Happy Valentines

Valentine’s Day! What’s the gay boy to do when he doesn’t want to send flowers to the girl he’s supposed to like and doesn’t dare to talk to the adorable guy he has such a crush on? Even decades after kindergarten, Valentine’s can bring misery to any gay man not properly coupled off. Here are some ideas on what to do.

While most of us make it out of puberty and the related embarrassments eventually, gay men often don’t come out with the finest relationship skills or role models. Before you cry bias, that’s true for most straight guys too, they just don’t have to deal with two sets of similar issues when they get into a relationship. They also have society’s expectations tilted in their favor. That’s why most of us could use a little help, even if it’s been a long time since we set aside glue sticks and crayons.

If you are happily in a relationship this Valentine’s: Congratulations! Enjoy it, make your man happy or give him a chance to make you happy. If you are single, happy in your circle of friends, and not looking for that LTR, celebrate your power of independence. Congratulations to you too! But perhaps you are not quite where you want to be. Maybe you’d like to have someone in your life to cuddle and do goofy, sticky things with. Or you are not getting what you want from the man you are with. In either case, here are two great tools.

“Getting Ready” is a workbook for gay men who would like to prepare for the boyfriend who hangs around. You’ve probably seen some of the exercises before. What makes this booklet so attractive is the hands-on approach. You get to do every step and it is tailored right for us. The brochure was developed by a London counseling organization for the gay community. PACE (Project for Advocacy, Counseling and Education). I think you’ll be charmed by the Brit’s directness, sexy approach and playfulness. I especially like the “Suck it & See” sidebars. I took it to mean: try it and see what happens. Though other, more literal meanings could be fun too.

“Getting what you want – in friendships and in relationships” is a workbook for gay and bisexual men interested in exploring their communication styles and how to engage more deeply with their friends and lovers to get more of what they want. This is the second and companion booklet to Getting Ready and done in the same fresh style but with a more polished look. Is your habitual relationship style that of “poor cinders”, “wicked step mom” or “fairy godmother”? Are you more a tigger or a tortoise in your relationship? Either way, get ready to try something new and stretch your comfort zone.

For more examples of how the Brits help each other out, see the website of the
Gay Men’s Health Charity.

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