Gay Guy, 27, Manila

Today at 6 a.m., I had a very good conversation with a friend about dating. Dating, in this day and age, in our generation… and age. My whole group turns 27 this year, and we love it. Some of us have been good friends since we were 10 years old. So, we practically all grew up together.

Let’s jump right in, because time is of the essence.

Apart from most of us having fcked up lives all at the same time, majority of us have been single for years. We’re all attractive, fit, fun, smart, interesting gay guys who have a huge gay network. So what’s the problem? Why are we all single? Why have we been single for all these years?

Years back, our theory was, no one from us was taking dating seriously because we are all so attached to one another. Partly true back then, because I have seen cute guys flirting with my friends, and my friends generally just dangle them through the dance floor, or joke around with them.

Years after, one of us started to date ‘seriously’, and I guess that was a wake-up call. It was unspoken, but I’m sure we all figured that, ‘oh my, one of our friends jumped off the train’. And so, from then on, again unspoken, we all started to take notice of our dating lives. This became very apparent, because, instead of the usual drunken yolo messages on viber, we were now talking about broken hearts and bitterness. As for me, hmmmm. Let’s just say I still wasn’t on the serious dating train. But I got my needs satisfied in one way or another. 😉

So a few years have passed again, and we’re still talking about broken hearts and bitterness. This morning, my friend and I had two topics we wanted to scrutinize. One, was my dating life. Two, was the ‘real deal’ in the dating world of our generation.

I’m not a narcissistic prick, so let’s finish up the topic on myself quickly. A few of my friends have been very vocal lately about my dating life. Recently, I’ve been telling some of them that now, I want to date ‘seriously’. And nobody seems to believe me. What’s more surprising is their conviction towards their belief that I really don’t want to be in a relationship. At first it was mild. I got introduced to new friends as “the one who doesn’t want to be in a relationship” – I didn’t take this seriously at first, I thought it was a joke. Then more of my friends talked about me that same way in different random conversations with people. I began hearing descriptions like “he doesn’t wanna date” “he’s not into relationships” “he’s just into the physical stuff”. And lately, when I voiced out my desire to seriously date, I got stern looks from my friends. Hahaha!

They’re simply not convinced that I’m still the type who wants to be in a relationship. I told them I do. In fact, it’s been so long, that I don’t remember the feeling of being head-over-heels towards someone anymore. Or even pain, for that matter. I don’t remember those feelings anymore. But I told my friends, yes, maybe I slacked off a little in the seriously dating aspect, but now, I’m quite sure that I do wanna try again. They’re still not convinced, but I just explained to them: I seriously want to do so, but just maybe not in an intensity that will put it on my top priorities. It’s still a priority, but not on the top of the list. I speak the truth. But not because I’m not that interested to be with a partner, but because I’ve been single for so long, that I’m now used to all the freedom. I haven’t felt the unsettling feeling of taking a risk for so long, that it became comfortable. To the point where I no longer remember it at all. But I do. I do want to date seriously now. My old self, as I remember, was a very good partner. I had long term relationships dating back to high school, and I was really pretty good at being a ‘relationship type’. And now, I want to experience it again. 🙂 all of it. The risk, the pain, and of course the joys.

SO LET’S GO TO THE REAL TOPIC. Why is dating terribly tricky in this day and age in our generation, given that we are a group who has all the goods to be successful in it? (sounds like thesis work, I know) My friend and I seriously got into it, and we realized that we had the answer. The gay guys in this generation (in Manila) want so much. They are very easily turned-off by the smallest things: The unusual way a person texts, grammatical errors in conversation, pronunciations, occurrence of selfies, job, plans in life, the way people handle conversations (boring people), etc. They are so easily turned off by the smallest of things. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, they all want true love. I think the reason why they want so much is because almost every gay guy here in Manila have a huge regard of themselves. They work hard for almost everything, because it’s simply the culture here. They work out, they persevere in their careers, they are smart, they dress well, thus, they feel that they deserve to get exactly what they feel they deserve. Makes sense? But how does this attitude contribute to their desire to find “the one”? Because, it really makes it a lot harder for them. For us. This cause and effect makes the chances for a happy ending very very slim; and so, this is the reason why there is a widespread singlehood phenomenon in this generation’s gay male dating world. Bow.

So how is this supposed to be resolved? Do you lower your standards?

I think, in a way, yes, in the sense that, if you’re looking for ultra attractive guys with great skin, stature and body, try to consider the mentality I discussed earlier. If this is the type of person you’re looking at right now, it means this guy has ultra high level of expectations towards dating. Why? Because he seems to have worked very hard on himself. So naturally, he would feel like he deserves the best. And what is his basis of “the best”? Definitely, himself.

In conclusion, I think that the solution to this singlehood phenomenon here is simple. Try to change your view from “what I feel I deserve” to “what I am really looking for”. This, follows shoving away the superficial aspect of yourself, of course. I mean, are we all really looking to settle down with a partner who has abs? That would be great, but it’s not the abs were really after. 🙂

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