"Why can't I sustain a relationship for more than two months?" "Aren't there any decent guys out there?" These are common questions raised by many single gay men describing their frustration and hopelessness with their dating quests for true "boyfriend material." Trapped in vicious cycles of unfulfilling dating experiences, many gay men begin to feel powerless, disappointed, and disillusioned. Not only do they begin to lose confidence, but they can even start to succumb to the dangerous stereotypical myth that long-term gay relationships are not possible. "Vision" is one sure-fire way to short-circuit this belief and create opportunities for getting what you most want.
What is Vision?
Vision is a process in which you develop a clear image in your mind of where you're headed in your life. It acts as a guidepost, providing you with direction as you make efforts to meet your desired goals. It helps to keep you on track and stay clear in your thinking. It can also be motivating and be a good source of tracking for accountability and measuring progress toward your goal. It requires a lot of self-awareness and knowledge; you must know what your needs are specifically and the skills necessary to achieve your successful outcome.
Vision and the Boyfriend Quest
The concept of vision is not a new one. When you contemplate your future in terms of vocation, money, or health, you are applying principles of vision to guide you. Our society does little to train us on how to date healthily, particularly as gay men. Applying vision to the type of man and relationship you'd like to be in can go a long way toward putting a sense of control back in your dating life again. If we put as much energy into developing a vivid image of our intimate relationships as we do with career decision-making, for example, a lot less floundering will occur in the dating world because our relationship choices will be in alignment with our actual needs. We will be less apt to put ourselves in situations or become involved with men who are not in keeping with our needs and values as a result.
Creating your vision to attract compatible dating partners is a very broad and complex process, but here is a simple exercise to help get you started.
1. Set the tone
Schedule a time where you'll be free from distractions so you can focus all your energy on the task-at-hand. Do some relaxation exercises to help center you. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and rid your mind of all the stresses of your day.
Let your imagination go and visualize what your lover would be like. If you were to open your eyes and your life could be exactly the way that you would want it to be (with no judgments from others and nothing would stand in the way of your having things be the way you want), life partner and all, what would it look like? Imagine everything and anything about your lover?his personality, appearance, behavior, values, etc. What do you look like and feel like as a result? Let your five senses go wild.
Take out a notebook and pen and write about your visualization experience and what you learned. Ask yourself such questions as: "Who am I?" "What do I want?" "What are my values?" "Who is my potential partner and what does he stand for?" etc. Avoid placing too much emphasis on the "other" in this exercise. It's essential that you balance this with self-knowledge as well, recognizing what "makes you tick" and what your needs and guiding principles are. Identify potential obstacles that could get in the way along your path to finding Mr. Right and pinpoint resources available to you to help overcome them. Write it all down!
4. Express Yourself
Get creative and create some type of artistic outlet or expression to serve as a symbolic visual representation of your future boyfriend, relationship, or lifestyle. Draw or paint a picture of your vision. Write a poem or a song depicting your vision. Make a colorful poster, collage, or mobile. Let yourself go! And let your creation be a visual reminder and source of inspiration to you!
Developing your vision is a great starting point for creating a roadmap to the man and type of relationship you're seeking. The important thing to remember is that you CAN take charge of your dating life and make things happen for yourself. Defining your vision helps you to plan, prioritize, and respond effectively to challenges along the way in your dating journey. Give yourself permission to dream! Once you have your vision, your next movement involves developing "next steps" with this knowledge, including designing an action plan.
? 2004 Brian L. Rzepczynski
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Brian Rzepczynski, Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach: "I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right." To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs, and teleclasses, please visit http://www.TheGayLoveCoach.com.
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Brian Rzepczynski holds a master's degree in Social Work from Western Michigan University and is also a Certified Personal Life Coach through The Coach Training Alliance. He launched his private relationship coaching practice, The Gay Love Coach, in 2003 and works with gay men, both singles and couples, toward developing skills for improving their dating lives and relationships. He publishes a monthly ezine called "The Man 4 Man Plan" that has helpful articles, tips, resources, and an advice column relating to gay relationships and dating. He is also the co-author of the self-help book "A Guide to Getting It: Purpose & Passion published in May 2005. Visit his website at http://www.TheGayLoveCoach.com