I authored a post months ago titled Looking for a Healthy Long Term RelationshipAs the title suggest, in it I offered some advice and tips that could possibly aide in the search for those that were looking for a relationship I am currently in a committed relationship for over 3 years and dated a couple of years before I met my partner.  I have been accused by my friend and co-creator of Discreet City, Nick Delmacy of forgetting my dating roots or becoming a dating sell out when I discuss the joys of dating or relationships. By no means have I forgotten the B.S. I encountered when I first started dating.  I just speak more on the end results and the transformation I went through to get to that point of dating enjoyment.

I was in a very dysfunctional relationship over 10 years ago that lasted for about 3 years.  Why the dysfunction?…  Because I was not honest with myself and what I wanted.  Most importantly; I was not in a proper mental and emotional state at that time to be in a relationship with anyone.  I wouldn’t have wanted to date someone like me.

PictureFor many of us, dating life equates to clubs, bars, online sites, and the occasional hook ups that result.  Many can get burnt out, disenchanted and develop bitter attitudes towards men and dating.  The expectations and hopes of perhaps meeting Mr. Right are diminished.  Dating becomes something of a hassle and waste of time versus a possible time for exploration, learning and enjoyment.

I hear the same narrative and frustrations from many men concerning their dating experiences.  I can empathize but I also think back to a few short years ago and reflect on my own actions and ask myself a question.  What did or didn’t I do that was different from what I am hearing from men on the dating scene today?

I feel the common problematic denominator is not gay dating life in general; but the thoughts, attitudes and actions on how we react and deal with dating.

PictureI can look back on my dating life and clearly see a difference between my feelings and actions of who I was 8 years ago compared to who I was 4 years ago.  It is almost like total opposites.  The major difference was that there was a monumental shift in my outlook on life that later influenced my personal approach to dating.

Not to bore you with my life outside of dating, but I was a negative black man with low self esteem, who for the most part was angry at the world.  This had nothing to do with my sexuality but was just who I was. 

Long story short, once I thought I got these portions of my life together, my focus shifted from being a reclusive angry hermit to dating and finding companionship.

During this time I found myself still having some of the same problems I was having before.  I felt I wasn’t meeting or coming in contact with the right masculine guy.  The online dating sites and chat lines were boring and aggravating.  Outside of the occasional hookup for sexual release, I was left feeling like I was wasting time.  This of course became frustrating and I was seriously craving some new experiences.

PictureI made the decision to take myself out of the dating pool for awhile.  I deleted my online profiles and mentally began to shake off my negative dating experiences. 

I called this period my “dating detox”.

My next thought was to rewind and reflect on how I was meeting certain types of men and the negative experiences that followed.  Better yet; was there anything that I was doing to attract these men to me?  During this analysis period I realized that it was me all along that was the problem.   

See when I stated above that “I thought I got my life together”; for the most part I did begin to make great strides and progress towards healing my mental, spiritual, and physical self. However I now realized I also had to take time and make the effort to heal and change my attitude when it came to dating, companionship and possibly sharing my personal space with someone else.

So again I had to stop, think and be honest with myself…was I self sabotaging my dating experiences?  Was I attracting negative dating experiences because my thoughts and actions were negative? 

Example; me being guarded and selfish of my space could possibly mean I was attracting selfish people in my space.  Going on a date anticipating I would have a negative experience could possibly lead me to have a negative attitude towards the date and thus cause the date to go negative.

I am not saying these are the only reasons but I am saying they are some likely explanations.  At any rate, the bottom line is that I had a depressing attitude towards dating and meeting new people.  What is the harm in changing my outlook towards an activity like dating, if the end result is to make sure I have a positive experience regardless if there is a real connection with the other man on not?

When I changed my mindset and begin to date again I did come across some flops and some guys that were in no way my type. With my new positive go forward stance, I did not allow the experiences to tarnish my attitude about dating and meeting new people.

At the end of one bad date I thought to myself, “man this dude is an arrogant asshole”.  My previous self would have gone into negative “I told you so” mode and I would have felt the usual, which was “dudes are wack and dating sucks”.  But I stayed positive and kept openness in my heart.  

I thought “at least I was able to do something outside of my normal Friday or Saturday night, which consisted of me being alone, drinking some liquor, playing video games, watching porn, jacking off and going to sleep”.  This night was different; I got out of the house, saw the city, had a nice meal, ended the date and continued on with my night.  No hard feelings and no harm done.

See my attitude was and still is; dating should be fun and an overall positive experience.  Regardless of the other person and the outcome of the date, you are gaining and developing important social skills that will come in handy while you continue on your search. Regardless of the character or behavior of the other person, if you are taking the time to get fresh and clean to go out for a night on the town, you owe it to yourself to make sure you have a good time.

You know the saying “the more you do something, the better you become at it”.  Well dating is no different. The more dates I went on the more I noticed they always ended on a good note.  I was starting to enjoy myself and looked forward to dating.

Let me also say that I did get back online and created several profiles on dating websites.  But let me stress that outside of age ranges, my qualifications didn’t really change in what I was looking for.  What changed in my profiles were my pictures and how I described myself.


Gone were my “in your face” semi-nude body pics. There is nothing unique about body pics and they group you together with every other man online. These were replaced with pics of me in my everyday business work attire or in some casual gear just relaxing.   



I begin to get a lot more inquiries that were from more mature men (not just mature in age) and began to have great conversations that were centered on all things but sex.  Some may not realize it but showing a bunch of body pics online is just advertising for sex.  That is cool if that is all you are looking for while online but this is detrimental and a hindrance if you are not online looking for a hookup.

I wanted to change and have control over my dating experiences. I took responsibility and strategically positioned myself through my positive thoughts and actions to change my experiences.  I developed a since of entitlement that I was deserving of happiness and began to make myself open and available to received that happiness and joy when it crossed my path. 
You can’t just say you want better dating opportunities; you have to take action and be available for when the opportunities may come your way.

I began to meet some outstanding men.  It almost seemed like each one was better than the next. I eventually met my current partner in 2009 and for the most part we been joined at the hip ever since.  I know if I had met the same man in the previous years, I would not have been mentally and emotionally available for a meaningful relationship at that time.

I know I may get some “you are one of the lucky ones” feed back to this post.  However I strongly believe if this worked for the sad, angry, depressed, reclusive black man I was, there is a strong possibility it could work for anyone.

Think highly of yourself because the world takes you at your own estimate.

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