Monday, October 28, 2013


Posted: 28 Oct 2013 05:25 AM PDT
Gay Relationships: When Is it Time to Start Dating Again?-400wiAfter you’ve left a relationship, well meaning friends may give advice that likens dating to riding a horse:  if you get thrown, the trick is to get back in the saddle again as quickly as possible or you will lose your nerve.  This is usually a bad idea.

True, the end of a relationship can leave us feeling like something is missing in our lives.  Something has changed; someone has gone and we miss the sense of connection we shared with him.  That’s particularly the case for those of us who are “nesters” by nature and who like having someone with whom to share life.

Some of us like being in a relationship so much that we are tempted to start looking for one again almost before the last one has grown cold – more often than not a serious mistake.  Moving from one relationship to another without ample emotional recovery time means that we aren’t likely to be emotionally available for a new relationship.  Even if we are dating someone who is truly wonderful and who might have good potential for a fulfilling connection, the wrong timing can sabotage the bond from the start.

Going slow gives you the time needed to move your ex out of your emotional heart.  You can’t really be accessible to another guy until that happens.

Give yourself time.  Being single is often undervalued in our society.  Being by yourself for a while can mean pursuing your own interests without needing to make the compromises that are required in a relationship; you can do what you want, when you want to do it.  See if there are things that you’ve put off while you were with someone.  Maybe you have some wild oats to sow.  Think of the sorts of things you might have envied your single friends being able to do, and see if they appeal to you.

If you are dating out of a sense of neediness, you’re not likely to make good decisions. You’re also not likely to be very appealing to the right partners; people can sense desperation, and that sort of hunger isn’t very flattering.

Deciding to stay single for a while needn’t mean that you are taking a vow of celibacy or becoming a hermit. Allow yourself to enjoy meeting people.  You may want to give clear signals that you are open to enjoying one another’s company without letting things get too serious too fast.  Be frank about the fact that you have recently left a relationship and aren’t looking for another one right now.

Being single again can be a good time to renew friendships and your social contacts.  Make time to be with people whose company you enjoy.  Don’t restrict yourself to potential boyfriends.

When you are feeling up to it, let the word out that you are open to dating again.  And remember:  dating is about getting to know someone, not “starting a relationship,” especially at first.  Don’t look for a copy of your former partner.  If things ended acrimoniously, that may seem like unnecessary advice, but remember!

Something attracted you to the guy in the first place.  See if there are patterns in the dating choices you make, then notice of those choices are working for you or not. 

 Copyright 2012 by John R. Ballew, M.S.
John R. Ballew, M.S. is an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER.  John is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta.  He specializes in issues related to relationships, intimacy, sexuality, anxiety, depression and work-life balance.  If you have any questions or comments you can contactGAYTWOGETHER or submit them directly to: John R. Ballew, M.S.  He can be reached or at (404) 874-8536. -


Saturday, October 26, 2013

NEWS from The Land of OZ ?

I haven't seen much in the news recently about the dreadful fires way Down Under. . .Are y'all OK?  Safe?  Hope so.  I be praying for rain for all ye fine critters in OZ.

NOW, where is GARY?  I've seen nary a word from him of late. . . hmmm.  Maybe I missed something during my "indecisive days" when I "didn't know where I'd left my head". . .ho ho ho. . Did
The Garr-Man take off for his Grand Tour d'OZ?  Anybody hear from him?  GARRY, are you OK. . speak up, bro. . .let us all know.

Last post-OP visit and summary:
I had my visit with my neurosurgeon a few days ago.  The first time she has seen me without paralysis and the twisted face. . .esp mouth.  She was grinning from ear to ear and very, very pleased.
For all practical purposes the paralysis is gone, mostly.  For better or for worse --- (personally I LIKE the current results!!!)  Still a spot above my right eyebrow which doesn't move as much as the other one.  Still some numbness in the scar=areas and entry into my head where the bulk of the surgical scars are located.  As far as I can see the healed scars don't seem to show much at all. Wonderful "sewing". . .a  lot of it is glue-work.  When is healing is done, the glue just 'dries up' and peels away. . .and after a while you can see much of the healed incisions.  Awesome skill.  She says I heal well.
At the beginning I was not able to close my right eye-lid and keep it closed. When I slept that eye would be wide open, onscenely staring out into space. . .blank.  There was fear/danger of eye-dryness and then loss of vision.

At some point in the 9=hours work-over another surgeon skilled in facial reconstruction entered the OP arena and made an incision in my eyelid and inserted my very own *bling*. . . .a small gold bar was inserted between layers of the eyelid and sewn in place to weight the eyelid so when I closed it in sleep it would stay closed and not *pop*  open to stare into the darkness.

As time goes on and if it becomes too heavy. . . .like sometimes now I realize when I am reading or typing that that eye is closed and I have to open it and concentrate for a while to keep it open. .
so if that continues it will be removed.

I told the MD that I'd have a small hole drilled in it, polish the gold bar and wear it on a tiny gold chain.  ho ho ho. . .Bling!  Well, it cost enough!  hahaaa   Why not?  Custom-made bling-bling. . ;-)

She says  I am very very lucky. . . .there wasn't cancer and the facial nerves were not totally destroyed. . . and contrary to old biology the nerves do regenerate. . . . a part of the tumor was necrotic. . . .you know what happens to dead flesh. . . . .eewwww.
and yet the nerves are "alive and well". . .;-)  "The God who created can recreate. . . " as one of the young residents on the team said to me "We can fix and repair the area. . . only God can fully restore those nerves. . ."

However it all works, I am extremely grateful for the outcome! ;-) and for your prayers, good energies and support.

                                                          J u s t i n O

Hallowe'en is Commin'

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Thursday, October 24, 2013


The Very Thought Of Him - GAYTWOGETHER.COM - click to enlarge

Posted: 24 Oct 2013 05:25 AM PDT
ASI3500f9624f68009a58d563078b8dbdda0_fullHave you ever skipped going to the health club one day because you just absolutely had no motivation to get all sweaty and tired?  Or what about gorging on a half-gallon of ice cream to cope with your stress? Ever leave the mall wondering what the heck you were thinking maxing out your credit card? Do you work more hours at your job than need be? These are situations where a boundary violation of the self has occurred and we’ve all been there.

Boundaries are the limits we set around ourselves to keep safe, centered, and accountable. They are usually drawn from our values and they define who we are and what we will and won’t accept in our lives to keep our integrity and well-being intact. The more aligned our behavior is with our defined boundaries, the more balance and harmony we tend to experience in our lives.

When we act outside the confines of our boundaries, our self-esteem can take a hit and we actually can create a whole host of other stressors that will disrupt us and leave us feeling badly and out-of-integrity. It is human nature to stumble outside our boundaries from time to time, but when it becomes a way of life, underlying issues may be at play that will require some attention and intervention to avoid ongoing conflicts in one’s life.

Not only do we have self-imposed boundaries, but boundaries also pertain to our relationships. A healthy relationship is comprised of two men with a solid sense of self and identity. Boundaries help protect the partners of a couple from abuse or outside influences of others. They help create a sense of security in the partnership, allowing safe communication of needs and feelings between the partners that helps to solidify a positive connection and intimacy. Boundaries help cement what is deemed appropriate and inappropriate conduct both within and outside the context of being a couple and help to define who you are and what you stand for as life partners.

Boundaries & Relationship Types - Here’s an illustration as to why boundaries are important to your relationship. Take out a piece of paper. At the top of the page, draw two circles on opposite sides of the page. This represents the type of relationship where the couple identifies themselves as a pair, however they have little connection with each other and live parallel lives with minimal contact, sharing, or interaction that would support an intimate commitment. This relationship exhibits boundaries that are too strong to allow closeness and which there’s too much separateness and division between the two men. Little will grow from this except more of a “roommate feeling” and dissension. This style has too much individual identity.
In the middle of the page, draw two circles with one on top of the other. This relationship type is called enmeshed, where the couple is practically one whole. You are your partner; you live and breathe your partner with very little independence and individuality. You are merged together so completely that you lose your sense of self because you’re so fused and any perceived threat that exists to your relationship is thought of as devastating. The problem with this relationship style is that partners can feel suffocated and overly-dependent on each other; controlling behaviors are not uncommon and you can feel restricted and trapped. This style has too much couple identity.

At the bottom of the page, draw two circles that are mildly intertwined at the sides. This is a healthy relationship where the partners are slightly merged. There is a healthy balance of separateness and togetherness. The couple is flexible, honoring their uniqueness as individuals and their shared connection as partners. Because of this balance, “fresh air” is constantly being breathed into the relationship, revitalizing it and making it exciting, unlike the staleness of the former relationship type where everything is about the other person. This style works because the boundaries aren’t too rigid or loose and they take into account that healthy relationships have both individual and couple identities. This is what you want to shoot for!
(Part Two  - Tomorrow)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sorry about the format of this blog entry. It was "religiously predetermined" to look like that. . .tres Calvinistic! No matter the various tricks I tried. . no dice. Question: do any of you follow the blog "Closeted Professor"? 'Joe Blow' is very articulate history prof. . young. . with a " major" in religious studies. I'd call him "Incarnational" in his approach. . .he is very comfortable with body-spirit spirituality [ I do not mean religiosity here] It is "fleshy real" like we are. . "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us." Give yourselves a treat and check him out. . .he is very good. . ."4 thumbs up". . ~~~ Justin October 21, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gay Relationships: I Found Out My Boyfriend is Actually Married! - Part Two Posted: 18 Oct 2013 05:25 AM PDT Gay Relationships: I Found Out My Boyfriend is Actually Married! - Part Two ( Gay Relationships Advice Column By Dr. Brian Rzepczynski ) ( Continued from yesterday ) ........."It appears that you are now at a crossroads where you must decide whether to stay in or leave your relationship in the wake of this discovery." It would also be important for you to examine your personal values and personal requirements for a partner and relationship and use that as a gauge for assessing whether those criteria match what your boyfriend brings to your life. I would also recommend that you seek out the services of a trained therapist or coach to help you clarify your needs and feelings and assist you with your problem-solving before making any decisions since the choice you make will certainly impact your future. Nobody can tell you what to do as other people are not really privy to the ins and outs of your relationship and you have to live out your own truth. However, please do not discount the fact that respect, honesty, integrity, and love are all important ingredients for the success of a relationship and there is a concern that these have all been violated. If you decide to stay, it will be important to see if your boyfriend takes responsibility for his behavior over the long-term and makes definitive, concrete steps toward honoring you and the relationship (be careful though! If he could treat his wife this way, this could say a lot about his character that could be repeated in an involvement with you). Pace things slowly and avoid committing yourself more deeply to him until he’s proven himself trustworthy. It would also be important for you to examine the reasons behind your ability to forgive someone for mistreating you because you deserve to be with someone who values you for who you are and can offer you an equal partnership. Make sure your own motives for staying are pure and not based out of fear or guilt, as this will likely come back to bite you later if that’s the case. So consider all the factors involved here and please be careful and protect yourself! Since you’re supporting him, make sure you’re not being “played” and rectify that as the situation dictates. This whole situation smells bad and the fact that your boyfriend still won’t be straight with you when you question him (which you have every right to!) reeks even more and makes one wonder if there’s more secrets where that came from. Be strong, stand up for yourself, and refuse to tolerate being mistreated! You deserve a great guy! And if it’s him you choose, he’s got a lot of work to do to prove himself worthy by taking responsibility, communicating openly and honestly, and doing whatever it takes to heal this relationship and repair the damage that’s been done. My fingers are crossed for you! Be true to yourself!

Shit Happens! " My BF is married !!!" part one

Posted: 17 Oct 2013 05:25 AM PDT
Gay Relationships: I Found Out My Boyfriend is Actually Married! - Part One( Gay Relationships Advice Column By Dr. Brian Rzepczynski )
Dear Brian:
I met my boyfriend 4 years ago and he has 2 children. About a year into the relationship, I knew there was something not adding up. Well, I found out the hard way that he is still married to his wife! I tried many times to talk to him about this, and get different answers each time.
He’s been living with me and pays very little since he has kids and college expenses for them; but I have to say, it does bother me sometimes and it leaves me wondering where my future will be heading in this situation. Please help!
Hello Friend:
I’m concerned about your predicament and can appreciate how betrayed and upset you must feel. Having invested your life and heart with your boyfriend after being with him as long as you have, to discover at this stage of your relationship development that he is actually married can be a pretty devastating thing to learn and I’d imagine has turned things upside down with disillusionment.

I am concerned because a healthy relationship is built upon a strong foundation of trust and respect, and these essential characteristics do not appear to currently exist in your relationship. Throughout the entire course of your being together as a couple, your boyfriend has been deceptive and lied to you. Perhaps he was afraid you would leave him if you knew the truth about his marital status, but his motives are really not that important. The fact is that he didn’t respect you enough to give you the opportunity to make your own choice about what you wanted to do. That is selfish and not something one does to someone they care about.

The fact that he continues to be evasive about his life and dodges your questions is another “red flag” that is a major concern, as is the fact that you’ve taken him into your home and are financially supporting him. I’m concerned about the possibility that you may be being taken of advantage of by someone who is not considerate of your feelings and seems driven by his own needs. There also appears to be an imbalance at play here where you tend to be giving more and doing more of “the work” in the relationship which will likely lead to burnout and resentment as time goes on due to the lack of reciprocation.

It appears that you are now at a crossroads where you must decide whether to stay in or leave your relationship in the wake of this discovery. What a horrible position to be put in!

The important thing is to breathe and make sure you make your decisions from your logical mind. I would encourage you to take out a piece of paper and make a cost/benefits analysis of your situation, detailing all the advantages and disadvantages of staying together versus terminating the relationship.

© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I could not let this pass without sharing. . . ho ho ho

Friday, October 4, 2013


Dear Friends and Neighbors, Lovers of The Dunes. . .

It has taken me all week to "get around to it". . .to write this farewell letter to you.  I find it hard to do. . . .I had not considered that. . . but my reality is such I must.

While my recovery has gone very well, and continues. . . the facial paralysis is almost gone and I am pretty much looking the way I used to. . .LOL. . . no magic tricks or miraculous transformations. . . at least not externally.  ;-)

After a month-plus back in classes and clinic work, etc, I am "dancing as fast as I can". . . and I just do not have the time and/or the energy to do even a semi=decent job with the blog.  If I cannot do a decent job with it, it is time to let it go.

I  have enjoyed  The Dunes very much. . . meeting and getting to know so many of you. . .you've become a lot like family. . .my family of choice.  I have learned so much here on The Dunes from your sharings, comments, kindness and support.  I shall miss YOU a LOT, coming here to post and explore ideas and read your adventures. . . .If any of you wish to contact me, drop in online to say HEY!. . . I am readily reached at
Eventually the blog pages will come down. . . .<sigh>

I wish for each and every one of YOU  an over-abundance of all the GOOD THINGS I hope and pray and wish for Peter and for myself. And. . .why not?  Wishing and thinking BIG expands the mind and heart and we all GROW. . . .whereas when we think and act small
we shrivel and shrink and get caught in only ourselves. . . and ourselves alone is never quite BIG ENOUGH.

As my Auntie Mame always says: " Dahlings, life is a banquet. . .and so many poor sonsabitches are starving to death. . .LIVE. . LIVE. .LOVE. . .and see what wonderful things happens."

It's been grand welcoming you and sharing with you on The Dunes:

MUCH LOVE. . peace, joy and . . . .above all I wish you LOVE !

                                                       justin o'shea