Coming Out in my 40s and Never Dated a Man


QDear Love & Sex Q&A,

I’ve dated girls all of my adult life, with one experience in high school which has left me with the lasting impression that guys are really for me.

I’ve been single for two years after the breakdown and resulting divorce from my ex wife.  For the last couple of months I’ve been chatting with guys in gay chat rooms, and last week I bought a gay adult movie and have watched it at least a dozen times.  I am now in my early forties and have no idea on how to date guys, but feel it’s what I want to do.

I have a lot of insecurities about being a good gay guy. All the magazines and articles I read online have these muscle gym bodies, perfect styled hair and live glamorous lives in the media, fashion and design.  I work as a carpenter, drive a pick up, and have a simple life enjoying country activities, walking, hiking and camping.  I’m not out of shape but I don’t have a six pack, I don’t want to shave my beard or body hair off.  I was chatting online with a random guy and he said bears would suit me. I googled it and I think he’s right. They look like men’s men, the type of guy I’d go with to the bar after work for a beer.

So in my round about way, my two questions are, How do you date a guy? And do you think I would get a date?

Henry F



From what you have described, I think regarding dating you could well be many guys’ type, especially within the bear dating scene.  

As to dating a guy, it’s not too dissimilar to dating a girl: coffee, drinks, meal out, conversations and a sprinkling of romance involved. The “romance” part may look a bit different. Some guys may not appreciate flowers (but many will!).  It’s more about the personal attention, showing that you care, than about specific details. When you go out, dress appropriately for the venue you are going to, but smart casual is usually a safe bet when you’re in doubt. Treat the guy like you respect him, like you’re happy to be seen in public with him, and like you’re interested in getting to know him as a real person and not just your next lay — and that will get you a long way in the romance department. 

Some gay men work in the areas you describe, and they dress and present themselves in that way too. Not every gay man is a florist or hairstylist.  And not every gay male has a high-profile career that they’d write about in glamour magazines. Being gay does not define a look or a style, just as with being straight doesn’t necessarily mean you drive a Volvo, have two kids of each denomination and have a wife at home who does all the cooking and cleaning. Find they types of guys you are interested in, go hang out where they socialize, and try to relax.  Soon enough you’ll make friends, find some dates, and with any luck, find a guy you will want to settle down with.

The key is to just start. Don’t let your fears or inexperience stop you. You’ve got a lot going for you. So get out there, explore and have fun.  And then send me an invitation to your wedding!


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Jonathan WelfordJONATHAN WELFORD heads up, a relationship and dating coaching practice. He was awarded the accolade of being one of the top 10 Gay Relationship Bloggers for 2013. He writes gay agony uncle columns for numerous publications in both the UK and USA, and is also a regular columnist for He lives with his Scottish husband in Manchester, UK.

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