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Hey Woody,

I suspect I have been delusional for a long time, thinking that Mr. Right was just around the corner, and I would live some fairytale like in the movie, An Affair to Remember, except I would actually make it to the Eiffel Tower. I’m lonely and haven’t dated in a long time. I turned 42 this year and I’ve internalized from our goddamned community that I’m too old. I have been HIV positive for what feels like 100 years, and it’s really scary for me to come forward and face the inevitable rejection and abandonment that dating brings. I also struggle with addiction and have been in recovery now for a while. I have a history of depression and I have been in countless hours of psychotherapy. In other words, I have at least attempted at reducing a bit of my baggage. I have been in the gym for 20 years and have a great body.

Hey Woody,

I suspect I have been delusional for a long time, thinking that Mr. Right was just around the corner, and I would live some fairytale like in the movie, An Affair to Remember, except I would actually make it to the Eiffel Tower. I’m lonely and haven’t dated in a long time. I turned 42 this year and I’ve internalized from our goddamned community that I’m too old. I have been HIV positive for what feels like 100 years, and it’s really scary for me to come forward and face the inevitable rejection and abandonment that dating brings. I also struggle with addiction and have been in recovery now for a while. I have a history of depression and I have been in countless hours of psychotherapy. In other words, I have at least attempted at reducing a bit of my baggage. I have been in the gym for 20 years and have a great body. On the outside you would assume everything was wonderful. I’m a professional, close to getting a PhD, own a house, and a great car. Some say I am a catch and some days I believe it. I know that I’m not the only HIV positive, forty-something gay man out there that’s lonely, tired of the online bullshit, the bathhouse and the adult bookstores. I want a little love, that’s all. Do you think it’s too late?

– Lonely and Depressed

Dear Lonely:

First, let me state the obvious: You have more issues than Time Magazine. It’d take this whole publication to address them individually, so let me just stick to the big one: Loneliness.

The world is filled with your twins — smart, successful people who haven’t had a boyfriend in so long they think it’s a mirage. They’re often immobilized by their loneliness, made all the worse because on the outside, they seem to have everything—money, looks and smarts. And hopefully, the entire collection of Bel Ami’s videos.

Here’s the thing: There comes a time when you have to look loneliness in the eye and ask yourself, “Am I going to give in to this or get out of it?”

I know, I know, you’ve tried everything and nothing works. Bullshit. Have you ever noticed how many really nice guys you’ve rejected? Some of those guys could have been the love of your life, but they didn’t meet criteria Number 432 on your 500 Must-Have Traits or It Ain’t Going To Work list.

Here are the top four things you can do to snag a shag worth keeping:

1. Put a lid on it. When it comes to loneliness, there’s a difference between confiding in trusted friends and announcing it to the public. One alleviates loneliness; the other perpetuates it. One makes you human; the other makes you unbearable. So, set limits on the time you spend expressing your sadness.

2. Have Fun. *Physical* fun. The gym doesn’t count. Dancing does. Renting comedies doesn’t count. Jumping out of airplanes does. It’s easier to behave your way into new thinking than to think your way into new behavior.

3. Change the Emphasis. Subordinate the Search For The Perfect Boyfriend to other goals. Passion has more than the letters a-s-s in it. Throw yourself into projects and hobbies that bring meaning and purpose to you.

4. Get Out. To the right places, I mean. I can’t believe you want a relationship and you hang out at baths and adult bookstores. That’s like fishing in the desert—you’re not going home with anything but a rash. Shop for new bars, online sites, events and organizations. Love will fall into your lap, but you’ve got to take your lap places.

Having A Hard Time Finding A Date Online? Download woody’s new ebook, Attract Hotter Guys ONLINE, available at http://www.adviceongaydatingsites.com/menseekingmen

Sweating Too Much

Hey Woody,

I read your answer to “smelly” (how to tell your new boyfriend his crotch smells like a grease-encrusted vomit bucket). Loved your answer but wanted to add a different dimension to the problem. I’m one of those guys who smell down there because I sweat so much. It’s very embarrassing. It doesn’t take much to soak my shirt. I could be in a mildly warm bar and sweat like I’m a whore in church. Any advice for people like me?

– Spikot

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