Q: I’ve just moved out from my parents’ home at the age of 24. I’m finally on my own, and while I like the independence, I don’t like being alone. I don’t want to jump into a relationship or anything, but my apartment just seems too quiet. Is there any way to overcome these feelings? Bryan J. in Jamaica Plain, MA
A: I think you’re smart for recognizing that a romantic relationship is not what you want just because you’re feeling lonely in a new situation. There are plenty of other kinds of relationships that might be appropriate for you that don’t entail romance or, goddess forbid, codependency. Perhaps a roommate to share the space would work for you. Or a pet. Walking a dog would get you out of the apartment and give you an opportunity to meet other dog owners. Just make sure you’re ready for the commitment having a pet demands. If staying in the apartment seems lonely, get out. You live just outside Boston so you don’t have the “There’s nothing to do here” excuse. Find something you like, go do it, and don’t be shy about chatting with people there. Coming out of Abduction, you could ask, “Was I the only one waiting for Taylor Lautner to solve this by turning into a werewolf?” Go to a Patriots game and comment on how you thought Chad Ochocinco was robbed on Dancing With The Stars. The point is to mix, mingle and be your big, bad, independent self. Give yourself time to build up a base of quality friends. From there you’ll learn that “on your own” doesn’t necessarily mean “being alone” at all.
BAD BOYS AND BARS Q: Do you think we’ll ever learn to stay away from men we meet at bars? I just had my last date with someone after meeting him at a bar because he turned out to be a total idiot and a jerk. Enough is enough! But I do find myself drawn to the bad boys. Any advice on how to break that habit and settle (down) for a more grounded man with a job and some ambition? Integrity might be nice, too, but I’m not asking for the world here. Duane F. via instinctmagazine.com
A: Advice? Yeah. Stop thinking you only deserve crap men and then going out and seeking them. While I know men who have met terrific guys (even partners) at bars, there’s a reason for the saying, “A bar is a great place to meet people if you want to meet alcoholics.” No, not all guys at bars are alcoholics, idiots or jerks, but let’s face it—that’s where the percentages are gonna be mighty high. So if you know that’s where you meet that kind of man and you keep going there anyway, that’s a big screaming indication of truly rotten self-esteem. Before you go looking for another “bad boy,” you’ve got work to do on your inner self. Take a dating hiatus so you can get to the root of why you think you’re only worthy of that kind of man. Deal with whatever that is and learn to love yourself better. Become the man you’d like to have as a partner first. THEN go looking for him. And look in the places where a man who has the qualities you’re searching for (grounded, with ambition, integrity and a job) would likely be—perhaps by playing sports, joining a theater group or car club, working with an AIDS program or a spirituality group. Look wherever people with interests similar to yours hang out. But ya gotta fix Duane first.
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COCK-A-DOODLE-DON’T! Q: Why must men insist on lying about the size of their dicks on all these dating sites? Don’t they know that the thought of a 10-incher going inside me is actually terrifying and not a turn-on? How’d this start and why does it persist? “Bossy Bottom” in Las Vegas, NV
A: It’s just another indication that our insecure (and therefore unduly influenced) gay tribe suffers from what I call “porn damage.” We’ve seen mutant-sized dicks on porn stars all our lives, so we think somehow that’s the norm. Add to that our American obsession with “bigger is better,” and you get the mistaken belief that “my cock has to be ginormous or people won’t have sex with me!” Hence the lying. Until we learn that our masculinity, our personhood and our worth are not connected to our cocks (or any other part of our bodies), this foolishness will persist. A penis is great, but you are not your dick, just as you are not your face, job, car, house, bank account or Lady Gaga collection. Fortunately for you, B.B., we all know 10 inches is actually six, so go to it. And remember to b-r-e-a-t-h-e!
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