April 15, 2013
Category: Relationships
MISTER Carl Sandler on Sirius XM Radio

A friend in need is a friend indeed, especially when it’s 2:00 in the morning, you’re horny, and that friend lives just 5 minutes away. Hey, we’re all about friends with benefits, but what if those perks involved more than just a post-shag baby wipe and a pat on the butt as you headed out the door to go back home? You know, real benefits, like engaging conversation, shared interests, and a shoulder to lean on when you’re down in the dumps?

Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, for many of us, those types of relationships just don’t exist. Let's face it, as gay men, we live in a culture where making “friends” means firing up an app, “networking” is code for getting naked, and hooking up is the new handshake—all of which make it difficult to cultivate deep and meaningful friendships with one another that aren’t rooted in sexual attraction or superficiality. The truth is we need to have these friendships, especially as we get older, but in this age of instant gratification, are we willing to buddy up with someone we don’t want to sleep with?

The answer is yes—that is, if you’re willing to make the effort. In his latest appearance on Sirius OutQ’s “The Morning Jolt” radio show, our resident den daddy, MISTER CEO Carl Sandler, sat down with host Larry Flick to talk about the importance of friendships and offered up some tried-and-true tips on how you can develop them, deepen them, and put them to bed (pun intended!) when they’re not working for you.

Click the play button...

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RobHeartsDH
March 27, 2013
Category: Relationships
gay marriage equality symbol red

As the Supreme Court review marriage equality cases for Prop 8 and DOMA this week, the world as we know it could change in an instant. The right to marry came to the state of New York a little over a year and a half ago and in that time I've been to 2 gay weddings with 4 more on the way between now and September. With the exception of one, all of these couples have been together for more than 5 years, so it makes sense that they'd be eager to make it official as soon as allowed. With the possibility of federal rights and marriage for all, we could see an even bigger onslaught of weddings in the next few years. Which means, you better start saving up. Not for your wedding. For the gifts. Most of us experienced the wedding rush in and our 20s and 30s as all our friends got married, but now there's a new wave of weddings coming. If only there was a way to rollout the weddings so we wouldn't be bombarded with them all at once. But considering how long it's taken to get here, these loving couples shouldn't have to wait any longer. So bring it on I say. Just don't expect anything fancy in the gift department.

Couples in states that can't marry, if marriage equality passes, will you get married right away or wait a few years?

RobHeartsDH
March 25, 2013
Category: Relationships
versus logo

It’s bad enough sometimes competing with single friends when landing a man, but what happens when you’re forced to compete with your coupled friends as well ? With gay relationships becoming more and more fluid and open about their, well, openness it’s put an interesting quandary at the center of gay friendships: who gets first dibs? As a single man myself, I’m obliged to take the single man’s position first and foremost, which is to say coupled friends should always yield to their single friends. The truth of the matter is, singles shouldn't have to compete with their boyfriended friends for other single guys even if it ends up just being a hook up. With two single guys, there will always be potential for more and that alone should inspire the coupled friend to back off. Open relationships, seeking a third or seeking to play alone, should really only be looking for something supplement to their, what should already be, stable and healthy relationship. Looking for something more sometimes means looking for trouble.

Then again, if it were two single friends competing for the same man’s attention, it would seem that all’s fair in love and war. As I try to look at things from all angles, my only understanding of how a case could be made for the couple is if the object in pursuit chooses the couple over the single. Which is to say, they’re not into you and are looking for some threesome fun. This whole scenario is based off of friendship, so really if you’re a good friend it would make sense that you’d want to offer the singletons every possibility afforded to them...

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RobHeartsDH
March 25, 2013
Category: Relationships
versus logo

It’s bad enough sometimes competing with single friends when landing a man, but what happens when you’re forced to compete with your coupled friends as well ? With gay relationships becoming more and more fluid and open about their, well, openness it’s put an interesting quandary at the center of gay friendships: who gets first dibs? As a single man myself, I’m obliged to take the single man’s position first and foremost, which is to say coupled friends should always yield to their single friends. The truth of the matter is, singles shouldn't have to compete with their boyfriended friends for other single guys even if it ends up just being a hook up. With two single guys, there will always be potential for more and that alone should inspire the coupled friend to back off. Open relationships, seeking a third or seeking to play alone, should really only be looking for something supplement to their, what should already be, stable and healthy relationship. Looking for something more sometimes means looking for trouble.

Then again, if it were two single friends competing for the same man’s attention, it would seem that all’s fair in love and war. As I try to look at things from all angles, my only understanding of how a case could be made for the couple is if the object in pursuit chooses the couple over the single. Which is to say, they’re not into you and are looking for some threesome fun. This whole scenario is based off of friendship, so really if you’re a good friend it would make sense that you’d want to offer the singletons every possibility afforded to them...

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RobHeartsDH
February 14, 2013
Category: Relationships

Ah, love. Is there any greater feeling? If you're nerdy like me and like to quantify and over think matters of the heart, then this video is for you. Who knew there was actual science behind the feelings we feel? Still doesn't make love make any more sense, but learning is always fun!

And if you could care less about how our hearts and brains work in tandem, then maybe you'll find the science of orgasms a bit interesting.

What does it feel like for you when you're in love?

RobHeartsDH
December 13, 2012
Category: Relationships

I started to believe. He made me believe.

After 10 years of searching/hoping/praying/waiting/dating I finally met someone. The someone that even my dreams couldn't fully illustrate. The someone that treated me the way every man deserves to be treated. The someone that made me happier than I've ever been in my entire life. For the longest time I never thought it would happen. After so many failed relationships and false starts, after all the assholes and the ones that were just shy of being right, someone came along and literally took my breath away. It all happened so quickly, but it all felt so right. I thought this is the beginning of all those incredible love stories you hear. And we went on, happy, the two of us, giddy that we had found each other, blessing the broken road and spending countless nights together staring into each others eyes, smiling, having adventures - it was all so cliche in the best way possible. I remember asking him over and over if this was real, if he was real because in all honesty he seemed perfect for me. Not perfect, far from it, but perfect for me. For one of our first dates he brought me pickles and roses. If there's one thing I love it's romance. If there's two things I love it's romance and pickles. Weekends away with friends, holiday dinners with my family (a first for me), play dates with our dogs - it seemed like the start of something incredible. Something bigger than the both of us. And all those times he assured me it was real, he was real, I believed him. I thought this is what it feels like, this is what people...

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RobHeartsDH
December 13, 2012
Category: Relationships

I started to believe. He made me believe.

After 10 years of searching/hoping/praying/waiting/dating I finally met someone. The someone that even my dreams couldn't fully illustrate. The someone that treated me the way every man deserves to be treated. The someone that made me happier than I've ever been in my entire life. For the longest time I never thought it would happen. After so many failed relationships and false starts, after all the assholes and the ones that were just shy of being right, someone came along and literally took my breath away. It all happened so quickly, but it all felt so right. I thought this is the beginning of all those incredible love stories you hear. And we went on, happy, the two of us, giddy that we had found each other, blessing the broken road and spending countless nights together staring into each others eyes, smiling, having adventures - it was all so cliche in the best way possible. I remember asking him over and over if this was real, if he was real because in all honesty he seemed perfect for me. Not perfect, far from it, but perfect for me. For one of our first dates he brought me pickles and roses. If there's one thing I love it's romance. If there's two things I love it's romance and pickles. Weekends away with friends, holiday dinners with my family (a first for me), play dates with our dogs - it seemed like the start of something incredible. Something bigger than the both of us. And all those times he assured me it was real, he was real, I believed him. I thought this is what it feels like, this is what people...

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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...

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RobHeartsDH
August 3, 2012
Category: Relationships

A wise woman once said, "Vacation all I ever wanted. Vacation all I ever needed."

Really, is there anything greater in this world than getting to take a break from it? I think not (unless you're able to get a little somin' somin' while you're on it). For some it's easy to meet people on vacation, but really this should be true for all. You're out of your element, you're relaxed, most likely more open. And when all of these things radiate off of you, people take notice. Mostly because everyone else is in the same (possibly literal) boat that you are. The trick to any successful getaway is to leave every expectation you have at home. Removing the idea of hooking up or meeting someone special is about the best thing you can do. The last thing you want to come out of a long planned trip is to be disappointment. And if you're able to take time off of work, isn't the whole point to not have to do any? The same applies for meeting people, you shouldn't have to work hard to make a connection. Instead, focus on being in the moment and enjoying your surroundings, friends, and activities and chances are the rest will come to you. That friendly, carefree attitude that comes with being on holiday (that's for you Europe) can be seen from a mile away and it's ever so inviting. One of the greatest joys of travel is making new friends. Throw a smile at someone or a playful hello. Ask for directions, advice or comment on some of more unique characteristics of wherever you are. These are tiny, easy ins that will take you a long way while you're away from home. Being open and...

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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/...

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