When you talk to young guys just coming out, the thing they say most is "I want a boyfriend." - not "I want to fuck." - and that's only natural. We all want and need to love and be loved, but it does seem harder at times in the gay world.
Part of it is the numbers thing. Gay guys are a fairly small group in NZ society, so the chances of finding someone you can click with are smaller - we don't have the same range of choice that straights do just because we're a smaller group. Another block is whether or not we can be out at work or with family. Straights often meet their husbands or wives through work, that seems harder for us, so we have to look elsewhere.
We don't get a lot of positive images or messages about two guys in love either. You don't see men in love with each other much around us, not on TV or in the movies, we don't hear songs on the radio about two guys loving each other, and you don't see two guys walking down the street holding hands very often, so it's easy to think it never happens. It's a shame we still can't be more visible but maybe things are slowly getting better.
If you live in a small town, then your chances of meeting the right guy are even lower, that's one reason so many guys move to big cities. More gay men around equals more chances to find someone to love.
It can be a real eye-opener the first time you get to a city with a really big gay population and a gay district and see how the men there live and behave. It's no wonder so many kiwi guys move off-shore. If all the gay men from NZ who have moved to Australia came back we'd have a very different community here, that's for sure.
But even so, it is possible to meet a man who will love you and you can love back here in little old New Zealand. It might take time, it certainly takes some luck, but there are loads of guys here happily living with their partner, in a full and real relationship.
Some guys do actually meet their partner online, those sites don't just have to be for finding a quick root. But face-to-face meetings through your friends often seems the way most guys meet and fall for each other. So much of gay life in the cities is built around the venues, around bars and clubs, where it's easy to find someone hot to fall into bed with, but not so easy to talk to a guy and get to know him a bit and see where it could go, so look for alternatives. There are gay social groups around that aren't focused on sex. Some are sports groups, some are for people who like gardening, some for tramping, some are for film-lovers, so there are other places you can go besides the bars and clubs to meet, but again, this all depends on where you live.
It can be really hard to make the first move too - a lot of us are shy, and worried about being told "Thanks, but no thanks" if we go up to someone and start talking or ask for a dance. You do have to be brave, and you do have to develop a bit of a tough skin to take the knocks. And yes, it's still true, you might kiss quite a few frogs before finding your prince.
It's important not to have unrealistic expectations - we're all human and we all have faults. If you want him to be perfect you might be waiting for a long time. relationships are about give and take, accepting that sometimes there will be rough patches, figuring out how to get through them. It's not all romantic dinners and hot sex - someone has to do the vacuuming and pay the bills.
But don't give up. just cause you've been single for ages don't think you're unloveable, or that it can never happen to you. Love often happens in the strangest most unlikely ways. Keep your heart open, talk to a few strangers, maybe join a gay social group, and see what happens.
You deserve to love and be loved, and never believe anything else.