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I revel in the confines of a relationship, and tons of other people do, too. Some of us are just genuinely more excited to be in a relationship than to be single. However, I understand this mindset can easily be viewed as mundane.
Whether you are brand new to the gay dating world, or maybe it’s been forever since you were linked with someone romantically, there are some really important things to consider in making your potential relationship strong. This can vary depending on how long you’ve been single and how old you are, too.
If you are not enjoying being single and mingling, then here are my top four tips to help you become happily coupled.
When you first start to get to know someone, you get glimpses into their everyday life and what they deem as important within it.
For example, if you’re someone who wants to constantly eat out, it probably wouldn’t work to be with someone who is watching his weight and who preps all of his meals.
Here’s another example. In a major metropolitan city like Los Angeles, where I live, a lot of gay men are extremely gregarious and have very committed social calendars. One of my number one pet peeves is when people don’t get back to me to RSVP an outing in a timely manner. A former partner of mine used to do that. If someone says to you, “It’s important to me that we pencil this commitment in by this day,” then listen to him.
Someone has made it a priority on your behalf to create a special moment together. Whether that’s a plus one at a dinner party or a fun, romantic weekend getaway, know that this was a selfless act. Some people have a very lax and spontaneous way of making plans, and it’s very important to recognize that in the beginning.
Of course, there is always compromise if things become a bit combative. You also don’t want to be the person people talk about like this: “I always invite him to things, but he never responds or never is available.”
We could arguably say that if you aren’t making time for someone or something on a more regular basis, then that relationship or task just isn’t important to you. The cadence of your life has to have some sort of predictable frequency for smooth sailing.
Communication will always be the glue that holds a relationship together. Without it, there isn’t much expectation of where the relationship is going.
A guy I was dating really didn’t like being on the phone and making small talk. Seeing as how phone conversations are very rare among a lot of people these days, I will almost always define myself as an old-school kind of guy.
I want someone to share that same style of communication without it feeling unnatural or like the most painstaking task for him. Some people need a “good morning” and “good night” phone conversation, and some people don’t.
In the beginning, you’ll hopefully be able to notice the communication style of the other person. Building a relationship is about accepting that style and not taking things personally. It’s about making it known the style of communication you feel you deserve in the relationship.
It’s really important that you like his friends and they like you. People sometimes beg to differ on that notion. Your friend circle is a big reflection on the kind of character traits you have adopted.
I think about all of my friends regardless of age or walks of life, and all of them are very compassionate and kindhearted people. Most of my friends are also very accepting people and appreciate people’s originality and authenticity.
I remember inviting one of my best friends to an ex’s party, and he told me that he felt judged a lot by my ex’s friends. I can now take myself out of the relationship and agree that my ex’s friends had a certain lifestyle and also seemed particular in regard to how they chose to live their life. This doesn’t at all reflect on their character. It’s just a different energy than what my friends and I are used to in our natural flow.
Your friends should be the people who get excited about a new person coming into their friend circle. The attitude that a new member of a group must prove himself to the others can be intimidating and unwelcoming.Meeting new people, especially the friends of a possible partner, can already be stressful.
Maybe I’m a sucker for romance, but I have always come from a place of “come as you are and be yourself, and we accept you as you are” when meeting new partners of my friends.
Not everyone will get along in this life. Showing that you can be friendly and kind speaks to your character. Showing that you want your friends to meet your potential partner speaks volumes.
Marie Kondo has famously adopted the phrase “find the joy” in the current media, and I have to say that it is so true.
You want to find someone who can spark joy in you on a daily basis. It’s so important to feel like you are constantly wooing someone and vice versa.
The sweetest moments I’ve shared with previous partners is unsolicited kindness. Maybe it was a card, flowers, an unprompted task, a special conversation, or even something like an endearing text. It all came from a place that is rooted in joyous gratitude.
It’s important to keep things fresh and exciting and stay in tune to what your partner views as his love language. Even if something is a little out of your comfort zone, it’s important to at least be a supportive partner.
You do things for your partner specifically because you know he enjoys them, and you know your partner finds joy in your supportive presence. It simply comes down to heightened emotional intelligence.
The common thread with all of these tips is having strong listening skills and applying what you are learning. What helps me is realizing that I am always growing as a person, and my partner and I need to continuously strengthen our bond and grow in a positive direction. And, if the work becomes too much, then I have some negotiations to bring to the table. Or I have to accept that this relationship isn’t the one for me — and that’s OK.
Your first gay relationship doesn’t have to be your final one, and each connection you make is a learning opportunity that gets you closer to finding that special person who deserves you as much as you deserve them.