Shy gay guys in the community are terrified to approach men—I’m one of them! It might look like we’re extroverts but when it comes to matters of the heart, rarely do we have the courage of our convictions. Assumptions run wild and everything becomes blurred. Here are some we all tend to have:
#1) “I’m not good enough.”
Anytime we see a guy who is totally our type, the first thing we feel is how sexually attracted we are to him, then we’re mystified by his appeal, then we start placing him on a pedestal. We think he’s too good for us or too hot for us, which makes us believe we’re not worthy.
Trust me, we all think these thoughts. But having the courage of going through it anyway—to literally reject those thoughts and remind ourselves it’s all based from fear—is what separates the boys from the men. We can be in that headspace if you really try, and over time we will train our brain to get there faster.
#2) “He’s going to think I’m creepy and just want to have sex with him.”
This is your habit talking. You’re too comfortable not approaching people that any time you try and make a new habit, your old habit convinces you that you’re a complete cliché—that if you do this new “thing” you’re going to be the most exaggerated form of whatever it is, i.e. a creepy dude. Believe me, the only way you’re going to be creepy is if you are in fact creepy.
#3) “He’s way out of my league and it’s a joke I’m pretending to be remotely as attractive as him.”
Don’t put a stranger on a pedestal. There have been plenty of guys in my life who I thought were the sexiest thing I’d ever seen at first impression, only to have them slide down the point system after a few days. Everyone is sexy the first time you meet them—soak it in, then try and get to a place where looks aren’t even a factor. You already know he’s good looking. Now try and see what’s under it.
#4) “How do I make it known I’m interested and don’t want to just be friends?”
There’s always a worry about being in the friend zone. Our strategy seems to be the same in these situations. We don’t realize that we’re selling ourselves as a friend rather than someone we’re romantically interested in, so how do we fix it? The truth is all it takes is vulnerability—opening yourself up in a way that he sees your heart rather than the outer layer (which is what friends do). The difference is slight but very transparent.
#5) “What if I’m not masculine enough?”
As gay guys we seem to worry about this no matter how much pride we have in ourselves. It’s implemented in our brains that masculinity and aggression define us as men, but when you’re a shy person it’s hard to convey it at first impression. But the simple fact that you are approaching someone represents masculinity in a way no muscle or gym membership can. Rely on that.
#6) “He doesn’t want to be bothered probably. I shouldn’t do it.”
You don’t know what’s in his head, so never assume he’s too busy to be flattered by someone. We’re all human beings and love to be hit on—it’s true. Any kind of hesitation you have is fear convincing you not to be bold.
#7) “Other people are watching.”
Other people might be watching, but if you’re too focused on that it’s a red flag that you care way too much about what people think. You’re becoming enslaved by a bunch of strangers rather than accomplishing something you really want to do. What do you have to be embarrassed about?
#8) “How the f*ck do I even start?”
It all starts with a smile. That’s it. The smallest of connections grow into something a lot more meaningful and actionable. But if you refuse to spark it you will never have the fire.
#9) “He’s going to say no anyway…”
This is your insecurity talking and rarely is it right. You think you’re not good enough for him, therefore you assume he’s going to say no. You are then acting on the idea he’s going to say no, which you’ve decided in your head. It’s time to unplug yourself from fantasy and live in the real world. You’ll make much wiser and braver decisions.
#10) “He looks like he has his sh*t more together than I do. It’s pointless.”
We think a man who looks like he has money, a better job, better family, better everything, isn’t going to look at someone like us. Had it been a man with lesser qualities than us, we probably would have had more courage. This is totally toxic.
There’s a competition most men have with each other: we don’t necessarily need to be the best in the world, but we do need to be better than everyone around us. It’s intimidating to flirt with someone who we assume can find someone better. But the thing is we’re not filing for a marriage certificate here, so it’s time we let it go.