Monday, April 18, 2011

For the 40+ Guys. . . . part 1

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 08:44 PM PDT
Love Romance And Being GAYTWOGETHER2Dating can be hard enough at times, but the situation can be made that much more challenging for those single gay men who represent the age 40 and up crowd. In a society where youth and beauty are highly valued, many middle-aged men report feeling segregated and unappreciated in dating pools, making it difficult to meet and sustain relationships with potential dating prospects. 

The problem can seem even more compounded in the gay community in which the emphasis on youth and brawn is amplified, causing many mature gay men to feel undesirable and like outsiders within gay circles. They feel unwanted and that their age hinders them and limits the pool of men available to them for dating, particularly when they report being rejected by men in their own cohort for younger guys.

Ageism, or discrimination against someone because of his age, plagues many different layers of our culture—and it also can and does rear its ugly head in the gay dating world. This “over-the-hill” mentality is very damaging, robbing us of the opportunity to really experience life, take risks toward goals, and make the most of what we have (if we let it!). This case is illustrated in the comment of a former 29-year old client: “I turn 30 later this year and then I officially am old! I’ll never have a boyfriend now! I feel like my life is over and it’s all downhill from here on out!”

It is hoped that this article will prove all that wrong and provide you with some tips for maximizing your midlife dating success! While the reality is that ageism does exist and there are obstacles in the dating jungle (at any age), these hurdles do not have to dictate the outcome of your love-life. In actuality, your stage-of-life puts you in an advantageous position to conquer this adversity. With your life experience and history, you probably have a greater repertoire of coping skills, resiliency, sense of self, assertiveness, self-esteem, and an expansive support system and resources. This will take you far and makes you a very good catch! 

So let’s push aside those fears that you won’t be able to attract someone after you reach a certain age. Let’s destroy that stereotype that all older gay men are unhappy, lonely, and camp out at the local strip bar every night “trolling.” It’s nonsense! YOU make your life what you want it to be and “you’re only as old as you feel”, as the “old” saying goes. Midlife is sexy! And here are seven tips to help boost your dating success as a 40+ single gay man to enhance your readiness for a relationship!

No matter what your age, this is the most critical first step. It’s very important that you take the time to develop a clear and vivid image of who you are and what you want out of your life, including your dating life.  Are you seeking a long-term relationship and a life partner or just casual dating? What does the rest of your life look like? What would your ideal partner be like and how would your relationship function? 

Your answers to such questions will help give you the direction you need to accomplish your goals, giving you a measuring stick to keep you on track and assess your status. How much of a gap exists between your idealized vision and your current reality? 

Do the work that’s needed to bridge that gap and begin the process of identifying your needs, differentiating between those that are negotiable and non-negotiable so you can more adequately screen future dating partners for their suitability with your vision.

Erik Erickson is best known in the psychology field as having developed eight stages of psychosocial human development that we all pass through as we age through the lifespan. Every age group has its own unique challenges and developmental tasks to conquer before being able to successfully move on to the next stage. According to this theory, such hallmarks that exist for the middle-aged man include nurturing close relationships, career management, household maintenance, creativity, and commitment to family and the community. Having a sense of purpose and passion and being able to impact the world with one’s talents is a central feature.
For more information on this theory, visit's_stages_of_psychosocial_development . 

As gay men, many of our developmental tasks were skipped or neglected because of our retreat to “the closet” in coping with the homophobic society we live in. Successful integration of your gay identity into your sense of self allows you to then address those developmental tasks that were suspended until you were ready. So the next step for you is explore any developmental tasks that still require mastery from earlier years and start working at them. For example, a middle-aged man who comes out later in life will likely experience the adolescent tasks of exploring his sexuality and practicing man-to-man relationship skills, causing him to feel like a teenager again. Perfectly normal in gay male development, no matter what your age.

And then the next step for your success is to discover something that you can do that will give you a sense of meaning and purpose and begin to express that. Find your calling and live it out. This will be your legacy of sorts and is a great way to solidify your identity. This will help anchor you during your dating trials and can be one of the top ways of meeting a compatible partner. Your passion and “zest for life” will be magnetic and you’ll likely be meeting others with similar interests and philosophies in the venues you pursue.

The illustrious “midlife crisis” strikes those men who experience anxiety and apprehension at realizing they’ve lived half their lives and begin to question and contemplate what they’ve accomplished in their lives thus far, fearing that not much time is left to live their visions. Midlife is the perfect time to revisit your original vision and tweak it so it more accurately reflects who you are now and the man you’d still like to become. Reframe this time in your life as a time for growth and opportunity, not something to be abhorred. You have control over shaping your life into something spectacular and fulfilling!

[  Continued Tomorrow - Part 2 ]

For more information on gay midlife and dating, here are a few resources that might be of interest.
· For more elaboration on the concepts of vision, dating venues, and dating skills: “Conscious Dating: Finding The Love of Your Life In Today’s World” by David Steele. Campbell, CA: RCN Press. 2006.
· Literature on managing issues related to the gay midlife: “Golden Men: The Power of Gay Midlife” by Harold Kooden, PhD & Charles Flowers. New York, NY: Avon Books. 2000.
· -and-

Disclaimer: The Gay Love Coach does not represent or endorse the quality of any products, information, or materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of its mention in this newsletter. It’s common sense to do your own due diligence before purchasing a product.
©2007 Brian L. Rzepczynski -

Brian Rzepczynski holds a master's degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University and is also a Certified Personal Life Coach through The Coach Training Alliance. He launched his private coaching practice, The Gay Love Coach, in 2003 and works with gay men, both singles and couples, toward developing skills for improving their dating lives and relationships. Brian is a friend and contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, please visit him at

 ~~~~ thanks to Brian and to


Gary Kelly said...

About 10 years ago, when I lived in Sydney, I used to sit on the front fence in the afternoon sun, sipping a glass of dry white, and chat to passing neighbors.

One of them was a former Catholic priest turned Buddhist. He was gay too. He told me one day that he could see my aura. He said it was green, which meant I wasn't quite 'there' yet. A mature aura should be blue. But he said I was doing okay hehe, and that I was a nice person.

Well, that was quite a compliment, and something I'd never considered about myself. I had an aura!

And it struck me that it's a pity we don't go around checking out each other's auras instead of physical attributes. Apparently, auras aren't restricted by age, and can look pretty damn cool no matter how old you are.

J said...

Now I understand why my Tibetan thankas have blue deities. Thanks, Gary, but I'm feeling a little green right now. Maybe it's the wine.
There are a lot of things older men can marshall to their cause: Their brainpower and education; their sense of being centered and self confident; their financial independence. Beyond that, there is no excuse for an older person of any sex not to take care of their bodies. It's amazing how good you can look if you exercise. Of course, it helps if you are blessed with good skin quality.

JustinO'Shea said...

And. . . and. . . amd. . . . ????


GreginAdelaide said...


GreginAdelaide said...

"..... It’s very important that you take the time to develop a clear and vivid image of who you are and what you want out of your life, including your dating life. Are you seeking a long-term relationship and a life partner or ..."

Well, there's no problem with that, but the next step sort of assumes I WANT to "come out of the closet"

I don't, I'm comfortable in here. I open the door now and again when the right people are around, but that is all I want to do, that is what I'm happy with.

So, given that I don't have the sign out .... ie "I'm on the market, I'm looking"....I guess there's only a slim chance I'll ever find "the one" eh.

But I'm resigned to that, if it happens, then I'll be blown away (so to speak, haha) but if it doesn't, then I'm prepared for that.

Would I change the choices I made when I was younger?
Probably not, given the times, the climate of opinions about gays, how the wind changed when AIDS came on the scene, I'm glad I didn't come out. I nearly did, but I view it as a lucky escape that I awaoke to the climate change that AIDS caused. If AIDS had not come along then I most probably would have opened the door and stepped out.

Nope, I'm happy enough with my choice....and I'm very happy that this modern world has given me the chance to communicate with younger people like you Justin, without having to fear being viewed as a dirty old man...haha! The relative anonymity of the web gives me that chance and I love it....not that I'm "talking" with anyone else other than you guys, yet.

But the question arises, if I was born into this world at the same time as you Justin, would I be out?
Probably, most likely. Attitudes have improved for sure, for the better, well, certainly here in my country.

Food for thought is always good and you've delivered again Justin.

JustinO'Shea said...

' So, given that I don't have the sign out .... ie "I'm on the market, I'm looking"....I guess there's only a slim chance I'll ever find "the one" eh.'

Correctamente, Gregorio. I think you have called it: as long as you're not looking, there is nothing for you to find. I think it's safe to say you have chosen to "be alone" and you seem to b quite content, without regrets with this choice.

You wonder if you were my age would you have come OUT. . .maybe. . .a lot depends as you say of the milieu in which you grew up. It was relatively easy here to be OUT.
However, if I live in the middle states of the USA or some areas in the South it is quite likely I'd have stayed "very quietly on the sidelines". . . .not that I am maing a lot of noise about my being gay. . I am just me. I live, work, play, do all the things a guy does. . and I am a gay guy living/doing all this. . ..and, mostly, it is no big deal.

NO big deal. . partly because I didn't make it a 'biggie' and my parents were very low key and supportive of their gay son. period.
AS I've said before. . .there was no draaahma, no weeping and hollering. . gradually leading to a "meeting of the minds and reconciliation."

My parents knew, or were pretty sure, before I told them. lol Dad commented "You Mother and I were wondering when you were going to get around to telling us." ;-) And after that we just easily began talking more and more.

But if I were in certain "red neck" parts of the country I'd be hunkering low. . .I would not care to have ended up like Jake G. in "BrokebackMountain". . .smashed up by machinery in a country ditch.

One final comment: I do not hold to, like some militant gays do, that you are not truly a gay man unless you are loudly OUT. . We each of us has our our time and style. . .best to be fully ourselves. . . ..and we can only do that "our way". . .not someone else's. LOL

~~ justin

GreginAdelaide said...

Justin, you said "as long as you're not looking...."

Nope I'm looking, I'm just not putting myself out there, outside the closet door, to be easily found, there is a difference, I'm always looking..haha!

But I think you knew what I meant.

JustinO'Shea said...

OH! hahahaa. . . the nuances of words. . . especially a written word.
OK. . .got it.

So. . does "anyone else" know you are looking. . .? Do you drop any hints?
Or do you stand apart. . .aloof, as if 'disinterested'. . .?

Remember the words to the old Simon and Garfunkel "I am a rock, I am an island. . . I touch no one and no one touches me. . . " [I used this song in class a few weeks ago. . ."The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls. . .tenement halls. . " Is it named "The Sounds of Silence" ?]


JustinO'Shea said...

Oh yes. . GARY. . .auras. . .Some while back a "seer" visiting at our home told me I had auras of brown. . meaning "rooted. . in the earth. .solid" and down each arm, like on a ski sweater, was a ribbon of red meaning "healer. . healing. . " and when he took my hands they became like. . almost boiling hot. . emanating heat. . 'like the flow of energy'. . .


Gary Kelly said...

So you've got a brown aura and I have a green one. Coincidentally, you have brown eyes and I have green.

Maybe some people can see auras, I'm not sure. But certainly the idea of saints having a halo has been around a long time.