Billy Kolber
June 16, 2011
Category: Relationships

I always hear guys say their relationship is the most important thing in their lives, that relationships are hard work, and that communication is the key to a good relationship. But most of us have only our families of origin and Hollywood providing blueprints for how relationships are supposed to work. We go to school for years to advance our careers, take lessons for sports and musical instruments, we even study for a driver’s license. Yet for our relationships, we’re just winging it with a little help from Dr. Phil. Make sense to you? Me neither.

My last relationship lasted almost 12 years, and when it started falling apart, I researched the top-rated relationship self-help books, bought a dozen of them and started studying. These three offered the best insight and actionable advice - even for an older gay daddy with good emotional intelligence. Think of them as Relationship 101.

Extra Credit: What are your recommendations for nurturing a relationship?

The Dance of Connection - Harriet Lerner writes primarily for women, but her focus on emotional communication skills is incredibly helpful. Putting her advice to work improved all of my relationships, not just the one with my lover.

...

Read more
RobHeartsDH
May 25, 2011
Category: Relationships

When people rattle of the list of features they look for in a man, usually one of the top three is a nice smile. Bizarre then, that a new study finds men smiling in photos to be the least attractive.

"According to new research on body language out of the University of British Columbia, women find happy men—in this study, men who were smiling in photos—significantly less attractive than men portraying other emotions. In a survey of 1,000 adults, women generally preferred men who looked strong and proud, arms raised into the sky, or sullen and ashamed—in that order. Happy men were rated the least attractive. Interestingly, when it came to male preferences, things were reversed: Men rated happy women the most attractive and proud, strong women least attractive."

As with all of these findings, we never really get the gay angle. The study goes on the suggest that smiling and happiness are often though of as "feminine-appearing expressions," which bring us round to what we as gay men may think. I suppose if we're looking for "masc men" then smiling photos may indeed be a turn off for some. I have two photos I send around to men of the internet: one in which I'm smiling and the other in which I'm not. Some might say the non-smile photo portrays me as a bit more butch (I'm also wearing a backward baseball cap). It's hard to tell which photo has been more effective, but I have notice a trend in the type of guys that respond to each and now tailor which one I...

Read more
RobHeartsDH
April 1, 2011
Category: Relationships
regret

This will probably be met with a big ol' "duh" from most of you, but according to a new study, the most common regret among American adults involves lost love. To their credit, this new research from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the first to survey adults ages 19 to 103, whereas previous studies used only college students.

It's also not surprising that women more so than men, cited a lost romantic opportunity as their biggest regret. But when it comes to studies like these, I always wish there was a gay component so we could get a more applicable results. Not that we're women or that we're not men, but it seems emotionally we can fall somewhere in between.

Of course, if we're supposed to live without regret, then this is all moot. But if you had to, since we're going to conduct a survey of our own, what would be you biggest regret in life?

RobHeartsDH
March 23, 2011
Category: Relationships

As a member and contributor to this site, I guess it's no secret that I like older guys.

At 27, I would say the median age of the guys I’ve dated hovers somewhere around the late 30s/early 40s mark. It might even skew a little higher than that. And while I have no problem with someone not wanting to date me because ‘I’m not their type’, or because they ‘think I’m too goofy,’ or ‘don’t like the way I eat burritos’, I do take issue with someone not wanting to date me because of my age.

Yes, I may have been in pre-school when you lost your butt sex cherry to the Cure’s ‘Love Song’, but I have a working penis now, complete with a brain that can process a hell of lot more than we youngers are given credit for. Sure there are things you’ll have to school me on, but the great thing about youth is that we’re very open and susceptible to new ideas. Heck, we even welcome them.

Connections aren’t built on whether or not I saw Madonna’s first VMA appearance or whether you’ve watched every single episode of Saved by the Bell three times over. They go deeper than that. Like we've chatted about before on here, the gays have one giant shared experience between them: the joys and pains of coming out. Common ground is inherent in our community which is why a 10-20 year age gap is significantly lessened by our gay initiation.

Now here's the part that really gets me. More often than not I've come up against concern from guys I've dated about the age gap. This is a valid concern and something that definitely should be discussed openly and honestly....

Read more
RobHeartsDH
February 3, 2011
Category: Relationships

Has this ever happened to you? You meet a guy, go on a date or two, and as soon people get wind of it they can't wait to offer up any kind of dirt, deets and/or stories about the man you just met less than 5 metaphorical minutes ago. Effectively clouding your mind for the remainder of your dates. We all know it's a small gay world out there, but just once it'd be nice to be given the chance to form my own opinions about my date before the peanut gallery chimes in. It's getting to the point, where I sometimes feel the need to keep up Bond-esque levels of secrecy about the guys I date, even amongst friends.

Friends, for the most part, are generally looking out for your best interest, but the acquaintances and mutual friends, they're the ones who masquerade as being helpful and end up doing more harm than good. Now I don't mean to say that all gay men are catty bitches, because they're not, it's just that we live in an age where everyone feel entitled to give their own running commentary on life and most of the time it's unwarranted and unwelcome.

I've actually been wondering as of late if a person's dating past is even worth knowing. Wherever that person is when they meet you, that is where your story, be it short, epic, or in between, should begin. Or is it better to study their history and learn how they came to be so that you can identify red flags that we may ultimately ignore?

I long for a day when the mystery of the person I'm dating is mine, and mine alone, to find out. We're so quick to google and facebook stalk that we know more before the...

Read more
RobHeartsDH
February 3, 2011
Category: Relationships

Has this ever happened to you? You meet a guy, go on a date or two, and as soon people get wind of it they can't wait to offer up any kind of dirt, deets and/or stories about the man you just met less than 5 metaphorical minutes ago. Effectively clouding your mind for the remainder of your dates. We all know it's a small gay world out there, but just once it'd be nice to be given the chance to form my own opinions about my date before the peanut gallery chimes in. It's getting to the point, where I sometimes feel the need to keep up Bond-esque levels of secrecy about the guys I date, even amongst friends.

Friends, for the most part, are generally looking out for your best interest, but the acquaintances and mutual friends, they're the ones who masquerade as being helpful and end up doing more harm than good. Now I don't mean to say that all gay men are catty bitches, because they're not, it's just that we live in an age where everyone feel entitled to give their own running commentary on life and most of the time it's unwarranted and unwelcome.

I've actually been wondering as of late if a person's dating past is even worth knowing. Wherever that person is when they meet you, that is where your story, be it short, epic, or in between, should begin. Or is it better to study their history and learn how they came to be so that you can identify red flags that we may ultimately ignore?

I long for a day when the mystery of the person I'm dating is mine, and mine alone, to find out. We're so quick to google and facebook stalk that we know more before the...

Read more
RobHeartsDH
January 25, 2011
Category: Relationships

Not to bring everyone down, but I came across this truly moving story about two gay fathers and the adopted son they recently lost and felt the need to share. It's inspiring to hear about this incredibly unique family and the legacy they've left behind in their small New Jersey town.

Whether you're moved or not, there's no denying that the world needs more families like The Tims.

RobHeartsDH
December 9, 2010
Category: Relationships
tuggie

I hate to go all Sex and the City on you, but remember that episode where Carrie and Co. talk about their super secret single behavior? You know, the stuff you do in the privacy of your own home when no one else is around. I guess it's one of the luxuries of being single, that you don't have to answer to anyone and can indulge in all kinds of wacky behavior, sans judgment.

As for my SSSB, I love to throw on my tiger snuggie and watch terrible romantic comedies that I wouldn't pay to see in theaters, while eating a burrito. Usually I'm hungover when I do this, so my emotions tend to get the best of me and I may or may not tear up a bit on the couch. I fear that once I'm in a relationship I may not be afforded this self-dubbed luxury, unless of course, I find a man who's down with Tuggie* Time.

Okay, so now that I've shown you mine, it's time for you to show me yours. What super secret single behavior do you guys like to partake in? We won't judge.

*tiger + snuggie = tuggie...not the other kind of tuggie time, which, now that I think about it, would also be welcome.

RobHeartsDH
November 23, 2010
Category: Sexuality

In these modern times, fuck buddies have come to serve a spectacular void in the space between one night stands and long term relationships. Really it all depends on how you use them, and use them we do. We use them to get off, use them to take our minds off someone else, use them to pass the time: they're pretty handy when it comes to quick fixes. FB relationships can go on for years with varying levels of frequencies, and yet few seem to evolve into anything more (which in most cases is exactly the point). However, they do tend to reach a breaking point of some kind. Whether it's disinterest from one party or too much interest from another party, they really aren't that different from actual dating.

The tricky part is knowing how to navigate the often blurred lines of fuck buddyship and make sure you come away from it unscathed. Here are some of the more common signifiers of both healthy and harmful fuck buddy situations:

Healthy

  • You can text him and he can call you without any worry of rejection. You may not be available some nights but at least he'll know there'll be a raincheck.
  • You both know exactly what you've signed up for. Whether that's just sex or sex with intent to cuddle, both of you know what's about to go down when you get the call.
  • Your feelings are kept in check al all times, and even though he may send flirtatious text messages the day after, you know that's it's simply a way of saying we're still...
Read more
RobHeartsDH
October 14, 2010
Category: Relationships

We've all been there. You've just broken up with someone, or been dumped, or realized you were barking up a very sexy, but very wrong tree and realized you need to move on in a big way. Realizing is one thing, but actually doing something about it is quite another. And as is usually the case, it's easier said than done. Distance and time is the most effective remedy, but it's also the hardest one (who has that kind of time?). So in an effort to speed up the process here are some other ways to help you heal that terribly itchy heartache.

Out of Sight, Out Of Mind

Similar to the 'distance and time' method, quitting a guy cold turkey is one of the most effective ways to get over someone in that it takes some time. This entails a complete cut off from your former flame, which means no phone calls, no texts, no facebook stalking, no friendly coffee catch ups, no contact whatsoever for a predetermined period of time. Of course you can't block them from your brain or prevent them from popping up in the wild, but by eliminating everything you can control, that man will be washed right out of your hair in no time. And the best part is, once your man-cleansing is complete you're free to start or resume a friendship with him from wonderfully solid footing.

Find Someone New

Another one of the more effective ways to help erase those pesky residual feelings is to start dating someone else. Starting to meet other people and discovering what's out there is great way to take your mind off things (I know this great dating site with a...

Read more