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Is Your Boyfriend a SpaceMan?

by Jamie Banning 16. May 2013 10:03
Gay relationships - together but alone
Dating a "SpaceMan" can be frustrating

“Jamie, I like being with you, but you know I need my space.”

These words, spoken by my then heartthrob man, struck terror into my heart. I knew then - on some level - that our relationship was doomed. Coming as it did, after 9 months of intense dating, and many hints of moving in together being dropped (by me), I could tell that the relationship was not going to move smoothly onto the next phase. For me that meant moving in, and becoming an established couple.

Why was the ever-increasing closeness important to me? I felt (like most people) that relationships have to move forward, have to have some momentum. I wanted us to go out into the world standing side-by-side facing forwards, not as two separate men struggling with life’s ups and downs, together, but separate. Without momentum relationships slow down, stagnate and get cold. Eventually, the grass on the other side of the neighbour’s fence starts to look enticingly lush and healthy.

But Andrew (as I’ll call him) obviously didn’t feel the same way.

No – not only did he not want to move in, but he “needed his space”. What did this mean, exactly? It wasn’t easy to find out. He wasn’t a man to articulate his feelings in a clear way; preferring to use hints, innuendo, and behaviour as his way of telling me things. I was just as bad - at the time – I hope I do better now.

Here are some signs I should have picked up earlier, but love blinkered me to the reality. If you’re dating someone who shows the Spaceman signs, beware!

  • He wanted to be with me, but he wanted to be in control of when we saw each other. It’s not that he rejected my suggestions for places to go, things to do, it’s just that somehow he managed to always get his way, without me even realising!
  • I found it difficult and frustrating to get clear answers on when we would meet, and the length of time we’d spend together.
  • He would sometimes stay the night but sometimes (especially after sex) disappear, sometimes in the middle of the night! 
  • He would not answer my texts immediately, but would get annoyed if I was not there when he rang or texted. 
  • After a couple of days of intense and wonderful companionship (I thought) he’d be straining at the leash to get back to his own flat 
  • He invented what I thought were artificial problems with his sister and brother that he just had to be there to sort out – no matter that they were adults themselves and old enough to sort out their own problems
  • He delayed and procrastinated on the question of moving in together.
  • I was not invited warmly into his circle of friends - he insisted it was healthier to keep our separate groups of friends. Hmm. 

There were many other signs that my boyfriend was a Spaceman - just little things that pulled him away from me, when we should have been getting closer. In the end, the inevitable furious arguments began, as our relationship slid away from anything that I could control. 

Eventually I had to let it go, to avoid being damaged by this unhealthy relationship. We are good friends today though and I don’t regret our relationship, having realised it wasn’t right for either of us. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and it was time to see if I couldn’t hook one or two of them. Next time, I vowed, my boyfriend wouldn’t be a spaceman, and our close encounters would be really close – for all the right reasons.

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dating | gay | relationships

30 Ways to Lose Your Lover

by Jamie Banning 26. October 2012 00:12
Gay couple in restaurant
You got the guy, you got the date, now get real!

You've got the date. You've got the place. You've got the guy. Now get real! You can still balls up your entire night if you're not careful! Use our handy guide to avoid dating doom and disaster, and come out the next morning smelling of roses :-)

  1. Flying without a licence. Double check that zip after your trip to the lav.
  2. Getting pissed. Watch what you're drinking, nervo-boy.
  3. Crooked teeth. Get yourself down to the fang-wrencher's and get your gnashers sorted!
  4. Ear-hair.
  5. Nose-hair.
  6. Spaghetti bolognese. A meal designed by Italians specifically to embarrass Brits.
  7. Bill-haggling. Use your negotiating skills in the boardroom, not in the restaurant. 
  8. Politics. Go carefully. If you're a yogurt-knitting lefty, perhaps your date is a fox-hunting true-blue. Best find this out gradually.
  9. Religion. Is the Pope a Catholic? If you're not sure, consider shutting up about the Big Sky-Daddy.  
  10. Waiters do not need to be summoned by snapping one's fingers. 
  11. Over-perfuming. Cologne is supposed to add to your subtle allure, not create a cloying cloud of noxious fumes.
  12. Naffoid ringtones. You might think your jingly-jungly ringtone is hysterical. The rest of the world probably doesn't. Turn it down, or preferably, off.
  13. Splash-back from the urinal. Make extra careful, when you're making water.  
  14. Gadget willy-waving. Just because you have the latest iPhone, doesn't mean the whole world needs to see it!
  15. Bum-watching. Concentrate on your date, not the waiter's arse!
  16. Smoking. If you find yourself outside on the pavement more than you're inside gazing into his eyes, you gotta problem buddy.
  17. Ex-boyfriends. They're exes for a reason. Leave them there. 
  18. Bill-splitting. Who asked who out? If it was you, just pay the bill!
  19. The after-the-gym date. Can be nice, but make sure you hit the shower after.
  20. Blogging. So you've got a blog? Use your date as a date, not as material. 
  21. Facebook check-in. You might want the world to know you're in a swanky Soho eatery. Your date might not! Leave Facebook alone!
  22. Grindr. OMG, log out of there - you don't want a random guy eyeing you up. 
  23. Stubble. One man's stubble is another man's rampant bootsy tramp/comedy pirate beard. Invest in a good stubble razor.
  24. Salary-talk. Avoid.
  25. Judging. Avoid judging your date, lest ye be judged.
  26. Slagging. So your best friend/flatmate/ex has just done something unforgiveable - like leaving the butter out of the frdge. Probably best to avoid conversation about the petty annoyances of your close friendships.
  27. Poppers. Not now for God's sake!
  28. Clean shoes. Shoe polish is your best friend. 
  29. Sarcasm. Lowest form of wit, half-wit.
  30. Teeth-clanking. Kissing is supposed to be pleasant - not require a trip to the dentists the next morning.
Oh, and one more. 
  • Comedy condoms.

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Gay London Dating

by Jamie Banning 16. May 2012 00:49
Gay ballroom dancing

Gay dating in London is thriving with men from all over the world collecting in our capital to meet and take advantage of the relatively open and supportive community here. Whether you are younger or older, out and proud or in the closet, bi, Trans or queer, there is a place for you here in London and destinations to meet other LGBT folks on and off the London gay scene.

With mainstream clubs like Heaven and G.A.Y., or traditional gay hang-outs like Old Compton Street in Soho, the gay community in London is well established and diverse. Soho offers rainbow-flagged restaurants, bars and clubs to cater for a myriad of tastes and budgets, and can provide you with fun, company and new experiences galore.

Many people like to meet potential boyfriends online instead of simply hanging out in gay venues to see who is there, and this can be a great way of letting people know what you are looking for. Here at www.gaydatingagency.com we cater for men who are looking for potential relationships as opposed to quick hook-ups, and can help you navigate London’s hectic gay dating scene.

If you are looking for no-strings fun then it may not be hard to find, and protection is the key to approaching gay dating in London. But, if you are looking for a soul-mate, a potential father with whom to bring up a family or simply someone great to spend quality time with away from the lively crowd, it may take a little more patience to find the man who can give you what you are looking for.

A well thought out profile on a gay dating site can offer you the space and time to choose who you wish to meet and where you want to meet them. Always submit genuine, recent photos and a truthful description of your likes and dislikes when you create a profile on a dating site; this will help you to avoid wasting time and maximise your chances of meeting the right man.

Gay dating in London can be great fun when approached with a clear idea of what is right for you and what you have to offer. London is a hub of gay activists and campaigners, who can be hugely thoughtful and intelligent with diverse ideas on how to date, live and love as a gay man in London. 

London Gay Pride Festival, the biggest UK Pride event, attracts thousands of people each year who take part in an enormous street party and host events covering many different aspects of gay life. Pride can be a great time to meet people but also just to celebrate the evolution of the gay community in London from its pioneering roots to the cultural heavy-hitter it is today.

However you choose to approach gay dating in London, be safe, have fun and keep in mind what you are really, truly looking for – there is someone out there for everyone and London is a great place to enjoy the search.

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Welcome to Gay Dating Agency 2.0

by Heather Morris 17. March 2011 11:22

Hi - the Gay Dating Agency team here. You've probably already noticed we've made some big changes. Here's what happening, and why it is good for you.

What has changed and why

We recognised that the old GDA was getting a bit out of date. It wasn't providing the modern, up-to-date functionality that today's customers have come to expect, and in a way that is accessible and takes full advantage of modern web browsers. We've fixed that by deploying a totally new platform for your site. The new platform will give a much more user-friendly experience, and has many more useful features.

Secondly we're no longer a totally free site. Most of our features are now chargeable. Boo, hiss, I hear you cry. Well, we've been giving away free gay dating for more years than I care to remember, so at least we all had a good shot at it. But running a site like Gay Dating Agency does take an awful amount of manpower. It takes time, trouble, and not inconsiderable expense. So sadly it has become necessary to introduce a charge for the service. But ... (and it's a big but).

We have teamed up with one of the UK's leading gay dating providers (WLD) and thus have access to their entire customer base, which runs to many thousands of members. Far more than we had on the old GDA. All UK-based, all current and up to date, mostly with photos. We know you're going to love that you can now meet so many more guys at GDA. After all, that's what it's all about.

Customer service

You'll find that customer support requests are now answered far faster, always within 24 hours, as we have brought WLD's customer service department on board. If you experienced delays with the old GDA you won't any more.

Better communication

We have the power to tell you when new guys in your area have signed up. We'll automatically send you an email alerting you to new prospects in your area. This is a fantastically useful service which we know you're going to love.

Your questions answered

Will my account be automatically transferred to the new Gay Dating Agency?

No. We will not be transferring your data. If you are a member of the old Gay Dating Agency your data is kept with ourselves as usual and will not be transferred in any way.

Why can't I log in using my old login?

Because we have not transferred your account to the new gay dating agency, you can't use your login on the old site. If you want to use the new GDA (and we're sure you will) you'll need to sign up for an account in the normal way. But don't worry about losing your friends and contacts from the old GDA, because:

What if want to carry on using the old Gay Dating Agency?

You can! Simply click the "Loved our old site" link at the top of the page. This will direct you back into the old site, where you can keep up with friends and acquantainces just as you did before. We won't be accepting any new memberships in the old site though. But you are very welcome to continue using to pick up emails, keep appointments, etc.

What if I am a paying member using old Gay Dating Agency?

Your payment is still valid. You can use the old site for as long as you wish. If you have an issue with payments, please do contact us on this address: help@gaydatingagency.com to discuss.

Enjoy your new site!

So please take the time to explore the new gaydatingagency.com. We know you're going to enjoy it, we can't wait to get started, and we look forward to welcoming lots of new friends.

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Gay dating tips

by Heather Morris 11. February 2011 18:09

Going on a date this week? We present our most important basic tips for you. Don't forget about any of these points, and have a great date!

1. Scrub up nicely

Look your very best - no excuses. Clean and polished shoes? In. Scruffy trainers - definitely out. There's no need to go mad and spend money you don't have - but a new pair of smart jeans or a clean cut shirt can dramatically improve your overall appearance. Charity shop chic might be cool but not on a first date - you're out to impress.

2. Don't forget the hair and makeup

Get down to the hairdressers. Tell them you're going on a date - you might get special treatment!

Ever had a proper barbers' shave? Date day could be a good time to try - it's relaxing and can sooth last-minute nerves not to mention leaving you looking and feeling fab.

Moisturise, morning, noon and night on the day before your first date. You'll wake up with your skin looking its best.

Apply any skin products such as concealer carefully and don't forget to check yourself in a couple of mirrors in different lights.

3.  Get a job

Seriously, we're much more fanciable if we're gainfully employed - no matter the profession! You need to be a man with a plan to gain a new fan. Ambition and motivation and hugely desirable qualities.

4. Gen up

Make sure you're aware of what's happening in the world. Read the papers. Watch the news. And I don't just mean the celeb pages. Educate yourself - you'll find yourself at home wherever your date night convo leads you. Intelligence is sooo sexy.

5. Go easy on the booze

It's your first date - you've got the jitters - we've all been there. But keep an eye on what you're drinking this first night - nobody wants to deal with a slobbering wreck at the end of the night. While we're on the subject your local gay bar probably isn't the best venue for your first date. A quiet restaurant might improve the atmosphere.

6. Manners maketh the man

Don't be late. If you absolutely must be late, text with a reason why! Don't expect your date to pay for all the drinks and food. Keep your potty mouth for a night out with the lads - your man doesn't want to hear how good you are at swearing tonight. Keep it romantic. Be kind, polite, and listen to what your man has to say.

7. Pack in smoking.

Just do it.

8. Listen

Talk, sure. But listen too. You might just learn something! Ask questions to draw out interesting aspects of your man's life, in a gentle way. Be appreciative of his opinions. If you find yourself in vehement disagreement, steer the conversation away. He'll understand!

9. Don't expect sex on your first date

You might be lusting after him and horny as hell. But if he's worth seeing, it's worth waiting for. You are capable of waiting!

10. Stay safe

Don't end up as another statistic - obey the basic gay dating rules - meet in a public place. Tell someone where you're going. Go home in a cab - not his car.

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Space for serendipity

by Adam Clark 11. November 2010 16:50
Adam Clark

Gay Life Coach Adam Clark

I recently heard an interview with Joe Wright, the director of the film Atonement. He was being interviewed by Francine Stock for BBC Radio 4. One of the things she asked him about was the remarkable mock-up of the Dunkirk evacuation.

Those of you who have seen the film, will, I am sure, have been impressed by this shot. It involved over 2,000 extras on Redcar beach playing the remnants of the British and French armies waiting to be evacuated in the late spring of 1940 as Hitler's army advanced through France. The film includes an amazing take lasting more than five minutes where the camera weaves through the soldiers as they find ways to pass their time on the beach, waiting for the boats to come that will, hopefully, take them to safety. Wright explained how he set up the shot. He left the extras to improvise much of what was caught on camera. He set the camera rolling, and then, just as he started filming, the clouds parted to let through an eerie milky light that gave the scene a particularly chilling quality. Wright admitted that he couldn't have made lighting conditions like that happen. When talking about the shot, he described how he had to do a lot of preparation, but how this was just a safety net to allow space for what he called serendipity. He explained how he had to have faith that the scene would work. He didn't take credit for the wonderful light, but enjoyed how it transformed the scene.

Joe Wright's interview got me thinking about serendipity. The word was coined by Horace Walpole in the 18th Century to describe the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else. Walpole was said to have invented the word having read a Persian fairy tale called The Three Princes of Serendip. In this story, the three eponymous princes were set tasks, but made clever or accidental discoveries along the way that brought them unsought rewards.

Following the example of the Princes of Serendip, Joe Wright did the preparation for his epic shot and then left the rest to chance, trusting that things would work out well. I think that we, in our everyday lives, need to learn to leave space for those magical, chance happenings. For serendipity.

How to make space for those magical, chance happenings

1. Ditch the distractions

Many of us lead lives that are packed with activity. We are bombarded with information and find it difficult to cope with the sheer volume of information thrown at us. I believe the first step in making space for chance happenings is cutting down this clutter. For example if you have constantly to struggle to keep your inbox clear of spam, change your email address and let only those you want to contact you know what it is. And be careful what you sign up to receive. In the last month, three of my clients have told me that they've deleted their Facebook profiles. There's nothing wrong with Facebook per se, but the sheer volume of distracting emails and contacts it was creating for them had become oppressive. They created more space and time for themselves by freeing themselves from it.

2. Be still

It's important to spend at least some of the day being still. I start the day with a series of exercises that involve with me lying on the floor, sensing my body and noticing my breathing. Even this morning, when I had to leave the house at 6:15am for an early morning meeting, I spent a few minutes on the floor stilling myself. Experiment with being still at different times of the day, note the effects, and see which works best for you.

3. Stimulate your imagination

The raw material for my writing is the experiences I have of life. But living life is not enough if I'm to be imaginative and novel in my work. I need to spend some time each day reading and making notes from books on psychology and wellbeing. I'm now in the habit of spending ten minutes stimulating my imagination in this way every morning before I start my work for the day, even if I've got lots to do. It's a question of priorities; my work all seems more manageable if I've first read extracts from an author whose writing I respect. But it's a discipline to make myself do this, especially when the tasks of the day are pressing.

4. Make time for the things that give you energy

One of my clients is a wonderful yoga teacher. She is also an astute business woman and a lovely person. My coaching with her has taken the opposite course to that I would have expected. Instead of helping her to come up with goals for herself, and holding her to account, I've recently been helping her to let go of goals. She is tremendously self-disciplined and very conscientious. However in the busy-ness of her life, she no longer had time to practise yoga on her own. She needed to give up some of the things she was doing so that she could spend a few minutes three or four times a week doing yoga on her own. For all of us, it's important to ensure we have time for the things that feed and stimulate us. Think about the things you love doing, that you can lose yourself in. What can you do to make sure you have time for more of them?

5. Let go

When you've done the preparation for something, it's important to let go. Trust yourself that you will do it, and do it well. If you're plagued by doubt, learn to let go of the fantasy that things are bound to go wrong. You can learn to be more optimistic. You can learn to leave space to chance. To those wonderful unexpected happenings that make being a human being such a rich experience. To serendipity.

Adam Clark

Adam Clark is 38 and lives with his partner of 19 years in Wimbledon. Through Gay Life Coach he has helped hundreds of people to bring about sustained changes in their lives. Those he has worked with have praised the way he has built their confidence and helped them through difficult times.

Adam offers a free initial coaching consultation. You can contact him on 07947 959869 or through his website www.gaylifecoach.co.uk

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Good companions

by Adam Clark 11. October 2010 16:46

For me, one of the most exciting developments in the field of psychology has been the growth in recent years of interest in wellbeing and happiness. Until the mid 1990s, most of the academic study of psychology tended to focus on people’s problems. Now there are a number of well-respected academics who study wellbeing and seek to draw lessons from what makes those who lead happy lives so content.

From my reading of these studies, it seems that the single most important factor in wellbeing, happiness and, indeed, good health, is a connection with a good circle of friends. Those who enjoy such warm, human relationships, and especially those who are blessed with a loving relationship with an intimate partner, fare better on all measures of wellbeing than those who go through life alone.

Some of my clients lead lives that would be the envy of many, with fantastic jobs and a high income. Despite the challenge, responsibility and money that come through their work, some of these people come home to an empty flat every night, where they can end up feeling miserable and isolated.

I am convinced that the most important priority should be our relationships with those around us. No matter how extraordinary our lives, or our accomplishments, or even our dreams, we need trusted confidants to share them with. We thrive on people around us with whom we can cry, dance, laugh and love. I am blessed with a partner who loves me and delights in sharing his life with me. I dedicate this article to him, and to my parents, who celebrate their ruby wedding anniversary this week.

Gay couple
Friendship is so important

Making friends… and keeping them

1. Do things

Shared activity is a good way to meet people, and to see them as they really are. Taking part in some form of activity is the best way I know of to widen your circle of friends, or to meet a potential partner. Think about your hobbies and interests. What can you do that’s related to your interests that might bring you into contact with other people? Are there any societies or clubs you could join? What about classes or courses? If you’re in a relationship or have some good friends, arrange to do things together. Shared activity is one of the most important ways in which we bind ourselves to other people.

2. Be interested

One of Dale Carnegie’s ways of winning friends and influencing people is to ask others questions, and to be genuinely interested in their answers. Most people like talking about themselves so asking questions is a good way to get to know a stranger. It’s also important in our more intimate relationships; we can so easily drift into assuming that we know what our partner thinks, wants or likes. When was the last time you asked them? You might be surprised at the response.

3. Be kind

It saddens me when I see people putting down those they love. It seems to be a bad habit that it’s easy to get into. Even when we do favours for people, we can sometimes do them with bad grace. Paulo Coelho talks about the concept of a Favour Bank. If we’ve made deposits in the form of kindness and favours for other people, when we need something, others are more likely to give us what we need. This builds mutual trust and respect, the glue that binds people together, whether they are partners or friends. What can you do today to be kind to those you love, and those you’d like to know better?

4. Encourage others to make the most of who they are

We all know people who seem incapable of sharing our dreams, people who are stuck in negative mindsets and ways of seeing the world. Your true friends are those who genuinely want the best for you. What can you do to encourage those you know to blossom and fulfil their potential?

Gay couple
Encourage others to make the most of who they are

5. Develop your passions

Passionate people are interesting. They always have something to say, and to share with the world. We lose ourselves when we engage in activity we feel passionate about. Even if you’re very busy, take a few minutes to think about what you believe in most strongly. What can you do to express these passions?

Friends and relationships really do matter. Don’t kid yourself that you can put things off because you’re really busy at the moment. Do something today to connect with those you love, or to meet other people. Life is so much better when it’s shared. With good companions.

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Bouncing Back

by Adam Clark 20. September 2010 19:07
Gay Life Coach Adam Clark

Gay Life Coach Adam Clark

Many of those who write about personal happiness and fulfilment promote the myth that if you do things correctly, you can have, or be, anything you want. It’s rare to hear from such people that sometimes things don’t go your way. But we all live in the real world. We know that no matter how hard we try, how positive our outlook or how strong our belief, sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want them to.

How we respond to setbacks and disappointment is, I believe, the true measure of our character. It’s easy to trust the universe to supply your needs when things are going well. But what about when they’re not?

I offer below my tips for building resilience, so that you can learn how to bounce back from whatever setbacks may befall you.

May 2010 be a good year for you.

Tips for building your resilience

1. Take responsibility

The first step is to recognise that you have choices. You can decide to take responsibility for how you react to the situation you find yourself in. Try to be constructive rather than letting it get to you, and spending your energy blaming other people or yourself. The more responsibility you take for the situation you find yourself in, even if the fact that you are there may not be your fault, the more likely it is that you’ll find ways to overcome it.

2. Look at things you can do something about

There is no point wasting time and energy on things that you cannot change. I was one of the festival goers at Glastonbury last year. We couldn’t change the fact that it was raining. But we could, and did, decide not to let the rain get us down. We found activities that were under cover and sheltered from the rain. It would have been nice to lounge around a bit more in sunshine, but sunshine was in short supply that weekend!

3. Act

So often action is the best way to deal with feeling trapped or frustrated. Many of those I work with are prone to over-analysing things. They spend so much energy predicting and planning possible outcomes in their heads. What they discover is that when they get on with doing something, they break the spell their thoughts have over them. If you’re in a difficult situation, what’s the first thing you could do to get yourself out of it? When you’ve identified what it is, just do it.

4. Keep things in perspective

When we’re disappointed or frustrated, it’s easy for things to seem larger or more powerful that they actually are. We taunt ourselves with thoughts that “this always happens to me”, or that it’s “typical”. The reality is likely to be more nuanced. If we can take a deep breath, step back and look in on the situation, we can sometimes see that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

5. Persevere

I’m always impressed with people who keep on plugging away, despite setbacks. Just because a date hasn’t worked out, for example, doesn’t mean that you’re destined always to be alone. The fact that someone hasn’t responded to your call may not mean they don’t want to speak to you. It may just have slipped their mind. Give it another try. Don’t give up!

Resilience is a wonderful asset. The ability to bounce back is one of the characteristics of people who make the most of their lives. Resolve today to be resilient and bounce back whenever life presents its inevitable challenges.

Adam Clark

Adam Clark is 38 and lives with his partner of 19 years in Wimbledon. Through Gay Life Coach he has helped hundreds of people to bring about sustained changes in their lives. Those he has worked with have praised the way he has built their confidence and helped them through difficult times.

Adam offers a free initial coaching consultation. You can contact him on 07947 959869 or through his website www.gaylifecoach.co.uk

More articles from our dating experts

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New Years Resolutions

by Adam Clark 31. December 2007 18:20

The end is the beginning

My approach to New Year's resolutions is to forget about the first of January. Instead of focusing on what I want to do at the beginning of the year, I find it much more powerful to look at how I'd like my life to be different by the end of the year. How would I like things to be on 31 December 2008? What are the steps I should take to get there? What are the milestones along the way?

It's all part of beginning with the end in mind. I think this is a fantastic approach to life. If we all thought about how we were going to conclude things before we started them, we would save ourselves a lot of grief. I outline a five-step guide to New Year's resolutions below.

Make time over the next few days to think about how you'd like your life to be in one year's time. Work out what you need to do to get there. Believe you can do it, and enjoy the journey!

New Year's resolutions

1. What are the areas of your life you'd like to be different?

Where are you in your relationships? How are things with those closest to you? How could they be different? What can you do to help bring changes about? How are things at work? How could they be different? What about your health? And the way you use your time? Be bold in the way you look at things. If you were really true to yourself, what would that mean in practical terms for your life?

Man at new year
New year can be a time for reflection
and planning as well as partying and boozing

2. Plan your year

Bearing in mind what you've come up with, what are the steps you need to take along the way to get there? If you want to be in a loving relationship by the end of the year, what should you be doing in January to help bring this about? If you'd like to be 5 kilos lighter next Christmas, what should you weigh by June? If you'd like to have a new job, how should you be using your free time in the spring?

3. Be clear

Sometimes it's easier to hide behind general statements such as I want my flat to be tidier. If you want to have a tidier home by the end of 2006, what, specifically, do you need to do? Make a list of all the things you need clear up. There may be papers in your living room, magazines you've been meaning to read and foodstuffs you never use. Be clear about what you're going to do and when you'll do it. This is more challenging, but you're much more likely to succeed.

4. Believe

Believe you can do it. Make yourself comfortable, relax and imagine your life as you'd like it to be. What does it look like? How does it feel? How do you look? Seeing these things in your imagination helps you to bring them about. If you expect to succeed, your subconscious will be alert to the signals that confirm you in this expectation, thus reinforcing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Man with Christmas present
Give your life a little thought this Christmas

5. Learn from your mistakes

Don't see your set backs as failure. You can always learn from them. If you've managed to have three weeks without smoking, for example, and then find yourself smoking at a party, don't depress yourself with the thought that you're back at square one. You had those three weeks as a non-smoker. What did you do during that time that helped you not to smoke? What could you do to lessen the likelihood of smoking again when next you find yourself at a party? Opinions differ as to how many attempts Thomas Edison took to make the prototype light bulb. Some say he had 200 attempts, some 500, some 700. The important thing was his attitude. He persevered. When asked how he managed to keep on going after so many failures, he reportedly said “I didn't fail; I just discovered 700 ways how not to do it.”

Use a few hours over the next few days to think about your life and where you are going. Make 2008 different and enjoy the changes!

Adam Clark

Adam Clark is 38 and lives with his partner of 19 years in Wimbledon. Through Gay Life Coach he has helped hundreds of people to bring about sustained changes in their lives. Those he has worked with have praised the way he has built their confidence and helped them through difficult times.

Adam offers a free initial coaching consultation. You can contact him on 07947 959869 or through his website www.gaylifecoach.co.uk

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Gay dating safety

by Heather Morris 21. April 2006 20:04

Longing to meet someone you've been chatting to online? Got a first date lined up? Follow our commonsense dating safety advice tips and enjoy a fantastic date!

Meeting new people on the web is brilliant fun and one of the easiest ways to find romance. It makes to be aware of personal safety when you go on a date with somebody you are meeting for the first time.

  • Exchange a good few messages before meeting. You may feel you've 'clicked' immediately with someone - but the more you know about a date, the better.
  • Don't give out your phone number or address unless you're really, really sure. If you do want to call your date, remember our phone friends service offers a safe way to phone without disclosing your number. If you do ring someone, and you're asked to reverse the charges on a call, don't. Your number appears on their phone bill.
  • Arrange to meet in a public place. Do not invite your first date round to your place. Lunchtime dates are great fun, and if you're at work they give a perfect "get-out" excuse if things aren't going too well.
  • Do not accept a lift - make your own way there and back.
  • Do discuss the dress code before the date: there's nothing more embarrassing than dressing down when they've dressed up.
  • Above all, trust your own feelings. If you have doubts about somebody the obvious thing to do is not to meet with them - at least until they have put your mind at rest.

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