Posts Tagged women

Match.com: Singles in America

Continuing with this week’s Valentine’s theme, I want to highlight a study I had the privilege of learning about this weekend while attending Sweets in the City, an event hosted by Single Edition.

SinglesinAmericaMatchcom_zps167573c9107 million Americans are single, and match.com is trying to understand them. Under the guidance of Dr. Helen Fisher for the third year in-a-row, match.com has commissioned a national relationship study, Singles in America. After asking 200 questions to a perfect cross-section of the U.S., they learned fascinating new things you may or may not have heard in the news as of late.

I was shocked to learn both men and women judge each other first by their teeth, followed by grammar. It’s refreshing to know that in this day and age, communication is still important. Still, I’m surprised to see teeth topped the list (as well as proud of my pearly whites).

As a gay man who wants to one day get married, it was also refreshing to hear that commitment is back in style — 90% of those open to marriage believe they can stay married to the same person forever.

As Dr. Fisher reported the results, she was most-surprised by the increased emergence of friends with benefits. As a 28-year-old, I didn’t find this particularly surprising, having had my own FWB relationships.

In related results, virginity is no longer a core value in the dating world — If anything, it’s an obstacle. Gone are the days where the first instance of intercourse between couples occurs on the night marital consummation. I think it’s only natural that people want to test-drive the car before they buy it these days, even though women are less likely to admit it.

Sexting was a particularly interesting territory in the digital age. Although most singles believe sexting could jeopardize their careers or privacy, they still partook in this social taboo, proving love conquers all (including reason).

JustMarriedGayMenMy favorite statistic was that gay men fell in love more often than anyone else. We were more romantic, more experienced in “love at first sight” and more likely to be “deeply in love” with a long-term partner. Lastly, we had sex with the same frequency as other singles, finally proving the stereotypical perception of gay promiscuity is outdated.

I’m curious if this is due to wider acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage, or if this has evolved naturally. Dr. Fisher made a point about not making a point of discussing homosexual responses as a separate entity because there are very few differences from the heterosexual responses. We’re not all that different after all.

The most shocking results were that women desired independence and men sought commitment. Single men fall in love faster and want to “move in” together sooner, while women still want to hold onto their girls’ night out.

Hear Dr. Helen Fisher’s own interpretation of the facts from Saturday’s event below:

This post was sponsored by the fine folks at match.com. Be sure to check out all the fun, fresh video clips at Singles in America.

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I Never was Good at Sharing

As gay men, CK and I had been anticipating the release of Magic Mike with bated breath. One Friday night, CK suggested we check it out. When he said we, I assumed he meant just the two of us, but I quickly came to learn we included Old News as well. As long as we were inviting friends, I knew P wanted to see the movie as well, so I reached out to her. This was two-fold because it would also help balance the scale since I wasn’t exactly comfortable with how Old News was with CK. We were all planning to gather in midtown to check out a late showing.

I was meeting CK at his apartment before the movie, and when I arrived, I learned Old News would be meeting us there as well before walking to the theater together. I already couldn’t wait. From the moment Old News arrived, he began schmoozing CK. A friendly greeting with a hug is completely acceptable, but the kiss on the cheek was a little unnecessary. This was no air kiss, and I know because I was behind CK looking right at him as he did it. It probably was not his intent, but I felt it may have been done for my benefit. I didn’t like it — Not one bit. All I could do was stand by and watch this without saying anything. I would have to wait to have a private conversation with CK later.

Of course, he was very cordial toward me, but I couldn’t have cared less. I still had a bad taste left in my mouth from the last time we hung out at XL. That night, I was going to get the answer to a question that arose every time he came around. Was he actually flirting with CK because of lingering feelings, or was I imagining things? I had an advantage that night. I had two sets of eyes on him. I had asked P to watch and tell me if my suspicions were correct.

We met P in front of the theater, and as we took our seats, what transpired next could not have made me happier. It just so happened, as we walked into the theater, the order was Old News, myself, CK and finally P. So, when we sat, I was between Old News and CK, and I was thrilled. When CK and I go to the movies, we’re fairly affectionate in the way we sit. We hold hands or put our arms around each other. I wasn’t going to change that this time, and Old News was about to get a front row seat to this. Maybe he’d realized the CK ship has sailed. He was my man now, and it was time to back off and learn to simply be his friend. Nothing more. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t want Old News out of the picture completely. He was CK’s friend. I simply wanted him to respect the relationship between CK and I.

The theater was a sh*t show — Like being in an actual strip club. Women were everywhere, shouting and squealing at the screen as they jumped out of their seats in excitement. I was shocked I didn’t see a dollar bill or two go flying in the air.

As we left the theater, Old News commented to us, “Wow! It smells like wet vagina in here! Do you smell that?” I thought the comment was hysterical because he was pretty spot on, but I wasn’t exactly in the frame of mind to laugh at his jokes yet.

We stopped on the corner of the street to discuss what we wanted to do next. None of us had eaten, so food was discussed, but no one would make a decision. Finally, we landed on heading back to CK’s apartment to smoke and hang out.

As we walked down the street, Old News was joking and what I would certainly call flirting with CK. When the opportunity arose, he’d throw an arm around him or pat him on the back. Don’t get me wrong. I’d seen this interaction time and time again with Hip, and I had no problem with it. In fact, I welcomed it. It all seemed completely different with Old News. Old News would draw CK into a conversation, and the two of them continued on as if P and I didn’t exist. At some point, CK noticed I was a bit out of sorts. He hung back with me and asked what’s wrong. I reiterated how I felt Old News was flirting and still had a crush on him. Once again, he told me I was imagining things. I started to get adamant, and I think he finally realized how much this bothered me.

If he was willing to act like this in front of me, what would Old News try to do if I wasn’t around. Like I said, it wasn’t CK I trusted, it was Old News. After chatting for so long, I’m sure he realized something was up. We agreed to talk about it again later and returned back to the other two.

We hung out at CK’s for quite some time, and around 2:00am, we decided to go to Flaming Saddles, and P decided to head home. As I walked her out I asked her what she thought. She agreed he was still flirting, but to a bit of a lesser degree. It was all I needed to confirm I wasn’t being irrational. I thanked her and gave her a hug goodnight. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going out since it was already quite late, and we were going to the beach the following morning with Boston and a few others. As our group was shrinking by one, we were also growing by two. CK’s roommate and his assistant joined us. The night was only getting better and better.

When we arrived at Flaming Saddles, no one was there. Instead, we continued on to Industry. It was a good scene, and the good news was that CK and I were dancing. Old News seemed to disappear. However, it wasn’t long before I felt I was beginning to disappear too. I was slowly but surely getting comfortable with going to gay bars, but I was also learning something about CK in gay bars I didn’t exactly appreciate.

When we danced, I never felt like I was dancing with just him. I felt like I was dancing with the entire bar. He danced, and I was tried to dance next to him. He constantly looked around to see who was looking at him, gently touching guys as they passed by him. I never had his full attention. This was only exacerbated when he stepped up on the stage, and I was two steps below him. I felt like I was there with a go-go boy, and I have to admit I was a little crushed. It hurt. Was my attention not enough for him? Did he need the eyes of every other guy in the room? This brought up a lot of worries I’d been having about our relationship. I was worried I wasn’t enough for him, and that was all I wanted.

We ended up closing down the bar at 4:00am. We were all starving, so we foraged for food. We settled on Empanada Mama and grabbed a table outside. They had a packed house, so it took forever for us to get our food. When it finally arrived, everyone dug in. When I went to grab my second empanada, it was gone. I looked across the table and noticed Old News shoveling it into his pie hole. I don’t think he took it on purpose, but it was a perfect picture of my relationship with him. First, he was trying to steal my man. Now, he was stealing my food.

I was already agitated by Old News, but at this point, it was 6:00am and the sun was starting to come up. As the time ticked on, I grew more and more anxious about getting up the next day to follow through on my plans. CK was already so tired he actually fell asleep at the table. It was time to go home and go to bed. We said goodbye and made our way home. While we walked he turned to me and said, “You’re nuts if you think we’re heading to the beach tomorrow at 10:00.” That set me off. I told CK about my plans to go to the beach days prior to this. He should have planned accordingly. This was important to me. I hadn’t seen Boston in over a year. He was completely disregarding my plans, and I was furious. “You’re nuts if you think we’re not.” He looked at me with a confused look.

I explained how upset I was and of course started getting loud. The fact that he remembered the beach plans and completely disregarded them was incredibly demeaning. In doing so, he was telling me that his unplanned fun mattered and my planned day did not. We could have called it quits at any point throughout the night so we could have done a bit of both. Had he brought it up before 6:00am, I probably would have been receptive of a compromise. I would have said we could leave around 11:00 so we could stay out a little later. At this point, after being told I’m nuts, I wasn’t about to give up any ground. I told him I was going, with or without him. I had made plans with a friend visiting from out-of-town, and I wasn’t about to back out because he wanted to stay out all night.

Against the advice of nearly every couple I’ve ever met, that night (or should I say morning) we went to bed angry…

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Put Me In Coach

It was obvious things were strained between Smiles and I. For quite some time, our relationship was on the decline. He was distant, closed off, and not very engaged, and I wasn’t happy.

I tried to stick it out with him. I tried being patient and understanding. He was a good guy, and I could see there was a great guy under all this. But, I had reached my limit. I knew I deserved better. It was time to move on.

Wednesday passed without communication from Smiles, so I sent him a text in the middle of the afternoon. “It’s apparent you’re trying to put distance between us. Can you possibly find time to discuss things with me in person? Thanks,” I typed.

He responded ten minutes later with: “I can this weekend. I’m up at 5:30 and in bed at 12:30 and not a lot of time in between. This weekend will be a littler better but not much. I will make something work though.”

Wow! It was all I could do to restrain myself from responding, “Thanks for squeezing me in!”  How could he!? After three months of dating, he couldn’t sacrifice a gym session to take the time to talk to me like a man. What a coward! It was completely disrespectful and painted a clear picture of Smiles’ true feeling for me. I doubt he ever truly cared for me. He simply enjoyed not being lonely.

I’m no one’s lap dog. I was back in the game. In my mind, we were all but broken up. It was inevitable. There was no coming back from this, especially since the relationship wasn’t the strongest to begin with. I’d been through yet another failed relationship with a man who simply wasn’t that into me. My confidence was pretty much shot. What was it about me they couldn’t seem to embrace? I’m not pathetic enough to say what was I doing wrong, but I also knew I may be something to turn these men off.

Regardless, I was back in the game. I needed to put myself back out there. Some people would argue I needed some time to be single and to figure myself out, but I know myself well enough. I didn’t need time to heal from this one. I did need to have some fun. It’d been a long time since I had passionate active sex, and I was hungry for it.

After my last breakup, I went wild over the summer. I hooked up with a lot of guys and expanded my sexual horizons. It was both a good thing and a bad thing. I didn’t want to go back to my old ways. I already learned how unfulfilling it was. There was no need to repeat old mistakes. But I wasn’t going to completely limit myself. I was “single” for all intents and purposes.

I had been talking to a Latino on Grindr for a bit of time. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we had a lot in common. Latinos aren’t really my type, but I’m an equal opportunity dater. N was of Latino background, and we got along well enough in the beginning.

We set a date for Thursday night to grab a drink at a local Hoboken bar, Trinity. He lived in neighboring Jersey City, and I convinced him to drive over since I didn’t have a car — It was a bit cold for the motorcycle.

He arrived before me, and found a spot in the corner of the bar. It was a good spot since we could talk without a large crowd of spectators. I shook his hand and introduced myself. He did the same, and I immediately recognized an accent of some sort. I asked him where he is from.

He told me of his roots in Venezuela and asked about my upbringing. I told him about my time growing up on the farm and how I came to live in the shadow of New York City.

We’d learned about our shared interest in volleyball and talked about that for some time. He was much more of an amateur than myself, but it was nice to find someone who had an interest in it.

We somehow got on the subject of coming out and families. He told me he’d been out of the closet since he was eighteen. He asked when I came out, and I proudly told him I was fresh and new. I told him I’d only come out about a year and a half ago. The expression of shock and disappointment on his face said it all. I knew the date was a failure. We chatted a bit about it, and I could tell he was not thrilled with the idea of my being a “new gay.” I tried to explain to him I wasn’t new. On the timeline, it may seem short, but I did a lot in that short period of time. I grew in leaps and bounds and had relationships of all sorts with varied men. For the first time in my life, I was trying to vaguely paint myself as a recovering whore.

When I think back about this, it was a dumb idea. If it was something that bothered him, I should have accepted that and moved on. I didn’t need to end the date then and there, but I shouldn’t have tried so hard so early to be what he wanted. I should have just been myself. This may be why I get involved with men that aren’t truly interested in me.

Somehow our discussion morphed into the topic of sex with women. He’d never been with a woman, but I have. I was just adding water to the fire with every sentence. We talked about the local gay dating ring, Grindr and the like. It was an interesting conversation, as we the entire date, but I doubted there would be a second.

When we finished that drink, I paid the bill and offered to walk him to his car. When we got there, I went in for a kiss. It was pretty bad. We pretty much crashed into each other with a forceful peck. I’m not sure why I kissed him if I wasn’t all that interested in him. I think it’s because I’ve been out of the game for some time, and I just felt like it was what I was supposed to do.

As I walked home, I checked my phone to find out one of the guys I’d met from Grindr months ago was moving to Hoboken. We’d been in touch sporadically since we originally met. He was just coming off a really rough breakup, and I was just starting things off with Smiles. I met him in hopes of making a new gay friend. I needed those as much as I needed lovers. He’d invited me to go out a few times, but I was never able to due to other plans. Now we’d be neighbors, and hanging out would be much easier. I was just what I needed to come back into my life at that moment.

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