It’s one thing to find the gentleman of your dreams – but quite another keeping him.
As matchmakers, we see our gay clients through each of the various phases of the dating process. Dating is tough going at the best of times, but allowing yourself to be vulnerable with a man you care for – and perhaps even love – comes with a inescapable vulnerability to be hurt – and make mistakes.
Never fear. Here at Maclynn (formerly Vida), we have identified five of the biggest gay dating mistakes we have seen in our years working as matchmakers. Read on and see if you have encountered any of these pitfalls – or if you might be on the verge of doing so.
1. Compromising on the big things
When it comes to the aspects of a long-term relationship that matter to you most, compromise can be a dangerous game. Part of being a matchmaker is pairing up individuals who yearn for the same things in life, particularly when it comes to the major deal-breakers, namely marriage and children. If one of you wants children and the other doesn’t, the cracks can turn to crevasses. It isn’t fair on one another – or indeed on any potential children – to not be in total agreement. Similarly, if one of you dreams of marriage and the other sees it as just not worth the effort, it’s best to discuss it now – not in the future, when it might be too late to repair the damage of the underlying resentment. Of course, there are not topics for very early in the relationship – which is why ensuring your matchmaker pairs you up only with a gentleman who also wants children or marriage, for example, is so utterly invaluable. It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy the nascent, budding romance between you if you know the bigger, long-term deal-breakers are already agreed on.
2. Communication breakdown
The stereotype that men struggle somewhat with emotional repression is, in my experience as a matchmaker, not a million miles from the truth, and this is as relevant a notion to gay men as it is to straight. If two gentlemen cannot express articulately enough to one another how they feel the relationship is going, problems are inevitable. The key is to break through that classic male urge to ‘retreat into your cave’ and embrace your emotions; remember, it’s these same emotions that wooed your man in the first place. Give in to his affections and you may be surprised at just how beneficial you find it, and how positively it affects your relationship.
3. Trying to define the relationship too early
There’s nothing like the excitement of a new, fledgling relationship, and there’s nothing wrong with getting a little carried away in your hopes and dreams. That’s just human nature. But, be cool. If you and your man become exclusive too early on in the relationship, you may not have taken enough time getting to know each other in a variety of contexts. Without this experience, you can’t necessarily be sure that your values truly align. It can be so easy to let the whirlwind of romance sweep you off your feet and to believe you’ve found your Happily Ever After – but keep a cool head. Get to know how he deals with adversity, how he treats those around him, how he lives in the day-to-day. Plus, seeing other people early on gives you the most accurate yardstick by which you can measure the real quality of the relationship.
4. Habitation arrangements
When you’re high on the first flush of romance early on in the relationship, it can seem spontaneous and adventurous to move in together – but pre-emptive cohabitation can cut that honeymoon period as quickly as it began. It is far wiser to firstly spend extensive time together, just the two of you. Get to know his foibles, his habits – does he prefer to stay in or go out, come Saturday night? How does he take care of the house; how does he like to unwind? It’s crucial to figure out how the two of you are going to fit together on a practical level as well as on an emotional one. Conversely, though, if you’ve been in a committed relationship for a long time and you don’t even have your own drawer at his place, it may well be that one of you is a little commitment-phobic. The desire to keep your lives this separate might stem from insecurity – you’re afraid they might leave you – or, indeed, a fear of settling down – you’re afraid you might leave them. If you’re struggling to commit, or walking on eggshells waiting for him to commit, this needs discussing. Remember – you can’t wait around for such conundrums to resolve themselves. Life’s too short.
5. Do opposites really attract?
There is a longstanding myth in the industry of love, as well as in the world at large: opposites attract. The idea is that the love between two radically dissimilar people transcends their differences and they live happily ever after. This is a common motif in cinema, and it begs the question: isn’t it the love that truly matters? Well, yes, it is – but that love doesn’t come about by magic. It comes from, amongst other things, shared values.
At Maclynn (formerly Vida), our psychology-led and assessment-based character profiling rigorously analyses which of our members hold core values that most precisely complement those of our client. You simply cannot share a life with a man with whom you do not agree on fundamental parts of your outlook on life, whether they be related to religion, wellbeing, money, children, politics – the list goes on. What does he care about? What is truly important to him? At Maclynn (formerly Vida), our outstanding 85% success rate is testament to the fact that matching people based on their shared values is an unavoidable factor if love is to blossom between two people.
If you’re a gay man and looking for love, why not get in touch today and let us weave our matchmaking magic? At Maclynn (formerly Vida), we have an exclusive network of some of the world’s most exceptional gay men, all waiting to meet that someone special. Or, if you and your man are experiencing romantic issues, why not try some relationship counselling with our very own in-house relationship psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree? Warm, understanding and with over fifteen years’ experience of helping gay and straight clients alike, you could not be in safer hands.