These resources might be of interest to you:

If you are struggling with where to meet people who may be 'relationship material' and can't think beyond bars and the internet, then you may want to read: How to Meet Guys, an article online written by a kind of 'agony uncle' and as relevant for women as it is for men.

Also, gay men may want to check out the Gay Male Lifestyles section of my colleague Michael Shernoff's site which has a number of articles on sex and relationships.

Here are just a few of the titles you may want to check out:

Chronically Single Gay Men in Search of True Love
Have Better Sex Forever
Homo Erotics: Gay Men and Sex, dating and Romance
How to be Nonmonogamous: Some Survival Tips
Is Monogamy for You? Some Ways to Figure This Out
Male Couples and Their Relationship Styles
Is He Mr Right or Mr Right for Tonight?
Whoa! Slow Down Boy! Dating, Romance and the Art of Courting

Dominic Davies has also been interviewed for the gay press about monogamy, click here for what he, and a number of other therapists had to say.

QX have written a guide for gay men on Internet Dating

If you are interested in exploring Polyamory (having more than one romantic/love relationship) then this link will be of interest. It also has a great section on dealing with Jealousy.

This is a very interesting report into gay male non-mongamy
from some research from gay male couples in open relationships who have been together for more than 5 years.

Understanding Non-Monogamies

Meg Barker and Darren Langdridge Ed.
Routledge 2009


Most social scientific work on intimate relationships has assumed a monogamous structure, or has considered anything other than monogamy only in the context of 'infidelity'. Yet, in recent years there has been a growing interest among researchers and the public in exploring various patterns of intimacy that involve open non-monogamy. This volume gathers contributions from academics, activists, and practitioners throughout the world to explore non-monogamous relationships. Featuring both empirical and theoretical pieces, contributors examine the history and cultural basis of various forms of non-monogamy, experiences of non-monogamous living, psychological under- standings of relationship patterns, language and emotion, the discursive construction of mono-normativity as well as issues of race, class, disability, sexuality and gender. This volume will be of interest to academics and practitio- ners working in the social sciences and anyone who is seeking greater insight into the intricacies of non-monogamous relationships.

 

 

 

 

PACE Self-Esteem Workbook for Gay Men

(Free booklet to download)















PACE Workbook on Getting what you want in relationships

(free booklet to download)





Affirmative Gay Relationships: Key steps in finding a life partner

Neil Kaminsky, 2003.

Key Elements:
Covers all of the theoretical how to's involved in finding and partner, starting a happy relationship and keeping it going
Written using his personal perspective, real life antidotes and realistic personal situations the author lays out the key steps to involved in encountering a real life partner. A real life partner is defined as, 'someone who materially enhances your life'. The quotes and information in the book come from gay men who have completed a questionnaire, mental health professionals and the author.

Chapter one covers how what someone does or does or does not do attracts a partner and what gets in the way of finding love (issues like trust , fear of rejection and the over importance placed on youth and beauty , and importance of being able trust).
Chapter two covers what it takes to keep a relationship going, the need to release attachment to the 'single life', dealing with the anxiety of intimacy and emotional maturity.
Chapter three focuses on the acceptance of self and others and how being obsessed with youth and physical appearance are a hurdle that must be overcome in under order to meet the right person.
Chapter four explores the beliefs that cause the anxiety of the feelings of desperation and the appearance of which can prevent someone form being able to meet others.
Chapter five helps the reader to evaluate his own availability and the availability of others to make serious commitment. Examples are given of men who are unavailable like those who have not yet grieved the end of a previous relationship, those who are too involved in other pursuits and men who are chronically angry.
Chapter six looks at the positive life affirming aspects of love are explored. This chapter also looks at how to realistically prepare your life and yourself to be involved in a relationship. Joint decision making is also covered.
Chapter seven outlines the core values to develop a clear picture of what type of relationship you are looking for, the readers given an exercise to specifically identify the type of life partner you seek.
Chapter eight points out how an individual's behaviour can be a self fulfilling prophecy, illustrating how negative expectations can lead to a negative result in finding and sustaining a relationship, why an individual may have developed and been holding on to a 'negative belief' system and what can be done to address and change a negative pattern.
Chapter nine is about where and how to meet people and the importance of feeling comfortable while doing so, it also mentions the variety of places and environments where its possible to meet people and the advantages and disadvantages of meeting in those places. The individual's personal power and role in meeting people is highlighted.
Chapter ten provides strategies of how to cope with fear and rejection, and how to conquer rejection and freely move towards the person that you desire.
Chapter eleven points out to the reader the counter productiveness of unrealistic expectations of a relationship and how to deal with the ugly side of a partner and mistakes that are made in the relationship.
Chapter twelve deals with the importance of risking being intimate and being accepting and embracing one's own emotional vulnerability.
Chapter thirteen examines managing dating and the anxiety it can cause, summarising the lessons learned in previous chapters. Questions are set up to determine if the man that you are seeing and if he has all that it takes to be a real life partner.

Boyfriend 101. A Gay Guy's Guide to Dating Romance and Finding True Love

Jim Sullivan, 2003.

Key Elements: Helps the reader to prepare a detailed list of ideas of what they are looking for and what they need to consider for successful gay dating

Containing experience of men that the reader may identify with, the author uses professional experience from his work as a teacher, counsellor, school principal, community activist, and a relationship coach and dating coach, he conducted relationship workshops. He explores dating in detail, puts questions forward to the reader about dating and other topics covered to help people consider where they are in the dating/relationship process. Other parts of the book detail the inner teenager who may enjoy the playfulness, seductiveness of dating, the myths of dating, and the different types of dates and a dating self assessment. There are lists of internal qualities, wants versus needs (what yours are and how to evaluate them, and being honest about what you want. There are six levels of conversation that are detailed and the art of flirting is covered. The dos and don'ts of dating and when to have sex (in order to build a good relationship) are also given by the author.

 

 

Finding True Love in a Man-Eat-Man World: the intelligent guide to gay dating, romance and eternal love

Craig Nelson, 1996.

Key Elements: Exploration of deeply rooted gay related issues to love and relationships

The book starts off by asking the reader if it the right time to be dating. It points out the good elements to being single. It helps the reader by focusing early on in the book on the difference between 'what you want and what you need'. The author explores the topic of gay self hatred, where it comes from, and the background to what he calls gay unacceptance and gay acceptance. Some of the information in the book reflects that it was written in 1996. There is however timeless information about how we avoid love, what bad self esteem can do, and the different types of personalities that can get in the way of love are pointed out. The author draws attention to modern love, and the history of love. The importance of forming new ideas about love and life are mentioned and the influence that our existing ideas about love have on how we build lasting relationships is made clear to the reader. The sex tips like setting the mood, how to have oral sex, and how to have anal sex could be useful to someone who is need of basic information. There are some dating tips. There is also a list of the types of men that normally cause trouble, the list is a bit too long to be very useful but it is amusing. The list includes the terminally single, the whiplash lover (the man who always looks over his shoulder for someone better), and the middle aged kid (who lives like he is in an eternal high school student).

Permanent Partners: building gay and lesbian relationships that last

Betty Berzon (2004) Revised Edition

This revised edition of a best selling book from one of the foremost relationship therapistsworking with lesbians and gay men.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passionate Marriage: Sex, Love, and Intimacy in Emotionally-Committed Relationships

David Schnarch (1998)

An excellent self-help book for couples in committed relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Closer- A Gay Men's Guide to Intimacy and Relationships

Jeffrey N, Chernin. Alyson Books, 2006.

Key Elements: Points out the dangers, obstacles, and barriers that gay men develop/have that get in the way of building intimate relationships

Using acquired knowledge and a variety of interviews with couples the author takes an objective perspective on building intimacy by providing the reader with insight and new tools for having and sustaining a good long term intimate relationship. In the text the impact of keeping being gay a secret, the affect that it has on each individuals development, along with the subsequent relationships that are formed folding on to such thoughts is explained so that the reader can understand why it is the author believes it is all to a delay in gay males forming relationships. The book includes communication tools for restoring and enhancing intimacy. There are three case studies included in the book and exercises for individuals and couples to deal with defining intimacy, shame, guilt, values systems, and self sabotage during intimacy, moving in spirituality and transitioning periods in relationships. The biggest threats to relationships are clearly stated (substance abuse, addiction, mental illness, relationship violence) and confronted.

 

 

When It's Time to Leave Your Lover - A Guide for Gay Men

Neil Raminsky. Harrington Park Press, 1999.

Key Elements: Considering breaking up or if you have already started this book is worth the read

This book breaks down the difficult subject matters connected to a painful topic that most gay men have had to face. It touches on important elements like jealousy, dysfunctional needs, chemical dependency, violence and others briefly and then picks them up later again at other points in the book. Also the book covers 'reinventing yourself' and 'healthy ways of saying goodbye' using examples throughout. Looking at matters of intimacy and emotions in various categories the author is able to offer supportive advice on all of the matters related to knowing when it is time to end a relationship and how to do it. He even covers topics often neglected like: what happens to the friendships that partners build up with each other friends, and dating each others friends once the relationship is over. Covered in very clear way the author has also seriously looked at' why you shouldn't go back' and 'taking a relationship vacation'. He optimistically finishes up with 'starting over: loving a man'.

Moving On - The Gay Man's Guide For Coping When A Relationship Ends

Dann Hazel. Kensington Books, 1999.

Key Elements
: Questionnaires that help to reflect on the difficult topic of breaking up

This witty book explores the dissolution of love and when it's time to make a move. The author approaches it in an open and humorous way. All of the points are covered in an everyday friendly way that can be understood and appreciated. Warning signs and, growing apart are looked at using information gathered during interviews with a number of individuals. The author encourages the reader, through questionnaires, to look at romantic satisfaction, determining your intimacy level, determining your bitterness, relationship assessment, and loneliness and insecurity. Built in around the questionnaires is very useful information on the importance of values, the lack of common goals, how to handle a break up, healing after a relationship, the qualities of close friendships, the importance of family and being single again.

 

 

Gay and single... forever? 10 Things Every Gay Guy Looking for Love (and Not Finding It) Needs to Know.

Steven Bereznai, 2006

Key Elements: Points out the positives of being single, the negatives of being in a relationship and everything in between

The book takes a very personal approach to everything that it covers. Not taking itself too seriously, it starts with the feelings that someone might have about being gay and single. From the historical evolution of the gay movement and its influence on gay dating and relationships it goes to where the push to be partnered has come from. Gay Exs, tricky lovers, and what to do about them is handle with humour as well as everything else. The book is like a long essay. Even though humorous it does tackle the future of gay acceptance, the difficulties of finding the right guy and how boyfriends do not bring happiness. There are interesting elements that provoke thought like 'finding the boyfriend within' and how to love being single, not just single looking for a relationship. The author does explain the natural chemical in our bodies that are involved in bonding and falling in love (oxytocin) and how wanting to be in love is natural (although it is argued that staying in love in not natural.)The affects of HIV and AIDS on gay relationships in covered as is the difference between a healthy relationship and a co-dependent relationship, along with other types of relationships. Everything in the book is related back to personal experiences of the author is underpinned by a humorous approach.

 

Husband Hunting Made Easy And Other Miracles for the Modern Gay Man

Patrick Price. 1998

Key Elements: Takes a hard, mildly pessimistic but lightly entertaining look at finding the right man.

The author when putting together this body of work seems to treat relationships between gay men as a rarity. The differences between a boyfriend and a husband are defined as are the reasons for leaving a husband. The book is humorous throughout. There a lot of tips about different things for example,' things not to do when husband hunting', 'steering clear of open relationships' and 'finding your own boyfriend, and not someone else's'. The often overly comical approach which includes 'don't date men who wax' or 'never date anyone with the same first name' could stop someone from starting a loving relationship with a man who has the same first name or one who does not like being overly hairy. What to watch out for in chat rooms and personal ads in mentioned. The book looks at why it is important to imagine your ideal man (and then settle for 85% of him). When the book takes the topics seriously it does a very good job. In one part the book says 'we psychologically protect ourselves from rejection by rejecting all our suitors'. Which is a topic that may resonate with some readers. There is also a section in the text that asks the reader to take a self-inventory. Pointing out how to do it ad why it is important. There are list of extras and additional information that could make you laugh and help you to reflect at the same time including; a quiz on 'How Needy You May Be', a list of Top Ten Most Pathetic Opening Lines, Sex: when and why:( never have sex on the first encounter), 'The First Date: What To DO', 'Dating Do's and Don'ts',' Do's and Don'ts of Being a Couple', 'Counterproductive Dating Personas', 'Why Not to Move In Just to Split the Rent',' Reasons Why Not To Dump Him When the First Real Problems Arise', and finally 'How Not To Confuse Being Comfortable With Being Boring'.

Lesbian Couples

D. Merille Clunis and G. Dorsey Green. Seal Press, 1988

Key Elements:
Taken from the experiences of lesbians it covers all of the topics important to building, starting and sustaining a loving lesbian relationship. The topics discussed in the book make good reading for anyone gay, lesbian, or heterosexual who is entering into or hoping to build a stronger relationship even though it was written twenty years ago.

They book is broken down into the following eighteen parts:
1. What is a Couple Anyway? - Defining relationships within the context of lesbian love and modern culture.
2. Stages of Relationships - Labelling and defining the stages of relationships; 1. pre-relationship stage (assumptions that are made about one another), 2. romance stage (merging and fusion together), 3. conflict stage (what we think we are going to get, what we actually get, and negotiating the difference,4.acceptance stage( the calm before the storm).5.commitment stage(making choices and being responsible for them, letting go of the fantasy and accepting the reality of relationships,6.colloboration(focusing together on the bigger picture).
3. Separateness and Togetherness - creating intimacy, personal boundaries, trust, openness, and caring.
4. Living Arrangements - the advantages and disadvantages of living apart, long distance relationships, living apart in different countries, living with others, living alone with a partner.
5. Work, Money and Time - pooling resources, value differences, contracts in the relationship and time are covered.
6. Sex - butch/femme, sadomasochism, current controversies about lesbian relationships, frequency, enhancement, initiation and desire.
7. Monogamy or Nonmonogamy - The advantages and the disadvantages
8. Friends, Family, and Sense of Community - friendship networks and jealousy, family and sense of community,
9. Lesbain Couples with Children - coming out, being out and how children react to it, types of families and society at large.
10. How Racism Affects Couples - discrimination in society and dealing with it.
11. Differences - class, age, politics, values, spirituality, sexual orientation
12. Understanding Each Other - blocks to communication, different perspectives and the skills involved in gaining a better understanding of one another.
13. Resolving Conflict - asking for what you want, fighting styles, and a useful model for resolving conflict: step 1. Warm-up, personal preparation done individually, step 2. Set the time (the length of discussion about the conflict), step 3.State the problem (clear description with the facts), step 4. State the feeling (using I statements), 5. Specific request for change, step 6. Respond and negotiate (summarizing and agreeing to conditions) step 7.Reach resolution (agreement to deal with the conflict or agreeing to meet to discuss the conflict again), step 8. Clarify the agreement.
14. Recovery - focuses on incest, child abuse, adult children of alcoholics, and chemical dependencies
15. Disablity - covers stereotypes, the impact of disability on relationships, chronic illness, self esteem and internalised oppression, includes suggestions for ablebodeid and disabled partners.
16. Growing Older Together - highlights the needs of older couples and the issues that are related to growing old together are detailed.
17. Endings - gives advice about breaking up and the reasons that most lesbian relationships end along with dealing loss are
18. Beginning Again - how to understanding the past and how to love again.

Lesbians Talk Violent Relationships

Joelle Taylor and Tracey Chandler. Scarlet Press, 1995

Key Elements: The discussion of abuse in the lesbian community is covered very well in this little book. The discussions are not dated; they are very relevant to the modern discussion of domestic violence in the lesbian community. The impact of feminism on the lesbian community and the role that it played is the shaping of the lesbian identity is touched upon in some detail.

The book contains four different parts:

Naming the Abuse - This section defines abuse, physical abuse, the different types of sexual abuse, the self abuse of the abuser.
Psychological Consequence - This section looks at the support that can be given, common reactions to abuse, co-mothers and the custody of children, and the consequences of living with any types of abuse.
Survival Stories - Accountants from those who have made it through abusive relationships.
Myths and Stereotypes
- Sado-masochism, Butch-Femme, Race and Racism, Alcohol and Drug Dependency and their impact on lesbian relationships and the power dynamic of relationships are covered from different perspective.

Other topics that the book tackles are internalised homophobia, the cycle of abuse theory, power and control, the response of the community and the future for the lesbian community.

The Male Couples's Guide - Find a Man, Making a Home, Building a Life

By Eric Marcus. Harper Perennial, 1988, 1992

Key Elements: Covers everything from meeting a man to aging gracefully together as a couple

The author starts with where and how to meet a men, finding a partner and courtship. He focuses a great deal of attention on existing as a couple by highlighting the importance of agreements in relationships and defining boundaries as a couple like monogamy and nonmonagamy. Written before the internet revolution (but not dated) the author clearly, carefully, and openly describes ways of introducing a partner to family, legal options, financial options and how they are important to sustaining a happy long term relationship. All of the topics covered include couple/individual interviews and are broken down into subsections of interest that look more closely at other areas of which religion, health ,couple problems and difficulties, aging/physical changes and planning for the later years are all explained.






Together Forever? The Gay Guide to Good Relationships

Andrew Marshall. Pan Books, 1995

Key Elements:
Factual information and reflective questions help the reader to get a picture of what they want out of a relationship

Although this book contains information regarding HIV and AIDS that is dated, the author sets out the stages of gay relationships in a factual way drawing on numerous interviews with gay men who have been together and using the interviews to outline what changes gay men go through in relationships. Starting with 'Finding the Right Partner' which is part of stage one,' the Blending Stage' and how in this stage gay men focus exclusively on the new partner. Stage Two is called the 'Nesting', is setting up and sharing a living space together. Stage Three is called 'Self Affirming', is the importance of setting up and maintaining boundaries. Stage Four is 'Collaborating', it is about working together to stay together, being faithful or unfaithful and deciding on an open or closed relationship. Stage Five is 'Adapting' to the changes in the relationship and the changes to individuals in it. Stage Six is 'Repartnering' which focuses on growing old together. The book closes with the difference between gay and straight relationships. The book makes interesting reading for people who already find themselves in relationships.

The MANdates. 25 Real Rules for Successful Gay Dating

Dave Singleton, 2004

Key Elements: Overly camp but offers some food for thought about gay dating yet does not seem to encourage being your self nor open and honest communication.

A light hearted accountant of gay dating, using personal experiences of gay dating. There are nine parts of the book that cover topics that are related to the author's rules of gay dating.
The first chapter looks at the rules, how they came about and how to best apply them.
Chapter two gives the three reasons why you need to get his details.
Chapter three is about why friends should keep quiet about what they see and think about you and your dating.
Chapter four focuses on pacing the courtship and not rushing.
Chapter five looks at the fast and furious romance and giving yourself and someone else time.
Chapter six tells you what CD's say about the type of man someone is.
Chapter seven outlines what a medicine chest says about a man.
Chapter eight provides information about social incest in the gay community and not saying tool little, or too much.
Chapter nine defines what 'single' really should mean and other key terms to define when dating.
Chapter ten is everything you need to know you can know in the first five minutes reading between the lines of what he says.
Chapter eleven is about how to know where the dates are going.
Chapter twelve helps you to know the difference between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.
Chapter thirteen outlines what to say and not what to say six months in.
Chapter fourteen provides information about sharing, sharing clothes.
Chapter fifteen introduces the topic of meeting friends.
Chapter sixteen lays out the advantages and disadvantages to dating the different types of men that are out there.
Chapter seventeen explains monogamy in relationships.
Chapter eighteen determines the difference between what will be a short term relationship and what will be a long term relationship.
Chapter nineteen talks about when and how you should talk about past partners.
Chapter twenty gives details about on line surfers and internet gay dating.
Chapter twenty one tells when giving space is too much space.
Chapter twenty three points out why you need to build your own relationship not copy others relationship models.
Chapter twenty four tells you what you should forgive and not forgive in the relationship.
Chapter twenty five offers information on how to integrate your two lives.
There is additional information on the do's and don'ts of dating , pick up lines, tips for on line dating, the milestones of gay dating, gay role models and other information.

Internet Dating

(PDF to download)













Couples of Mixed HIV Status: Clinical Issues and Interventions


Written by R. Dennis Shelby and Nancy L. Beckerman. Routledge. 2005.

Previous books on this subject—mostly written in the days when HIV/AIDS was considered a fatal rather than a chronic disease—focused on end-of-life issues. However, Couples of Mixed HIV Status: Clinical Issues and Interventions addresses the unique emotional challenges facing today’s couples of mixed HIV status and provides a conceptual framework for assessment and intervention. The book offers examples of how to apply emotionally focused couple therapy to help them work through issues including disclosure, the fear of HIV transmission, shifts in emotional intimacy, family planning, betrayal, mistrust, and uncertainty. This unique work, its knowledge base, and the interventions you'll find inside, are applicable to any practitioner who provides couple and family therapy—as well as any practitioner who counsels around issues of chronic illness.

Couples of Mixed HIV Status provides therapists with a range of theoretical approaches to help mixed HIV status couples deal with their issues and concerns. It includes applications of couple therapy approaches that have proved to be particularly effective as well as case studies that demonstrate how different relationship variables may affect therapy. The book presents the findings of a research study involving 44 mixed HIV status couples in the Northeast and is generously illustrated with tables that make complex research results easy to access and understand.

Topics covered in Couples of Mixed HIV Status include:

  • various approaches to couples therapy
  • the historical context of HIV/AIDS
  • HIV transmission
  • family planning and HIV/AIDS
  • emotionally focused couple therapy
  • disclosure issues
  • attachment theory
  • and much more!

Couples of Mixed HIV Status: Clinical Issues and Interventions is a valuable resource for therapists and other mental health counselors working with today’s couples of mixed HIV status as well as for students of counseling and health related services. Readers who may be in a mixed HIV status relationship or those who are friends and family members of couples living with HIV will also find this book helpful.

Couple Therapy with Gay Men

David E. Greenan and Gil Tunnell
Guilford Press. 2002.


This book illuminates the unique needs of gay male couples in therapy and provides a practical framework for clinical intervention. The authors review the basic principles of structural family therapy and guide therapists in adapting treatment goals and interventions to better serve gay clients. Addressed are the universal issues faced by all couples in therapy, gay and straight, as well as the particular challenges gay men face in building nurturing, intimate relationships in a homophobic society. Extensive case examples and session transcripts are used to illustrate effective strategies for helping clients affirm the strength of their union, even in the absence of familial and social support; learn to resolve differences constructively; and overcome culturally conditioned barriers to connection and trust.




Web Resources

The Quest 

Weekend Exploration Workshop for Gay Men - May 2012

Ade Adeniji & Darren Brady return with their Weekend Exploration workshop for gay men inspired by

'The Velvet Rage - overcoming the pain of growing up Gay in a Straight man's world'.

By attending this interactive and engaging workshop, participants will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how their upbringing has impacted their emotional development
  • Develop an increased awareness of their behaviour and emotions
  • Be engaged in a healing process
  • Identify tools to improve their sense of self and their relationships
  • Gain clarity on next steps for themselves, their relationships, and the world they live in
  • Experience the support and intimacy of a group of gay men
  • Create a positive and supportive new network
  • Gain a greater sense of living as a gay man in 2012 and beyond
The workshop processes will include discussions in small and large group, storytelling, journalling, psychological exploration, coaching, book work and self-reflection. 
 

Contact us by: Email: admin@pinktherapy.com | Telephone: 07971 205323 | Post: Pink Therapy, BCM 5159, London WC1N 3XX