Jul 012012
 

Being everybody’s gay best friend has its advantages; you meet the most interesting people. Yesterday, I received this e-mail:

“Hey Randy! i am a single gay dude in nyc looking for love. i got tired of grindr and okcupid and decided to write a blog that would help me find my future boyfriend. it started when a friend asked me to draw a picture of my “ideal guy” and right now it’s something like an FBI wanted ad and an oprah love experiment.”

Danny then asked if I’d help promote his site. “Of course, I will!”

Check out Danny’s blog: www.helpmefindhim.tumblr.com. If he’s half as clever and cute, Danny won’t be single for long!

 

 

 

Jun 242012
 

I recently stumbled across a blog written by Sam Parker. In it, he gave some terrific tips for speaking “no ego:”

  • Be humble. Understand you are a (small) part of the world. Service and patience should be your
top priorities.
  • Be teachable. Focus on what you can learn, rather than showing what you know. Remember that almost everything you know began with the work of someone else.
  • Listen more. Make every effort to truly understand what others are saying (beyond just words). It makes for better connections. Allow a small gap of silence before responding. Ask questions (and listen, again).
  • Appreciate people. Enjoy others’ contributions. Don’t squelch ideas or defend territory. Encourage people more.
  • Relax. Let go of the need to be right or win every time.

 

 

May 162012
 

In an article in O magazine, Dr. David Burns, associate professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, reported on an intensive study he conducted with 1,500 people. The purpose of the study was to differentiate between what was happening with partners who were in a thriving, contented intimate relationship from those who were in a disappointing, miserable one. Burns found that “Only one thing emerged as having a causal impact on long-term satisfaction: blaming your partner for the problems in your relationship.” In other words, the one disparity between happy, flourishing partnerships and unhappy, failing ones was whether or not, and how intensely, they played the “blame game.”

 

 

Apr 232012
 

Charlotte had finally broken up with her boyfriend of four years. All her friends—including me—were relieved. “Bob” had been bad news. Now Charlotte was sitting in my kitchen, sipping a gin and tonic, and confessing that she was considering going back to him.

The mind has a funny way of spinning reality. I remembered my own breakup. Observing my mind-talk, I was surprised at how often my thoughts grew into tall stories. In one, my ex desperately missed me and wanted to get back together. In another he was actively dating and had totally forgotten about me. At times, I would even tell myself our breakup was only temporary. My girlfriend Kelli set me straight.

“You’ve been thinking that getting back together is impossible,” she said. “I’d like you to entertain the idea that it’s not.”

She continued. “Jump into the fantasy that you’re reunited and see how you feel.”

I took her advice, and afterwards I felt like I’d been sprayed with cold water. There was no going back. We had split for a reason, and that reason had not changed.

“Tell me what would be different if you two got back together,” I asked Charlotte. “What has changed?”

Charlotte thought a moment, “Nothing really. I just miss him.”

I totally understood.

“Missing him and getting back together are two different things,” I pointed out gently. “Imagine being back with Bob. Go ahead. Imagine it!”

She closed her eyes.

“OK,” I said. “You guys have been back together for five months, and you’re having dinner at your condo. How do you feel?”

I have a knot in my stomach,” she said.

“Do you still want to get back together?”

“No!” She laughed.

 

 

Mar 282012
 

“I’m worried about you,” my girlfriend began. Was an intervention getting ready to take place? What had I done? I’d only been telling her about last night’s date.

“When you started dating again, you said you wanted to date casually, that you didn’t want to get stuck on the search for ‘the one.’ It sounds to me like you’re searching. Which do you want?”

It was a fair question; so was my response: “Both.”

“Which one’s in the driver’s seat?” she probed. I laughed, “Both. Well, one drives while the other rides shotgun. Then they switch.

I guess it’s not an either-or proposition; it’s more both-and.” My friend Elizabeth likes to say, “Every date is a potential mate.” She’s joking, but a part of me sees the truth in what she’s saying. Another part of me wants to roll his eyes. I just want to date casually. I’m enjoying being single.

Do I know what I want? Not really. Am I sending out mixed signals? Probably. Am I worried about it? Not yet. I know given time, the smoke will clear and I’ll be able to see the horizon.

Mar 072012
 

Nothing spotlights sagging self-esteem stronger than when people judge others. Growing up, I was the supreme judge. A fat kid (I had to wear “Husky” brand pants), I constantly put down others in an attempt to pull myself up.

Looking back, I had good teachers; my family members were masters in the art of judgment. Around the dinner table, we would take turns picking on and judging one another. It got so bad during one Sunday supper that my brother’s new bride fled the dining room; our cruelty had reduced her to tears.

Teachers used to preach, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything.”  Even when I don’t verbalize judgments, I subtly communicate them and damage relationships.

I now know that judging serves me poorly. My judgments separate me from others, and above all I want connection in my life. I also know that self-esteem is an inside job; it must come from within, not by putting people down.

When judgments bubble up, they must be examined. Writers Carol Kurtz Walsh and Tom Walsh recommend applying “The 90/10 Rule.”  When judgment rears its serpent-like head and we experience a strong negative emotional reaction to another, assume that only 10 percent of our reaction is based upon the situation, leaving a whopping 90 percent that belongs to past.

Old habits are hard to break. Although my self-esteem is much stronger than it once was, I still catch myself becoming judgmental toward a person or situation at times. When I do, I try to remember the 90/10 Rule and these wise words: “When you point your finger at someone else, there are four fingers pointing back at you.”

Feb 132012
 

I would rather eat glass than face another February 14 single. Like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays, Valentine’s Day is another reminder that I am alone; there’s no one special in my life.

For years, I’ve studied The Law of Attraction. I’ve learned a lot, including:

  • The whole world is comprised of energy, including us.
  • Energy is actually vibration.
  • Everything vibrates including thoughts, and thoughts are propelled by emotions.
  • Everything, emotions too, vibrates differently. Joy, gratitude, and love are at higher frequencies; fear, worry, and anxiety are at lower levels.
  • We attract similar vibrations.

The Law of Attraction responds to whatever vibration we are offering by giving us more of what we are vibrating. It doesn’t decide whether it’s good for us or not; it simply responds to our vibrations. We attract what we feel.

This means that in order to manifest what we are seeking in our lives, we must focus on emotions rather than specific outcomes. For example, if I want more clients, I ask myself what feeling I am truly after.  In my case, it’s the feeling of connection. I love it when I truly connect with a client. And in a primary relationship?  It’s love that I am after; I want to attract more love into my life.

How often do I wait to receive when giving can be just as satisfying?  Too often. I should know better.

This Valentine’s Day, instead of bemoaning the long stemmed roses that never arrived, I just may send a dozen to a friend who is feeling blue. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I’ll focus on what I do. And when I do, I will be reminded that I am one lucky man!

Jan 022012
 

“I should have seen it coming,” she began. My friend Cameron had been recently dumped by her boyfriend of three months. Cameron and I were sharing tapas at one of our favorite lunch spots downtown.

“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” I said.

“But all the signs were there. We were arguing a lot, he’d become distant, and his friends were acting strange. The writing was on the wall.”

“Hindsight is twenty-twenty,” I said sympathetically.

“I’m proud of how I handled myself, though,” she offered.

“Oh?” I was glad she had stopped beating herself up.

“I handled the whole thing with grace. I listened to everything he had to say, told him I was sorry to hear it but appreciated his honesty, and wished him well. Then we hung up.”

“Hung up? He broke up with you over the phone?” I was appalled.

“I know that’s not kosher, but I’m glad he did,” she said. “That way, he couldn’t see my face and how I really felt.”

“And how did you feel?”

“Angry. More angry than sad. I was mad at myself for not breaking up with him first.”

“I get that.” I’d been there too.

“He was right; we weren’t a good match. We should have ended it a month ago.”

The next day, I thought about our conversation. The next time, I’m dumped I’m going to take a page out of Cameron’s book. I’ll listen carefully, thank him for his honesty, and wish him well. The less emotion shown the better.

Even if it’s been a long-term relationship, I’ll keep any drama to myself. I’ll avoid arguing, bargaining, lashing out, or crying. After all, there’s no reason to act like he’s destroyed me; he hasn’t. I will get through it, and one day I’ll find someone who loves me as much as I love him. I deserve that.

Cameron had shown me how to handle a breakup with grace.

Dec 042011
 

I believe in magic. I believe in a divine order, benevolent spirits, miracles,—and yes—I believe in “the one.”

I know better. Despite what I read in romance novels and see in the gaggle of “chick-flicks” I attend, I know there’s no such thing as “the one,” but still I go on believing.

In an attempt to align what I know with what I believe, I’ve given voice to my crazy thinking; I’ve even had fun with it.

I point to guy after guy asking friends if he could be “the one.” I explain how “he” will complete me and save me from my life. My friends laugh and have even joined in on the game. “Come on and go with us, Randy,” they might say. “You might meet ‘the one.’”

By exaggerating the absurdity of my thinking, I hope to gain freedom from my beliefs. I hope to laugh myself loose.

If laughter doesn’t work, then logical thinking might. I’ve examined why I hold onto this false belief. What is it that I’m afraid I’ll lose if I let it go?

Expectation can be exciting—even exhilarating. It can make the mundane magnificent. Every corner I turn could be the corner where I stumble into “the one.” “He” could be only a heartbeat away. Sometimes anticipation can be more thrilling than the actual outcome we’re hoping for.

But when I really think about it, I know that the true reason I hold onto the idea of “the one” is this: If I let “him” go, I may lose the magic, and a life without magic is more than I can bear.

Nov 202011
 

I love Zen stories. Each has such a wise message. Here’s one of my favorites:

Word spread across the countryside about the wise holy man who lived in a small house atop the mountain. A man from the village decided to make the long and difficult journey to visit him. When he arrived at the house, he saw an old servant inside who greeted him at the door. “I would like to see the wise holy man,” he said to the servant. The servant smiled and led him inside. As they walked through the house, the man from the village looked eagerly around the house, anticipating his encounter with the holy man. Before he knew it, he had been led to the back door and escorted outside. He stopped and turned to the servant, “But I want to see the holy man!”

“You already have,” said the old man. “Everyone you may meet in life, even if they appear plain and insignificant… see each of them as a wise holy man. If you do this, then whatever problem you brought here today will be solved.”