Ask Angelo

Angelo Pezzote
M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.
 How To Talk To Guys
 How To Be Your Own Valentine

Dear Angelo,

I would love some ideas on how to talk to guys, such as the ones I think are cute in the mall. It's funny; I'm a self-actualized, fairly attractive, openly gay man who is a writer, editor, and graphic artist with a variety of interests. You'd think I'd have something to say to Mr. Datable in the Gap, but I always seem to shrink back instead. I'd love some tips on how to approach him and any suggestions for non-cliche and nonsexual openers, past the "Hi, my name is Joe."

Signed, Tongue Tied

Dear Tongue Tied,

I think it's our self-doubt ("Will he like me?") that can create anxiety, which can in turn trump our self-confidence and "constipate" our words. The fix? Just launch into things with the attitude that if it's meant to be it will be.

You can't make something happen, especially a complex interaction like flirting. People decide if they fancy you within seconds of meeting you. The chemistry either clicks between you or it doesn't. Knowing that you can't force love, gives you the freedom to be yourself. If you can't do anything or be anyone else to make someone like you, than you can't go wrong by just being yourself. And if you're not you, then the one who's looking for you â your soul mate â won't recognize you. So just be you â have self-confidence and believe in yourself.

While every situation is unique, in general with Mr. Datable in the Gap, being complimentary works ("I like your style. Can you help me pick out a shirt?"), as does being witty ("There's lots of good stuff hanging around here today!"), or having a sense of humor ("Are you for sale?"). But simply having an open heart, making eye contact, smiling warmly, and saying "Hi, my name is Joe" works better than memorizing a specific line. After all, what might work on one guy might backfire with another. Remember to repeat his name after he introduces himself so you won't forget it, and to sync it all with a friendly handshake. That should do it as far as the intro. After that, let things flow â naturally. Wing it! What can come out of spontaneity and being in the moment ("Well, the mall's closing soon and I still have a few more things to get, but would you like to grab a quick bite with me after work tonight?") is much more genuine and charming than anything scripted.

So while I can't tell you exactly what to say because each person and circumstance is different, I can tell you to give it a go. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying â because you're fabulous. Go get him tiger!

You can get more on dating and relationships in my new book Straight Acting â Gay Men, Masculinity, and Finding True Love and at â The 1st Place To Come For Gay Advice.

All The Best, Angelo

Dear Angelo,

It's Valentine's Day and I find myself all alone again. Is romance dead for the gay man?

Signed, Where Are All The Gay Romantics?

Dear Where Are All The Gay Romantics,

Oh Romeo, alas my friend, youâre not alone in your desire. Many gay men want this and have trouble finding it. The number one letter I get is from gay men lamenting over the lack of a romantic connection. They want something deeper and longer lasting than just sex. Many find themselves perpetually single and lonely.

Perhaps no one knows better the pain of planning your whole weekend around a trip to the food mart, spending a holiday alone, or being so starved for touch that an accidental brush from a stranger gives you a hard on. Perhaps no one knows more the feeling day after day of not getting any messages from that special one, no table for two, and not having anyone to talk to besides your hair dresser. Perhaps no one knows better the pain of thinking you donât measure up and everyone else seems to be happy. Perhaps youâre tired of gazing outside a Starbucks window at all the fabulousness passing by, thinking that everyone seems to have some magic in their lives that you donât. Perhaps youâre even tired of trying anymore. But I absolutely know that itâs possible to find gay romance.

The trick is to keep your heart open, not closed. It's easy to shut down and become bitter and jaded, thinking that love will never come. Much harder to remain joyous and hopeful, believing that love is on the way. Yet, it's the latter approach that will put out the right energy to manifest new romantic opportunities. The secret is knowing that in order to be happy, you don't need to get something (love) from someone else that you don't already have. The question isn't, "Do you love me?" It's, "Do I love me?" While you're unpartnered, beat single's resentment, anxiety, and depression by living your life with the same zest and fulfillment as if you already had that special one. Ironically, it's having such a self-loving, confident, upbeat attitude, and living a full exciting life, that will attract him to you. Be love and you'll get love. So operate from a perspective of sufficiency, abundance or plenty, not deficiency, and sparks will fly. Make it about the presence of love, not the absence.

You can get more on dating and relationships in my new book Straight Acting â Gay Men, Masculinity, and Finding True Love and at â The 1st Place To Come For Gay Advice.

All The Best, Angelo


Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.

 The Gay Man's Therapist

Would you appreciate a safe, supportive environment to talk about personal concerns? Get useful tools from a specialist who understands.

Podcasts, Teleseminars, Advice On Demand, Workshops, Groups and Private Practice Available.  Manhattan, NY Office Tel: (917) 673-5003.

Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C., All Rights Reserved ©

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