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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.

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.

Another way feeling unlovable manifests is in the choice of partner. For sure, so much of the gay male world is way too focused on looks, youth, the gym, partying, and fast hookups; so searching for Mr. However, feeling subconsciously unlovable or unworthy can again rear its head here through your choices.

That muscled, tattooed bad boy is hotter than hell, and great in bed, but is he showing any sign that he is ready to settle down?

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.

This toxic internalized belief is further ingrained if we have been treated harshly (or abandoned) by our fathers, the first men in our lives to teach us about our value in the eyes of other males.

Sadly, these wounds are difficult to heal, and as a result, can leave gay men with the sense that we are unlovable and thus unworthy of love, affection, and happiness.

For sure, the pendulum has swung far in the other direction.