Your relationship isn’t working, or you can’t even find one. Perhaps your favorite gay watering hole is seeing an alarming influx of boisterous sorority girls and “fauxhemian” straight couples. Maybe you’re new to the same-sex dating scene or have been away from it for a while, and you just don’t know how to date these days. Sure, there are websites and phone apps, but most cater to those looking for a quick encounter. In this era, how do relationship-minded single gay men go about finding partnership-oriented relationships?
That’s where Mason Glenn comes in. For the last five years, Glenn has been the premiere matchmaker to gay couples in Beverly Hills and beyond, helping hundreds of single gay men find love. Now he’s sharing his secrets in his new book, Getting Ahead of the Gayme: Man First, Gay Second from Page Publishing.
“I became interested in the industry five or six years ago,” Mason says. “I’ve always been great with people and I’m very intuitive.”
He came from a corporate background, during which he trained people to be occupational leaders. He quickly realized that his skills could be applied to bringing people together romantically.
“It was more like distinguishing different personality traits and compatibility among them,” he says.
Now, he says, he views himself as being in marketing and branding.
He was working with one of the higher-profile matchmaking agencies before being asked to join the one he’s with now. In his previous assignment, his work was geared more toward helping heterosexual couples find love. Happily, that all changed when his present company finally realized that there was an entire community whose romantic needs were being overlooked and that Glenn was the man to address them.
“They were working with the straight community since 2007, and they wanted a gay person to establish and work their ‘gay’ division,” he says. “So they acquired me as pretty much the person who is like the brand ambassador/marketing coordinator for the entire LGBT community.”
He says that gay romance is, in numerous ways, different from its straight counterpart.
“Because I am a gay person and can identify as one,” he says, “I feel like I can matchmake people better in a credible and knowledgeable way.”
Like so many of those he seeks to help, he has been through the good, the bad and the embarrassing parts of the gay dating scene himself. Now he puts those experiences into the service of others, helping them to know what to do, what to expect, and what to avoid.
Besides his own experience, he says, “I’ve developed a few scientifically backed presumptions based on recent studies, and I’ve tried to share them … regarding how to connect with others.”
Glenn’s anecdotes can give readers the feeling that they are reading the intimate journal of a dating-savvy friend.
“I’ll admit that my heart has been broken a few times and that I’ve maybe broken a few hearts too,” he says. “But this has helped me to realize that there are some standard behavioral patterns that the average gay man elicits that make them, for the most part, a bit predictable.”
The chapter titled “What’s Your Love Language?” seemed particularly astute.
“The Love Languages are specifically geared toward the communication of love in the context of a relationship – primarily a romantic one,” he says.
Author Gary Chapman first outlined these languages in his 1995 book, The Five Love Languages.
Glenn said that Chapman is also a minister. When he asked permission from Chapman’s publisher to include the Love Language information, he was surprised that they gave it to him.
“I basically prefaced it by acknowledging this is an amazing tool and it definitely helped me and a lot of other people in relationships,” he said, “so I thought it was important for me to recommend it in my book, because it can help so many more people.”
Chapman says that there are five key ways a person can give and express love to a partner: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. Find the manner of expression your partner most responds to and you’ve found his or her Love Language.
“In the book, I allude to it as ‘the self-less way of dating’”, Glenn says. “I know what my love language is, and whenever I’m in a relationship, I certainly want to know my other half’s love language. If I know what his love language is, I’d do what he wants, and that just strengthens our relationship collectively. I think it’s such a great tool to bring couples closer together — and it’s so simple!”
In another part of the book, Glenn lays out the distinct dating “types” that readers are bound to encounter. These include the Party Hardy Uncommitables; All Talk No Walk; and Eager Ernests, among others.
Most people will find these character traits familiar.
“If you think about it, my job is to inspire conversations with people, and I hear the same conversations over and over and over again,” he said. “Predominantly, these are because of these same archetypes that I’ve listed.”
The group that’s the prize of the dating game is the Keepers. A person in this group, he writes, “has done his homework … has dated a lot and picked the good pieces of their dating puzzle as they went along and has started to create a beautiful mosaic of opportunity to connect with someone wholeheartedly!”
These are the blessed few who are ready and enthusiastic about building something lasting in their lives with that special someone.
Glenn said that with this focus on groups of character traits, he wanted to help people recognize the traits in themselves and others and understand why it didn’t work.
“Obviously, I want people to be positive in dating, but I also want there to be elements of pragmatism,” he said. He wants people to notice behaviors and know how they can foreshadow future outcomes.
If there was one thing that a gay man could do to
substantially improve his chances of meeting more candidates for Mr. Right, what does Glenn suggest it would be?
“I would advise potential daters to go out,” he says. “Stop living on your phone, because in preparation for the book, I went into some statistics of online dating, and ostensibly, for every 100 profiles that you see, you might meet ONE (with the operative word being ONE) person on average. Think about all the effort you’re giving just to meet maybe one person!”
The matchmaker understands how this is where people can get frustrated. After all, many websites charge hefty fees while guaranteeing no (or at least marginal) results.
“On the other hand, you don’t really get frustrated when you’re meeting somebody in the flesh,” he says. “I also tell people to use your friends as your matchmakers. They’re going to be your filter for you; they’re also the people who are going to vouch for both you and for the other person.”
Glenn says that quite a number of his own best dates – those that led to more significant, lasting, relationships for him – began this way.
“Many of the boyfriends I’ve had I met through friends, which has been awesome, or I’ve met them at a professional-style event of some kind.”
He suggests looking into events that are structured toward activity-based get-togethers, where those attending share common interests.
At these types of events, he says, “it’s more like ‘hey, let’s have a conversation’ rather than ‘let’s yell over some loud music.’”
If you do choose to explore a dating website, Glenn urges people to go about it intelligently to increase your odds of success. This begins with a good dating profile.
“A lot of people I’ve seen overlook this first, crucial step, thinking they can just fill it out later or they simply write something that’s very generic, such as ‘I like to hike’ or ‘I like to work out’ or ‘I like the beach,’ he says. “If you have that generic way of stylizing your first impression, people are going to think that you don’t care or that you’re boring.”
He cites studies that indicate the average browser is apt to have scanned a minimum of 10 to 15 other profiles that each contain this standard, clichéd information before viewing yours and that all of those have failed in some way to elicit a response from them.
“So why would they give you a chance?” he asks. “Although you should always be honest with what you come up with, you nonetheless should figure out a way to present your best self possible. With a little imagination, everyone can find ways to be unique in their online dating profile. Ask yourself, how are you going to stand out?”
Ultimately, Glenn says, to date or to find relationships successfully, people have to put themselves out there.
“I think sometimes we’re enthralled by social media and apps and the absence of authentic human connection,” he says. “But if anything, the feedback I’ve been getting since the book’s debut is that people are opting to meet people in person and having actual conversations with one another, which is precisely one of the things I wanted to accomplish when I was writing it. So it’s been very special for me to see that transition happening more and more.”
For more information about Getting Ahead Of The Gayme: Man First, Gay Second, check out the author’s website at https://masonrglenn.com or “like” him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/MasonRGlenn.