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Being a good man

The things we do

Over several MEN R US suppers, we've pulled together some characters and characteristics which you may know, have seen or have had some direct experience of. If they ring any bells maybe it's time to a chat with 'that' friend, or for you to talk it through with a friend of your own.

There is nothing shameful or embarrassing about any of this. You’re recognising potential issues in you and are prepared to deal with them. This is a strength, not a weakness, and these are healthy and positive steps to take. Alternatively, you may wish to call a helpline, or see a counsellor or therapist and your GP may also be able to help.


  • Angus is lonely but when he finds a man he’s happy again
  • As the relationship gets serious, he picks holes as to why this guy isn’t right
  • You can never love him enough and he’s always finding ways to test your friendship and loyalty
  • Actually, Angus thinks he doesn’t deserve a boyfriend, or the love and intimacy that goes with it
  • So he keeps his distance, never letting anyone get too close, and when you say you love him he skilfully bats it aside
  • He starts using web apps to hook up again but complains it’s all that gay men want
  • He’s always looking for validation that he’s good, attractive and lovable


  • Freddie focuses on his weaknesses instead of his strengths, his bad points rather than his good ones
  • When it comes to him he’s a glass half empty kinda guy
  • He thinks that he doesn’t deserve to be happy and, when he finds a man, convinces himself that it’s all going to go pear-shaped
  • The pessimism can be so overwhelming and his sense of self-worth so low that he undermines whatever good things are going for him


  • Mark is charming, funny, intelligent and would make someone a great boyfriend... but it goes out the window when he’s out clubbing
  • Salivating over six-packs and burly bears in surprisingly snug fitting jeans, all he can think about is that he’s unattractive
  • In reality he could lose a little weight, but he gets so depressed by this single issue he can’t bring himself to exercise or make even modest changes to his lifestyle
  • Increasingly isolated each time he goes out, he thinks he’s lost the battle before it has started


  • Tobias always seems to know what you need and insists on getting it for you… a cup of tea, tickets to that gig, or a new batch of drugs
  • Nothing is too much trouble, but in giving so much he ignores his own needs
  • He doesn’t think well enough of himself to enjoy sex but will do anything to please you (and please you he will!)
  • He’s nervous about being touched, moves away after you’ve cum and tends to play the martyr (and he’s really good at it)


  • Greg doesn’t think anything he has to say is important
  • If he does tell you how he feels, he’s frightened that you won’t like him for him – a lovely guy who just doesn’t know it
  • This fear of rejection is preventing him from getting close to anyone, but while he doesn’t show his true feelings he’s thoroughly miserable
  • Thinking he’s distant or disinterested guys leave him alone


  • Paulo knows what makes you feel bad about yourself and never lets you forget it
  • He’s the first to embarrass you in front of friends and broadcast your sexual exploits
  • He can only feel good about himself at the expense of others
  • He has a never-ending stream of fair-weather friends who stay just long enough to be mauled by his malicious sense of humour
  • Hemlock pales beside this bitch, and he’d rather take it than admit that he is unhappy and intensely lonely

If this is too much, then at least take some time to think about how and why it might be affecting your ability to make friends, have boyfriends and sustain them.

And yes, it may seem a little silly but you can do a lot worse than actually write out what makes you a good guy and what points you would like to change or improve.

Aim to tackle them in turn and set yourself realistic goals to achieve them.

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