthly.

Q: In your opinion, what technical features about Mench’D makes it stand out to its users? I personally loved how there was a video component in addition to the pictures.

     Justin: The video feature is our newest feature, the users are loving it. It helps the guys know that they are talking to the same person who is in the profile picture. You get to hear the guys voice, watch him tell a joke or even just catch his smile.

We also host monthly events in a couple cities around the world. Our single and mingle events are growing every month.

Q: What implications do you think this app has for gay men’s dating patterns?

     Justin: I wanted to create a visually stunning platform, one that didn’t forget that we are still men. I wanted the users to feel like it was a quality service where they will find quality men. Our new update is coming out soon on android and app store. It’s going to be life changing.

Gay dating isn’t about scrolling through profiles that say “masc into masc”! Mench’D doesn’t forget that sex is a huge part of our worlds and is necessary to sustain a relationship but we don’t put that at the center of our mission. We allow our users to connect emotionally first and flirt later.There will always be something different about logging on to a platform that you know everyone on there is looking for the same thing. Love.

There are so many apps for “encounters” and one-night stands, and this is what I’ve focused on staying away from. The casualness is cool, but it doesn’t allow for a dating life. We all deserve to be loved sexually and emotionally and the truth is, it’s hard to find that! At the end of the day, we are all looking for a best friend and a life partner, and you can find this on Mench’d.

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For more information on Mench’D, please visit the official website: http://www.menchd.com/

Why Dating Apps are Prevalent Among Gay Men

Dating applications on smart phones provide a great, convenient way for individuals to find a potential short-term or long-term mate. However, dating apps targeted towards gay men (e.g., Grindr, Jack’d, etc) seem to be used extremely often among gay men; it is difficult to find a single gay guy who has never used these apps. Why might gay men rely on these apps so heavily? There may be more than one reason:

The Difficultly Meeting Gay Men

First, I will mention the primary reason dating apps for gay men (like Grindr) were created: to help gay men locate and contact one another directly. Without Grindr (or the Internet for that matter), gay men would have a much greater difficulty meeting one another. Although many gay men can drive to their local gay bar to meet one another, gay men in smaller towns or areas of the country may not be able to do this as easily.

Let’s keep in mind one particular dating challenge that gay men uniquely face: a limit to their number of dating candidates compared to heterosexuals’ dating candidates. Because gay men make up a smaller portion of the population compared to straight males, it is much less likely for gay men to run into other gay men in person at other establishments (e.g., the grocery store). Additionally, because gay men must also determine whether an attractive guy is gay or straight, this also hinders their confidence to express interest. For example, imagine a gay man going down the aisle in a grocery store and seeing a man they find extremely attractive. The gay man could try to decipher whether the man is gay; however, considering that gay men are roughly 5-10% of the population, it is likely that this man plays on the other team.

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Grindr seems to alleviate these challenges for gay men. Not only are gay men able to view and select from a pool of gay men but they are also able to contact them directly. This seems to bypass the problem of 1) distinguishing gay from straight men, and 2) making gay men more accessible among the general population.

Talking to that Hot Guy

Another benefit that gay men take advantage of on dating apps is being able to talk to men that they otherwise would not in person. When a gay man sees a very attractive man on Grindr, they are likely to send him a message with no problem. However, this is not the case in person. If that same attractive guy appears in at gay bar, it is extremely unlikely that this man would be approached in person in a similar way that he is messaged on Grindr. This is most likely due to a confidence factor. Insecurities are likely not worried about on Grindr, whereas it might be a different ball game when meeting them in person.

Curiosity

Let’s face it – gay men (perhaps men in general) are curious individuals, especially when it comes to their potential dating opportunities. Some gay men can’t help but load Grindr to “see who is around” in places or cities where that they have never been before. Additionally, this curiosity may translate into desire for quick hook ups, especially when gay men are away from their hometown. Because many dating apps for gay men function based on proximity, gay men who desire more short-term flings than average could increase their number of sex partners rapidly. Indeed, recent research has suggested that app users may be more sexually active in general1.

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Dating Ambiguity

Another reason gay men may be less apt to delete applications like Grindr is these applications perpetuate a cycle of dating ambiguity. What do I mean? Well, when gay men end up going on dates with guys that they meet off Grindr, some gay men may worry whether the date went well or not. This anxiety may translate into gay men’s need to line up alternative dating candidates in case their current dating candidate doesn’t pan out. Because Grindr contains a plethora of alternatives for gay men to choose from, it isn’t surprising that gay men are tempted to keep using Grindr even after they go on a few dates with the same guy.

On average, it is hard to find a gay man who has never used a gay dating application like Grindr. Although many gay men pledge to delete Grindr at “some point,” these apps tend to be extremely pervasive in the gay community. The purpose of this post is not to insinuate that Grindr or any other dating application is “bad” – Grindr and other applications that allow gay men to meet one another have their positive qualities (e.g., networking, friendship, etc.). Regardless of the stigma associated with the application, some gay men may “need” to have a go-to source to contact other gay men.

References

1. Lehmiller, J.J., & loerger, M. (2014) Social Networking Smartphone Applications and Sexual Health Outcomes among Men Who Have Sex with Men. PLoS ONE, 9(1), e86603.

She’s no Competition… and He isn’t either!

Straight women share a great friendship with gay men because they do not have to worry about unwanted sexual interest or overtures that regularly impede their relationships with straight men. However, do straight women have to worry about gay men competing with them for other men? One might think so. Because gay men and straight women are both attracted to the same gender (i.e., men), both of them must be in competition for male partners, right?

Not quite!

Although gay men and straight women are mutually attracted to men, this does not mean they are in direct competition with one another for dating partners.

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Consider the following scenario: A gay man could find a straight man very attractive, but there is a 0% chance that the straight man would select a gay man over another straight woman to be his date. Because gay men have a 0% chance anyway, this eliminates any potential for competitiveness because the straight woman will always be selected over a gay man. However, this would be different if both competitors (e.g., straight female vs. straight female) were desired by the straight man. In this case, there would be competition because both female competitors have an above 0% chance of attracting the straight man. The reverse is also true: straight women can’t compete with gay men for other gay men because the potential gay male suitor will always select the gay man to be his mate over the woman.

Depending on the sexual orientation of the male in question, gay men and straight women either have an all or nothing shot in pursuing their dating opportunity. Thus, gay men and straight woman will always stay in their own dating lane, and neither party really has to worry about tension arising from competitive motives. This eliminates any potential competitiveness that we usually see between two women or even two gay men, but it may also contribute to the heightened trust that straight women and gay men share with one another1.

However, just because gay men and straight women do not compete for dating partners, their respective genders and sexual orientations do not preclude them from competing with one another in situations unrelated to dating. For example, gay men and straight women can easily compete with one another for the same jobs (think Project Runway!).

References:

1. Russell, E. M., DelPriore, D. J., Butterfield, M. E., & Hill, S. E. (2013). Friends with benefits, but without the sex: Straight women and gay men exchange trustworthy mating advice. Evolutionary Psychology, 11, 132-147.

Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man

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Recent research conducted by my colleagues and I have demonstrated that women receive good mating (sex) advice from gay men. However, I had no idea that I would see this phenomenon be performed LIVE! That’s right – a new off-Broadway comedy in New York City has their audience raving for more as a gay man provides straight women with smart SEX TIPS in order to score a sexy guy.

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This production is given “TWO WET THUMBS UP” by Out.com, and is also based on the best-selling book of the same title, Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. In the play, a straight woman (Robyn) attempts to moderate a discussion of the book, but the gay man (Dan – author of the book) aims to entertain those in attendance with a fun, sex-tip seminar. Not only do the actors interact with one another, but audience members are also selected to participate on stage! Additionally, the hunky stage assistant, Stefan, is one piece of eye candy that neither straight women nor gay men would want to miss. According to the Sex Tips play, Stefan might be used for more than just moving heavy scenery as the actors dive into the interactive sex-tip seminar!

To me, this production looks like one of the most hilarious and entertaining plays I have come across, so I recommend seeing it LIVE while you still can! To all living in New York City or going to New York, I would get your tickets ASAP! Consider taking that special someone or your best friend. There is no possible way your night will be a bore. Visit their website at sextipsplay.com, and don’t forget to LIKE them on Facebook!

Click here for a special offer so you can receive up to $18.00 off your ticket! And keep an eye Gay-Straight Relationships’ Facebook (LIKE US if you haven’t yet!) as I will be giving away FREE tickets to the show – stay tuned!

 

 

Why are you still single?

Being a relationship consultant and lifecoach over the past seven years, I hear similar stories of men and women being left alone and deprived of love for numerous reasons. The newest on my “Why are you Still Single? A.k.a., Why are you Thirsty?” list: the Bitch Factor. It is a recent development or trend I’ve noticed, specifically amongst gay men. This is when your gay friend is such a judgmental and drama filled individual that they can’t even keep it to themselves – they must impose it upon other people (most notably like a few pop culture references: Perez Hilton, the cast of A*List Dallas & New York, or certain contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race).

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Over the past few years, many homosexual men have embraced the notion that, at times, it can be appropriate to embrace these unconventional social norms; most, even those not familiar with the culture, would deem this as inappropriate. But, in reality, it has always been inappropriate for your gay friend to act like this. Is it possible that this “bitch” factor would likely leave your straight female friends in the same “single and ready to mingle” party?  The answer is Yes.

Most suitors process their prospect’s friends, family, and living environment to get a better idea of who they are.  Within the strokes of a couple keys, you can learn the most intimate details of a person and their social circle by just knowing what to look for.  A woman’s closest friend’s attitude weighs heavy and, at times, can cause a person to lose interest. Why? Because you are the company you keep.  So for those men that embrace the “bitch factor” you are not only causing yourself to be single, but also you could be keeping your straight friends from finding a good mate. No one wants to deal with drama.

We all have basic interests: being loved, valued, and happy.  Don’t be the one with the “bitch factor” in your social circle.  Realize that you could be “winning” in all of your social circles if you left your “bitch factor” at the house.  Not only will it help you, but it could help your best pal in their relationships, as well.

Here are a few tips to keep you going down the right path:

1. Be comfortable – Most people are attracted to others that are comfortable in their own skin.  People more often cross paths with people that are insecure.  Don’t be ignored by your potential suitor, stand out!

2. Be confident – Be confident, not arrogant. Possessing this trait well get you noticed immediately but will also get you iced out if you don’t control yourself.

3. Have an opinion – No one ever wants just a “Yes” man.  Engage people often.

4. Be independent – Have your life on pace regardless of whom you come across. Why? Most people have people dependent on them personally or professionally. Don’t add more weight to their ship called “life”.

5. Be Open to Change, but offer stability – Ever heard the classic saying, “A house is not a home?” This is tricky but achievable.  We are all living an evolutionary lifestyle, but little things that never change are much appreciated.

6. Be the Company you want to keep – Negative people can be toxic. Not just for you, but for new relationships.

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My job is not to critic and spread negativity, it is to enhance and educate. As a relationship consultant, I cannot guarantee love or marriage, but I can ensure that I place individuals in a better position to receive love. If we all check our egos at the door, we have the ability to grow and evolve towards something greater. A man regardless of his sexual orientation should not be excused from good manners and a level of self-respect. Don’t jump off or burn the bridge, enhance and make it stronger so others may cross.

We thank Thomas for his guest post to Gay-Straight Relationships. Thomas Massaquoi is a life coach and relationship consultant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. http://www.thomasmassaquoi.com/

Gay Marriage: Supporting and Avoiding?

I want to touch on a topic that has not yet been discussed on Gay-Straight Relationships: marriage. I recently received an email from a reader that raised an interesting question regarding the topic. A gay male, whose name will remain anonymous, emailed me to inquire:

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“Sometimes I do not understand gay men. At one moment, you see them waving a flag for marriage equality, but then the next minute you notice them avoiding the thought of a long-term, committed relationship. It seems gay men enjoy the thought of marriage than actually wanting to pursue it. Why do you think this is?”

Based on my own observations, I have noticed something similar among gay men. This is most certainly not the case for all gay men, but some gay men prefer not to enter into long-term relationships even though many of them may be supporters of marriage equality. I do not necessarily view this as hypocritical; rather, I feel that many gay men want to support gay marriage even though they may not want to get married or pursue long-term relationships themselves.

Although research has not explored the ‘why’ behind this idea, I will offer two perspectives:

The Age Demographic – When I first read this inquiry, the first question that popped into my head was: Are these gay men younger or older? It is likely that age plays a huge role for whether gay men wish to pursue marriage partners. For instance, younger gay men (20s to early 30s) may simply not be ready for such a commitment. Even though some gay men in this age range seek and desire long-term, committed relationships, some gay men may not. Gay men in their mid-20s to early 30s may be still trying to establish their career, connections, and friendships. Thus, it isn’t that surprising that some gay men in this age range casually date rather than committing to something that is longer-term.

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Partial Acceptance – Another explanation that could be driving gay men away from long-term relationships in their own lives is that marriage is not yet 100% accepted. Even though the U.S. has made wonderful progress over the past few years, there are still many states where it is not legal for gay individuals to marry. Additionally, there are many places in the United States (even in the world) where it is frowned upon to have a gay partner at your hip. From a psychological perspective, this may cause gay men to feel ostracized by walking down the street with their partner.  Because of this, some gay men may not want to pursue long-term, committed relationships and may see it easier to casually date other gay men.

(Received reader’s consent to publicly post)

The 3 Dating Challenges for Gay Men

Dating is a subject that all individuals can relate to – gay or straight. Dating can either be perceived as an exciting, fun experience, or it can be perceived as a dreadful necessity in order to pin down a relationship. Even though straight couples have dating challenges of their own, dating in the gay world may have its own unique set of challenges.

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1.    A Smaller Dating Pool

Like I have mentioned in my previous posts, the gay dating world is extremely small compared to the heterosexual dating world. Because gay men represent a smaller percentage of the general population, gay men’s potential dating candidates are very limited. This may create a sense of anxiety for many gay men because the “plenty of fish in the sea” analogy no longer applies. This may be true especially if gay men inhabit a very small city or town where there is a limited amount of homosexual individuals to begin with.  In addition, because the gay dating scene is a small one, gay men may encounter other gay men that they have dated on a regular basis.

2. Distinguishing Gay from Straight Men

Although straight individuals can go up to an attractive member of the opposite-sex and them out on a date, gay men may have a more difficult time doing this.  In general, gay men must distinguish their potential mating partners (gay men) from other men that are only sexually interested in the opposite-sex (straight men). Some gay men may be skilled at doing this, however some gay men may not be. In the latter case, gay men may find it troublesome to approach a man that they find attractive due to the ambiguity of the man’s sexual orientation. This may be why some gay men prefer to frequent the same gay bars instead of venturing to other bars that are seen as “straight.” If there is a greater concentration of gay men in one establishment, there will be a greater likelihood that gay men may meet a potential dating partner.

dating dilemnas

3.    A Date is also a Rival

Another unique distinction between the dating worlds of gay and straight is not only are gay men attracted to one another, but gay men are also in direct competition for dating partners. This poses a very unique dating dilemma for a gay man that is completely absent in straight dating. For instance, straight men are obviously sexually attracted to women, however straight men do not compete with women because they both desire mating partners of the opposite-sex. Conversely, because gay men are only attracted to members of the SAME-SEX, gay men can compete with one another because they share the same dating pool. Ultimately, this may create initial barriers and feelings of untrustworthiness between gay men as evidenced by recent research1.

For the most part, straight individuals are completely unaware of the unique set of challenges that gay men face in their dating world (at least in my experience). This is not surprising given that straight and gay individuals usually focus their attention on their own dating issues.

References:

1. Russell, E. M., DelPriore, D. J., Butterfield, M. E., Hill, S. E. (2013). Friends with benefits, but without the sex: Straight women and gay men exchange trustworthy mating advice. Evolutionary Psychology, 11, 132-147.