Gay Relationship Compatibility—Am I Attracted To You?


Gay Men, their own worst enemy when it comes to choosing who to date. Visual cues override all else

Gay Relationship Compatibility tends to be measured by one “super criteria;” that being “Am I attracted to you?” 

Unfortunately, the other criteria that ought to be used to consider the compatibility of a partner are, for many gay men, these other criteria take a distant second place to this one over-riding question. If I don’t feel that special feeling in my body when I look at and interact with you, then there is no reason to take it any farther. “If I’m not attracted to you now, I never will be no matter how well I get to know you so why bother. Gay relationship compatibility will never be a reality with you.”

Pay attention to the conversation the next time you are with a group of your gay friends. When the conversation turns to the topic of boyfriends, what do you so often hear? Usually it goes something like this: “He seems like a really nice guy but I just wasn’t attracted to him.” I’ve heard friends of mine say something like that and have challenged them on their statement. The rest of the men in the room tend to look at me like I am an alien! The assumption that physical attraction must exist before anything else can happen goes unchallenged in most cases. The default and unquestioned list of criteria for a possible boyfriend looks something like this:

  1. Am I physically attracted to you?
  2. Are you nice?
  3. Do we have enough shared common interests?
  4. Are our value systems similar?
  5. Etc. etc. etc.

But because all the other criteria are less important then the first criteria none of these other important issues get considered.

If you talk to women about the nature of attraction (and women tend to understand this better then any man, gay or straight), many of them well tell you that attraction arises out of intimacy; feeling seen and the experience of connecting on an emotional level with a partner. As gay men we tend to not give another guy enough of our time to find out if the possibility of attraction due to healthy intimacy is even possible. Instead we just jump from guy to guy and never really connect in a meaningful way.

Another hard truth is that much of the time the people we are physically attracted to are bad for us! Who hasn’t got involved with someone and then regreted it later. Our attraction quality is often based on our neurotic tendencies; those early experiences of intimacy and later on sexual exposure that perhaps weren’t optimal. And since they weren’t optimal experiences we tend to keep trying to “get things right” and in the process keep repeating the same unhealthy pattern. This is what neurosis is.

For now, suspect that your initial “attraction buzz” that you experience when you meet a new guy might be a little misinformed. Give the guy a chance. Get to know him at least a little bit. If the only thing stopping you from continuing to see him is that you aren’t turned on by him, see if that might change as you come to appreciate his finer qualities. If he doesn’t have those finer qualities, then by all means move on!

Larry Cappel has been doing couples counseling since 1999 and specializes in same-sex relationships. If relationships or the lack of relationships are getting you down, call him, email him or schedule your own appointment online now. Larry's passion is to help gay men overcome growing up gay in a straight world, to embrace their true nature, and to create a loving, successful and wonderful life for themselves and their loved ones; regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Change is possible. Transform your life into the life you’ve always dreamed of! Larry can be contacted through his website.

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.