Archive for the ‘Dating’ Category

Summer Love: 5 Ways to Create a Better Dating Experience

Monday, July 21st, 2014

summer loveI like to think of June through October each year as ‘Dating Season’. The warm weather and an abundance of social events provide the perfect recipe for love connection. I also find that many people want to prepare for cooler weather and the holiday season by focusing on finding love in the summertime.

Here are a few helpful tips for those who are solo and want to be part of a duet:

  1. Be yourself from the beginning. This is critical! Don’t put your ‘date face’ on.  Let your potential love connection fall in love with who you are from day one.  This means moving past the small talk and engaging in the hard conversations early on so you can establish a good foundation.
  2. Know yourself and who you are looking for. Be clear and honest about self-reflective questions. Ask yourself “What is my intention?” “What are my strengths?” “What do I want to work on?” It’s important to embody the qualities of the person you want to be with in order to attract that person into your life. If you find that you aren’t living these qualities yet – seek help. (Hire me!)
  3. Ask genuine questions.  Instead of just asking about favorite colors and where they like to shop – ask questions like “What do you want to create in your life?” “What is your purpose?” “What are you passionate about?” “Tell me about your family?” By showing care and interest, you allow the other person to be authentic and vulnerable, moving you into relationship in a more meaningful way.
  4. Listen! Ask the question, and then listen. Engage when it is appropriate, but for the most part just sit back, reflect, and absorb what your date is sharing with you.  Learn whether they reflect the same values as you do, the important things you have in common, and discover some areas where you may complement one another.
  5. Let go of the outcome. Be in the moment. Communicate. Be open, and let go of inward focus. By detaching from any expectation you may have – you allow yourself to experience quality time and build a connection. You don’t have to know whether this is the person you will spend the rest of your life with – just focus on enjoying the time you have with them right now.

Love is in the Air!

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

prideMark this date in history, the Supreme Court has overturned the DOMA! Love and gratitude is truly in the air today. Many of us will be able to ask our loved ones to marry, to give and receive the love, rights and protection we and our families deserve. This is a historical moment that I will be savoring and celebrating every moment of, I trust that you are as well.

Conceive, believe, achieve!

Its official!

 

 

 

How to Live Happily Ever After

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

I want to share some topline concepts and pointers from one of my gay love relationship workshops. We all want to live happily ever after, right? Well here are five things to keep in mind when you’re still at the “once upon a time” stage.

 

1. Really learn about your partner

If you know each other’s dreams, hopes, fears, wants, needs and truths, it’s hard to ever “grow apart.” Talking about these things builds trust and connection. You should ask questions of each other daily. And be sure to listen to your partner when he answers. If you have trouble doing this, try passing a “talking feather” (or use another object) between the two of you. Taking turns talking and listening can help you focus when it’s your turn to use your ears. Because you want to avoid making assumptions.

 

2- Spend quality time together

Do things that engage you with each other. Watching TV together can be nice, especially when cuddling on the couch, but it’s not engaging with each other. Schedule date nights. Alternate picking the activity. Get creative. Push the envelope. Switch it up. (By the way, this includes in the bedroom. Oh yes, I went there.)

 

3- Appreciate each other

According to a survey by the Divorce Mediation Project, 80% of breakups happen because couples grow apart. They lose a sense of closeness, so one or both men end up not feeling loved or appreciated. Only 20-27% of couples break up because of affairs.

Acknowledging, appreciating, and complimenting each other is so important in a gay relationship. Here’s a great way to do that: once a month, write down five things you love about each other. How fun!

 

4- Have healthy conflict

Avoid what John Gottman calls “the four horsemen,” which are:

Criticism – change it to positive talking and talk about yourself

Defensiveness – this takes many forms, including attacking, playing the victim, making excuses, and whining

Contempt – insulting your partner, using sarcasm, and name-calling

Stonewalling – withdrawing from the relationship; giving him the silent treatment

Know that you can avoid the horsemen, and you can compromise. What’s important here is to understand how your partner deals with conflict and respect his boundaries. Quick idea: give him (and yourself) 20 minutes – that’s how long it takes your body to calm down. Be sure to accommodate each other’s “strange” side because we all have one. Handle his idiosyncrasies with care, respect, affection. Isn’t that the same treatment you’d like for your “thing,” whatever it might be? And if you do sometimes fall short in this area, remember that saying “I’m sorry” can create magic in any relationship.

 

5- Value your relationship

Be supportive, respectful and encouraging of each other. Make important decisions together. Do things because you want to, not because it’s expected. And the big one, which I’ve blogged about before: don’t play the What If? Game.

I know I packed a lot into just five things, but if you can do just a few things I mention here, it’s better than not doing any of them, and you’ll be on your way to finding – and keeping – your Prince Charming.

It’s a Man Eat Man World

Monday, May 14th, 2012

May must be National Reading Month because I have another great book to tell you about. It’s called Finding True Love in a Man Eat Man World by Craig Nelson.

The very first chapter talks about how gay men successful go about avoiding  love and gives a few archetypes they often play in gay love relationships.

Mr. Miserable focuses on his weaknesses rather than his strengths. For him, the glass is always half empty. Mr. Sabotage is caught in a trap of feeling lonely so he looks for love but when it turns serious he looks for a way out. And he repeats the cycle. Mr. Ugly thinks he’s too ugly to find someone, and ignores all the fine qualities he has. There are others, but you get the picture.

So what’s the key to avoiding becoming one of these gentlemen and to finding what we’re all looking for: someone to love us unconditionally for who we are? Good self-esteem, self-respect, and a solid sense of yourself. These will take you further in attracting a long-term lover than any other qualities you may have. And that goes for the other man, too. Once you know and accept yourself and understand “I’m a real catch” you can avoid any guy who has self-hatred and attract great guys. Real serenity and comfort are incredibly attractive magnets.

Know what you have to give. Know that others are waiting for you to give it. Not in a conceited way, but from a realistic, honest way that comes from self-knowledge and perspective. Once you come at it from that angle, you’ll attract men like flies to honey.

The bottom line: You attract what you are, not what you want.

Think about that for a while.

My dog ate my homework

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Stop making excusesSometimes on our path towards love we encounter all sorts of excuses why we can’t stay on the path and some of them have little or nothing to do with being gay. These excuses can crop up throughout our day when we least expect it –sometimes we don’t even notice them – and they prevent us from making progress toward the things we want.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, who as you know is one of my favorites, has created a mobile app you can take on the road with you as a weapon of sorts against all those excuses. It’s called The Excuses Begone app, and it’s based on his book by the same name. It features 18 of the most common excuses and the affirmations to defeat them. And, it’s free!

Just go to the iTunes store to download it. It’s an on-the-go way to help create the life you want. Let go of I’m too busy, I’m too tired, It’s too hard and all your other excuses. And get on with getting where you want to go.

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Use Your Words

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Another challenge on the road to a lasting relationship is learning the skill of conscious communication. It’s not an inborn gift, but with practice you can become a master of clear communication. According to psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, it’s a simple process:

1. Identify the event that triggered your emotional upset. Be as objective as possible when doing this. Saying “My boyfriend is never on time,” is less useful than saying “He said he’d be here at 7:00 and didn’t show up until 7:30.”

2. Take responsibility for your feelings. Describe your feelings like this: “I feel frustrated,” or “I feel jealous.” Avoid words that reinforce a sense of victimization, such as “I feel neglected” or “I feel rejected.” When you do this, you’re informing the other person, not blaming him.

3. Identify what you need that you’re not receiving. Most of us subconsciously expect our loved ones to know what we need and to spontaneously provide it. I don’t have to tell you that this rarely happens.

4. Ask for what you want. Be specific when doing this. For example, if you want more attention from your partner, don’t just ask him to spend more time with you.

Ask him to go on a walk with you after dinner, or to a movie on Saturday night. But don’t make demands because we all have an inherent impulse to resist demands. And the cool part is that our self-esteem is raised when we’re able to fulfill a request.

Follow these four steps, and you’re much more likely to feel comfortable and at ease – both in your own skin and in a gay relationship – as opposed to going through your days in emotional distress.

Conscious communication and emotional awareness are vital components of the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health program. Learn more here.

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Pass the Wire Strippers

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

April showers may bring May flowers, but they can also get in the way of other plans, like picnics and hikes and puddle avoidance. But one good thing about the recent wet weather is that it has inspired me to write a series of blogs about some of the challenging things you may have to get through before true gay love blossoms.

One of these is understanding how your brain is wired when it comes to relationships and realizing how it got that way in the first place. A new book by Marsha Lucas, Ph.D. explains how using the practice of mindfulness meditation can help you reach this understanding, and shows you how to rewire your brain. Naturally, the book is called Rewire Your Brain For Love.

Mindfulness meditation is recognized by top academic institutions for its effectiveness in changing the brain. Dr. Lucas shows you how, in just a few minutes of practice a day, you can change the way you interact with everyone around you, especially those closest to you. You can transform your brain, or rewire it, to support you in all matters of the heart. Keep fear from running the show. Cultivate empathy. Avoid overreacting. There’s lots more – all of it helping you find and create a vibrant, successful gay relationship.

So break out your splicers and start rewiring. And let me know how it goes!

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Five Steps to Bliss

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

If your intention is to find bliss, here are five steps you can follow to help you.

 

1 – Acknowledge

Acknowledge your fears, and challenges. Also acknowledge that, like all of us, you’re culturally conditioned to accept what life gives you and that we have no power to change it. Nothing could be further from the truth! But acknowledging the negative in life, allowing it to be with you, gives you the ability to shift it. You can forgive yourself, then change the behavior around it.

 

2 – Imagine

Thinking with awareness is very powerful, especially if you know yourself. Imagine yourself in a healthy relationship with a loving partner can do wonders in manifesting it in your life. Refer to my previous entry about “I am” statements.

 

3 – Believe

What are your dreams and your beliefs about your dreams? Are you willing to change the concept of yourself from ordinary to champion, or from lonely to lover? Really believing in yourself – and what you imagine for your life – is your greatest power. This is one of the core values I teach my clients so it’s one of the steps to finding bliss too. What do you tell yourself when you look in the mirror? Try this simple exercise: Write 5 positive characteristics that describe who you want to be today. See what happens!

 

4 – Feel

This is where the other guy comes in. Allow yourself to feel the emotion of being with a partner. Try another exercise I call Magic Wand, which is a visualization with your eyes closed. Imagine the wand can erase all your fears and uncertainties from the past, and start imagining your ideal man: his skin, hair, clothes, smell, feel, personality, back story, all of it. Continue with imagining your life together, and let the emotions that come up for you wash over you. Stay with the visual for a while. Write down your thoughts and feelings. Put it on the mirror or somewhere else you’ll see it regularly and repeatedly (at least once a day).

 

5 – Act

After all this visualizing and thinking and imagining – it’s time to give it a shot. It’s time to act. Once you believe in yourself, acting is easy (that’s why it’s the last step!). When you act, be courageous and remember that any obstacles are experience and learning lessons from which you can take away something constructive. If you step out of your comfort zone, you’d be surprised what can happen. Let people know you’re single. Tell them you’re looking. Let them know what your visualization looks like. And see what comes back to you. Be grateful for what does (more on gratitude later).

It’s easy to list steps, but it can be tougher to actually follow them. Believe me, I know. That’s why I say, “Get started!” The time is now. Your blissful future awaits.

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And They Lived Happily Ever After

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Next Tuesday March 27th @ 7p – Single or in a relationship, come join me and other wonderful gay men on for my 3d Workshop “And They Lived Happily Ever After”! Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and some new ones! This is a free workshop at the Gazebo Davies Medical Center.

gay relationships and dating workshop

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Talking: The Ultimate Aphrodisiac

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

I think it’s pretty funny that even though communication is vital to our relationships, especially our love relationships, we as a society have some funny substitutes for it like “blah, blah, blah” and “Yadda, yadda, yadda” (immortalized on Seinfeld).

But I’m a big advocate of talking. We tell our emotionally overwrought children who are whining or crying or fussing to “Use your words!” Well, my friends, now I’m telling you.

Great rgay relationships and dating workshopelationships start with great conversations. That means talking and freely sharing of yourself with your date/boyfriend/partner and, even more importantly, asking questions and attentively listening to his answers. That’s really all there is to it, but oh how difficult it can be to follow through on!

This concept is a cornerstone of my relationship coaching because it shifts the conventional way men approach dating. It’s very often about the goal of getting into bed. I’m not here to judge this, but just pointing out the reality as I see it.

What would happen if you tabled the getting-into-bed agenda, and instead simply had a conversation? How might you feel after an evening spent doing that? Would you feel like you accomplished something? Or would you feel unfulfilled? Do you even know? Have you ever tried it? If not, I’d like to challenge you to give it a go and see what your experience is like. Ideally, you would have an opportunity to talk to your man about it at some point after, to compare notes. This is real communication! This is the kind of conversation that creates intimacy and brings you closer. And talk about a turn-on. Trust me, if things go well when you use your mouth to talk, they will most likely go well when you use it for other activities.

If you find this topic compelling, I invite you to join me for a fun workshop called “Talking: The Ultimate Aphrodisiac.” It’s the second in my 3-part series entitled “You’re Getting Warmer: Perfecting Your Search for Mr. Right.” Details are below. Just click on the links to learn more.

 

What: Talking: The Ultimate Aphrodisiac

Where: The Gazebo, Davies Medical Center  [map]

When: Tuesday, Feb 23,  7:00-9:00 p.m.

Free and open to everyone.

Sponsored by: The Community Initiative

415.820.9606

info@thecommunityinitiative.org

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