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Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow

I'm a poz guy, just starting my tenth year living with HIV. I've been blogging here at since March 20th, 2011. I volunteer at two AIDS Service Organizations in my area, ACG (AIDS Committee of Guelph/Wellington) and ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge Kitchener Waterloo and Area). I've also been blogging for ACG since November 2010. I am a self-taught social media junkie doing facebook and twitter. I'm a great retweeter. I was recently hired by the OHTN (Ontario HIV Treatment Network) as a Peer Research Assistant. In my spare time I am a hobby photographer; some of my photos show up in my blog. 

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"You can do better than that"!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 Written by // Wayne Bristow - Positive Life Categories // Dating, Gay Men, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow asks “why are there so many gay men like myself out there looking but not able to find someone. Hell, some of us wouldn’t date each other – why?”

Take a minute and remember those days back in high school.

A friend tells you that “so and so” thinks you're cute. Your first response is, “what does he look like?” “Oh you’ll really like him, he’s so funny, a great sense of humour and a great personality.” All of a sudden you hear dogs barking - he’s ugly. I’m starting to think this must be how people describe me when they know someone they want to introduce me to. Only because they are always telling me, you’re such a nice guy, I don’t know why you aren’t with someone, it’s their loss.

So like me, your friends convince you to go out with them, because they can hook you up. Yeah right, how many times have you heard this?

You go out, they actually introduce you to some of their friends and it quickly becomes obvious, they really aren’t into you, they’re more interested in catching up on the gossip about other friends, where they went on vacation, or how drunk they got at Bob’s party the week before. Soon you find yourself outside the circle, you can wander off and no one notices. An hour later, your friend comes looking for you, he asks when and why you disappeared. He proceeds to lecture you, “you’re not going to meet anyone that way, you have to be more aggressive, get in on the conversation”.

In your defense you tell him that you have nothing to share, you don’t get invited to Bob’s parties, nor do you get to travel, so how are you expected to “get into the conversation”.

Then you tell your friend that you noticed someone checking you out from across the room and he gave you a smile so you ask, “what about him”.

“Him! Oh, don’t be silly, he has been around and around, he’s such a loser, you can do much better than that”.

As the night proceeds, your friend gives you the low-down on every guy he knows in the place. “That guy is too fat, and him over there, he drinks too much, and that one kisses and tells, and oh, there’s the king of one night stands”. The only people that are good enough are the people he is with and they aren’t into you. You’re left in the position of  listening to him without checking any of them out for yourself and at closing time you are headed home alone . . . again.

The reason for writing this came from something I read online a while ago. It was written by someone who obviously has had an easy time meeting people in the gay community, or he has a very small circle of friends and acquaintances. This guy had all the answers on how to meet your perfect mate, if I followed his suggestions I could meet the person I’m meant to be with. I almost sprayed coffee all over my computer screen as I read parts of it.

If it were true even on a small scale, why are there so many gay men like me out there looking but not able to find someone, hell, some of us wouldn’t date each other – why?

There were times when I was attracted to a guy or two over the years and I would get up enough nerve to tell the person how I felt and asked if there was a chance to move our friendship to another level. Each time the response back was, “I’m really flattered, I like you – as a friend, but only as a friend”.

There was a time when I believed that it didn’t matter what someone looked like, it’s what is inside that counts. I’ll admit that I have said "no" to dating certain people, and sometimes it had to do with their looks or the baggage they carry. I’ve let some opportunities slip by, and some of those people have gone on to meet someone else and are happy still, years later. Some of the decisions I made were based on what others felt or what I felt they might say if they didn’t approve.

I’ve been accused of not being aggressive enough, told I should flirt more, maybe I should change my look, dye my hair, do something. I use to do those things but now the time and money it would take to keep up that façade would be too time consuming. I could go bald but I have a weird shaped head so it isn’t an option.

Then there is, “just be yourself”.

I think most of my problems stem from living in a smaller rural city where there is no real gay community. We have gay-friendly nights at some of the bars but the gays that show up are usually in relationships and it’s a “couples” night out.

When I had a car and was able to drive, I could get out of town. There was never a problem finding other single people to go out with. When I could no longer drive, I felt people purposely avoided letting me know they were going out fearing that I would ask to tag along. The invitation was given but anytime I called, the car was full, I should have called earlier.

The only thing left to say, I’m one of the many ordinary average guys, still struggling to figure out the dating scene, wondering if it’s me, is it the other guy or I can’t escape the need to listen to my friends and family; only they know who is good enough for me, I have to please them.

Personally, I believe there comes a time when one has to lower one's expectations. The perfect person doesn’t exist, but there is somebody. He may not look like it on the outside, so you will have to look inside.

I have now lowered mine to “has to be breathing”.