I’m a big fan of PBS NewsHour. The news program doesn’t use a slate of “experts” who postulate endlessly back and forth nor does it conflate opinion with news. The broadcast which airs Monday – Friday at 6PM ET also covers a wide range of news (including events happening outside the United States – imagine that).
However, what I like the most about PBS NewsHour are their series and special reports like last week’s “Brief But Spectacular take on making conversation”. Listen to Fred Dust’s 3-minute video if you have a moment.
It seems that we have become less of a caring society and I think a large part of that might be from a lack of empathy. I have a sister who is a seventh grade school teacher and she shared this video from Brené Brown on the difference between empathy and sympathy and more importantly why it is important to be able to be more empathetic. If you have a minute or two, check it out.
About Brené Brown
Casandra Brené Brown (born November 18, 1965) is an American professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown holds the Huffington Foundation’s Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work and is a visiting professor in management at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
Having spent her career studying the concepts of courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and having authored seven books including five New York Times best-sellers, Brown hosts the Unlocking Us podcast, and her TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability”, has been widely viewed. More about Brené, here.
Earlier today I saw this image posted on Twitter by @OnlyInBoston. Who can say how this data gets compiled but I do find it mildly entertaining. Apparently “Couples Cooking Classes” is the most frequently googled gift idea here. What is the most frequently googled Valentine’s Day-related gift idea in your state?
I have no idea if this is a first time event or simply the first time I’ve heard about this but for anyone in the dating pool this might be an event worth checking out. The evening combines board games and dating — sounds fun as long as you’re not stuck playing Sorry.
Next week will mark a milestone anniversary with Sergio. Unfortunately we will not be together, but yesterday Sergio surprised me by sending flowers to mark the week we actually met at the former gay bar ManRay / Campus in Cambridge.
Shortly after our first date, I surprised Sergio, sending yellow long stem roses to his place of work. Yesterday, he returned the surprise, sending this massive arrangement. I have to give him credit; twenty years in and he can still surprise and make me feel very special. I hope everyone can have a few special, surprise moments like this in 2019.
Thank you Sergio for the past twenty years. I look forward to another twenty.
Earlier this month The New York Times had an interesting article called “The Power of Positive People“, which suggested that our focus on physical health (e.g. diet and exercise) — while important — is only part of the equation for our well-being. The article said that researchers have found that happiness and other emotions spread between people in direct contact and can influence things like obesity, anxiety and overall happiness.
Are your friendships giving you a boost or bringing you down?
While I don’t find the hypothesis surprising, I think it is an important reminder of how important it is to have good friends. We’ve all faced adversity and felt down – it is part of life. Having friends who you can surround yourself with who will help you find the silver linings, be there to cheer you on or give you that added bit of courage really can make a difference. Do you know someone who is struggling at the moment? Give them a call and make plans to meet up. A fun evening together might be the best medicine.
I saw this photo on Twitter and couldn’t help but laugh. I’m dedicating this post to everyone who makes an effort to go out this weekend and meet someone organically; without the aid of a ‘dating app’ or some prior screening.
Go out with a couple of friends, grab a few drinks then head out to the dance floor and smile at everyone you meet.
14 Years ago today Massachusetts became the first state in the United States to legalize same sex marriage. Conservatives said Mass. was making a mockery of marriage, yet this state still has the lowest divorce rate in the country.
This past weekend I met a nice guy named Tony who lives in Boston. After being introduced by a mutual friend, we learned that we both have a blog. His blog chronicles his dating life and is called gaysiandating.
Recent posts from Tony include a fun night out at a gay bar in Iceland with a few straight guys; a sexually frustrating meeting this summer in Provincetown that may or may not (I wasn’t quite sure) turn into a friendship; and a Tinder date that really clicked until it didn’t. Sound interesting? Check out Tony’s blog and leave him a comment or two (us bloggers love that sort of thing).
This past weekend I was reading a brief article on Instinct Magazine’s website which said a survey of 5,000 LGBT British people told The Stonewall Organization that more than 50% of gay men are uncomfortable with holding their significant other’s hand when in public. Moreover, the organization reported that 20% of respondents had been the victim of a hate crime in the past year. Perhaps the most disturbing finding was that more than 80% of victims said they did not contact the police afterwards.
Perhaps all those signs exclaiming “Love is Love” should come with an asterisk indicating that loving your partner comes with an inherent risk and therefore isn’t really welcome. We all have friends who have faced violence or been subjected to it ourselves so this isn’t exactly a surprise even if it is disheartening to read.
While these results are based on a survey of LGBT British men, I think the findings would be mirrored here in the US with different parts of the country showing more or less hesitation to share public displays of affection. You can download the full report here: LGBT in Britain – Hate Crime & Discrimination.
Recently, The Boston Gayllennial, wrote a post about getting dumped. His (now) ex-boyfriend, broke up with him over the phone, saying, “we are too different”. The surprise conversation forced our young gayllennial into a self-reflection spiral that ended with him asking himself (and nearly all his friends), “Do opposites attract or do relationships require you to seek out a carbon copy counterpart to succeed?”
Fortunately, his friend Lenae told him what we all know to be true, that it isn’t an either or answer because people are different. I’d also like to give his girlfriend a shout out for more than just her sage advise. She gets bonus points from yours truly for what she does next to our impressionable gayllennial.
1. Talk to Strangers: I would particularly like to see guys from Boston take some cues from Gareth who opens the article suggesting we get comfortable with talking to strangers. Perhaps his point resonates with me so strongly because that is exactly how Sergio and I met. There happened to be lots of alcohol and some vintage Whitney blaring on a dance floor in Cambridge as well but we were both strangers and one of us (that would be me) stepped up and said hello.
2. Out at Work: His suggestions continue with being true to yourself at work by not being closeted. It still amazes me how many people I meet who feel that either they cannot or will not talk about their personal life at work out of fear of retaliation or not being promoted. But since many of us spend so much of our life at work it only makes sense to be open to sharing aspects of your personal life there.
3. & 4. Play Sport & Volunteer: Suggestions 3 & 4 respectively are to join a sports club / team or volunteer. Fortunately Boston offers great opportunities to do both. This past fall I shared about 20 different gay sports leagues you can join here and I regularly write about volunteering opportunities through Gay for Good Boston.
5. Go to the Gym: I jokingly refer to the gym as the gay man’s temple, but it’s a public space where you will meet and get to know people if you go regularly.
6. & 7. Network & Take Risks: I think of as putting yourself out there.
All of this is easier said than done, and I recognize doing this won’t guarantee you’ll connect and make friends or meet someone special but it is a start.
I generally shy away from topics like this on my blog because I realize that I have no current experience on this subject and if it weren’t for the stories of my single gay friends I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of how difficult it is to meet and date a peer when you are no longer in your 20s.
Artavia in part blames that difficulty on the fact that for many older gay men we become obsessed (his word not mine) with youth and beauty, which might blind them from dating contemporaries who they have more in common. While I think that could be true for some, I also think that there are two important other reasons it gets increasingly difficult.
First, most everyone is single in their 20s so you have a much larger dating pool of contemporaries to meet and date. That changes over time with more friends pairing up, leaving a gap that can only be filled by dating people outside your age; with there always being more, younger single men than older (or so it seems). Second, as we get older we become more settled and making space for an equal who also has their own routines, relationships and responsibilities can be a tricky thing to make work. Either way dating can be tough for the relationship-minded and I’m curious to get your thoughts so please share.
As part of the recently launched #ExpressLove campaign, American Express is headed to Provincetown to continue the Pride celebrations and bring together the people of Ptown. The #ExpressLove campaign aims to inspire people to share the ways they express their love for each other – in big ways and small.
When: Wednesday, August 17 Time: 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Where: Spindler’s 386 Commercial Street RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org