RobHeartsDH
November 16, 2012
Category: Dating

Raise your hand if you're a fan of therapy. Don't be embarrassed. Raise them up. Personally, I think everyone on the planet should be in therapy. But that's never going to happen. Truth be told, there are plenty of people out there who are in therapy and are still fucked up and fucking up others lives. But for many, it can help you gain control of your life an relationships in ways you never thought possible. Whether you believe in the practice or not, these professional do know people. And in knowing people they know what it takes to make a good relationship. This list of the 10 characteristics of successful relationships from therapist and author Lisa Kift is particularly useful when evaluating your own relationships:

1) Friendship: Couples who have a strong friendship have staying power. They not only love each other but genuinely like each other as people. They enjoy hanging out together. They might even consider each other their “best friend.”

2) Humor: Partners who can make each other laugh tend to be good at de-escalating conflicts when they do arise. It’s the great mood lightener. I’ve noticed the use of funny nicknames can be an indicator of great fondness for one another. The names often stem from a “you had to be there” moment from the beginning of their relationship.

3) Communication: As obvious as this may seem, many couples are not very good at it. Those who are able to openly...

Read more
RobHeartsDH
October 15, 2012
Category: Dating
Just friends chart

"I still hope we can be friends." Famous last words after you've had your heart broken. And whether they mean it or not, it's an interesting choice that we're all presented with. The decision of course is relative to each and every relationship. It might depend on how long you've been together, how bad the breakup was, and ultimately, time. For many it's hard to switch off your feelings and dive straight into a friendship. On the other hand, it can be a seamless transition if both parties romantic feelings have mutually dissolved. But usually that's not the case, and when a heart breaks they don't break even. For me, if friendship is truly something you want after a break up, "out of sight, out of mind" has always been the best course of action. To reset and recalibrate your feelings from romantic to friendly, time and distance help to heal things quicker. It's when friendship is pushed so soon after that things start to get messy and awkward. And depending on how badly you've been hurt, those wounds need time to heal. And every attempt at being with your former lover without being able to hold them or kiss them or touch them just makes the hurt sting that much more. But the good news is, that if friendship is truly in the cards it can be something quite beautiful down the line. After all, any relationship worth having should have friendship at it's core and intimacy shared is something that's never really lost.

Have you been able to be friends with your exes? And if so, how soon after? What helped you move forward as friends?

RobHeartsDH
October 15, 2012
Category: Dating
Just friends chart

"I still hope we can be friends." Famous last words after you've had your heart broken. And whether they mean it or not, it's an interesting choice that we're all presented with. The decision of course is relative to each and every relationship. It might depend on how long you've been together, how bad the breakup was, and ultimately, time. For many it's hard to switch off your feelings and dive straight into a friendship. On the other hand, it can be a seamless transition if both parties romantic feelings have mutually dissolved. But usually that's not the case, and when a heart breaks they don't break even. For me, if friendship is truly something you want after a break up, "out of sight, out of mind" has always been the best course of action. To reset and recalibrate your feelings from romantic to friendly, time and distance help to heal things quicker. It's when friendship is pushed so soon after that things start to get messy and awkward. And depending on how badly you've been hurt, those wounds need time to heal. And every attempt at being with your former lover without being able to hold them or kiss them or touch them just makes the hurt sting that much more. But the good news is, that if friendship is truly in the cards it can be something quite beautiful down the line. After all, any relationship worth having should have friendship at it's core and intimacy shared is something that's never really lost.

Have you been able to be friends with your exes? And if so, how soon after? What helped you move forward as friends?

RobHeartsDH
July 31, 2012
Category: Dating
The AARP Gay Man's Guide to Dating After 50

Over on the AARP's site, they've put together a list of tips for gay men over 50 looking to date. All are pretty spot on, especially the part about ageism and valuing your age and applying those lessons learned into better decision making. Oddly enough, these dating tips can really apply to any age:

1. Confront your fears
2. Embrace your new reality
3. Pick your meet 'n' greet venues wisely
4. Be self-aware, not rigid
5. Realize you can be single and happy

Granted, #3 is reliant upon knowing yourself, something that really only comes with age and experience. #2 could really apply to any reality, whether you're new to the dating scene or, like they say in the article, "have been there done that". Authenticity and acceptance are really the key to any happy human, and when you're able to embrace those things (i.e. be content with with being yourself) the rest seems to fall into place. All too often we put too much pressure on the things we want most in life, which for many gay men is a partner (be it sexual or life long). The gay community doesn't make things any easier, but that doesn't mean the cycle of negative thinking and behavior can't be broken. Being confident with who you are and what you want, is something gay men take note of (whether they admit it or not), and often times will pass it on. There's nothing more comforting then knowing that you can be 100% yourself and be 100% successful at life.

...
Read more
RobHeartsDH
July 31, 2012
Category: Dating
The AARP Gay Man's Guide to Dating After 50

Over on the AARP's site, they've put together a list of tips for gay men over 50 looking to date. All are pretty spot on, especially the part about ageism and valuing your age and applying those lessons learned into better decision making. Oddly enough, these dating tips can really apply to any age:

1. Confront your fears
2. Embrace your new reality
3. Pick your meet 'n' greet venues wisely
4. Be self-aware, not rigid
5. Realize you can be single and happy

Granted, #3 is reliant upon knowing yourself, something that really only comes with age and experience. #2 could really apply to any reality, whether you're new to the dating scene or, like they say in the article, "have been there done that". Authenticity and acceptance are really the key to any happy human, and when you're able to embrace those things (i.e. be content with with being yourself) the rest seems to fall into place. All too often we put too much pressure on the things we want most in life, which for many gay men is a partner (be it sexual or life long). The gay community doesn't make things any easier, but that doesn't mean the cycle of negative thinking and behavior can't be broken. Being confident with who you are and what you want, is something gay men take note of (whether they admit it or not), and often times will pass it on. There's nothing more comforting then knowing that you can be 100% yourself and be 100% successful at life.

...
Read more
RobHeartsDH
July 20, 2012
Category: Dating

Drinks. Dinner. Transactional conversations of what you do, where you grew up, what you like, blah, yada, blah. If this sounds like your typical first date, you're not alone. Maybe it's just me, but it feels like first dates have gotten stale. Whether it's from playing it safe or trying to keep your enthusiasm in check, it seems that these days most first dates just go through the motions. Don't get me wrong, drinks are always a safe and trusted first outing for getting to know someone. This is especially true when the date is going nowhere and you're able to excuse yourself after the second round. But all too often these dates can feel scripted and stale. Which is why I'm putting an initiative out there to start getting creative with first dates and start making them more of an experience. Some of the greatest dates I've been on are ones that are active, adventurous, and best of all unpredictable. If you're the planner, there may be some hesitation in putting effort into a first date (oh the games we play), but something as simple as going to the batting cages or checking out a new art gallery can shake things up without creating too much fanfare. What makes these types of dates so great is that they allow you to concentrate on more than just making yourself sound interesting and create ample ideas that lead to stimulating and insightful conversations about one another.

So we want to know, whether it worked out or not, what's the best first date you've ever been on? Let's share our stories and inspire each other with new ideas to spice up dating. If all goes...

Read more
RobHeartsDH
July 20, 2012
Category: Dating

Drinks. Dinner. Transactional conversations of what you do, where you grew up, what you like, blah, yada, blah. If this sounds like your typical first date, you're not alone. Maybe it's just me, but it feels like first dates have gotten stale. Whether it's from playing it safe or trying to keep your enthusiasm in check, it seems that these days most first dates just go through the motions. Don't get me wrong, drinks are always a safe and trusted first outing for getting to know someone. This is especially true when the date is going nowhere and you're able to excuse yourself after the second round. But all too often these dates can feel scripted and stale. Which is why I'm putting an initiative out there to start getting creative with first dates and start making them more of an experience. Some of the greatest dates I've been on are ones that are active, adventurous, and best of all unpredictable. If you're the planner, there may be some hesitation in putting effort into a first date (oh the games we play), but something as simple as going to the batting cages or checking out a new art gallery can shake things up without creating too much fanfare. What makes these types of dates so great is that they allow you to concentrate on more than just making yourself sound interesting and create ample ideas that lead to stimulating and insightful conversations about one another.

So we want to know, whether it worked out or not, what's the best first date you've ever been on? Let's share our stories and inspire each other with new ideas to spice up dating. If all goes...

Read more
RobHeartsDH
June 19, 2012
Category: Relationships

We gays are often portrayed as courting drama . And while many of us avoid it at all costs, I can't help but wonder if it's inherent in our programming. Show of hands, when it comes to relationships, how many of you had a healthy, visible real life gay couple to look up to? And now one more time, show of hands, how many of you spent your formative years hiding, lying, and/or putting on a show to avoid your big gay secret from coming to light? Okay, hands down. I can't imagine many of you raised your hands for that first question, and that's no fault of yours. When I think back to my gay childhood there are certain things I cling to and they all revolved around story telling. Whether it was in the movies, on tv, or in a book, the love stories and relationships that I looked up to were all pure fiction. In the absence of a real gay relationship they're all I had. But the one common thread, and the unfortunate mark of any good love story, is that they all have obstacles to overcome. And there in lies the problem when holding your real life standards to the stories you grew up with.

I could go on about this topic, as I have at length with plenty of friends, but I'd love to hear from all of you. Do you often find yourself seeking relationships that are either unrealistic or require some miraculous turn of events for them to work out? Like the cold and distant fuck buddy who one day wakes up and is ready to be your boyfriend? Or the married man who leaves his husband for you? Or the troubled porn star/...

Read more
RobHeartsDH
June 12, 2012
Category: Relationships

New York City is probably one of the best places for a gay man to be single. It's also one of the worst to be single and looking for a serious relationship. Then again, I thought that Pittsburgh was a terrible place to be a single relationship seeking gay man, and now it's on a list of the Top 10 Cities Where Gay Singles Are Looking For Marriage And Kids. Keep in mind, this list doesn't tell you the best places to secure a man seeking a serious relationship, but rather where the men are looking for one. Whether it's lack of options or lack of focus, it seems that all the friends I talk to around the world are unhappy with where they live in regards to being a single gay man. I've thought about leaving NYC more than a few times, but wonder if the city is really the problem.

So I ask, do you feel that where you live has negatively or positively affected your dating life?

RobHeartsDH
March 29, 2012
Category: Dating
The Missing Piece Meets the Big O

For those of your frustrated with dating, men, and relationships in general, I'm hoping this post finds you. I honestly don't why know it hasn't occurred to me before to share this with all of you, but it's time I give you the gift of The Missing Piece. I rediscovered Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece Meets the Big O about 10 years ago and what I had initially dismissed as a children's book changed me forever. Upon re-reading it as a dating adult, I came to realize that it's the perfect summation of dating and relationships. You wouldn't think a book of line drawings could be profound, but it really nails what it's like to put yourself out there in the dating world. Better yet, the message it leaves with you with is one that every couple, gay or straight, should carry with them always. Ultimately, it's not about fitting into someone else's life but about becoming two whole individuals who can roll through life together, as equals, side by side.

Now before you dismiss this post, take a minute to read the book here or watch the video below. I promise you'll find this tiny little triangle relatable and ultimately inspiring.

Let's get the discussion rolling: have you had similar experiences with dating?