BoyFriends Blog

(Latest post after the jump.)

Hey there! BoyFriends is a brand new video podcast all about helping you find your circle and your man. We dive into the discussions about what stops many of us from achieving the goal of finding friends and relationships. It’s hosted by me, Jarrod D. King, as well as Tony Purnell, Renee Vanessa, Melvin Foreman, and Sarun Chan. Here’s our latest episode:

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How Do I Get Out Of The Friend Zone?

It is never easy being cast into the friend zone and whether we put ourselves there or not, it’s always difficult getting out of it. Having new and romantic feelings for your friend is a tough situation, which is why the Boyfriends Podcast thought it would be a great topic for discussion. 

Do You Really Want to Be Out of the Friendzone?

Before making the big leap, it’s important to ask yourself if you actually want to be out of the friendzone. After you put your feelings out there and let your friend know that you are wanting more out of the relationship, it can change everything. They can reject the offer, making it difficult to continue being friends. There’s also the possibility that you are able to get out of the friendzone and start dating each other, but then you could break up and no longer have that person in your life.

Be sure to weigh your options and if you are truly ready to make that change in your friendship with this person. No matter what their answer is, things are going to change between the two of you. It’s essential to ask yourself if you are ready for that change by making moves to get out of the friendzone.

Why Are You in the Friendzone?

Another important question to ask yourself is why your are in the friendzone. If you are in the friendzone because your friend put you there, it might not be the best move to tell them that you’re feeling more than friendship for them. If they’ve already shown that they want to be just friends, then you shouldn’t try to push them in another direction. 

On the other hand, if you put yourself in the friendzone purposefully, then you need to ask yourself why now is the time you want to take yourself out. That’s when you should go back to the question of if you actually want to be more than friends or if this is a fleeting feeling because they recently stopped hanging out as much, just got inro a new relationship, or if, perhaps, you just got out of a relationship. How you got in the friendzone in the first place can be your answer to how you’ll be getting yourself out. 

How Do You Get Out of the Friendzone?

If you’re prepared to shoot your shot and accept that this could potentially change your friendship, then the best way to get out of the friendzone is just to be honest and tell them how you feel. This can be done in many different ways, in which the Boyfriends hosts discuss. 

Tony believes you need to read what’s actually going on in your friendship before making your move, then making your move if you feel there is really potential more a romantic relationship. Jarrod thinks you should be open to a different kind of relationship and to accept that you might end up in a beautiful relationship or just remain friends. Renee suggests being subtle yet direct, by finding any opening by asking, “Could you ever see yourself dating me?” Their answer can determine your next move. Melvin’s advice is to always ask yourself why you’re in the friendship and to determine if it’s worth shooting your shot before going for it.To hear more about the hosts’ suggestions and stories about getting out of the friendzone, be sure to listen to episode 13 of the Boyfriends Podcast!

What Does It Mean to Be Happy With Yourself?

What does it mean to be happy with yourself? – a simple question with a not so simple answer. On this episode of the Boyfreinds Podcast, Jarrod, Melvin, Tony, and Renee discussed what it means to be happy with yourself, by yourself, and for yourself. 

Melvin jumped in on the topic first to share what others thought of this question. Before filming the episode, Melvin asked his friends what it means for them to be happy with themselves. There were different answers such as “finding your own lane and being happy finding your purpose in life”, “being able to be your authentic self without caring what someone else thinks”, and “being attracted to yourself.”

The Other Half

Obviously, being happy with yourself can mean a lot of different things depending on who you ask. The hosts also had different opinions on the topic, with Tony feeling that you need to be whole and happy with yourself before jumping into a relationship with someone new. He used the saying of “he’s my better half” as a great example of being whole. When you call your significant other your “better half”, you’re essentially saying that you are the worst half. 

Tony believes that your significant other should complete you, they should compliment you. Happiness is a choice and you can wake up choosing to be happy with yourself by yourself. You shouldn’t need to have someone depending on whether you are happy with yourself or not. It will only lead to you being completely dependent on that person and not knowing how to find your own joy or happiness.

Mental Health

While Renee agreed that you shouldn’t depend on someone else to find your happiness, she countered Tony’s point about choosing to be happy. As someone who struggles with mental health, she wanted to highlight that it can be difficult (but not impossible) to wake up in the morning and choose to be happy.

If you’re someone who struggles with finding happiness in yourself, sometimes the best thing you can do is fake it until you make it. Essentially, start complimenting yourself as much as you can, even if you don’t believe it all the way yet. Find new and inspiring positive affirmations to tell yourself everyday. The more you tell yourself that you are beautiful, that you are worthy, and that you are enough, the more you’ll begin to believe it yourself.

Finding Your Happiness

To be your best self, it’s important to not only find what makes you happy. If you are trying to fake it until you make it and saying the positive affirmation “I am a bad bitch”, Tony advised the audience to ask what makes you a bad bitch. When you ask yourself that question, you’ll easily find what makes you happy. When you find what makes you happy, keep doing it and you’ll thrive. 

When you find happiness within yourself, you’ll also be more likely to recognize what doesn’t make you happy. The last thing you want is a toxic person bringing you down constantly. Oftentimes, the happier we are in life, the more likely we are to see those toxic people and remove them from our lives. The people in your life should be adding to your happiness, not taking it away.

Jarrod’s final thoughts on the podcast’s topic was to focus on the tasks and hobbies that light you up. If you’re looking to meet someone new or get in a new relationship, he believes that you should try to find someone that likes the same things you do. That way, you’re able to experiment this happiness together rather than depending on each other to give that happiness.To hear more about being too picky and defining your standards, be sure to listen to episode 7 of the Boyfriends Podcast.

Am I Too Picky With My Dating Choices?

Being single doesn’t mean you have to be desperate. Oftentimes, the older we get and the more dating experience we gain, the more we start to learn more about ourselves and what we a relooking for in a potential partner. The more we know what we like and don’t like, the easier to is to eliminate someone that isn’t a good fit for us.

However, the longer your “deal breaker” list grows, the more you’ll probably hear that you’re being too picky. But is having standards being too picky? Why settle with someone that has something you don’t like about them? The Boyfriends Podcast takes a deep dive in what they think picky is and if being picky is even a real concern.

The More You Date, The More Red Flags You See

The first to hop in on the conversation are Renee and Jarrod. Both agree that the longer they date, the more “picky” they become. Jarrod wouldn’t say the he is necessarily picky, but he’s also still single. Renee completely related and mentioned that it’s much easier to pick up on small things that are very telling. However, since they are both single, it can come off as picky instead of what it really is––knowing what they like and what they don’t.

In the beginning stage of a new relationship, it can be easy to ignore the small things that bother you. Especially when you haven’t been dating for very long, those small things can be easily redeemable in someone’s eyes. However, as you gain more experience and date more people, those small red flags in the beginning become much more clear and you know when to cut it off. 

Are You Actually Being Picky?

After Renee gave some examples of her red flags, Melvin hinted that she might be being too picky and to give someone more of a chance. Tony, on the other hand, agreed that when you see something that you don’t like, it’s okay to end things when you see the first red flag. As long as there is a deeper meaning behind the standard that you set for the person you’re dating and not something superficial or discriminatory, then you are more than justified to not want to date the person if they’re not meeting up to it.

As a demisexual, Sarun couldn’t relate too much to the other hosts because he think it’s hard to be picky. He goes more off of vibes and the connection that he makes. Someone who he spent years not being attracted to suddenly became his newest crush because he was able to get to know him more and build a connection that is he was attracted to. 

Staying Open to New Possibilities

Melvin brought up the very good point that it’s important to not always have a very hard cut off and stop dating someone if they look a certain way or have view points that you might not necessarily agree with. If it is not going to harm you in any type of way, then give that person a shot.

The only way for you to know what you like and don’t like is to take a chance on someone. Sometimes giving someone a chance can show you something you never knew you wanted in a relationship or really valued in a person. Keeping everything at a surface level can keep you from making incredible connections with someone you never saw yourself with before. It’s okay to have your standard, but also allow yourself to be more open.To hear more about being too picky and defining your standards, be sure to listen to episode 7 of the Boyfriends Podcast.

Why Don’t Guys Approach Me?

Whether you’re alone at the bar or hanging out with your friends, you can’t help but scan the room for a potential match. If you’re single, although many won’t admit it, it’s hard not to wonder if that certain someone is there. When the search is over and you find a few that caught your eye, you feel a bit discouraged that none of them have come to approach you. You ask yourself, “Am I not good looking enough?” “Should I go up to them first?” “Do I seem approachable?”

On this episode of the Boyfriends Podcast, our hosts Jarrod (@jarroddking), Melvin (@melvin_foreman), Tony (@tonypurnelllightworker), and Renee (@renee_vanessa) discuss the age-old question burning in most single people’s minds: “Why doesn’t anyone approach me?” 

Being Approached 

At the start of the conversation, Melvin pointed out that the person you want to approach you may be worrying about the same thing. Approaching anyone you find attractive can be a bit daunting. Not knowing how they will react, whether they’re into you too, or if you’ll be rejected. Fear of rejection can keep us from being the approacher. 

As the one seeking to be approached, Renee pointed out that most of the time, you’re more likely to be approached if you are being yourself and not trying so hard to be noticed by someone.

Tony chimed into the conversation knowing that he never worries about getting approached because he does the approaching very willingly. With the amount of confidence Tony holds as he meets new people, he finds it easier to meet men he’s interested in or even just using it as an opportunity to have a good time. 

When it comes to doing the approaching, Jarrod’s advice is to make an initial connection and find your natural opening. This can help alleviate the pressure to come up with an extravagant pickup line and allows for a more friendly approach rather than making it instantly romantic.

Looking Approachable

A very good point Melvin brought to the table is if you actually look approachable. This brought to the table a conversation on how black people are often told they look standoffish or angry. Although we are seeking to be approached, we might not look like it. “Resting bitch face” can put up a wall between you and the rest of the world without even trying. While sometimes it’s something we can’t control and just the biased perceptions of others, it is also something to consider when wondering why people aren’t approaching you.

Jarrod has some experience with this when he is out in public gatherings. Although he is fun, energetic, and always ready to have a good time, the other hosts pointed out that sometimes he doesn’t come off that way. He also acknowledges that his resting face can be perceived much differently than what he is actually feeling. 

Like we mentioned before, you’re sometimes more likely to be approached when you’re being yourself. Not thinking about it can make you more appealing. When you’re putting too much thought into it, giving them that longing stare from across the room, and then adding in some flirty body language, that can put too much pressure on the situation. 

There could be a ton of reasons why you don’t look approachable. Most people have just the same fear of rejection that keeps them from coming up to people. When you’re with a group of friends, it can be even scarier to approach you. Jarrod and Tony also brought up how people within the gay community are much more inclined to stay with their cliques and not venture elsewhere in a public gathering like the bar or a club.

Becoming Approachable

If you want to look more approachable, then don’t put so much thought into it. Melvin pointed out that he is more likely to approach someone that is having fun and just being themselves. 

When you’re by yourself at a bar and you’re looking to be approached, Renee’s advice is to start a conversation with the bartender. The bartender can be an easy medium for others around you to join in on the conversation and makes you seem much more approachable than if you were sitting by yourself just looking around doing nothing. 

All of the hosts agreed that how you carry yourself can have a major effect on how approachable you look. While you don’t have to be a fashion icon or completely polished head to toe, it’s important to look at least presentable. Holes in your shirt and dirt all over your pants is a silent signal to those around you that you’re not willing to take care of yourself. Of course looks aren’t everything, but it’s much more appealing to see someone that looks presentable rather than an unkempt person. 

Sometimes, as Melvin said in this episode, you’re going to have to do the approaching. While rejection can happen, you’re not going to get very far by not talking to anyone. 
To hear more from the hosts on being approachable, their trial and errors on the subject, and even the cultural implications of it, be sure to watch or listen to episode 5 of the Boyfriends Podcast.

How Do I Create A Circle of Friends?

Creating a close circle of friends is sometimes not an easy feat. Why is that? On episode 4 of the Boyfriends podcast, the hosts talked about their own circle of friends, advice for creating a circle of your own, and even if having a close circle of friends is possible. 

Being Selective

Sarun (@sarun.nuras) was the first to give his take on the subject. As he’s mentioned in the past, Sarun is very selective of the people he chooses to let into his life and even more so when it comes to calling someone his friends. Sarun has close friends of his, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they hang out together when he’s is not around. However, he’s extremely close with every single one.

In this scenario, it’s less about having a circle of close friends and rather having a circle of people that are close to you. When being as selective as Sarun is, this can tend to happen, but that’s okay! Having a friend for each situation in your life and having their own purpose for you is a great way to build a special bond with each person in your own group, even if they aren’t close with each other. Melvin (@melvin_foreman) agreed with Sarun and likes to have a different friend for different situations. 

Getting Close as a Group

Renee (@renee_vanessa), on the other hand, has experience with having an extremely close circle of friends where each person knows each other on a very personal level. Each friend within the group is friends with the other. Although she admittedly pointed out that it works because it’s just three of them all together. Their closeness also took a lot of time, effort, and letting walls down for each friend to get to really know each other. 

As a trio, they know everything about the other which helped them build a strong friendship that has lasted more than ten years. Even through life changes, they have still remained friends to this day. This type of friendship can take years to build, but it is well worth having a group where each person can count on the other.

Creating Your Circle of Friends

To create a close group of friends, you’ll need to start with just one and then another and another. Once you’ve found individuals that you enjoy spending time with, introduce them to each other. After that, if your friends click with each other and start hanging out more, you’re creating a circle of friends. 

Jarrod (@jarroddking) made a point that sometimes two friends that get along great with you, might not get along with each other. But there’s only one way to find out! Make the effort to introduce yourself and your friends to new people. If you want to build a close friend group, you have to put in the work of getting to know each other.

Sex and the City Is a Lie

If you’re expecting to have a close circle of friends like in movies and TV shows, you’ll surely be disappointed. While it’s possible to have a close group of friends for a little while, 9/10 times it not going to be like the Sex and the City, Friends, How I met Your Mother, or (sadly) Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. 

Set your expectations accordingly and don’t be discouraged if you’re not able to form the circle of friends you’d always pictured in your mind. You can still have close friends that will love you and always be there for you. Just because they don’t hang out with each other, it’s not the end of the world!

For more advice on creating a circle of friends and to hear what else the hosts had to say about it, be sure to listen to episode 4 of the Boyfriends Podcast

What Do I Do When I Feel Sad About Being Single

Have you ever felt sad about being single? On episode 3 of the Boyfriends Podcast, the hosts discussed why we tend to feel sad about being single and what to do about it. Jarrod (@jarroddking) and Renee (@renee_vanessa) both shared similar romantic views and experiences, while Melvin (@melvin_foreman) and Sarun (@sarun.nuras) had entirely different experiences and advice.

However, the hosts all came to the same conclusion: it’s okay to be single. It’s understandable to be upset about being single and dating can be really hard in this day and age. When it comes down to it, most people aren’t sad about being single or not having someone; it is often a self-conscious issue. 

People ask themselves “Why am I single?” or “Is there something wrong with me?” or “Am I just not attractive or loveable?” It’s important to always keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with you and that it will happen for you––now just might not be this time.

Ditch the Negative Self-talk

Both Jarrod and Renee have never been in real relationships and have been more or less single throughout their lives. While both struggled with negative self-talk, they also know that being single doesn’t define them and that their person is out there. With their experiences, their best advice was to not blame yourself for a lack of romantic relationships.  

Find Someone Temporary 

Melvin, on the other hand, never felt down about being single. Not necessarily because he was never not single for very long, but because he had confidence in knowing he’d find someone else again. His advice was to find a man you find attractive and want to get to know and just give it a try––even if you know it won’t work out. This could give you that dating experience and make you feel less down about being single.

The hosts then touched on the point of not always looking for “Mr. Right”, but maybe start looking for “Mr. Right Now”. Dating doesn’t always have to be a serious relationship or have a set future in mind. When dating Mr. Right now, get to know them and have fun. Eventually, if it’s meant to be, the “Now” will eventually fade away and you’ll be left with your Mr. Right.  

Give Yourself a Distraction

For Sarun, he tends to distract himself with work so any feelings of sadness over being single come in spurts. His strategy is with the more stuff you have going on, the less you’ll think about being single. Distracting yourself with work, hobbies, and special projects can be a great way to forget about being single. This is also a nice way to shift your focus on yourself and bettering who you are as a person. 

It’s Okay to Not Want to Be Single

A lot of your friends will tend to give the advice of “You need to love yourself before you can start dating” or “it’s okay to not have a boyfriend, it’s not that important”. But that advice never actually makes us feel better, does it? It’s okay to want to be in a relationship and no longer be single, as long as you’re wanting it for the right reasons. 

If you’re wanting to date someone for any type of validation, then you are not dating for the right reasons and that relationship is doomed from the start.

In Conclusion 

Say it with me, “It’s okay to be single.” Yes, your feelings are valid in being upset over not having a boyfriend, but shifting your focus can definitely help with no longer feeling sad about it. Lean on your friends because they can be your soulmates too. Obviously, they’re not the romantic relationship that you are looking for, but friendships are a type of relationship nonetheless.

Live in the moment and don’t let being single completely define you or bring you down.

For more advice on being sad about being single and to hear what else the hosts had to say about it, be sure to listen to episode 3 of the Boyfriends Podcast.

How Do I Let Him Down Easy When I’m Not Into Him?

This week, the Boyfriends Podcast discussed a tough topic: letting someone down easily. The thought of telling someone how you feel can be intimidating, especially if those feelings are leaning more towards negative and could potentially hurt their feelings. Because of this, many men, like one of our hosts Melvin (@melvin_foreman), tend to ghost the person in hope of avoiding the exchange altogether.

First Things First: Never Ghost

Ghosting, as Renee (@renee_vanessa) points out from personal experience, is never the answer. Whether you talk to them with upfront honesty or ghost them, it is still a rejection. However, ghosting leaves things open-ended while being honest about how you feel about them lets them know that things are really over between you two. 

Is It Ever Okay to Ghost?

The instances where ghosting is acceptable, like Sarun (@sarun.nuras) brought up, is usually on dating apps. If the connection or conversation isn’t there, then it’s okay to unmatch and never answer them again. There hasn’t been too much of an initial connection established yet. 

Outside of dating apps, it all comes down to circumstance and even safety at times. But 9/10 times the rejection must be given first before completely cutting off communication.

While being honest can be scary given that there could be crazy retaliation from the other person and it might not end on mutual terms, it’s important to at least make the effort. If they take it badly, essentially that’s on them and not you.

Don’t Keep the Door Open

Tony (@psychbul) brought up the excellent point that when it comes to rejection, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. When you let someone down, don’t expect them to treat you the same as they would when they thought you were into them. If you stop getting the invites to the parties, the late-night texts, or even if they move on to someone else rather quickly, it’s no longer any of your business. Making it your business opens up that door again and you’re going to be giving them mixed signals, which will put you right back where you started. 

Final Thoughts

The hosts all have experience in giving and getting rejection, and they all came to the same conclusion: Be kind and honest with the rejection, but how they accept that rejection is going to be on them. It can be over text, phone, or in-person––whatever makes you the most comfortable with the situation, but the conversion needs to happen. Jarrod (@jarroddking) brought up a really good point that rejection is the risk that comes with dating and everyone should go in acknowledging this risk. 

If you want to hear more about the hosts’ stories of rejection and more detailed advice on letting someone down, don’t forget to check out episode 2 of the podcast!

Why Does Nobody Talk To Anyone Outside of Their Clique?

On the first episode of the Boyfriends Podcast, the group discussed talking outside of your clique and meeting new people. As you get older, for some people, it can start to seem more and more difficult to make new friends. Everyone has their own established clique and it can be intimidating to approach them or even to break away from your own.

Whether this is while you’re out at the bar, club, work, or any other social setting, this episode takes a deep dive into why that is and what you can do about it. Here are the main takeaways:

Sticking With Your Circle

At the start of the episode, Melvin (Insta: @melvin_foreman) admitted that he can often be the person to not want to break away from his clique. It’s quite easy to get comfortable within our own group of friends, but this leads to not being open to new friendships. As Renee (Insta: @renee_vanessa) brought up, your close group of friends can be your security blanket.

Staying in the same clique or circle is what’s easiest and most comfortable and it can be hard to know if someone matches your vibe or energy.

The Beauty of Being Social and Vulnerable

Tony (Insta: @psychbul) is the complete opposite in situations and discusses the beauty of being vulnerable enough to work a room and meet new people. It’s beneficial to look at social settings as an opportunity to meet new people and keep yourself open.

This vulnerability does obviously come with the risk of possibly being shot down by a clique, but that’s okay! There is a chance that the people you look to talk to don’t want to talk back, but don’t let this discourage you from meeting another person.

They Don’t Have to Be Your Best Friend

When you’re out and looking to make new friends, don’t go in expecting them to be your friend for life. Sarun (Insta: @sarun.nuras), has a very specific definition of friendship. While he is a social guy, when it comes to groups, he doesn’t think of everyone as his friends. While forming fast bonds with people in fleeting moments on the dance floor or doing shots at the bar is likely, having that person be your friend for life is not.

A story Jarrod (Insta: @jarroddking) shared in this episode is a perfect example of this phenomenon. While out, he met a group of girls that he really vibed with. They had intriguing conversations, inside jokes, and were even planning a trip together. Cut to when they move on to the next bar, the girls are nowhere to be found and Jarrod never saw them again. Shocking? Yes. All that surprising? No.

True, you’ll never know who your lifetime friend will be at that moment, but it’s important to not go in thinking that it is going to happen every time you try to make a new friend in social settings. If it leads to more, then that’s. If not, shake it off and move on to the next one.

The Energy You Give is the Energy You Get

With all that being said, where did our thoughts finally fall on the topic of cliques and meeting new people? By the end of the podcast, we all came to the agreement that it’s important to be open and vulnerable enough to go talk to a new person or group of friends, but to set your expectations accordingly. Tony said it best, “When you project a certain amount of energy off, there’s going to be a certain amount of energy back to you.”

If you go up to someone and they aren’t matching your energy, move on and don’t take it personally.

Melvin posed the question, “Do we put it on the person trying to be a part of the clique or the clique for not being as welcoming?” As Renee answered, it’s a bit of yin and yang. You have to be open to meeting new people and open to accepting a new person in the clique. In both instances, give someone a chance, because you don’t know how well you’ll vibe or get along unless you try.

For a deeper dive and to hear more on the Boyfriends’ opinion on the subject, don’t forget to listen to the podcast!