Sunday, April 05, 2009

Email from a guy who wants a boyfriend

A few weeks ago, I received the following email from a guy that seems to be a relatively new reader:

Dear GB,

Let me begin with how I found your blog in the first place: by searching under "monogamous gay relationships" on google in hopes of finding a dating site where gay men are not just looking for sex! Your blog came up. I loved the posting on the Paris trip!

Now, some background: I am a 29-year old guy living in Geneva, Switzerland. I 'm Canadian and moved here for my current job, which has me in a banking environment – all be it in a very small office with little contact to the outside world. I've been out since my mid-twenties – to family, friends, and all who care to know.

I am desperately (big word) yearning to meet someone with whom I can share every day life. Sex too. But I find that lately, I am more and more turned off from the gay scene, from casual sex, and from gay dating sites which merely provide a home to those looking mostly for sex. I guess I'm just really low key, and I'd love to find someone similar. I want everything that the quiet good straight girl dreams about – including the guy ;)

Before I come off as a sob case, I should preface the preceding paragraph with a few facts: I am searching for a cute, handsome, intelligent, professional guy that can flirt with me mentally AND physically. I just can't seem to find one. And also – if he's Jewish and English speaking, that'd be even better! Finding one that I like, and that likes me – a needle in a haystack!

I don't have many gay friends, and my social circle in Geneva is quite small – like the city itself. I am open to meeting guys in other cities – Zurich, Paris, London – wherever – but they seem less open to meeting anyone outside their own. And why should they? There's plenty around them!

Tell me: where can this picky-come-desperate mama's boy find his man?

On the face of it, this email seems a lot like the email that I posted last week. However, the situations of the readers who sent the emails are completely different. Last week, the reader's problem was more that he wasn't yet comfortable being gay. However the reader here has a different problem.

Many years ago before I met ex-boyfriend S, I had a very fixed idea of the kind of guy that I wanted for a boyfriend, much like the reader here. However, when I fell in love with ex-boyfriend S he had few of the characteristics that I originally thought I wanted. Even though he was smart, he hadn't been to university, so he didn't have a profession like I did. Like the reader here, I'd been looking for someone with a similar background to me, but the guy I ended up with was completely different!

I'm not suggesting that the reader should lower his standards at all. But I am suggesting that he should be open to many more types of boyfriend that he's probably open to at the moment. No doubt this reader is Jewish, so as an example, a nice Muslim boyfriend would be a much better idea :-). I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but my ex-boyfriend P was raised as a Muslim, and although I'm not Jewish, I was raised as a Christian. Similarly, my ex-boyfriend R is Hindu.

I think there's often some truth in the idea that opposites attract. For gay relationships where the gender of the people involved is the same that means that it's good if the two guys come from different backgrounds, or grew up in different countries for example. Of course they need to have things in common too, but I don't think it's good to have too strong idea of what kind of boyfriend one wants, or to go looking for someone who's very too similar to oneself.

I'm a big fan of playing the numbers game, and meeting as many guys as possible in as many different ways as possible, and seeing what happens. I also think it's important to be relaxed and cool. Indeed, the last sentence of the reader's email summarises his problem. "Picky" and "Desperate" are both very unattractive in a potential boyfriend. On top of that, "Picky" narrows the field unnecessarily. So if he is desperate he needs to chill out.

Bigger cities like London, San Francisco and Sydney may have more gay guys living in them, but that doesn't necessarily help. Ex-boyfriend P used to think that in cities where there are lots of gay guys, the abundance of choice means that most guys can never commit to relationships, because however good a potential boyfriend is it's always possible that one might meet an even better candidate the following day! So as a capital city which isn't too big, I'd have thought that Geneva would be a great place to meet a boyfriend.

I guess I'm just saying relax, open up, and try and meet as many guys and types of guys as possible, especially guys from different cultures and backgrounds. But do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?


Unknown said...

Hey GB,

Geneva scene: I just moved to London, after 2 years in Geneva.. or as I call Zzzeneva. I feel for the bloke, there is no real scene but I could introduce a few friends.

Zurich has a much better scene, for Switzerland.

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with Jason. I've got a mate in Zurich who seems to be having a ball there.

GB..big fan..playing the numbers game. You crack me up :P

Agreed, sometimes the love you're looking arrives in the most unexpected form. It is understandable that the writer has an idea in his mind about what he's looking for. We all do...where most of us go wrong as you rightly pointed out is that we go further than just packaging the qualities and look for things that we determine to be evidence of these qualities. So for example our desire to be with someone who was smart and intellectually stimulating could drive us towards a lawyer or economist but away from the bookstore guy (irony intended).

When I was short on gay friends, I went online (over and above real life efforts of course)in search of more. I almost always ran into someone looking for a shag but if your profile is set up right (eg. is a bit clear about what your interests are and what you're looking for) and you use the search functions, you can find someone with similar interests/desires. Also, don't knock it altogether because the guy who's knocking on your internet door for sex may just be the cute, handsome (I don't think the two terms should be used together), intelligent professional guy you're looking for. If you're really lucky, he'll be Jewish and speak English.

Looking for a partner isn't easy and you have to meet a lot of different people to give you that opportunity. Just remember that there are guys out there who seek the same things you do and if you keep putting yourself out there your paths will cross eventually.

Godfrey said...

I agree with the last post. I live in New York, and the gay scene just has never been especially appealing to me. I've used a few of the gay "hookup" sites to find people and have had some success in at least getting dates and potential friends out of it. Just make sure you set up a profile that makes it clear that you're not looking for a hookup. Also, you can't just assume that the right guy will come find you as soon as you sign up. You need to put some time into sifting through it all.

Anonymous said...

Good advice here. If the reader is to play the *big number game*, he'll be better off moving away from Geneva ASAP.Sure, the big cities work both ways, as GB described. Yet, if a dude is genuinely never happy and always looking for someone better, the sooner he leaves the better. Such dudes are not your good BF material, and are usually masking their genuine desire to play the field as being on the search for 'perfection'. This is an old hat.

The reader may do better by taking some time and effort to describe himself and tell the rest of the guys on the lookout, why would being his BF be a good thing? OK, we know, he is a low-key person. That kinda does not really cut it, does it?

He may also want to get his priorities right. There is nothing wrong about looking for an English speaking guy with Jewish background. Yet, if you state that as your requirement, most people; even the qualified ones, are likely to take a rain check on you. The message you are sublimely passing on to the others is that those are the MOST important things. A few people will readily disagree; perceive you as possibly very narrow minded and move on. Hardly a productive approach.


Ken Skinner said...

I agree. Good advice.

I've got flack for the following assertion before, but hey, I have fire-retardant underwear, so I'll say it again. Play the numbers game but don't 'go looking', per se. What I mean is, get out there but don't pressurise every new connection you make otherwise you won't give it the chance to grow naturally. That doesn't mean 'don't shag on the first date'. I'm a firm believer in shagging *before* the first date to make sure everything works in that department.

Forcing relationships is like thinking you can bake a perfect cake in half the time by sticking it in the oven at twice the temperature. Doesn't work that way.

Fire-proof undies at the ready...

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with the general sentiment - I went on a 'date' with a guy that I expected not to be particularly interesting but was very sexy and I was feeling horny and was after a hook up - he was completely different ot my expectations for a bf and had nothing in common with me or my background. As it turned out the differences have given us plenty to talk about over the 8 years we have been partners. Matt

Monty said...

I just find it hilarious that he found your blog when searching for "Monogamous"! It's anything but!!!

Anyway, as I've previously blogged, I don't see anything wrong with actively looking for a boyfriend...unlike many of your readers. And I do agree with you, in terms of the numbers game. But I do have to admit, it does happen with whom (and when) you least expect it to happen. Good luck to him.

Ken Skinner said...

I think I *may* have been a bit loose with my terminology about searching for stuff before...

Looking for boyfriend = okay
Looking for love = very dangerous

Looking for boyfriend then taking it as it comes and seeing whether love grows = okay


Anonymous said...

Agreed, Geneva doesn't have a much of a scene compared to the big cities. However, having lived there for a few years already I can confirm there are plenty of single gay professionals around, including a few English speaking jewish ones I suppose! Check out the Gay International Group ( attract quite a varied and friendly professional crowd.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the reader needs to be willing to loosen up his 'ideals' and truly see what's out there. You never know who you'll meet unless you try..

..Point in case, I recently went on a date with an Arabic guy 11 years my junior, not expecting anything of it other than a friendly chat.

It's now been 2 weeks later, and we've been 'enjoying' each other's company regularly .. and I can clearly see a possibility of something more down the line, if we chose to go there.

Anyway, my advise is to just go out and have fun, enjoy life as it comes. Sometimes it gives you what you need, not necessarily what you want.

Unknown said...

I wish him luck with playing the numbers in GVA, but first there aren't many men in Geneva, secondly most of the men leave on the weekends to another city with a scene.

Agree with Martin... you never know when love will strike.

amoscamilo said...

i think i fit to what the sender is looking for except that im not jewish (but very open in terms of religion, but im not a polytheist, i just have so much respect to different beliefs) and im not in geneva. im in asia. so if you think you'd like to communicate, hit me up: lol. hehehe. just try it. who knows. lol again. :)