Dear Bearded Confidant,

I love to read your advice to guys about their situations, so I have a problem that I hope you can help with.  Everyone who knows I'm gay says that I'm cute.  Even supposedly non-gay friends say that they would date me. So why am I alone?  I'm not a flamboyant gay person.  I have a light voice, but that is because it won't get any deeper.  I am more of a fem because I want a relationship, I want someone to hold me in their arms protect me from this harsh and unpredictable world but, my friends say I should just screw around.  My very best friends—a confused lesbian and a gay male—get sex with either gender all the time and I cannot get a man to save my life. Another thing is that I am not a club person (gay or straight).  My friends are not either, yet they continue to get play even with ugly people and I am stuck crushing on a straight guy who says gay things like "emotionally I'd die without you."  Please help.

Dear Lonely,

First of all, a man's cuteness, voice, masculine or feminine qualities, and frequency of clubgoing have very little to do with whether or not he is alone in the world. Flamboyant or butch, skinny or musclebound, rich or poor, it makes no difference when it comes to relationship status. When a man is truly ready to be in a relationship, no matter what he has or doesn't have going for him, he finds a mate. The fact of the matter is that you aren't ready to have a mate. It's clearly not just sex that you want, because you already know how to find that and you don't want to go that route. A part of you may be thinking that you are ready for a relationship, but your single status is proof that you still have work to do. That work involves working on yourself. Even though I started this discussion by saying that the qualities you were listing about yourself didn't matter, it is actually good that are evaluating your current situation. You certainly need to define exactly what sort of man you are and what sort of man you are looking for. Speaking of the sort of man you are, what about yourself can use improvement? I don't mean improvement so as to be worthwhile in the eyes of another (you don't have anything to prove, nor do you have to earn anyone's approval), but what can you enrich for your own self? Use this time alone to the best possible advantage. Take advantage of your opportunities for personal growth. Pursue and develop your own interests. In doing so, you will come into contact with other men who share your passions. These men will be far superior to anyone you might meet in a nightclub, because they aren't random people off the street. Follow your heart in your personal life, and your heart will draw others toward it. Focus on what you want out of life and you will manifest it in your reality. Don't focus on your feelings of loneliness, because that situation is temporary.