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Ask Mr. Manners

Having it all

On a train ride home yesterday I was letting my mind wander, and I came to the conclusion that gay men just “have it good.” Take a moment and think about it. We can lift heavy objects, grow beards and, as research shows, we get paid more and enjoy less stress. I am not sure I agree with that research completely, however we can still argue that we “have it good.” Where I tend to draw the line is when someone states that gay men “have it all.”

Most of us are north of our 20’s can look at our group of friends to gauge how we are doing. Some followed the path of getting hitched, building a family (using whichever means worked for them), and pursuing a career which hopefully led them to what they define as success. But we all know that as life and careers begin to heat up, friendships and personal connections begin to fade. As much as we want to pretend they don’t, we are all guilty of it.

Take a look back at your life. I’m talking a five-year review. Think back to who you used to spend a majority of your time with. Chances are that group of people has shifted dramatically. And even if you are one of the lucky few who retained a friend or two from that group, you probably do not have the same friendship you did back then. Granted we all have those people who we never really feel apart from, but still, our friendships eventually begin to fade and studies show that in time it takes a terrible toll on your overall health!

The reality is that being a gay man in 2017 — even if you are extremely successful — can be tricky. Between juggling social activities, work, relationships and any other hobbies you may have, you are constantly looking for more time. But let me pose a question. Is where you are spending your time really worthwhile? Is it better to spend an ungodly amount of time at work, alone, and let relationships dwindle because you are unavailable? As the icing to this fantasy life, we seem to have lost ourselves in an age of media and constantly advancing technology.

So, what do we do?

Well, we have many options. We start by looking at the friendships we have. Are you committing the time to them to keep them alive and thriving? Maybe some friends just need you to come over and watch the football game, while others require you to go out for drinks. Whichever the commitment, you need to allow yourself the time to spend with those whom you love, and love you in return.

As a final thought, make sure you make time just to spend with your guy friends — gay or straight. We guys need to stick together if we are going to make it through to the end. Maybe the guy who has the most friends and not the most stuff, is the one who can be accused of “having it all.”

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Rock Magen

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