I often hear gay men citing the same kind of reasons when talking about why they can never find a mate. While some of the below may sound funny, these unhelpful attitudes and perceptions can actually stick and affect our decisions.

I want want want.
Instead of focusing on what you want, what about what you can give? It’s certain that you are very clear on what type of man you want to attract, but you also need to be clear on what you have to give to this potential relationship. It has to be two way; list your strong points, for eg are you loving, generous, faithful etc. You will feel more confident when meeting attractive guys who you may have previously thought were out of your league. So he may be tall and gorgeous but he’s lucky to be with someone so (insert your quality here) and (insert your quality here).

It’s not all about the size.
Instead of making physical appearance/ sexual attraction the main thing, what about thinking about the type of person who would please you in the long run, when the sex is over? Kind, loving or sporty and adventurous? Learn to separate the perfect body images that gay men are subjected to (from magazines and porn) from long term compatibility. I’m not saying you should go out with a troll but don’t let muscles and sex be your motivating factor. Seems difficult? Maybe, but necessary.

Shopping Lists
We all have one (at least); a list of ideal traits we are looking for in our ideal fella. Take your shopping list and cut it in half. If you are still not having luck finding a partner, throw it in the recycling at Waitrose and open yourself up to new possibilities and people. So what if he’s not quite as tall as you want but he is funny and caring? Is it really so important that he has a very successful job? These lists hold us back.

Peer pressure
Don’t worry about what others might think. It’s more important that you feel he is right for you than worrying that your friends won’t like his dress sense or your mother won’t like his humour. Don’t miss out on something wonderful because of others opinions. If you are worried that you could never take him to the opera/ football match as he would never fit in, maybe it’s time to evaluate the importance you are giving to your interests compared to your relationship. Remember, opposites attract; there’s no reason why a geek cant date a trendy guy or a bear can’t date a twink.

The grass is always greener
I’ve met a cute guy and we’re going out with each other, but I am still on Grindr. There are always tons of guys and I don’t want to miss out! How many times have you heard that? Delete your apps because not giving your full attention to this person in front of you will ruin everything. If you are seriously finding that hard to do then he is probably not the one for you. Just because modern day gay life revolves around swiping apps and non-stop hook ups is irrelevant to you finding a partner to settle down with.

My relationships never work. End of.
Really? What if you turned that around and changed your attitude to ‘my relationships work’. Think of how that would give you motivation and a big lift. Don’t expect the ideal man to turn up while you are too busy moping around thinking about what didn’t work in the past. Let it go and move on; that’s the only option that makes sense.

Gay men can’t do relationships.
White men can’t jump and the moon is made of cheese. Such generalisations are unhelpful so stop thinking about them! Learn from past experiences by all means but don’t impose restrictions like: I went out with a guy who looked like that before, didn’t work/ my friend had a boyfriend who didn’t speak English and it ended badly, I would never go there. Being gay is just a sexual preference, it does not automatically render you incapable of having a successful relationship.

Jaye Sassieni is author of Gay Dating, your guide to finding love and has been running Urban Connections speed dating events for over 7 years.