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What Do Gay Men Really Want?


Let's take a look at what needs and goals drive gay men's relationships.

By William D. Hicks

hat do gay men really want? With hetero men, one could guess it would be women, food and beer (think Homer Simpson). With gay men, one might guess they want men, caviar and cosmos (think The Birdcage). Some gay men actually lead this type of lifestyle, too: Sexual expeditions, gourmet meals
In relationships, I want someone who will complete my life.
and a multitude of high-end bars catering to flaming flamingos. So like all stereotypes, this, too, is based in part on a certain degree of reality.

But gay men, like all men, need more than this to be truly happy… because this kind of existence is often unsatisfying. I spoke with some men to find out what they truly want out of life.

Jerry, 48, single.
“I want to be successful. In relationships, I want someone who will complete my life. I’ve dated many men in my lifetime. But most were needy and didn’t give back. It was like they were trying to find a missing component in their life by dating me. When I couldn’t live up to their perfect expectations, the relationship ended. I don’t think anyone can fix someone else, or complete another person. What I do believe is that two men can be friends, lovers, and, ultimately, companions — and share what life has to offer. That’s what I want from a boyfriend.”

Tony, 28, single.
“I’ve done the partying thing. Sure, I like to meet men for a night of partying. Over time, though, I’ve grown tired of not knowing them very well. I’d rather be with one guy. Since I’m back in school now, I just don’t have the time to devote to dating. Sure, I’d
It’s nice. We get along well, like the same things.
like someone waiting for me when I get home, but right now, I’m not waiting for Mr. Right to appear. Life’s too short. I have needs, too. After I finish school, maybe I’ll settle down.”

James, 51, dating Peter for one year.
“I’ve done the partying thing. I’ve done the living together thing. What I really want, what I think I’ve found with Peter is a sharing. We share what we’ve done during the day. We share our similar interests. It’s nice. We get along well, like the same things. He will probably be the man I spend the rest of my life with, either in one house or two.”

David, 50 with Tom for the last two years.
“It’s not about monogamy for me and Tom. We don’t believe in that. But I know that we will ultimately be going home to each other. I can count on him in the roughest times and want to share the best times with him.”

Perhaps what most people see in the gay male community is the search for true intimacy. Gay men are searching for the Mr. Right who can accept and love them for who they are, good and bad. Like all human beings, gay men still need intimate relationships to feel fulfilled.


William D. Hicks is a freelance writer.
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