How do you cope with loneliness?

  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Nov 24, 2007 12:32 AM GMT
    I admit I'm pretty conflicted about relationships vs. sex. I would love to be dating or in a relationship, but I have confidence issues about talking to guys I'm attracted to. It's tough for me to meet people, especially in bars and clubs.

    I'm not against meeting someone just for sex, but I'm looking for more. I often feel more empty after a hook-up than before. But, I still have physical needs and masturbation only goes so far.

    I run into guys at the gym pretty regularly who seem to want to mess around. I'd be open to it if they'd come home with me, but they seem more interested on messing around at the gym, which isn't my thing. I usually go home alone even though I might be all "hot and bothered."

    I'm interested in hearing about your experiences and how you cope.

    And before anyone asks, yes I'm in therapy. But, confidence issues can take a while to fix.
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    Nov 24, 2007 12:57 AM GMT
    Loneliness is terrible, but jump from that extreme directly into a relationship is too extreme.

    I think ideally is to make friends first. weather he's great looking or not, I never assume more then just knowing each other first. although sex is usually the first attraction between 2 people, some self control is required to turn that energy and be friends first. (and seem like you have plenty of self control) hang out with them, not thinking anything more then just that. And if it progressed, great. But if they can't give you that much of effort, then move on.
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    Nov 24, 2007 1:06 AM GMT
    Even a hookup can turn into something more.

    Ever thought about looking outside the gay world for friendship? Pick an interest and I'm sure you can find people to help fill your life.

  • liftordie

    Posts: 823

    Nov 24, 2007 7:17 PM GMT
    i cope with lonliness the best way i know how. Treasure Island Videos!! no seriously. find what interests you to do. dont rely on someone else to make you happy. u need to be comfortable in your own skin before you can expect anyone else to be comfortable with you. and keep up the therapy cuz it really is a good thing!!
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    Nov 24, 2007 7:23 PM GMT
    My best friends are straight!
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Nov 24, 2007 7:41 PM GMT
    A good number of my friends are straight, too. Unfortunately, that doesn't usually help in me meeting other gay people. Or, if they do try to set me up with gay friends, they pick really horrible matches.
  • morholt

    Posts: 57

    Nov 24, 2007 8:13 PM GMT
    My best friends are straight as well... they can't help themselves. I still love 'em.
  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 511

    Nov 24, 2007 8:37 PM GMT
    Do you have confidence problems when meeting people of platonic interest?

    Do you approach guys of interest with the thought that you want to date them?

    Instead of thinking, 'he's hot/i want him', change the mindset to, 'he looks like a nice person/i want to see what he's like'. When I started to do that I saw more of what was on the inside without letting lust cloud my judgement. I see more guys disappointed when they go looking for a relationship, rather than those looking for friendships. A relationship can blossom from a friendship. I've never seen it go the other way around.

    Romatic relationships aren't a cure for loneliness. Thinking one person will make you happy in all parts of your life sets undue strain on the relationship.

    Try strengthening you existing friendships and meeting new people who can take part in other aspects of your life. It's hard to be lonely when you have a friend for everything that you like to do. Your friends become those parts of a romatic relationship that you desire... without the sex, of course icon_smile.gif And on those occasions when you hook-up, you don't feel empty afterwards because those other parts of you are happily fulfilled.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Nov 24, 2007 10:35 PM GMT
    @ Slickguy:

    Yeah, I guess meeting anyone is hard for me. I can usually initiate a conversation, or have someone start one with me, but "becoming friends" is something else entirely. I guess I don't know how to take it from there. Even getting together with established friends seems sometimes to be a struggle.

    Do I approach guys of interest with the thought that you want to date them? I'm not sure what you're asking here. I try not to cruise guys I might be interested in something long-term from. So, I flirt, I'm friendly with them, and I try to engage them in conversation. If I'm approaching someone I'm just going to have sex with (and again, this is usually in the gym where they are initiating that they're looking for sex), then I'm not likely to be asking those guys out for dates.

    And, yes, you're right I need to bolster my friendships. I definitely don't view a romantic relationship as "fixing" the times I feel lonely.

    I just don't know why it's so hard for me.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 25, 2007 7:23 PM GMT
    Eric,

    I may not have the best advice on how to start or nurture a relationship but I know all about living a fulfilling and interesting life by myself. First off, a sexual hookup does not always have to end with a feeling of emptiness. I attribute that feeling to disappointment in expectations. I often here comments here about separating sex from emotions but as much as men try to compartmentalize their feelings I don’t believe it is possible or even desired. Emotions are a large part of any sexual experience and I believe it can be used to enhance the moment. I have had great dinners, romantic walks, tender nights in bed and yes even a relationship following what initially began as two guys getting their rocks off. Making the most of my sexual adventures has been a key to me enjoying my single status. The only time I feel empty after sex is when I have had sex with the wrong guy.

    Next let’s talk about confidence. A loner needs confidence to be happy and it is not something that appears out of nowhere. You have to nurture it and protect it like a child. Think of what athletes go through during a competition. Their opponents want nothing more than to destroy their confidence and yet the best ones bounce back the quickest after a fall. So approach the guys who appear interesting to you and if they give you the cold shoulder be proud of yourself for trying. I usually use a very innocuous question or comment and see if the conversation flows. If the other guy makes no effort, well, nothing gained, nothing lost.

    I decided some years past to stop using my single status as a reason to be unhappy. The moment I made that conscious decision was the moment I began loving life. Relationships aren’t always what they are billed to be. I have no envy for a father with a nagging wife and bratty kids. Nor do I envy friends I’ve seen in relationships with a partner who tries to limit their independence. Many decide to stop pursuing their passions because it might conflict with their commitment. So yes we would all love the ideal relationship portrayed in movies, songs, and literature but the reality is far different.

    It appears from photos that you work hard to stay in shape physically. Nurture your sole in the same way. Don’t waste your precious moments on earth wishing for a relationship. Follow your passions knowing that no one is holding you back but yourself.
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    Nov 28, 2007 10:15 PM GMT

    I agree with liftordie...the most important thing is to be comfortable being yourself. I live in a small college town and the flavor-of-the-week fratboys get old after a while, so believe me, I feel your angst. I focus on myself...my work, my home, exercise, my hobbies and things I am really passionate about, and let the relationship thing become incidental.

    If I hook up with someone, I take it at face value because I'm not *needing* it to be anything more...and if it happens to turn into something more, that's all the better.

    You know that cliché about finding something when you're least looking or expecting?? It really does work out that way.

    And there's also internet sites like this for chatting and getting to know other guys on a friendly basis. icon_smile.gif

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    Nov 28, 2007 10:30 PM GMT
    Eric
    Lots of good advice here. When I was younger and lonley I joined gay sports and social clubs and met lots of great men. Liftordie is right get comfortable with yourself. Zdrew is right that you'll find something when you are least looking. Also if a hot guy want to play withyou at the gmy do it icon_confused.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 5:07 PM GMT
    if I ever get bummed about being single, I like to

    1) look at my friends' relationships, past and current, and focus on the shitty ones and how much they can suck

    2) take stock about what I love about being single

    3) spend some time with good platonic friends... you can make genuine connections with people outside the context of a romantic sexual relationship
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    Dec 03, 2007 6:14 PM GMT
    I'm six-months single, picky as hell, and averse to hooking up (always seems more trouble than it is worth). That would leave me at risk for feeling lonely, but I don't.

    I invest in my friends and myself, and this seems to short-circuit any feelings of loneliness. Plus, when your focus is on friends and self, something strange often seems to happen. Great guys who are good boyfriend material seem to fall in front of you. But you really do have to stop thinking too much about it.

    So I'm trusting this dynamic.

    Admittedly, if you can pull off a friend-with-benefit in the meantime (as in someone you aren't likely to fall for) then it does get a little easier.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 6:24 PM GMT
    15621_large.jpg
    What Rugger said, plus a huge dollop of laughter.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 03, 2007 8:21 PM GMT
    Wait...scratch what I just said. It's the beer that keeps me company. Sweet sweet nectar, that beer. ;-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2007 10:58 PM GMT
    I'm an existentialist- I'm always lonely.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2007 11:15 PM GMT
    my methods are icecream and cookies!!! that is why I am fat.....LOL! well actually, now I am chubby cause of being in a counrty with AWESOME FOOD!!!(Turkey)but do not worry my beatiful homos...I will be in shape in soon.
  • helium

    Posts: 378

    Jan 27, 2008 7:10 AM GMT
    I just either hang out with friends and socialize about random stuff or play video games. That's what I enjoy doing to cope with my single lifestyle.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 27, 2008 9:57 AM GMT
    Sob over some chick flick. x
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Jan 27, 2008 10:20 AM GMT
    Sounds like you're getting sex and dealing with people all mixed up
    Yes...granted you can't have one without the other but you certainly can have friendships without the sex

    Get out and meet some people without the added pressure of getting into a relationship or into bed
    Get comfortable with people one on one
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    Jan 27, 2008 10:52 AM GMT
    I think its very tough for 2 good looking gay men to have a purely platonic friendship. The same way it is for a good looking male / female. There is too much sexual tension involved.

    When I look for sex or dating - I obviously want an attractive guy or at least someone I am attracted to. But when I seek out friendship... I dont really care for looks and often enough end up being friends with much older guys or guys who are not my type at all. Even that can be tricky sometimes because they all fall for me and I'm not attracted to them.. but i've learnt how to emphasize that I am only interested in friendship and not offend them at the same time.

    And beware of older women... I've been hanging out with one lately .. she knows I'm gay and yet fantasises having sex with me all the time.. and worst of all she's my mom's best friend...little does she know that I fancy her son more than her...LOL.

    You definitely need good friends in life to be able to cope up with lonliness.. there is no other way around it.
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    Jan 27, 2008 12:05 PM GMT
    I would say stay active. i'm in the same situation as alot of men but it doesn't stop me from going out and enjoying myself. I do things I enjoy and have really good friends. Just because you are single doesn't mean you have to feel lonely. I personally believe that being in a relationship is overrated and everyone thinks that having a person in their life will complete them or fill in the void.

    While I do admit it would be nice to have someone in my life its not a necessity and I'm quite capable of having just as much fun (if not more) being single. Again I say stay active and if you are really bent on looking for people then check into a few community activities and events. I also think hooking up at the gym is overrated and has turned into some sort of legal brothel. LOL.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 27, 2008 12:39 PM GMT
    Now matter how great and how comforting it is to be in a relationship there remains an obligation to live with ourselves.

    Self comfort and self confidence are closely related and both, in my opinion, require every issue to be regularly taken out, dusted off, examined, thrown away, or reordered.

    The sad truth is that when I was uncomfortable and lonely being alone then I was alone and lonely. The split second I dragged myself to the point of saying fuckit I don't even want it anymore then I wasn't lonely and I found myself in a relationship practically the next day.

    That doesn't work as a trick, by the way. Acceptance has to be total or it isn't worth a damn (as my mother used to say close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades).

    My one recommendation is to go and work for charity. I don't mean donate a dollar to the red cross, I mean get out and move some sand bags, take meals to shut ins, or otherwise put your back into it.

    After one month you won't be lonely anymore and your confidence issues will start to vanish. The best thing is that you will automatically start to look at who you are and what you have in a totally different light.

    I say this because it saved my life. Sure I am still a pretentious asshat that no one can stand, but I am happy.

    PEACE
    Terry
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    Feb 06, 2008 2:18 AM GMT
    Travelstud said
    I dont really care for looks and often enough end up being friends with much older guys or guys who are not my type at all. Even that can be tricky sometimes because they all fall for me and I'm not attracted to them..
    And beware of older women... I've been hanging out with one lately .. she knows I'm gay and yet fantasises having sex with me all the time.. L.



    You should show these people your posts on REALJOCK and you will never have to worry about them finding you attractive ever again.