Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dating and Mating with Alan Irgang: Meeting People Ain't Easy!

Ask Alan about love, romance, and relationships (and anything) else here! *All private information is kept confidential

Alan -
I'm a 26 year-old gay man and am having a really hard time finding men to date. I live in a city much bigger than where I grew up and am surprised at how hard it is to meet guys. Getting phone numbers is easy but keeping them interested rarely happens. I have been told that I can be a little aggressive but that's just my M.O. How do I approach a guy and keep him interested beyond a one night stand? Hook-ups are fun but I want more. Please help. --Randy

Dear Randy,

I hear this question so often, especially from people who are very discouraged and wanting to give up trying. Rejection is painful and it takes a lot of courage to keep putting yourself out there. I commend you for your tenacity.

My recommendation is to consider three aspects of dating. The first is, where are you meeting men? Are you limiting yourself to bars and clubs? Not that you can't meet quality guys in those venues but the best way to meet like-minded men is to get out there and get involved in activities that interest you. Focus less on the hunt and more on creating a fulfilling life for yourself. When you are engaged in doing things that give you pleasure, you will feel happier and appear less desperate. Happy people are more attractive to others. You will be among guys that have some interest in common besides drinking, hooking up, and finding Mr. Right. Do some volunteer work, take a class, learn a new hobby...anything that will draw you out.

Next, think about how you approach men. You are fortunate in that some have given you feedback about how you come across. In most cases, people just get blown off with nothing to work with. Aggression is off-putting; confidence and assertiveness is attractive. Use the feedback constructively and adjust your style of approaching guys.

Finally, if you are expecting romance and an enduring relationship to come from hook-ups, I encourage you to adopt a new strategy. Not that it can't happen that way but you are more likely to sustain mutual interest in the long run if you focus more on your pacing. Delaying sex with a guy you are interested in allows you to build a foundation of substance that is much more sustaining than a roll in the hay. Get to know him first, let him see who you are, and let the romance evolve naturally. We live in a society of immediate gratification and are frequently left always wanting more. A healthy, mutually intimate relationship requires giving it time and nurturing. Those first few months can be so exciting, so why rush through it? Make the honeymoon last as long a you can. You will be glad you did.

Alan Irgang, LCSW is a psychotherapist and “dating coach” in private practice in Chicago. He is also on the faculty of the Loyola University School of Social Work where he teaches graduate level courses in Human Sexuality. Alan has been in private practice since 1998 and has been facilitating groups for singles about dating and relationships for six years. Check out his website www.alanirgang.com for more information about his practice and his upcoming seminars for singles. Questions may be submitted to Alan at lifelube@gmail.com; all private information will be kept confidential.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

select key words

2007 National HIV Prevention Conference 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit 2011 LGBTI Health Summit 2012 Gay Men's Health Summit 2012 International AIDS Conference abstinence only ACT Up activism advocacy Africa african-american aging issues AIDS AIDS Foundation of Chicago anal cancer anal carcinoma anal health anal sex andrew's anus athlete ball scene bareback porn barebacking bathhouses bears big bold and beautiful Bisexual Bisexual Health Summit bisexuality black gay men black msm blood ban blood donor body image bottom Brian Mustanski BUTT Center on Halsted Charles Stephens Chicago Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus Chicago Task Force on LGBT Substance Use and Abuse Chris Bartlett chubby chaser circumcision civil rights civil union Coaching with Jake communication community organizing condoms Congress crystal meth dating dating and mating with alan irgang David Halperin David Munar depression disclosure discrimination domestic violence don't ask don't tell douche downlow Dr. James Holsinger Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles Dr. Rafael Diaz Dr. Ron Stall drag queen Ed Negron emotional health ENDA Eric Rofes exercise Feast of Fun Feel the love... female condom fitness Friday is for Faeries FTM gay culture gay identity gay latino gay male sex gay marriage gay men gay men of color gay men's health Gay Men's Health Summit 2010 gay pride gay rights gay rugby gay sex gay youth gender harm reduction hate crime HCV health care health care reform health insurance hepatitis C HIV HIV care HIV drugs HIV negative HIV positive HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV strategic plan HIV testing hiv vaccine HIV/AIDS homophobia homosexuality hottie hotties how are you healthy? Howard Brown Health Center HPV human rights humor hunk Illinois IML immigration International AIDS Conference international mr. leather internet intimacy IRMA Jim Pickett leather community leathersex Leon Liberman LGBT LGBT adoption LGBT culture LGBT health LGBT rights LGBT seniors LGBT youth LGBTI community LGBTI culture LGBTI health LGBTI rights LGBTI spirituality LGV LifeLube LifeLube forum LifeLube poll LifeLube subscription lifelube survey Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano love lube lubricant Lymphogranuloma Venereum masturbation mental health microbicides middle Monday Morning Perk-Up MRSA MSM music National AIDS Strategy National Gay Men's Health Summit negotiated safety nutrition One Fey's Tale oral sex Peter Pointers physical health Pistol Pete pleasure PnP podcast policy politics poppers porn post-exposure prophylaxis PrEP President Barack Obama Presidential Campaign prevention Project CRYSP prostate prostate cancer public health public sex venues queer identity racism Radical Faerie recovery rectal microbicides relationships religion research safe sex semen Senator Barack Obama sero-adaptation sero-sorting seroguessing sex sexual abuse sexual addiction sexual health sexual orientation Sister Glo Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence smoking social marketing spirituality STD stigma stonewall riots substance abuse treatment substance use suicide super-bug superinfection Susan Kingston Swiss declaration syphilis Ted Kerr Test Positive Aware Network testicle self-examination testicular cancer testing The "Work-In" The 2009 Gay Men's Health Agenda Tony Valenzuela top Trans and Intersex Association trans group blog Trans Gynecology Access Program transgender transgender day of remembrance transgendered transmen transphobia transsexual Trevor Hoppe universal health care unsafe sex vaccines video violence viral load Who's That Queer Woof Wednesday writers yoga You Tube youtube