When it comes to dating and relationships does the start of a brand new year mean you need to think about getting a brand new him or start working on a brand new you? Daniel Warner asks if being single and unattached is such a bad thing or is 2020 the year to start sharing your love with someone else?
They say it’s love that makes the world go round but for some of us love is the one thing that makes us want to stop the world and try and get off. As gay men we have the choice to choose the relationships that work for us but sometimes too much choice leaves us unsure of what we want and who we want it with.
We can start the New Year as a casual dating couple that somehow ends up in a throuple, friends with benefits can lead to a monogamous marriage and for those of us who believe we will be eternally single, we can find ourselves totally committed to the idea of a ring on our finger and a set of matching towels in our bathroom.
A New Year can bring a whole new set of pressures when it comes to looking for love. Resolutions are made and the start of a brand new year leads to some of us reevaluating what we have, what we want and what we need to get rid of.
For the single guys amongst us Christmas can be the loneliest time of all. How many of us have sat around a table for lunch surrounded by family and friends who are all happily married, shacked up, cohabiting, civil partnering or even just unwrapping each other at every opportunity?
I have friends who believe a boyfriend isn’t for life, he’s just for Christmas and by the time New Year comes around they realise it wasn’t a boyfriend they wanted at all, all they really needed was a better winter coat. If you find yourself settling for something less than you deserve just because the nights are cold, it doesn’t always mean you need someone to cuddle, more often than not it means you’re in desperate need of a cashmere cardigan.
There is another way to look at this ‘I really need a boyfriend’ mindset. What do we really gain from being in a relationship? Sure there’s half the bills, maybe a better apartment and a reason to get up and brush your teeth when you’re hungover but there’s also an overwhelming feeling of guilt when you don’t want to share your chips, your bottle of wine and the independence that’s made your cold little heart turn to stone every time anyone pays you the slightest bit of attention.
You do know that last paragraph is just a joke right? Or maybe it’s my life story, sometimes I get the two confused.
Some of us enjoy being single, we can do what we want, who we want and when we want but there does a come a time when we need to think about why we aren’t in a relationship or why they never seem to work out?
I’m not saying it’s always our fault, it takes two to make a thing go right and sometimes it takes three, four or even five to make a thing go wrong. If you can’t commit to someone because you’re too busy committing yourself to your own sexual gratification just remember that sometimes great sex can lead to a great relationship. These things can go hand in hand, or hand in wherever else you want to put them.
The flip side to all of this is what happens if you find yourself in a relationship that really isn’t working for you? If you’re staying with someone who isn’t good for you just because you don’t want to be alone then you really need to try and change things. Nobody needs or deserves to be in a relationship that isn’t healthy or is affecting their mental wellbeing.
Many of us settle for someone because it seems a better option than being alone when in truth, staying in an unhealthy relationship does more damage to our self-worth and happiness than packing our bags and stepping back into the single life. Relationships take work and I’m not encouraging anyone to dump their boyfriend, husband or significant other just because he left his socks on the floor or someone told you he happened to smile at a guy in the gym, but if it’s your mental or physical wellbeing that is at stake then it’s time to get up, get out and wave goodbye.
A New Year should be a time of hope, not hopelessness and if you’re spending time thinking you want to make changes to your love life and try something (or someone) new then maybe the start of 2020 is the time to do it? There are so many guys out there looking for love right now in bars, clubs, on apps or even the old fashioned way (behind trees and in public toilets) so If you’re single and wanting to get hitched or in a relationship with someone who needs to get ditched, then now’s the time to make some plans and change how you view yourself and your love life.
It doesn’t matter how you start this New Year, being single isn’t so bad and being in love and in a relationship can be wonderful but most of all, being true to yourself and making yourself happy, really is the greatest love of all.