It’s time to throw away your iPods…

Telling single gay guys to stay offline for a week is hard. When you don’t have a man to keep you company, the only thing you have is the uneventful, yet ever exciting, world of social media. For those who are actively searching for Mr. Right, it tends to be one of the first places we go. Apps and online dating sites are the fastest growing strategies to make yourself known in the dating pond, so much so that it’s become nearly impossible to find a man the old fashioned way.
I live in New York City, a place I like to call the town of top hats because no matter where you look, you’ll always see the top of someone’s hat as they’re casually looking down to check their phone. In a city where technology reigns supreme, it’s difficult to make a connection. How can we reignite the sparks organically? How can we can find the type of love we read about in novels and watch on movies? How can we be able to spot someone from the other side of the subway and find the nerve to make the first move? It’s easy.
I challenge every single gay men everywhere to the test. Throw away your phones and iPods for an entire week. Let yourself BE in the place where you are. Open your eyes to the strangers passing by and the sounds, textures, and sensations you often see but never acknowledge. Once you do that, you can allow yourself the freedom to feel with no distractions.
It’s important to stay present. We hear this all the time but I’m afraid some guys misinterpret what it means. It’s not about paying attention to what you’re doing right now, i.e. tying your shoe, walking down the street, or buying a cup of coffee. It’s about existing, feeling and living in the present tense rather than what happened yesterday or what could happen tomorrow.

Here’s the best way to stay present: create a protective sphere around your thoughts with a 30-second limit on either side. If you’re going to think about anything in the past or future, don’t let it exceed 30 seconds backward or forward. Keep yourself alive with what’s happening around you NOW. If you do that, you can’t help but have peace because it forces you to live in the moment rather than future expectations or past regret. It keeps your eyes and ears open to opportunities which lay directly ahead.
One thing that’s mandatory is to take out your earplugs, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Give yourself freedom to hear, acknowledge, and react to the world. When you see someone with white strings coming out of their ears, it’s a sign they don’t want to be bothered. Let yourself at least look available. You don’t need to look around waiting for someone to start conversation because, chances are, they won’t. Conversations take a while to start, which is what brings me to my other point.

Stop looking pissed off all the time. There are definitely people with Resting Bitch Face, but there are also those who acquire it by accident. They see everyone else doing it, so they end up joining the regime. Everyone around you seems to be disinterested, so you might as well be too. I say, who gives f**k what everyone else is doing. Lift your head and inspire people to do the same. Be the person who opens the door for both men and women, be the one who makes eye contact with a smile, and make the world feel good. When they feel good, you’ll feel good. And when you feel good, you welcome more good into your life.
Let yourself be the man you are without cover up. Go out in public with no hair product or “help.” It’s more freeing than you think, and the best part is if a man finds you attractive when you’re wearing nothing, imagine how we’ll feel when you look your best. Everyone is guilty of apologizing for themselves. I know the second my clothes come off in bed, I cover up the problem areas with my hands and try not to make his eyes gaze there. But then I realize, what am I doing? He knows what I look like. If he wasn’t okay with it, he wouldn’t be in my apartment. If he saw me without “help” it’s pretty much a guarantee there’s no excuse to apologize. But when he sees it for the first time, there’s a bigger need to apologize, so why not let him see the real you from the get go.

One of the most important rules of all is to grow some courage and be direct. When we get nervous, we tend to beat around the bush. We want to feel the sparks rather than turn them into fireworks. We begin speaking to a gorgeous man but rather than getting his phone number, we often walk away before we let ourselves reap the moment. Even if we do receive his number, we’re too scared to take it another step. Be proactive in your discussions. Give a time and place. Don’t ask him where he wants to go (unless of course he has some allergies to consider). The conversation will never end if you keep it open-ended. The location is not important. Trust me, you want to meet him again so you both can feel that spark.
Something like, “Are you busy Friday night? There’s a great restaurant on 76th and Amsterdam I’d love to take you. Want to meet there at 7?” is direct and to the point. You can wash your hands with everything else and begin to focus on the connection rather than awkward pauses. It’s easier than you think, and if you stay present within your 30-second limit, the fear slowly melts away.

Everyone has control over their destiny. I’m not a believer in preordained futures. Our destinies aren’t mapped out for us at an early age, but the blue print is set by our abilities to act on them. Nothing will get done so long as we imagine it. Finding love isn’t a solo, so hang up your shoes and find your partner! But first, you need to find the courage to dance.






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