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    Accept the Reality of Aging and Dating: You Are Good Enough

    By Scott Tsui–

    Recently, I encountered a gay man named Dan, who had just turned sixty. His partner Pete passed away a year ago. Pete initially was married to a woman and had three children. When he met Dan, he fell in love and gave up everything to be with him. Even though they had their ups and downs, they stayed together for thirty-eight lovely years. Dan took care of Pete though his battle with cancer until the very end. Their relationship is a great example that gay men can have meaningful and enduring relationships.

    Dan’s been holding up well and is now considering dating again. He’s skeptical about attracting interest in the dating arena because of his age. He lacks confidence in his appearance, especially because of his hair loss. During our conversations, he often compares himself to younger men, highlighting his own lack of desirable traits.

    Dan’s not alone in these uncertainties. It’s common for youth and beauty to be highly glorified in the gay community: it’s evident in advertisements, movies and clubs. Countless gay men think it’s the end of the world when they’ve turned thirty, and others admit to feeling “old” when hitting forty. When searching for a partner, it’s then easy for some to have a lack of confidence in themselves as they mature in age. “I’m not young and pretty anymore,” says Dan.

    Why is it that some gay men can view life positively? They accept growing older as beautiful and embrace it. They age gracefully and welcome all that comes with maturity. These men, whether single or in relationships, possess a “beautiful” state of mind and a positive perspective. They appreciate life as being a gift. There’s a major psychological distinction between the two groups of men: one lives in a “suffering, scarcity” state, while the other has a “beautiful, abundance” state of mind.

    According to Tony Robbins, an expert in human behavior, “Suffering happens when you’re obsessing about yourself.” Focusing on the negativities and the lack in life, as well as on growing old and losing one’s looks, can lead to increased depression and dissatisfaction. The antidote to suffering, according to Robbins, is appreciation.

    He explains that the human brain isn’t designed to make us happy, but to strive to survive. Its ancient survival software is constantly geared for our built-in fight or flight reflex. We worry needlessly about how people perceive us, and about our jobs, and it pains us when we don’t meet our own expectations.

    By trading our expectations for appreciation and gratitude, our focus shifts from the gap of what we don’t have and want to appreciating what we already have. We often tend to forget just how far we’ve come in terms of health, education, advancing our career, providing a roof over our heads, and enjoying friends and family.

    There’s so much to appreciate in life. It’s important to take a moment out of our busy lives on a regular basis and just think about all of the wonderful things that we have to appreciate and feel grateful for. Create a routine of gratitude, maybe before you go to bed at night, while brushing your teeth, just to think about your day and what you can be grateful for.

    Some gay men I’ve encountered often want what they cannot get, and wind up living a life of fantasy by focusing on men who are unavailable and who would not even be good for them. They put too much emphasis on looks and body image, instead of connecting with someone’s heart and soul. They confuse fantasy with reality. In short, they live in a world of Photoshop!

    As for Dan, he appreciates the thirty-eight years he spent with Pete and the beautiful home they built together. But he now puts too much emphasis on his own outside appearance and age. He compares himself to those much younger than him, instead of embracing his value, experience, understanding of love and big heart—qualities that others would be drawn to.

    Once he learns to appreciate all of his positive inner attributes, he will likely find a man who will embrace them too, thereby enabling him to connect with another at a much more fulfilling, deeper level.

    Scott Tsui is the Relationship Results Coach, author of “Lonely No More – 8 Steps to Find Your Gay Husband” and the creator of the world’s first online gay relationship training: Gay Men Relationship Blueprint. Tsui works to help gay men find, attract and sustain meaningful relationships. For more information: http://scotttsui.com/