In gay relationships, playing hard to get can be enigmatic, mysterious, sexy… but when you want to settle down, it’s often the last strategy you should be using. You could come across cool, complex, misunderstood, James Dean-esque… but you could just as easily come across as an uncaring time-waster. If you make it difficult for your potential man to read whether or not you’re truly into him, whether you genuinely care or not if he’s there for you – and you for him – you risk losing him to someone who’s got that balance between playing it cool and making his interest clear down to a tee. The truth? Emotional availability is indispensable in the formation and maintenance of loving in the long-term.
Are you ready for a long-term gay relationship?
The short-term, whether a hook-up or just casual dating, is relatively easy and straightforward: as long as both parties are game and not invested emotionally, such understandings can be extremely fun, not to mention fabulous for your confidence. But, at some point, you may find your soul crying out for some real, old-time TLC, for a true gentleman, waiting for you in your flat at 3am with the teapot a-brewin’ when you turn up drunk after a rubbish evening out with your overly needy/boisterous/felonious workmates (definitely not based on personal experience).
There are a few ways you can assess your readiness.
- Do you have a tendency to eschew opening up emotionally? Does it just not come naturally to you to share your innermost thoughts and feelings, even with your nearest and dearest? You might want to work on that. Have you considered mindfulness, meditation – even a little counselling? After all, love begins at home: if you can’t understand you, how can you expect the man of your dreams to?
- Are you ready and willing to change aspects of your lifestyle and day-to-day living arrangements to accommodate another human being full-time? A relationship might be nice in theory, but will you feel the same when you’re extricating your only clean pair of socks from the bottomless abyss of his pants drawer five minutes before you need to catch the bus to your meeting?
- Think back over your previous relationships. Was there always an escape hatch, an excuse to get out if and when things got too much? At the time, perhaps you had your reasons – but, legitimate as they might have been (or not), why were you in the position in the first place where you had to choose between stable but dull coupledom and the green pastures of singledom yonder?
- The thrill of the chase is potent. Do you find yourself yearning especially after those whom you can’t have? The cute guy who works Tuesday mornings at the coffee shop, perhaps – or even an ex. What does this say about you? For one thing, it may be that you need to rethink and rearrange your upstairs furniture – can you commit exclusively to a man if you’re still having very real feelings, be they amorous or romantic, towards other guys?
Sometimes, you’ll be desperate to get into a relationship – you’re ready and willing to open up, commit and care, to take responsibility of another man’s heart and guard and nurture it with affection. But if you’re not ready emotionally, you may hurt – and be hurt – in the long run. Know your own red flags; know your warning signs.
If you’re a gay man and looking for love, why not get in touch today and let us weave our matchmaking magic? At The Vida Consultancy, we have an exclusive network of some of the world’s most exceptional gay men, all waiting to meet that someone special. Or, if some of the issues raised in this article have particularly resonated with you and you think you could benefit from some one-on-one therapy, delving into the inner workings of your mind and sussing out what you need to (and not do) in order to secure a healthy, happy long-term partnership, why not try some counselling with our very own in-house relationship psychologist Madeleine Mason Roantree? Warm, understanding and with over fifteen years’ experience of helping gay and straight clients alike, you could not be in safer hands.