You keep coming up empty-handed, stymied in your efforts, no matter what you try. All of this talk of legalized marriage just seems to make things worse, adding pressure from friends, family, and even yourself. There must be some truth to the old joke: What am I doing wrong? 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: 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. This toxic internalized belief is further ingrained if we have been treated harshly or abandoned by our fathers, the first men in our lives to teach us about our value in the eyes of other males.
Sadly, these wounds are difficult to heal, and as a result, can leave gay men with the sense that we are unlovable and thus unworthy of love , affection, and happiness. 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. One telltale sign is obsessive jealousy. 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.
In addition, you seek never ending reassurance checking his cell phone, needing to know where he is at all times, demanding he tells you he loves you all of the time--you get the idea. What belies these feelings and behaviors is the fear that you are is so flawed that you cannot attract and keep a partner without monitoring and controlling him—even though these behaviors ironically push him away.
Another way feeling unlovable manifests is in the choice of partner. Remember, you are looking for a life mate; that glass slipper is hardly one size fits all, and very few men will qualify. For sure, so much of the gay male world is way too focused on looks, youth, the gym, partying, and fast hookups; so searching for Mr. Right is like looking for a needle in a gaystack. However, feeling subconsciously unlovable or unworthy can again rear its head here through your choices.
That muscled, tattooed bad boy is hotter than hell, and great in bed, but is he showing any sign that he is ready to settle down? Trust me, these prowling tigers do not change their stripes once they are hitched. Perhaps you have a bit of a fetish for the strong silent type. Is he really the one for you? Yes, honey, it is. If you find yourself consistently in these patterns, perhaps you are, as the song goes, looking for love in all the wrong places.
For sure, the pendulum has swung far in the other direction. Contrary to heterosexual fears, legal gay marriage has given the institution an enormous boost in importance.
Xanax for Gay Weddings http: This can all translate into feelings of pressure to couple up. Not everyone needs to be in a couple nor should be. Many single gay men are happy, valuing their autonomy and personal freedom like the muscled bad boy described above. There are things many men have to give up to be in a couple. No problem there, but one needs to be honest with oneself about his true needs and wants and do the hard work of freeing oneself from societal and family pressures.
I have worked with many gay widowers—guys with good relationship track records, who are anxiously seeking a new mate, but are sabotaging themselves in the ways described above.
Upon close examination, we jointly discovered their worry that if they got romantically involved with someone else, they would be abandoning their previous mate. I have had several grieving gay men tell me: You might still be living together, or stay best friends. You are no longer official partners, but worry if you met someone, he would be upset—or perhaps you would, because it would be too painful to finally say good bye.
Instead of getting rid of the old loves, the heart makes room for new ones—but we have to be willing to open up and welcome them. Here are some ideas: For sure, a first step is to recognize your patterns.
Does anything you have read thus far seem familiar? Even a little bit? Take the time to reflect on your behavior and how you might be getting in your own way.
You might even ask one of your good, trusted girlfriends of any gender for their honest feedback. Be sure to give them permission to risk hurting your feelings. It might sting but it could be worth it. Do this in a loving way, giving yourself the messages of compassion, patience and acceptance—no beating yourself up!
Remember, as a gay man, you have survived lots of indirect and direct messages that there was something wrong with you, which has left scars. You are not alone. Gay men have been taught to be think of ourselves as unlovable. So now, make a promise yourself to intercept and interrupt any self-talk that continues this tendency.
I am not one of those therapists who think everyone needs psychotherapy. Many can figure out their behavioral patterns on their own and then proceed to change them. However, a good therapist can help you understand how wounds from the past, long-believed to be dead and buried, can reemerge like zombies when and where you least expect them. He or she can do this by helping you, 1 identify how you are getting in your own way; 2 figure out why you are doing this; 3 help you find ways to love yourself better and thus free you up to find men who are, in turn, healthy and good husband material, or 4 live happily single, as you were meant to be.
In the words of one our most prominent modern day philosophers, Ru Paul who else? Can I get an Amen?