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Old 17th Mar 2017, 05:46 PM   #1
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How do I diversify my standards of attractiveness?

I'm a gay male in my 30's and I'm still single. I came out in my late 20's and still haven't had a relationship that's lasted more than a month. One of my problems (IMO) is that my standards are ridiculously high (a la Lois and Brian Griffin's piano number in Family Guy). So my question to the forum is: how do I diversify my standards of who I find attractive vs. unattractive? I figure that if I was attracted to a wider range of guys, then I would be attached at this point.

The guys I usually tend to be attracted to are White/Hispanic/Asian, around my age or younger, educated, nerdy, like outdoor activities, are not politically on either extreme and like dogs (or at least cats). I'm passionate about learning, helping others and seeing animals in their natural environments (ie- Ray Mears = soft core earth porn, lol =P). Physically, I'm attracted to average-to-fit builds; I'm tall and have a thin-average build myself. I don't find myself attracted to guys who are really into musicals, love shopping, talk about pop culture and would rather spend a gorgeous day indoors. I don't mind if a guy is more on the feminine side, but I find that most guys who are fem don't really share any of my core interests. I hope someone comes along who can prove that wrong. I don't discriminate on height, either. I've been on dates with guys who are 5'2" to 6'2".

I think one of my other problems is that when I meet someone online and then meet them in person, I keep coming up with reasons why a relationship with that particular guy wouldn't work out. Unless that reason is really legit (ie- a huge character flaw or someone who's extremely dysfunctional), I need to work on not giving up so easily, and thinking about what imperfections and downsides I can live with vs those I can't. Lord knows I'm definitely not perfect, so I shouldn't hold others to such a high standard.

Any advice would be appreciated. Please keep your comments respectful, even if you find my post disagreeable. I'm feeling pretty depressed right now, for a bunch of reasons.
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Old 18th Mar 2017, 08:14 AM   #2
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Re: How do I diversify my standards of attractiveness?

I don't find your 'standards stringent in the slightest. And if you take nothing else away from my post, it should be that you should NEVER "settle". There will be people who will suggest, or advise, or even try to shame you into meeting up with or dating guys that you really have no interest in. When this happens, and it will - in fact, I bet it already has - politely tell these people to pound sand. Far more damage is done by dating a guy you aren't really attracted to than is done by skipping him over - it's not good for either of your self esteems. Better alone than in an unhappy relationship.

That said, what can you do? Not much. Keep looking. If you find a guy who doesn't immediately set your heart (or genitals) alight, but you seem to mesh with otherwise, feel free to go on a few platonic dates to see if any sparks develop. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. But keep things platonic and "strictly friends" - breaking up after sex is usually a lot messier.

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Old 20th Mar 2017, 05:33 PM   #3
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Re: How do I diversify my standards of attractiveness?

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Originally Posted by Lexington View Post
I don't find your 'standards stringent in the slightest. And if you take nothing else away from my post, it should be that you should NEVER "settle". There will be people who will suggest, or advise, or even try to shame you into meeting up with or dating guys that you really have no interest in. When this happens, and it will - in fact, I bet it already has - politely tell these people to pound sand. Far more damage is done by dating a guy you aren't really attracted to than is done by skipping him over - it's not good for either of your self esteems. Better alone than in an unhappy relationship.

That said, what can you do? Not much. Keep looking. If you find a guy who doesn't immediately set your heart (or genitals) alight, but you seem to mesh with otherwise, feel free to go on a few platonic dates to see if any sparks develop. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. But keep things platonic and "strictly friends" - breaking up after sex is usually a lot messier.

Lex
OP here. Thanks for the objective advice, Lex. Yeah, I agree with you that it's better to be alone, albeit surrounded by a good community of friends and family, than be in an unhappy relationship. It's better for both parties.

Haha, thanks for the funny visual ("setting your heart-or genitals- alight"). You definitely have point about keeping things platonic until you're really sure you want to date someone. That's one mistake I've made more than a few times. I mean, sometimes both people are just horny and want to get a release, but at the same times, breaking things off after things have gotten sexual is a bit more difficult.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 05:11 AM   #4
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Re: How do I diversify my standards of attractiveness?

Lex is right. Some people will (perhaps inadvertently) trick you into thinking you want a relationship when you don't want one. Either they'll try to convince you that a guy you're not interested in is a good match for you, or they'll just bang on at you about finding someone just for the sake of it. We're not stupid. We know when we find someone attractive and we know if we want to be with someone. Your standards are your own and you don't need anyone else trying to dictate your love life to you.

Look at it this way - if you think you need to make yourself fancy men you're not attracted to, then you might as well try to make yourself straight and like girls. Do you want that for yourself?

People talk about gay pride, but you can be proud of yourself and you can be happy without being in a relationship. If you are picky, so what? There is no shame in being single.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 05:26 AM   #5
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Re: How do I diversify my standards of attractiveness?

Hi Op; there are a couple of things here that I'd like to comment on as this has in some way been an issue for me too. Firstly I think how relationships are portrayed and maybe even talked about to some degree and what they actually are in the day to day reality of experiencing them are different. I do think it's far less starry eyed love and far more compromise which can be A lot more banal that is made out. I also think it takes work and commitment to make a relationship work over years ; decades and for some , a lifetime and this commitment usually involves a whole lot of acceptance about the other persons flaws and frailties. I think though it also means acceptance of our own flaws and frailties as well. I think so many of us struggle with long term adult relationships because the grittiness of long term relationships are not usually honestly discussed and I have to say I respectfully disagree with the above posters comments on "settling ". I do think to a degree that is sort of the point of a relationship especially one that endures ...there is certainly an aspect of "settling "....look humans are complex and complicated and dynamic and it is both exciting abs amazing to share our lives with another but it can also be frustrating and I think takes a certain level of emotional maturity and groundedness to make them last. So at some point after getting to know someone and taking things further it does become a matter of choice , intent and purple on both sides but it is definitely a wilful act that is determined by how ready and wiling two people are to get into one. Basically maybe you've never got into a relationship longer than one month because you did not want too or you weren't ready for one which by the way is a perfectly legitimate thing but to be honest ; the hard truth is that there is no magic pill ....after all we do what we are going to do and we will always find reasons to justify our reasons .....perhaps the irony is in knowing ourselves we will be open to knowing others .
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 06:41 AM   #6
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Re: How do I diversify my standards of attractiveness?

The poster above dropped a truth bomb that unfortunately too many of us are unwilling to hear. At the end of the day it really does come down to the choices we make and the choices we are prepared to live with.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 06:56 AM   #7
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Re: How do I diversify my standards of attractiveness?

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I think one of my other problems is that when I meet someone online and then meet them in person, I keep coming up with reasons why a relationship with that particular guy wouldn't work out.

There is a lot going on, but I will focus on this for now.

It seems like the problem isn't actually the lack of being attracted to people, but the fact that you are tripping yourself and having internal conversations about what a problem might or might not be.

For example, it would be different if you say "wow, I keep trying to get this guy to go kayaking with me, but he keeps being selfish and doesn't care about my want". That would be a legit argument for ending something.

In the other hand, and I could be wrong, it sounds like you go "wow, I think this guys wouldn't be into kayaking. How boring. Yeah, this won't work out since he would never go kayaking with me" In that instance the problem is in your head

When a "problem" arises, have you tried talking to the guys you are seeing about it?

Couples and relationships aren't created in vacuums. You have to talk about it and both people need to created an environment where you can both have your needs met.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 07:12 AM   #8
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Re: How do I diversify my standards of attractiveness?

The last three posters are onto something. I think less time in your head and more time communicating might be a good idea. remember assumptions are the root of all evil !!!

I sort of grow really weary about the whole standards thing because honestly the people I've met in long term and happy stable relationships and have talked to about this stuff perceive things a bit differently. It's less about dangling standards and more about a shared commonality love and respect. To be honest the only people I've heard talk about "standards" are chronically single and unhappy about it so go figure.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 07:35 PM   #9
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Re: How do I diversify my standards of attractiveness?

I tend to agree with everyone here but let me just add ; remember and a lot seem to forget this fact but "standards" are a two-way street. I don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with having them but it's important that one meets their own standards that they've set otherwise yes it is the best way to almost guarantee a lifetime of singleness since most people can smell bullshit a mile away and that's generally not attractive. It seems that you already have self awareness about this and I think have more or less answered your own question. I also don't think changing standards is as simple or binary as "settling" I think like one of the posters mentioned relationships are far more complicated and messy than that in the real world and as another mentioned they are not created in a vacuum.
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