By Thomas Whitfield
This city is a treasure trove of people with unique life experiences, backgrounds and goals for the future. When I first moved to NYC from a small town in Michigan, I thought there would be plenty of gay people with similar interests, that dating would be simple and easy. If you’ve lived here for more than a month, you already know that’s a crock of shit.
I keep meeting the same types of guys over and over again. I always think they are different, but then a month or two in I realize they are basically identical to other people I’ve dated. I’m really frustrated, and I don’t know how this keeps happening. – Male, Gay, 31
There is only one common denominator in every relationship you’re in, and it’s you.
The same is obviously true for everyone, so we have to take responsibility for the people we decide to date. My guess would be there are more things in common between these people than you’re seeing. There may be plenty of positive things about them that are different. But, what’s similar about their negative qualities? When do you notice them? And what do you ignore in the beginning?
Make a list of the negative qualities in significant relationships you’ve had (doesn’t have to be LTR). Notice the similarities. Then, when they pop up in the future, stop dating that person. You have to train yourself what to look for and to not ignore the things you don’t want to see.
I’m having a really difficult time meeting people to date in the city, and it seems like everyone just wants to have sex. I’m afraid to approach people a lot in bars and stuff, so I mainly use apps. It’s just easier. Are there easier ways to meet to date? – Male, Gay, 24
I would recommend not using sex-based apps if you’re looking for a relationship. Full disclosure, my boyfriend and I met on one, and we’ve been together for over four years—but we’re an exception to the rule. I honestly think in person is the best way, but it doesn’t have to be a bar. Join a group where you have the opportunity to meet new people that have similar interests as you. Having common ground can be a great way to help fight through any anxiety you might feel about approaching someone new.
Also, make some changes to your daily routine. People are creatures of habit, so you likely see the same people every day, either on your way to work, at the bar or at the gym. Try walking a different way, going to a new place or working out at a different time. And force yourself to approach people—you might fall on your face every now and again, but so what? Honestly, what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? You might get rejected, but that’s just part of life. Everyone gets rejected, and it’s probably much less terrible than you think it is. And being rejected is the best way to get over your fear of it!