Why Strong Gay Men After 40 Need Even More Nurturing And Self-Love Than Younger Gay Men To Overcome Gay Dating And Relationship Anxieties, Fears And Rejections
- Why nurturing is the missing link in dating, relationships and mental health.
- How strong gay men mask their wounds with logic and success and sabotage their love life.
- How nurturing creates social openness and heals social anxieties for gay men.
- How nurturing opens your heart for trust, authentic sharing and disclosure.
Paul’s Additional Comments:
Strong gay men over 40 benefit more from self-nurturing than younger gay men because with age, masculinity creates rigidity, crustiness and stubbornness as protection against rejections, anxieties and disappointments. Nurturing is more important than acquiring knowledge and achieving goals because nurturing creates the happy and non-judgmental attitude necessary for intimacy and authenticity. Those gay men who avoid nurturing often end up bitter, judgmental and rigid.
Nurturing can be the missing link in successful gay dating, happy gay relationships and good mental health. Most gay men who struggle in gay dating and relationships are often surprised at how quickly they succeed in relationships when they introduce nurturing back into their lives.
Recently I coached a client who is successful, driven and smart, yet frustrated with gay dating and relationships. The starting point for our coaching was to help him see that he has hasn’t been nurturing himself enough, he has not been self-loving for many years. My job was to show him that instead of using his heart, he was mainly living through his mind, masking his emotions and suffering with logic and “rational” thinking.
Many smart gay men who work in business, leadership and entrepreneurship avoid self-nurturing and self-love because they associate them with weakness and femininity. They say to themselves that “everything will be fine as long as I work hard and stay strong”. While sometimes this can help to achieve goals and earn higher income, it creates emptiness inside the heart and internal conflict between love versus materialism. Love and acceptance from other gay men is replaced with accomplishments and material success.
How thinking and logic stands in the way of self-love and nurturing:
Often, the strongest and most successful gay men experienced a series of painful events related to trust in the past that led them down the road of logic and thinking to mask it. And that is often the base for their difficulties in relating to themselves and other people, especially during early dating and relationships. You cannot connect deeply to other gay men through logic and thinking. You will need emotions to do that.
Imagine going to a pet store and getting two identical puppies. One puppy is excited, he runs towards you without fear and hesitation. You quickly notice that this puppy is happy and excited. But the other puppy just sits there, he is shy, withdrawn, and you look at him and you wander what happened to it. The two puppies come from the same mother, they look the same, but they behave differently.
The same happens with gay men – you can look at one man and notice his excitement during social events and wander how it’s so natural for him. And you can look at another gay man and notice his nervousness – he knows what to do in social events but his excitement is forced, it is not natural to him and it looks fake.
Without nurturing, we disconnect from our own emotions and lose the ability to create genuine and long-lasting connections with other gay men.
If you have difficulties connecting to gay men for dating, it may not be about your personality or certain skill – perhaps you have not nurtured yourself enough to connect with the emotions that make relationships possible. You may be too stiff, too nervous and too rigid in your expressions.
Nurturing is important because out of nurturing comes a way of being that is based on expansion, growth, and spontaneity. Pure joy comes from experiencing life without rules, inhibitions and constraints. If you are not nurtured, even though you are smart and strong, life inside you is inhibited, it collapses and gets covered up with strengths and accomplishments.
Accept your pain:
Nurturing starts by accepting that you may be that puppy that is withdrawn – you may not have been loved enough by mom and dad. Accept that there is some pain that you have not allowed yourself to experience – otherwise why would you be so emotionally disconnected and overly logical?
When you allow yourself to experience that pain, you can gradually connect to the emotional layer of your life and learn how to express your heart and your feelings instead of using logic and thinking. This is the essence of loving relationships and happiness.
Create a daily practice:
Nurturing is best when it is practiced daily. Gay dating will present you with many opportunities for rejection, betrayals, and challenges. If you stop the nurturing, you may not be able to handle the stress you retract and hide behind logic and accomplishments. A happy attitude towards the world is not going to happen automatically, you will need to cultivate it daily – and nurturing is one way to ensure that you are staying happy, balanced and joyful.
Commit to a regular practice of loving and authentic conversations:
- Call someone you trust and talk about what is happening in your life.
- Join a coaching program so that you can open up and nurture yourself through deep and vulnerable sharing with a coach.
- Start a journal and pour your painful emotions onto the paper.
If we committed ourselves to regular self-nurturing than a lot of the deeper problems related to the fear of intimacy, fear of expression and fear of disclosure would go away. Success in dating will depend on sharing and vulnerability – and a gay man who nurtures himself is more likely to open up and trust.
Seeking knowledge is critical, but you cannot replace nurturing with knowledge, you cannot replace nurturing with wisdom – nurturing is that energy that makes intimacy with yourself and with others possible.
If your parents didn’t nurture you enough, stop the wait and give it to yourself instead:
Most gay men didn’t receive love and nurturing from their parents. In their romantic pursuits, they unconsciously look for their partners for nurturing but that is a mistake. We should never wait for nurturing to come from others, including our lovers – we should learn how to give that to ourselves otherwise we are going to be a subject to co-dependent and toxic relationships.
A measure of adulthood for a gay man is the acceptance that waiting for others to give you what you want is the root for all suffering and struggles. It is unlikely that you will receive nurturing from anyone else but yourself. Waiting for the world to give you what you can give yourself will make you vulnerable to painful events and disappointments. Accepting that you are the source for all happiness, love and joy will be a solid foundation for your dating and relationships journeys for the rest of your life.
I invite you to become a master of self-nurturing. And that you don’t wait for other people to nurture you. Bring joy and excitement to your life independently of anyone else as the ultimate expression of self-love and nurturing.