Texas' premier matchmaker for gay men weighs in on the search for the right guy
With a New Year, new resolutions, and the promise of spring around the corner, I'm urging open discussions and friendly suggestions for those looking for love. Start doing things differently now, to get real about finding the one.
Take it offline. Close the lid on the laptop. Consider being so crazy as to remove the app.
I coach clients that when online - if you must - find more sophisticated, mature, and respectable face-to-face opportunities for meeting the person also seeking a long-term relationship. As Rumi said, "What you seek is seeking you." Whether you're new to Houston or have simply grown tired of seeing the same ol' faces with your routine attempts at partner seeking, let a straight ally give you a nudge to try something different this year:
- Network - Be brave. Visit your city's LGBT networking groups or LGBT Toastmasters Club. In Corporate America, check out into Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, or for smaller gatherings, connect with local LGBT entrepreneurs through StartOut. The National Conference on LGBT Equality just happened in Houston! Hopefully, you got a chance to participate.
- Advocate - Don't just read about the latest efforts of, in our case, Equality Texas or the HRC (Human Rights Campaign), attend their mixers, volunteer for their galas, and go to their watch parties. Hint: Volunteering to work the registration table brings you face-to-face with every attendee. Good guys doing good works. At least that filters out those that only live online, saying they do good, but don't get out.
- Connect - Subscribe to online e-newsletters from LGBT friendly professionals, realtors, entrepreneurs, and especially non-profits. They direct you to gay-friendly socials, mixers, themed parties, and opportunities for networking. Again, if you don't have a "plus one" as your date, then sign up to volunteer.
- Meet Ups - In our fast growing cities in Texas and beyond, Meet Ups are becoming more popular. Meetup.com allows you to select groups or subsets within the LGBT community - from newcomers in your city to cyclists, to fellow professionals, and book clubs to name a few. You could be on a bike ride around the city with 20 other gay singles by tomorrow after work, with a social dinner to follow, or a social brunch on Sunday.
- Get Out - Hang out at the farmer's market, book signings, lectures, museum special events, and even locally owned neighborhood coffee shops. Attend a grand opening of restaurants, retail, and locally owned and operated neighborhood shops. (True story: My website developer was hit on while working on my gay matchmaking biz site, simply because of another coffee drinker looking over his shoulder to see the LGBT-friendly site. So if reading online at coffee shops, I highly recommend reading respected e-newsletters or sites like Advocate, Huffington Post, Outsource, or HRC.)
And while this all sounds obvious to some, it's a little intimidating to others, so please know we are professional matchmakers and here to help. There's no one way to find the perfect person for you. But sitting at home with a laptop probably isn't going to find your Valentine. Soooooo...close the lid and GO SEARCHING. I promise, he's looking for you as eagerly as you are searching for him. #loveislove
Tammy Shaklee is the president and head matchmaker at He's for Me. Learn more about the company and its services at www.H4M.com or (855) 443-7463. Get more advice on going offline here.