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You keep coming up empty-handed, stymied in your efforts, no matter what you try.All of this talk of legalized marriage just seems to make things worse, adding pressure from friends, family, and even yourself.You think, maybe it’s just not possible for gay men to have long-term relationships.There must be some truth to the old joke: “What does a gay man bring on a second date? ” You would be ready to throw in the towel, if it weren’t for your best friend who met someone and is now in a happy relationship for the past 2 years—or that middle-aged couple who live in your building and who just celebrated 25 years together with a trip to Paris.Unfortunately, along with legal marriage comes the risk of inheriting straight society’s “couple-centrism,” which is the idea that being single is wrong, sad, and a sign of psychological problems that need to be “fixed.” This is just plain wrong.

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Contrary to heterosexual fears, legal gay marriage has given the institution an enormous boost in importance.

Where it’s legal, same sex couples are getting married in droves, and some gay weddings are so theatrical and over the top that they can actually be intimidating (See the Saturday Night Live skit: Xanax for Gay Weddings for a hilarious send up of this phenomenon).

This can all translate into feelings of pressure to couple up.

They are as follows: In my experience, this internalized belief is the poison that prevents some gay men from building a healthy relationship, and also why many mess up the ones they already have. Few of us grow up unscathed by family, peers, and a society hostile to our attractions and behaviors.

Some of us have been bullied as children; physically, verbally, and emotionally abused at tender ages by our peers and family members for being gay before we even recognized and understood our same-sex attractions.

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