With all of the gay pride celebrations going on this month, our community is paying homage to being true to ourselves and loving who we are.
And this message also holds an important lesson when it comes to being single and dating.
Our self-esteem refers to how we feel about ourselves.
Your view of yourself has a direct impact on how you show up for your life, including how you approach dating and relate to others.
The opinion you have of yourself becomes projected through how you carry yourself, what and how you communicate and through your body language.
All of this can become visible to others and can make a big difference in the impressions people form of you. It can also influence whether they want to get to know you better or not.
If you exude an aura of not valuing yourself, this will act like a repellant toward guys who might otherwise be interested.
Another negative side effect of this is you may end up attracting other men who mirror this same attitude or who may want to take advantage of you through controlling and abusive behavior — both scenarios end up reinforcing a life filled with negativity, misery and stifling your growth.
Low self-esteem tends to breed depression.
It can also adversely affect your social life.
It can be difficult to cultivate a high degree of self-esteem, especially for gay men. We are taught from birth that our sexuality is deviant, “dirty” and perverted.
Homophobia works to make us feel like we’re “less than” and we can develop boat loads of shame and self-hate.
This, coupled with heredity and negative experiences we have growing up, can contribute to our sense of self and how we feel about our identity.
A whole class could be taught on this very important and broad subject, but the gist of the matter is you will reap greater rewards by committing to strengthening a positive self-concept.
People tend to be attracted and drawn to others who possess positivity, optimism, a sense of humor, zest for life and confidence that only comes from having a high regard for oneself, without being narcissistic.
The quickest route to acquiring positive self-esteem is through challenging negative self-talk and creating experiences that will prove any negative beliefs you have about yourself wrong.
“Talking back” to negative thoughts requires diligence and consistency over time because you won’t likely believe your new affirmative thoughts initially since you’ve had so much investment in the previous mindset.
Little by little you’ll be chipping away at those old negative tapes until eventually you’ll have more conditioning toward your new personal worldview.
“Working on these tasks will promote
a more fulfilling dating life.”
It’s more than “thinking happy thoughts.”
Creating successful experiences is a bit more of a direct route to accomplishing your goals, but it entails more risk than merely “thinking happy thoughts.”
For example, if you have anxiety about meeting new guys, one strategy would be to force yourself to go to a social function (party, community event, etc.) and make a pact to speak with three men you’ve never met before you allow yourself to go home.
More often than not, this ends up being a good time.
This direct confrontation of your biggest fear tends to have a rapid impact on altering your negative beliefs with the evidence now disproving them through your real-life experience.
There’s no special formula for building self-esteem.
Some ideas might be to volunteer to do something nice for someone else.
Keep a thought log of your negative thoughts and create affirmations and counter-statements to dispute any self-defeating talk you might have.
Read empowering books. Work on building confidence and assertiveness skills through classes, improv or public speaking.
Develop battle strategies for those triggering situations that tend to make you feel down on yourself so you can avoid relapses of spirit.
Get on a good wellness track that includes regular exercise, nutrition and self-care.
Identify and capitalize on your assets and become goal-directed to promote a sense of accomplishment. Take an inventory of your personal values and be sure to live by them so you feel a sense of integrity.
Surround yourself with other positive, upbeat people.
This is not intended to depict self-esteem enhancement in simplistic terms because, in reality, building self-esteem is a work in progress that requires dedication and perseverance.
But working on these types of tasks might also have the benefit of promoting a more fulfilling dating life because you love yourself and are happy with who you are — a magnetism that’s extremely inviting and booming with chemistry.
What are some other ideas you have for boosting your self-esteem as a single gay dater?
What’s one action step you’re willing to commit to that will take you one step closer to reaching your potential and embracing the vision you have for your ideal self?
Photo source: washingtonpost.com.