Thursday, May 31, 2007

Email from a young guy looking for a boyfriend

Last Saturday, the following email arrived in my inbox:

Dear GB,

I was wondering if you could help... Ive spent the last few years coming to terms with who I am and my sexuality and at the moment I am pretty comfortable. Im now at a stage where would like a boyfriend, something I thought I would never want a few months ago. A city on the MerseyThe problem is I dont know where to find a decent man; Ive tried the internet which is pretty much useless, the gay clubs around mine are full of men who just want a quick shag, and because I want a straight acting lad I dont know any other places to find one. I wouldnt have the confidence to go over to a man in a gay club let alone a straight one. I just dont know what to do or where to go and I only have one gay friend. Any help or advice would be great.
19 years old. Liverpool, England.

I replied immediately telling him not to worry. His email reminded me of how closeted I was at his age, because I didn't come out until I was in my 20's.

Having thought a bit about his situation, I think the most important piece of advice is to relax, chill out, and regard finding a boyfriend as a medium or long term goal rather than a short term one. Anyone who seems too desperate to find a boyfriend or partner gives off all the wrong signals, because it implies that that person is very needy and high maintenance.

A lot of guys find boyfriends via their friends, so I think it's important for the reader to try and expand his gay social circle. Just one gay friend isn't enough, but it's a good start because I know some young gay guys are very isolated and don't have any gay friends at all. It does take a lot of confidence to go up and start chatting to someone new, but if a shy guy goes out to gay places he'll probably find other guys who do have that confidence will start talking to him! So even though a lot of guys who go to his local gay clubs are just looking for quick shags, I think he should still go, but with the intention of making friends rather than finding a boyfriend. Also, although I think it's best for a young guy find a boyfriend of a similar age to himself, that doesn't mean that all his gay friends need to be his age. The older a guy is, the bigger his social circle is likely to be, so making friends with someone a bit older can be a good way of meeting guys of all ages.

I also disagree with the reader because I don't think that the Internet is useless. It's certainly invaluable for guys in rural areas where they are indeed the only gay in the village! As the fifth biggest city in England though, Liverpool hardly falls into that category. There are lots of gay dating and cruising web sites of course, but if a guy is looking for a boyfriend, I've heard that Out Everywhere is good choice. And although sites like gaydar and are very sex oriented, people do sometimes find boyfriends as a result of their hook-ups (I originally met my boyfriend number 2 on Even if one doesn't find a boyfriend as a result of meeting with someone from the Internet, one may still find a friend and that's good too.

My last thought is that the more gay guys there are in a city, the more likely it is that a guy will find a boyfriend there. Without doubt London is the city in the UK with the largest number of gay guys, so if the reader has any inclination to move away from Liverpool, London would be a good choice. But I'm sure that if he's patient he'll eventually find a boyfriend in his home city. What Diana Ross sung is quite true, you can't hurry love, No, you just have to wait!

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?


Anonymous said...

Outeverywhere is pretty good for meeting people. I met some guys there years ago who are now quite close. While I did have brief physical relationships with them too, we stayed friends, probbaly because we had got to know each other without the focus or expectation being on sex, as it can be elsewhere.

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