Dear Uncle Mat

I am in need of advice, or a reality check. I am a recently out 22-year-old stud. I have been “doing it right” since JV football, though, so I am only new to the scene. I’m just a BooBoo looking for his Yogi. I am attracted to older guys, which only bothers my mom and some friends. I met this guy who I had seen around at a bar at my first pride. He works at a frequented local watering hole and that doesn’t bother me, nor do the guys flirting with him. I know he is capable of the relationship thing because he lives with his ex (platonically), and is also about eight years my senior. I set up a couple of dates, but he flaked on me. Then when all hope was lost in my book he reeled me in with affection, and alcohol, but mostly affection. To be honest, I am really picky, and this dude meets all of my criteria: Handsome, Tall, Beefy, Motivated, Funny, Degreed, Great Kisser, Smart. He has also expressed interest ... OK; I know he wants to FUCK. I’m trying to be careful because I don’t want to be some College Boy Conquest, but sometimes I can’t resist. I feel overwhelmed because it’s not everyday I meet a guy that makes me feel this rad. Most guys just want me to sleep with them, and to their shock I am a 22-year-old in search of a relationship. Seeing as this guy is a hired gun by the bar I don’t know if he is just playing me or if he genuinely likes me, or if there is some other cosmic reason why this isn’t working out the way I had hoped. We are both in college; he’s in grad school, and I’m well on my way to my bachelor’s, so that may be it — or is this just something I’m telling myself to avoid rejection?

So, to recap pros: really affectionate in private, expresses interest in me, meets all prior criteria. And the cons: Has flaked on me every time, isn’t really communicative (phone, text, etc.), hot then cold. I have to make an effort to go to the bar to see him. For now I have decided to take myself out of the nightlife, which means that I won’t see him, and focus on my physical training and school! However, just thinking of this guy excites me (wink) about when I will be able to see him again, makes me want to eat a salad, do three hours of cardio, and top it off with 1,000 crunches. I know I am making the right choice for ME short-term because school is my priority, but as for long-term I need help. Am I being played, or does he genuinely like me, too? Any thoughts or wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

— King of Hearts

P.S. I was listening to “Appreciate Me” remixed by Peter Rauhofer when I wrote this, so I apologize if I sound like the young, naïve queer.

Dear King of Hearts,

I have never heard the term “doing it right” before, but I love it. You kids! I’m sick and jacked up on heavy-duty pain killers this week so I am overly optimistic and can hear the musical that is any young gay man’s life echoing soft and remixed down the alleys from the gym-locker rooms.

I don’t know if this guy is playing you. I suppose you could ask him. You could be another tasty young trick or the man who will change his life. I am a shitty psychic. Be honest with yourself and him or whomever you are doing it right with, and the rest should settle out OK.

This guy may be the best guy ever, but it doesn’t really seem to be going anywhere at the moment, so go check out the other beaches on the pond. Hopefully he’ll come around looking for you. If so, play it cool and have some fun, but keep an open mind about your life and the fact that you have one — it makes you more attractive. You might find that there are other nearly perfect guys out there that you have more than just a hard-on in common with.  

Never apologize for being a young naïve queer; one day you won’t be. Live it while you’ve got it.  

Much luck, love, and fun,

Your Uncle Mat

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