Dear Angelo,I'm tired of the meat market. I actually want to meet more gay friends. What do you suggest?Signed, Meet More Men

Dear Angelo,

I'm tired of the meat market. I actually want to meet more gay friends. I sort of get jealous when I see a bunch of guys all out in a group. What do you suggest to do to make more gay friends?

Signed, Meet More Men

Dear Meet More Men,

I don’t think there's a magic place to make friends, meet a Mr. Right, or Mr. Right Now. If you want friends you have to make it happen. So I want you to start thinking in terms of interests rather than places.You can meet a man anywhere at anytime. So don't sit around feeling hopeless, sad, and angry. Try living life with the same zest and fulfillment as if you already had those special ones, doing things that interest you. 

My strategy is to get involved in doing things that are important to you that are interactive. Pick activities, social groups, or organizations that you're passionate about. Ask yourself, "what do I like to do?" and get out and start doing it, not "where can I go besides Starbucks?" Remember it's about the "what," not the "where." 

Need some ideas? If you like to be active join an outdoors club, travel group, or gym. If you read, join a reading group; Meditate join a meditation circle; Recovery? A 12-Step group. Help the local democrats to get Obama elected. See if your local HRC, PFLAG, GLAAD or another valuable cause needs help. Or just walk to your favorite store, park, or museum. Bring yourself to the event, movie, or out to eat. There's tons of stuff to do with tons of people to encounter. You know what to do for you.

The rationale is that by doing what you love you'll encounter like-minded people that have the same interests ? which is a great starting point for relationship. You'll also be happy doing things you care about doing. Such joy will attract people to you. You're also changing the focus from a receiving state of consciousness to a giving one. So it's no longer about searching from an empty place inside to get something to fill you up from someone else that you think you don't have. Instead, you bring your full self to the table. Be what you want (the nice person, the friend, the love) and it will come back to you like a boomerang. Friends also have friends. So someone you meet might later invite you to something where you'll be introduced to even more people. A sort of ripple effect can happen. 

I had a client in New York who took my advice and joined a gay gym, took gay dancing classes, participated in a gay spiritual community, played in a gay bowling league ? among other things that interested him. It wasn’t long before he was making new friends and racking up dates to boot. He chose things that were gay oriented, but you can do things that aren't gay too, as long as they're welcoming to gay people so you don't feel like an outsider. 

Whatever you choose I think there’s three key ingredients: (1.) get involved in a variety of things that you really like to do (2.) choose things that meet regularly over a period of time, preferably daily, weekly, or at least monthly (3.) and pick things that’ll have gay men in them. Equally important is putting yourself out there with confidence by introducing yourself to others with a smile as you go about these activities. Keep a pleasant demeanor, stay open to different people, and give it time (be patient). Then sit back and watch all that comes your way. 

All The Best, Angelo.

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