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Contrary to heterosexual fears, legal gay marriage has given the institution an enormous boost in importance.Where it’s legal, same sex couples are getting married in droves, and some gay weddings are so theatrical and over the top that they can actually be intimidating (See the Saturday Night Live skit: Xanax for Gay Weddings for a hilarious send up of this phenomenon).
It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.
A variation of this theme is when a relationship ends, but you just don’t want to let go of it—even if the guy is still alive.
You might still be living together, or stay best friends.
There are things many men have to give up to be in a couple.
No problem there, but one needs to be honest with oneself about his true needs and wants and do the (hard) work of freeing oneself from societal and family pressures.
Some of us have been bullied as children; physically, verbally, and emotionally abused at tender ages by our peers and family members for being gay before we even recognized and understood our same-sex attractions.
This toxic internalized belief is further ingrained if we have been treated harshly (or abandoned) by our fathers, the first men in our lives to teach us about our value in the eyes of other males.Not everyone needs to be in a couple nor should be.Many single gay men are happy, valuing their autonomy and personal freedom (like the muscled bad boy described above).There must be some truth to the old joke: “What does a gay man bring on a second date? ” You would be ready to throw in the towel, if it weren’t for your best friend who met someone and is now in a happy relationship for the past 2 years—or that middle-aged couple who live in your building and who just celebrated 25 years together with a trip to Paris.So you end up wondering “What’s the matter with me? ” As an openly gay man with over thirty years of experience as a therapist, I have seen scores of single gay men sabotage their efforts to find a partner, placing obstacles in their own path —without having the slightest idea as to what they are doing and why.Fortunately, I have also learned how to identify and name these self-defeating and often hidden hurdles—and have discovered that they are beliefs that too many gay men repeat to themselves, often without even knowing it.