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Gay & Lesbian Issues: real life

A Very Important Date

By Eric Hunter · July 1st, 1999 · Gay & Lesbian Issues
It was a beautiful summer afternoon and I was stuck in my office staring out at everyone enjoying the day. Like so many other days, I had rushed to the work without breakfast and dashed madly from meeting to meeting all morning.

When I finally found myself at my desk, one ear was glued to the telephone and my fingers were flying across my keyboard. But I had decided this day was going to be different because I had a lunch date with a guy I was dying to get to know.

I had been planning this date for almost three weeks. I had the perfect plan for a picnic in the park. We were going to sit in my favorite spot under a beautiful, shady tree. Nothing too high pressure.

But, I definitely had enough of an itinerary for our rendezvous that my guy would understand I was very excited about our special afternoon meeting.

Then it happened. I looked down to see that the clock on my computer read 12:15. As usual, I had lost track of time. Now I was already 15 minutes late for my date.

By now you must think you know where this story is going. Read on. I missed my date and the perfect opportunity to spend time with a guy I have been dying to get to know better. But the masked stranger I have been pining after -- the funny, stylish, pop-culture-obsessed, movie-loving, handsome man -- is my BFW.

That stands for boyfriend within for those of you who haven't read Brad Gooch's new book called Finding the Boyfriend Within (Simon & Schuster).

To answer your question, the boyfriend within does not refer to a particular form of one-handed enjoyment. I like to think of him as my better half.

As the author puts it, the BFW simply is the X marks the spot where inner happiness, contentment and peace are located. Gooch says he was prompted to write the book after spending too much time listening to his friends whining, "Why can't I meet someone?" as if it were the ultimate solution to their own floating dissatisfaction. One evening, Gooch simply blurted out, "What about the boyfriend within?"

The minute I heard about Gooch's new book, I was intrigued. I had to track it down and read it. And as much as I hate to admit it, I finished it in one sitting. After reading the first chapter, I was asking myself, why does he get to write this book and not me? Is there anything in here that I, or anyone else who reads this book, don't already know? Yes and no, I thought.

Gooch's story isn't new. I would venture to guess we all have asked ourselves questions like, "why don't I have a boyfriend?," and "what's love got to do with it?"

The "awareness exercises" that Gooch places at the end of each chapter ask you to make deceptively simple lists or do seemingly straightforward visualization exercises.

The real power of a book, however, lies in the shift in attitude and tone that Gooch presents in the book. Do a quick scan of the gay and lesbian self-help shelf -- if you can find it -- in your favorite local bookstore. You probably will find titles like, The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex, Husband Hunting Made Easy, The Principle: The Gay Man's Guide to Getting (and Keeping) Mr. Right.

Medical books are important. Dating advice is helpful. But a book that gives the reader permission to take a systematic look at himself, offers him a blueprint for making positive changes and most importantly, accomplishes this all from a gay perspective is invaluable.

So give this some serious thought. A little self-improvement can go a long way. If the BFW idea doesn't work for you, fine. Find something that does. And definitely, let me know how it works for you. I have to run. I have a date.



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