13 Common Gay Dating Obstacles (and How to Overcome Them)
Even when you're committed, dating is still tough
We all know how difficult it is to date and meet the right guy, which is why when you meet someone you truly care for, you can’t let certain obstacles get in the way. Yes, of course, if the differences between you two are too large, the relationship isn’t going to work out. But often times, we give up prematurely. Here are 13 common barriers that gay couples encounter, as well as ways to overcome them.
1. You differ in level of “outness”
When you’re dating someone who’s not out to their family, friends, coworkers (or any combination of), you, yourself, become re-closeted. You become worried about what you can and can’t post to social media. You start to feel insecure. You begin living your life like you did when you were a closeted teenager. You cannot date someone who is closeted for a long period of time. You need to tell your partner this.
Coming out to his family is terrifying, but he will need to do it. They may reject him completely, but who knows? They may not. Or, they may come around to him years later.
Give him time, and give him support, but make it clear to him that coming out to his parents in the future is non-negotiable.
2. You're different backgrounds
When you enter into an actual committed relationship as an interracial couple, there’s a huge learning curve when it comes to learning cultural differences, many of which you won’t even realize are any different until you actually go through it. This can be challenging, especially because it’s a sensitive subject all around, but it’s also a great opportunity to experience some growth from learning.
3. One of you is under the influence of outsiders
This one is most likely familial influences, but we’ll also talk about friends in a minute. Sometimes, people talk. And sometimes, people don’t like your partner, or your sexual orientation, or a laundry list of things that are “wrong” about you and the person you love.
Sometimes, one member of the relationship is closer to their family than others, and if the family doesn’t like you, you can run into some issues.
This is another opportunity to simply open a line of communication, both with your partner and your family, to set some healthy boundaries.
4. You dislike his friends
Oh, this one is really tough. I’ve dated guys who have really catty/nasty friends, and it confuses the heck out of me. My partner will be so kind and caring, yet he surrounds himself with these mean queens whose personalities I find toxic.
When this happens, you have two options. One, do your best to deal with them and try to avoid seeing them as much as you can.
The second thing is, and I know how difficult it sounds, is talk to your partner about it. Tell him the reasons why you don’t feel comfortable around his friends. If they’re mean odds are, he knows this, and it doesn't bother him. But if it bothers you, he won't be annoyed. This way, he won’t feel hurt or rejected if you tell him you don’t want to go out with him and his friends. He’ll know it has nothing to do with him. And when he goes out with his friends, you’ll have time to spend with yours.
5. He dislikes YOUR friends
It’s hard to tell which one is worse between the family not liking your partner or vice versa, you not liking the friends he surrounds himself with, or him not feeling it with your crew, either. It can be challenging to try and merge worlds and bring two separate lives together, and it’s not always easy to find that common ground.
If he doesn’t like your friends, it’s another opportunity to make sure boundaries are met. You limit the amount of time he has to see the ones he doesn’t like, he doesn’t give you grief for hanging out with them without him. Win-win for both of you.
6. You have different work schedules
One of you is a bartender, and the other of you has a classic 9-5. That means by the time you get home from the bar, your man is fast asleep, and by the time you get up in the morning, he’s already off to work. This just sucks. What this means is that during the weekends, or the days you both spend off, you’re going to have to really relish the time you have together.
If you’re someone who likes doing everything with your partner and being with him 24/7, this relationship won't work out. But if you’re more independent then this relationship-style might actually be ideal.
7. You’re not the most sexually compatible
Now this can mean a number of different things. One of you is into kink. The other is more vanilla. You’re both bottoms (or tops). You have a mismatched sex drive where one of you wants to have sex twice a day, and the other one is more than satisfied having sex once a week. This relationship can still work (although it will be tough)!
You may want to consider opening up your relationship. If you’re not interested in that, you need to make some compromises. Have sex (more or less). Or try topping even though it’s not your thing.
You also will have to realize that the sexual component of your relationship won’t be the most fulfilling. You both have to be okay with that.
8. There’s a large age gap
While gay men are much better than straight couples when it comes to disregarding the age gap between partners, there are still some challenges that come with dating someone who’s 15 more years older or younger than you are.
The key here is focusing less on the actual age of your partner, but rather, focusing on what stage both of you are in your lives. If both of you are still partygoers who enjoy going out drinking and dancing, then odds are, you’ll be fine. But if one of you is more of a homebody and is over that scene, it’s going to be difficult.
Similarly, if one of you is in college, and the other one is the CEO of a company, you both are at two very different stages of your life.
Focus less on age and more on where you are/what you’re doing in your life. Remember, age is just a number.
9. You have different interests
There’s nothing wrong with having different interests. Let’s say one of you is more of a geeky gamer and the other one of you is more of a nightlife, party animal. It just means that your partner will engage in those interests with his other friends, and you'll do your thing with your friends.
This is good! You want to have some social circles that don’t overlap completely.
10. You have different values
In my opinion, this tends to be dealbreaker. You can come from different backgrounds, religions, genders, sexual orientations, socio-economic statuses, and even planets, and the relationship can absolutely work out. But if you value different things (especially in this political climate), this is almost impossible to overcome.
After all, it's important to date someone who views the world the same way as you, and values the same things about humanity and relationships that you do.
11. There are financial differences
If your relationship is a sugar daddy/sugar baby dynamic, then there’s no problem. You two have both agreed on that dynamic.
But if you want to have relatively equal finances, and that’s important to you, then the one with less money should pay for the less expensive things, like when you both get coffee or see a movie. The wealthier one should pay for the more expensive dates, like plane tickets, fancy dinner, etc. This way, you both are contributing financially to the relationship, but neither of you contributing outside of your monetary means.
12. You prefer different types of relationships
If one of you wants to be in an open relationship and the other one wants to be monogamous, on the surface, this seems like a clear deal breaker. Often times, it is. But other times, it’s something that simply takes time. I know many men who were closed in their relationship in the beginning, but after a few months (or years), decided to open it up once they had a strong foundation and trusted each other completely.
So perhaps discuss being closed now, but be open to the idea of opening up your relationship further down the line.
At the same, if you know you’re a strictly monogamous or polyamorous person, then you need to stick to your guns. You cannot (and should not) date this man.
13. You’re the jealous type and he’s flirty
If you have a green-eyed monster living deep in your gut, this can become problematic. The gay community is so small that you will inevitably run into your partner’s exes. Additionally, many gay men are very flirty and touchy. We kiss on the lips to say hello. We grab butt cheeks. All that jazz.
If this is something that bothers you immensely, you need to first look inward. What are your fears? What are you insecurities? Are you worried he’ll cheat on you? Are you worried he’ll leave you for someone else? What is it about this that bothers you? It could be you don’t trust him. You know he’s cheated on past guys and don’t want him to cheat on you. Whatever the reason is, discuss it with him. Be open about your insecurities or your lack of trust, and see what you two, together, can come up with in order to make you feel more secure in your relationship.