I live in Los Angeles, one of the most image conscious cities in the world. Every human judges everyone on appearance in one way or another, and that’s magnified here. You need to look your best to be taken seriously. This is especially true with love life, whether you’re single or not, and even more so for women and gays.
As a single gay man on the edge of 50, I’m acutely aware of this. Many young gay men assume, incorrectly, that gay life is over after age 40, and you better find someone to pair off with before then or you’ll be invisible and alone forever.
I’m not totally ignored yet, but I do better with chance, face-to-face meetings rather than online because they can see I’m in-shape and look relatively young (for my age). Sometimes guys under 40 or 30 approach me and they sometimes look confused after the fine lines around my eyes give away that I’m not as young as I look from 10 ten feet away. Then they often ask, “How old are you?” I tell them with no hesitation (I never say, “Guess” because then they’ll know I’m older and try to be polite by low-balling the number). If I haven’t recently been suffering from insomnia and am feeling and looking good, sometimes their mouths drop open. Some then say that age isn’t important, but without really good chemistry and compatibility (which is rare) it is, and they know it.
I’ve always worked hard to feel and look as good as I can. Even in high school and college when I was partying a lot, I was careful about what I ate and went to the gym after a night of drinking heavily to work it off. I think I look pretty good and have earned it, but I don’t chase young men, nor am I delusional about my age, like the 76 year-old guy who was recently pursuing me online and told me he was 56. When I found out his real age and asked him why he shaved off so many years, he said he can pass for 45. Maybe in his mind, but he looked at least 65 with an out-of-shape body to me. I was amazed that he didn’t seem to feel guilty at all about totally misrepresenting himself and wasting people’s time. He blamed me when I didn’t want to date him.
Don’t be like that guy. Don’t play the blame and complain game. “If only they didn’t judge me on my weight/age/height/etc., my love life would be so much better.” This is the worst thing you can do because you’re giving your power away and failing to take responsibility for your situation. When you take responsibility, you empower yourself and feel compelled to take action to improve and, or rise above it.
The Thank You / F-You Technique
Every single person gets rejected sooner or later. It’s part of the process of dating, your career, and other goals. Instead of blaming or complaining, accept the way things are and work with them by using the Thank You / F-You Technique. In your mind, thank the person for the opportunity; find some reason to be grateful for the experience. Then, channel all the negative feelings about life in general, being rejected or any injustices (perceived or real), into improving yourself and reaching your goals. Don’t send anyone negative energy, as that will just come back to you and keep you stuck. Instead, set yourself free by using the angst to propel yourself upwards and onwards.
Copyright © 2017 Stephen Petullo