Most seasoned singles know that dating culture can be broken up into hookup culture and actually-looking-to-date-long-term relationship culture. Most online dating sites are a mix of both, and after living with online dating as an increasingly ubiquitous option for the past 20 years, the general public mostly sees dating sites as a super normal means to find casual dates or a hookup. But what if you're looking for a serious relationship that lasts?

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Posted September 7, Reviewed by Jessica Schrader. 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. What am I doing wrong? As an openly gay man with over 30 years of experience as a therapist, I have seen scores of single gay men sabotage their efforts to find a partner, placing obstacles in their own path—without having the slightest idea as to what they are doing and why. Fortunately, I have also learned how to identify and name these self-defeating and often hidden hurdles—and have discovered that they are beliefs that too many gay men repeat to themselves, often without even knowing it. They are as follows:.

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In fact, your love life should not leave you exhausted, strained, or questioning like a particularly dramatic episode of Sex and the City.

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It should leave you happy, energized, and inspired. If you are single with no desire to settle down though I utterly despise that sayingmore power to you. I, too, am guilty of never internally taking the blame for setbacks in my dating life.

Also reflect on the patterns that might be limiting you from finding the right person — are you insecure and not really open to dating, or are you only considering the same type of person you know is wrong for you? If you are in a relationship, focus on what you can be doing to make the relationship stronger. Often times, when we see the good in people, it brings out even more good.

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The same goes with your relationships — see the good, and the other person will be motivated to become better as well. You will feel pitfalls and doubts in even good relationships, and being able to talk through and work through the most hurtful doubts with your partner with support and understanding is what separates a long-lasting, happy relationship from a breakup.

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Share your deepest fears and dreams early on. In order to get the relationship you want, you need to know the relationship you want.

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This is a list of non-negotiables. It may sound counterintuitive since the point of this article is, indeed, how to successfully partner up.

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But more attractive to potential or current partners than the way you look is the confidence you exude. Take yourself out to dinner, read a great book, or make yourself a nice bath at home.

Telling someone on a dating app you want something serious is easier than you think

Make requests instead of complaints, take turns talking, and know when to take a pause when the argument gets too heated. When your partner feels like you care about more than you have to, and actually want to be a part of everything they do, it subconsciously creates a new level of teamwork, love, and intimacy.

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Speaking of intimacy, physical affection may not be the determining factor between a happy, life-long relationship and a short, toxic one we all knew that on-again-off-again couple in high school that would make out by the lockers far too oftenbut it is what separates a close friendship from a lasting romance. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone can be impacted by negative emotions or fears. If your partner responds to your hurt feelings or anger with genuine support, understanding, and remorse, and cares more about your feelings than about being right, forgive them.

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And guess what — stress is not going away when you achieve that perfect relationship or find the perfect person. Knowing how the other person wants their stress to be handled makes all the difference. So the ability to be loving is obviously crucial in a happy relationship, right?

Learn how gay men can overcome the hurdles and find mr. right.

Showing love in the way that your partner feels it is one of the greatest secrets to relationship success. Help each other become the best version of yourselves for a fulfilling life.

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Any relationship expert will tell you that gratitude is the secret to a happy relationship. OK, so this sounds like a quote straight out of a self-help book, but hear me out — research has shown that this simple question could be a gateway to achieving the kind of love you want — more specifically, ask yourself what kind of partner you want to be.

Asking the question is not just about seeking out the right kind of partner, it actually gives you intention in navigating your relationships.

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