The Romantic Travel is only a little late

Hey everybody. This is Devin, the … What am I? The Romantic Traveler here once a week again. I was only two minutes late today, which is very exciting for me. Slowly closing in on that on-time status, and then I will be putting out mailers to invite people to join me live online to answer questions. Anyway, so welcome. We are going to be answering a new question. Plus, we are going to be talking about learning to swim and learning to ride a bike.

Seeing Love All Around

This week’s question is from Tom, who writes, “How do I, a gay man in his mid-fifties, who has no successful long-term romantic relationships with men, develop and maintain trust that the kind of love I see around me in so many other couples is meant for me?”

Thank you so much for your question, Tom. To be quite honest with you, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have love in your life. I think that we develop reasons. I think we have histories that put us in fear. Really, my question is going to be answered in greater weight in the second half of this, but I think the important thing to know is that you are looking for love, that you should make a commitment to that end, and that you should be kind to yourself because sometimes what we tend to do as people is that we’re looking for something. We’re trying to meet our goals and it becomes really difficult for us to do that. Be nice to yourself, set smaller goals, make sure that you go out and date and put yourself in a position where you can meet people. I know it sounds almost hokey, but if they can’t see you, they can’t find you. Be nice to yourself, put yourself out there in a small way, something that you’re comfortable with, and explore the possibilities of love, and be committed to that idea. Set it as an intention so that thing can be put out to the larger scope of the universe. Thank you so much for your question, Tom, and I wish you much success moving forward.

Learning to Ride a Bike

To move a little bit deeper into this question of finding love, and more specifically I’m going to talk about it from the point of view of riding a bike. When I learned how to ride a bike, it was not through my parents efforts. They bought me a yellow Huffy with what was called a banana saddle and, literally, Dad put it together and said, “Okay, go ride a bike.” It was the seventies, so there was no helmet and I didn’t know what I was doing. Basically, I’d try to pedal and I’d flail my arms, and I would crash into a tree or a car or something else. It didn’t work. I eventually got it, slowly but surely. I went to friends’ houses. We started on a hill, tried to keep the arms really straight, and I learned over time that … What I talk a lot about that a friend of mine, Pat, always says, “that a slight shift in perception leads to great change”. For me, the slight shift in perception went from either soper tight grip, or flailing my arms, to edging my way toward balance.

And Learning to Swim

That became really, really obvious when I was teaching my daughter to swim. I had my arms sort of like cradling her. Really, the whole goal was just put your face a little bit in the water and blow some bubbles with your nose and kick your feet a little bit and move your hands a little bit, but that’s not what she wanted to do. A, she was terrified that she was going to drown. Now, she was in three feet of water and I was standing right there, so that wasn’t going to happen, but that’s not the way she felt. She felt that it was going to be a big, scary thing that she couldn’t do. To counteract that, to try to swim, she was attempting to swim based upon her fear, which was to cling and flail wildly, just as I did when I was learning to ride a bike on my own. What she did, is she kept flailing and squealing and screaming, and doing the best that she could because she didn’t really know any better, until there was a point where it’s like, okay, I’m just going to stand you up.

Once she stood up, she realized that she could put her feet on the bottom. She could stand up. Her head’s out of water. There wasn’t really a chance … She didn’t need to drown, she realized that. Once that happened, her anxiety level over the idea of swimming as a whole dropped substantially. She could learn to swim, but she didn’t have to change an incredible amount to get there. What she needed to do was to relax and, okay, now you put your face in the water. Now you kick your feet a little bit. We as adults, I think when we don’t know how to do something, or we have fear of something, fall into that same kind of thing.

Stop Splashing and Flailing

I speak to a lot of people, who either get into relationships or haven’t been in a relationship for awhile, and they feel that they need giant makeovers and they need to do something completely different. They need to do everything more, more, more, more. Big, big, big, and it needs to happen all right now. That’s typically not the way it really works. What you want to do is relax. You know that you can put your feet on the floor and stand up and you’re going to be fine. You’re probably going to have to take some action, and it may be action that you’re going to be a little bit uncomfortable with because it’s going to be new, but that’s okay. I guarantee you you can do it. More importantly, you can absolutely find love. If you’re still listening, I hope that this was useful to you and, until next week, with more questions and more insights. Check me out at and thanks so much for seeing us this week.

Until next week, take care.

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