Tyler Boyle joins Jonathan and Britt for an illuminating conversation about how gay men can learn to date with a sense of soulfulness, integrity, and sanity. He shares his wonderful framework to help anyone looking for love resist their inner demons and put their best foot forward in a way that is both empowering and connecting. But most importantly they discuss all sorts of ways we can practice loving kindness in the face of cognitive dissonance, bigotry, and bias.
Join us on this wild ride, as we delve into the tough stuff and plumb the depths of our souls. You won’t want to miss it!
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Jonathan [00:00:02] Welcome to Not Going Quietly the podcast where we inspire growth, beat down biases and get into all sorts of good trouble with co-hosts Jonathan Beale and Brett East.
Britt [00:00:11] No topic is off limits as we explore ways to help everyone leap into life with a greater sense of clarity, passion, purpose and joy.
Jonathan [00:00:19] So get ready to join us in courageous conversation because not going quietly starts right now.
Britt [00:00:30] Hey, everyone. Welcome to Not Going Quietly the podcast for outraged optimists and heartbroken healers all over the world where we surface those searing truths in the name of radical togetherness. I'm your host, Brit East, with my fantabulous co-host, Jonathan Ball. Jonathan, how the hell are you today?
Jonathan [00:00:48] I'm good. I'm good. We're actually getting into some warmer months. It's still raining every day, but it's warmer. So you we've got that. So.
Britt [00:00:55] Okay, thank you. Stop bragging. Stop bragging. So, Jonathan, if you're new to the podcast, Jonathan lives in the UK where it's, you know, the world's worst weather apparently. But I live in Seattle and I will tell you, we have had 5 hours in eight months, over 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is, I don't know, 20 degrees centigrade or something Celsius, whatever that is. And so 5 hours in eight months, that's what it's been out like. I mean, it's ridiculous. Every day is 50 and rainy. I just I can't even get started with to beautiful.
Jonathan [00:01:28] Right. I don't think I could do it. That's not anything I could do. So if you're going to choose to live somewhere, I choose to find here, enjoy living, I will.
Britt [00:01:37] They say it's the land of serial killers and kind of leave it at that.
Jonathan [00:01:41] Until you get perfect.
Britt [00:01:44] And on that note, we're here to talk about gay dating. And I'm so excited about our guest who has done a lot of work in this area. His name is Tyler Boyle, and he's a speaker, educator and spirit artist, which is a term once used to describe his niche in the visual and performing arts world, and now used to describe his contagious energy and talent to uplift and inspire. Speaking professionally since 2012, his work includes presenting mindful metacognition at TEDx Collingwood, co-hosting TEDx collingwood, returning host for the regional chapter of Dragons Den Live, 2019 Speaker Slam -- Canada's 31 inspirational speaking competition where his speech sabotaging my dating life went viral, amassing over 250,000 views in 48 hours -- I didn't even know there were that many people in Canada. He was also the invited host, the grand marshal and the speaker at various pride festivals. Tyler is a multi-disciplinary painter and sculptor, and his stuff is amazing. I'm a huge fan of his work and so I will put his website and your on the show notes and stuff, of course, so you can check it out. It's absolutely beautiful stuff. And his art explores themes of masculinity and the gay male experience as an elementary school teacher. That's the Lord's work right there. Tyler is a recipient of the 2020 National Prime Minister's Award of Teaching Excellence, and the 2020 Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario is Award for Local Humanitarian. Tyler Boyle. Welcome to the podcast. We're so thrilled to have you.
Tyler [00:03:28] Hey. Thanks. Yeah, that was, that was quite the Segway but kind of relevant. The Segway. Speaking of serial killers in Seattle, let's talk about gay dating.
Britt [00:03:39] I know. I know. And on that note, you know, we have all the three of us. I mean, we've talked with tons of queer guys over the years. And you know what I've found and you guys can let me know if it resonates with with either of you is that the number...the two main complaints in no particular order is why is the gay community so mean and why can I not find a boyfriend? And so, Tyler, my question to you is, why do gay cis men find it so difficult to fall in love?
Tyler [00:04:17] Uh, it's it's a multipart question, and everybody has their own backstory. Everybody has their own childhood trauma, their mommy and daddy issues, which we'll unpack a little later. It's all for different reasons. But I think that the main reason and Britt, I've heard you speak to this on podcasts and I read it in your book as well, is the the the unhealed trauma that so many gay men have from spending so long in their life, not being themselves or indeed so long in their life without a role model or also this strange process of having to navigate, navigate and recreate for some their own reality later in life. Where for head cis people, typically as they grow up, things are pretty prescribed. And like you're kissing under the bleachers, you're holding hands in grade six, seven, eight. These are the things that happen kind of naturally. And I, for one, did all those things until I was 32 years old. And then that's when I came out. And a lot of people like to say, Oh, wow, you really came out late. You came out late. And what I like to tell people is I came out at the right time and we all did. If you come out at 92, you came out at the right time for you. If you came out at 17, you're it's the right time for you. But let me tell you, at 32 years old, now being 39, I would argue because it's only been a decade of me gay dating. I'm still a babe in the woods. This is not something I experienced when I was 12. This is something I started experiencing in the closet at 29, going, What the fuck is a top? Is a bottom? What is it, twink? Well, I'm an am I an otter? Am I clean cut? What is what is this thing? It's like looking down my shirt, looking for enough chest hair. Am I in order? What is this? So it's my my gay best friend to navigate through. This was urban dictionary. Still still tends to be. Still tends to be. So I think to answer your question, there's just a lot of unhealed trauma. I think that also coming from the angle of evolutionary psychology, men do have a propensity to sow their seed. Right. It's not it's not been so long ago that we were just using our lizard and caveman brain. And so in that case, our our our human nature, our animal nature is to breed, procreate and create more beings of us to populate. Right. And so I think that that if we look at the evolutionary psychology, I think that men do have a propensity to be a bit more promiscuous and a little less likely, possibly for some not all, of course, to settle down. And that that creates a lot of trauma, too, because if you meet somebody really great and then they're like, no, I don't want anything right now. It can it can be topsy turvy in our brains.
Britt [00:07:18] Yeah. That was really I mean, there was a lot there. Let's kind of unpack some of that because that was such a great answer. You know, you alluded to the mystery rites of passage among queer people. It's like we have to create those ourselves. And for many of us, depending upon the age, we lost a generation of mentors due to the AIDS epidemic, due to homophobia, male suicide, what have you, due.
Tyler [00:07:46] To the amount of people in that generation, due to the amount of people in that generation that also weren't out to be a mentor for you. Great, great.
Britt [00:07:55] Great point. And and so there are structural systems that are in place for straight culture that we're just missing. And it's like when you're born, most of us are born to straight families. And so it's like we have to go in search of our culture or to create our culture. And so those rites of passage, like you said, when you're 12, 15, 18 years old, they're just clipping by and we're missing them one after another. And then when you come out in your twenties, thirties, forties, or even look and I talk to guys every week at least that were coming out seventies and eighties. So it's like, like you said, it's in your own time. But, you know, you have to like go back and reclaim all that stuff. And and so I love the way you frame that. How did you do it? You said you came out at 32 about how did you kind of or are you going back in and dealing with those missed initiations transmissions of of cultural touchpoints, those rites of passage that you feel like maybe you missed?
Tyler [00:08:54] Yeah, for sure. So the first thing is there comes there comes a time in our life, if you were let's take this out of the gay experience. Let's let's talk about it as somebody who was bullied as a child. If you're bullied as a child, as you grow up, you make a decision somewhere, whether it's consciously or subconsciously, subconsciously, where you're going to say, I'm never going to treat people that way. Or You do treat people that way because you need to regain your power. And similarly, in what we're talking about in in gay dating, you have a choice to resent the fact that we miss those landmarks or get excited about them. And so you ask what I did, and I just I get really excited about it. Like, I have one of one of my claims to fame is, is that the talk that went viral for speaker slam and it was called sabotaging my dating life and it was later entitled by speaker slam as never have never have I been in love, which is true. I'm 40 years old and I've never been in love with a man. Do you know how fucking excited I am? This is going to be crazy. I'm going to. I am so I'm such a softie in the best way. And I will cry. I will cry all the time like I'll come home, my underwear will be folded or something stupid. I'll be like.
Speaker 4 [00:10:12] Some nights.
Tyler [00:10:14] Right. So these are the things that that I could resent of not having when I was 17 or these are the things that I could be excited that they're still to come, because that's something that happens to is I have a friend who really, really resents when he comes out where when he came out and he talks a lot about, you know, I wish I had more time. I wish I did it, did it. But all the things that I desire to have are still in my future timeline. They're not in my past like I missed them. I've the right partner is still out there for me. If I want to try something really, really kinky sexually, I can still do that. If I want to go to a bathhouse and get my freak on or something, I can still do that. So I haven't actually missed anything. The only thing is some some men might say, well, I'm not as cute as I used to be. Well, listen, then that's one thing. That's one thing that you need to look at, because that doesn't matter that that part doesn't matter to meet somebody really fun or really great or have that sexual experience that you feel you missed or you haven't missed that landmark. Right. So that's what I've done, is I've turned it all into excitement. I did a talk called for a local pride event called Being Extraordinary and exploring the idea of the gay male experience being something that is extraordinary to happen to us rather than something limiting or diminutive, if that's a word. Is that a word? Is that used correctly? I don't know. But it's it's something that we can be really, really excited about and and look forward to and revel. Because here's the other thing about being heterosexual is I grow up and I, I have my girlfriend and then one day maybe she will be my my fiancee and then she'll maybe be my wife, and then she'll we'll have kids and we'll buy a house together, get a dog. But now my dreams were only as were always as limited as the walls of my closet. And when I came out of the closet, I went, Holy shit, what's this new narrative? I get to live beyond my wildest imaginings. My wildest imaginings were. I better figure out how long I can repress this so I can get married and have kids so I can stay in the closet. But now my world is so damn expansive that we get to be extraordinary. There's so much there's so much beauty. There's so much excitement out here on the opposite side of the closet because I didn't dream this big ever dreamed that I'd be interviewed by one of my favorite authors? I would never dreamed that I would be performing. Performing on stage is talking about being gay for years after I had come out. Right. So there's a lot on this side of the closet that's really exciting and it's really truly about mindset and doing the work to let go of the things that keep us stuck and keep us.
Jonathan [00:13:09] Yeah, that it strikes me that so much of the community CBT, you men in particular are stuck with the attitude perspective, that expectation that the experience is always going to be negative, that it's always going to result in pain, suffering, discomfort rather than joy, excitement and all of that kind of stuff. And so I wonder, how do we even begin to tackle that? Because it seems like it's it seems like it's baked in at this point to a large degree. And so a lot of communities, the expectation that it's not going to they're not going to have the lives that they want and we're not going to have. We want or not have access to it or it's not going to be available to us or it's going to be denied to us. So how how do we begin to shift paradigms and perspectives on that in a way that is empowering and frees men up to experience excitement, joy, fulfillment?
Speaker 4 [00:14:19] Yeah.
Tyler [00:14:20] I love this question. So and the answer is quite simple in my opinion, and it's just you have to do the work. I can't worry about bringing other gay men along. I have to just do me and be me. And I need to do the work where I get stuck. I need to do the work on my fixed mindset and my self-limiting beliefs. I need a growth mindset. I need excitement. I need to do the work. Because if I. Perfect example. When I've done some of these speaking gigs for before, for places, they would say, you need to have this in your talk and this and this and this to go viral. And you need this and this and this to to make an audience love you and da da da. And I went, Well, fuck that. And I wrote the message from my heart. I wrote a message from my heart. And I wrote a message that I felt I needed to hear. For me, not for other people. And that had the greatest impact. I was getting messages for people who had seen one of my talks from all over the globe being like, Vanhu, this really helped me. And all I did was I talked to myself, I fixed me, I told myself what I needed to hear. So it's not something we need to worry about. It's something I hope for and something I dream for. For the GB to g be a community of of men. But it's not my responsibility to get them there. I'll just shine my light bright and hope that somebody else needs to join me with sunglasses on so they can shine the light.
Britt [00:15:59] Bright is so beautiful. I love everything that you're saying. It's. It's so important. And I really encourage all of the listeners out there who are struggling with this question because it's tough. I mean, we're not sugarcoating anything but to find ways to flip the script and like that Tyler's describing because it's so important. I mean, like Tyler is kind of saying we have to be our own superheroes. There's really nobody going to nobody's going to come rescue us from this. We really need to get empowered, like Tyler is saying, to to do our personal growth and development work, to seize life by the horns and just get in the game and and start shining our light. There's an there's another perspective. Tyler, I think you can help a lot of guys with that. Frankly, I cannot speak to a I live in a kind of a cliche gay life like an urban guy, works in technology, you know, white uses lots of hair product. I mean, I'm just like such a friggin cliche. So, you know, from what I understand, Tyler, I think you live in a small town. And what I hear so much from guys is there's no other gay people in my town, so ergo, I'm doom. I'm going to die alone. That's kind of the math equation.
Tyler [00:17:25] All right, boys, step down. Let me take the stage on this one.
Speaker 4 [00:17:29] You guys.
Tyler [00:17:30] Shit. I hate that narrative because a lot of people put it on me. And so I'm going to I'm going to lower my voice in my passion here for a second. So it doesn't sound like I'm scolding anybody's journey or mindset.
Jonathan [00:17:45] Yeah.
Tyler [00:17:46] So as somebody who lives in a one stoplight town with no grocery store and 600 people, the elementary school I teach at has 605. It is bigger than the population of the town. Let me tell you about what it's like dating. In. In herbal. Herbal. In rural. In a remote. Rural community. Okay. If I moved to the city, am I actually going to be that much happier? Because isn't that saying wherever you go, there you are? Because if I go to the city, sure. I might get a lot more dates. Sure, I might have a lot more hookups if that's what I was looking for. But really, it doesn't change the the the person assuming that that they're we we all have, let's say five really, really, really amazing soulmates on this planet. I don't necessarily believe in just one, but let's say let's give it a number. Let's say there's five. If it's true that they're there, they're still out there. Whether or not I live in Toronto, which is the nearest town to me or Ursa major city. Right. So I don't mind driving if I if somebody is worth a date, I'll drive to Toronto or whatever. And if they like me, they're going to drive to me, too. That's just it. And everybody thinks, Oh, shucks, so woe is me. I'm here in the small town. The only way I could be happy is if I go to Toronto. Because when I go to Toronto and I turn on grinder, my grinder blows up. Well, listen, it's because you're fresh meat. You go to any new town of 700 people and your grinder is going to blow up if that's if that's your barometer for success. So it once again, it's all about mindset. I'm so happy where I am in my little town and my, my, my dating life is very healthy. And I'm actually just coming off a little break from dating, which I believe is a very healthy practice and of kind of getting my, my feet wet again and I look, okay, I can do this and guess what? I can have as many dates as I want, right? The number of dates are not limited to the town that I live in. If I'm willing to drive and put in the work and they're willing to drive and put in the work. Amen. Okay.
Speaker 4 [00:20:03] I think I think.
Jonathan [00:20:04] This is a perfect time to talk about sabotage. Right. Because the thing that comes to my mind when you say the mindset of there's no one in my town, therefore I'm going to be alone forever. But the the number of obstacles that people put in their way to make it true. Yes. So whether that's, you know, perhaps not learning to drive or, you know, any number of things, that's one example. But. Is the problem there, one of indulging in our misery and therefore, you know, enjoying the misery, finding the joy of misery and getting stuck in the sabotage. I don't know where I'm going with this. You might have to me.
Tyler [00:20:50] Okay. Well, no, I see. I see where you're going with this. So you're talking about a sabotage, self-sabotage, limiting beliefs and damaging narratives. Which brings us to why I was invited on the show. So I was really excited to come in and see you both on here because I believe we have a really, really great blend here between the three of us of the body, the mind and the soul. And I would say that, Jonathan, you are you are very much the soul. So so you laugh so much. You're you've talked a lot about your ability to release ego. Brit, no surprise. You're the mind. And I've got a bit of I've got a bit of a body perspective. Not saying I am a man whore by any means, but my reaction, my physical reaction to dating before I started to learn some strategies of how to show up in my best light and date with integrity. I used to have anxiety attacks and panic attacks and get depressed and feel like shit. So my my experience in dating was very embodied. So I started to explore the ways that I was self-sabotaging, which goes to your point, Jonathan. And there there's three voices in our head I lovingly call sex Ida and demon. And each of these has a different. Voice and the different narrative that they pack in our mind. They, they, they, they mass produce shit in allies in our mind that sabotage our dating life. Right. So we can dove into these if you want. Or I can just give you an overview of them.
Jonathan [00:22:38] No.
Tyler [00:22:38] Let's go for a dove in. Okay. Let's. Yeah, let's do it. I mean, let's let's jump in because we've already touched on this one and that's six and six is I call him six because he's our inner child and he's six and a half and he is our mommy and daddy issues. Right. He's the one that that he or she or they are is the one that affects us now as a 39 year old man, where he will go, oh, that's because of my mom and daddy issues, right? Because I've done the work I can I can identify them. But we all have it. We all have that wounding. And then the other thing is, I love this line. If you're hysterical, it's probably historical. So if you're freaking out about something that's six because it's probably tied to your childhood trauma or you're not enough sadness as a kid. The feelings of not enough sadness six is also the one that makes us wallow in a feeling, especially a shitty feeling, where we're like.
Speaker 4 [00:23:38] Oh.
Tyler [00:23:38] He didn't text me back. Whatever did I do wrong? Right. And and I'm making fun of myself when I make that voice. Because the reason I said I saw six in my mind is because he was in my mind. Right? He's also a lot of our triggers. He's the one that needs closure and he's also the one that plays games. So I did an event this weekend as a perfect example. I did an event this weekend and my version of the one that got away sent me a message and I was shocked and I messaged him back right away. I haven't heard from him in probably, almost probably seven years. I messaged him back right away and then my straight cis female cousin, she says to me, and I say this lovingly, We're very tight. She wouldn't mind if I shared this with you. She she says to me, Well, I hope you didn't message him back right away. Give it at least a couple days.
Speaker 4 [00:24:38] Okay.
Tyler [00:24:40] So that's an example of how we can sabotage because we need to play a game. And that's the that's the six in our mind, right? And. Yeah, and we all have we all have that. What are what are your feelings about your experiences with sex?
Jonathan [00:24:57] Yeah, like I put a lot of mine down recently. For sure, in the last few years. But I yeah, I definitely remember playing a lot of the games and. Yeah. Getting hysterical. Yeah. Cool. And to a degree is still pops up every now and then. So, you know.
Tyler [00:25:17] Of course.
Britt [00:25:17] So, you know, you know, what I used to do and still do in certain situations is like you alluded to, I can be kind of cerebral as I, I would pass all the text messages looking for hidden meanings. What could then? What does this mean? What could they possibly what could this be about? Oh, my gosh, what are the ulterior motives? What could be oh, my Lord, if I ever if I never have to do that again, that will be, you know, just I'm like, please, if you're out there listening, stop trying to parse people's text messages. If it's not immediately obvious, ask them. So that's my that's my sixth. Uh huh.
Tyler [00:25:58] Yes. Yes. If there's. So I always say that there's if we learned three strategies for dating that would completely shift our approach and our our happiness and our mental health and our integrity. It would be this it would be how to deal with rejection, how to deal with confusion, which is what you're alluding to, your friend, and how to handle breaking up. Because a lot of people get stuck with somebody that they're not that into and they they draw it out. So once again, how to deal with rejection, how to deal with confusion and how to deal with breaking up. And it's it's something that if if I'll speak for myself, if I had all those strategies, anybody listening do not think that I'm that woke because I'm a hot damn mess. But I'm I've been doing a lot of thinking about it. And if I have all these strategies in place, when I notice rejection, feelings of rejection, when I notice feelings of confusion coming up or when I need to break it off with somebody if I know what to do with those three things, I don't think dating would bother me at all. Right.
Britt [00:27:06] Because it's so great.
Tyler [00:27:07] What do they say? Rejection is nature's protection, right? So if you're feeling rejected, is it like another way to say it as well? Dodged that bullet, as we say in small town Ontario. So I feel I feel you, Bret. It's what do you what do you do about the confusion? And we all have it. I've I've read text messages 50 million times with my decoder ring on trying to figure out what they're actually saying.
Speaker 4 [00:27:37] Right. She's.
Tyler [00:27:40] But I have to introduce you to the the next of our voices. And that's Aida and Aida. She's sneaky because she sounds so delicious, but she ain't. So Aida is the idealist and she is the one that ignores red flags. Tolerate somebody is douche bag Gary an asshole Larry and just goes, well, he's just so pretty and I'm sure he didn't mean it right. She's also the one that thinks too far ahead. If I'm sitting here on a on a first date with you, Jonathan, and I'm sitting there going, wow, this is going really well. And I without even batting an eye, without cracking a smile, I lay out our entire wedding together, right?
Jonathan [00:28:25] If people do that, I can do that before I even meet people.
Speaker 4 [00:28:27] Amen. Right after the first.
Jonathan [00:28:33] Message, I'm like, Oh, yeah, so that's the rest of our lives. This now, that's out. Yeah.
Speaker 4 [00:28:37] Yeah.
Tyler [00:28:38] I wonder what I wonder what my mom's going to think when they bring them home for dinner for the first time on the first date. Yeah. And the reason that, that she's tricky is, listen, dating sucks a lot of, a lot of dating sucks. But the reason that idea is so tricky is because she's so intoxicating, because it's excitement. And when we feel excitement in dating, ride that wave. But just know when you're projecting too far ahead. The other thing that I know you can both relate to in the work that you do is that Ira is a drug addict. So let's talk about what that means. First of all, she fills you with endorphins and makes you get all happy. I can't wait to see who's going to be the flower girl at her wedding. Right. And she is also the one is studies have shown that when we are in love, the same sensory receptors in our brain that light up when we're high on cocaine or heroin, light up when we're deeply in love with somebody. So Ida is the one who chases the dragon of love and connection. So she's also the one that goes well, he's no Robert. And you dated Robert 17 years ago, right? It's because she's she's chasing that hit. So she gets so, so excited, but is also the one to go. Well, I wish it was like Robert. Robert, what a help the door for me. Right. And here's the thing with six and Ida, they're both liars. That over excitement is a lie. That putting yourself down is a lie. Right. And it's just it's just healthy to acknowledge that that in our brains and I know you both know this and a lot of your listeners know this, but here's a reminder. It. Just because it's a thought doesn't mean it's true. Just because it's happening in our minds doesn't make it real. Just because you thought it to yourself and had a physical reaction of depression or anxiety doesn't mean that's who you are. And it doesn't mean that it's your permanent state of being either. Is somebody taking notes for me because somebody needs to write that down for me to do so.
Jonathan [00:30:48] Oh, great. Yeah. Yeah. Please.
Tyler [00:30:50] Please subscribe to the podcast.
Britt [00:30:52] Yeah. Amen to that. Tyler, before you jump into Demon, I just want to interject with a quick point to connect some dots, because this is so friggin fantastic. Part of the work is embodied work, as you alluded to earlier. And so what I have encountered and certainly experienced is that our culture, our learned behavior collectively in society and certainly as queer people is that in many cases we are inexperienced at sitting with sensations in our body. And so as we experience the physical somatic sensation associated with the thrill of meeting somebody that we resonate with deeply, that we were physically attracted to or the pain of rejection, if we're not experienced with sitting with those feelings and sensations, we can then spin into these mental processes that that sort of lie to us, like you're saying. So part of the work is physical work, whether that's yoga, whether that's weightlifting or cardio or whatever it is. So that you learn you learn how to move energy through your body in a controlled, healthy manner. And you get really you get good at receiving communication from your body, communicating back. You develop a healthy plan of nutrition. So you have this full, well rounded approach. So when you sit sitting in that chair at the restaurant, looking at this beautiful person that agreed to go on a date with you, and you're just thinking, oh, my gosh, they're knocking my socks off. You can enjoy the sensations without derailing it into going into one of these stories like Ida six or Diem. And you can just go on the date to have fun, not to pick a spouse, not to interview somebody for a job. So I just wanted to kind of connect that and get your thoughts before you segue into into Demon.
Tyler [00:32:51] Yeah, I'm viciously taking notes here so that my ADHD allows me to finish this thought and bring it back around. So I love this. Okay, so what to do with emotions and a feeling, a feeling in our body as the representation of body here? I will I will jump in on that one. So what to do with an emotion when when we feel rejection and dating, what's going to happen is your body is going to ask you to wallow in a mud puddle. And that's very much sex behavior. So let's say feel anxious. I feel depressed or I feel not enough. Your body is going to ask you to sit and wallow, have a drink on the couch, watch a sappy movie. Like in the movies, they always eat a full tub of ice cream. I'm lactose intolerant, so I've never enjoyed what that feels like. But I can imagine that must be nice. So then the next thing is this. You are now triggered. You are now freaking out and you're not moving past the feeling. So I wish I could draw this for you. So we're going to have a trigger, and then our sex or our demon is going to ask us to follow through with an action. So let's say my trigger is that I was just rejected by somebody and my action that six will ask me to do to feel better and I don't needs that dopamine hit. You're going to be asked to do something about it. Whether that's masturbate, whether that's going Grindr, see if you can get a hookup whether that's text an ex, whether that's pick a fight with somebody. So after you're triggered and wallowing. There's going to six is going to ask you to do something about it to feel better. You need to be aware what you're going to do to feel better, and then you need to intervene. So my best friend and I was not I was I had an experience with dating and I was not okay. I had been flaked on I think it was four times that week by different dates. It was a very busy week of dating and all of them like all of them last minute, all of them a stupid excuse. I my sex and my demon were going hard, you idiot. You're not hot enough. You're not good enough. You're not smart enough. What could you have done differently? What could you have done better? They definitely would have met up with somebody. Like Britain, Jonathan, but never me. Right. So I'm wallowing and I was not good. I had a conversation with my best friend and she's like, Well, why don't we make a plan? Because what you're going to do is she knows what my follow up actions are and they're not healthy. Let's just say that I'm not drugs. Don't worry. I have a B, I have a behavior where I will text I tend to text my exes and I tend to look for validation through another man, which will end up causing problems. Because if I get rejected again, then I'm duly spinning. Okay. So my interjection, the way that I have to stop this process is I have to get out of my house, I have to be around people and I have to run. And that is what works for me to stop the feeling. Yes, you're right. It we need to get used to feeling the feeling. Notice the feeling and then know what to do to move through it. Or know what to do to acknowledge it or do something to make yourself happy again. So once again, I have to get out of my house because I live by myself. I need to be around people. So maybe I'll just go to a neighboring town. Certainly not this one. Walk around downtown or I go on a run and I run myself stupid. And that is what that that's what gives me that really kind of moment. So that's that's what to do about our our emotions and our feelings is what are you going to do about it? Talk to your sex. What do you what are you going to do about it? You're going to lie there and wallow in the puddle. What are you going to do about it?
Britt [00:37:07] So it's so good. I love it. It's like you said, it's like that old quote, I can never remember who said it. But, you know, between stimulus and response, there's a space and you can you can dwell in that space and breathe through that space, acknowledge and experienced a moment. And then, like you said, that you added on Tyler, which is so important to move through it and regain your footing. And it sounds like you have a really wonderful friend to help you do that. And that's also important. None of us can do this alone. And there's such an epidemic of loneliness in our community. And that's also part of the work, is ensuring that we we build social systems and networks that can that can help sustain us. So why don't you take us into demand, Tyler?
Tyler [00:37:55] Yeah, sure. So just before we transition, I do want to make note that there's a difference that I want that I want people to be aware of and nothing new. But just as a reminder, there's very much a difference between loneliness and aloneness. And so, yes, we feel a lot of loneliness as men in this community sometimes. But is it loneliness or aloneness? Because if it's loneliness, I can I can fix that by hanging out with my cousin. Who a female. I can fix that by going out for going out for a beer with my mum and dad. Right. So there is a cure for that. But let's transition because this is actually connected. So Daemon is our negative self-talk, our insecurities, that feeling of not enough sadness, the one telling us nasty stories. One line that daemon uses all the time with me is the the word to t0o, which I consider a swear word too much. You're too loud. You were too intense. You were dressed up too much. You were dressed down too much. T00, fuck that word. I don't like that. So the demon loves using the t0o on us and then sticking it on our face and going, This is a you problem, not a them problem. Right? And demon relishes his sweet, sweet ambrosia is rejection. He can ride that wave hard for.
Britt [00:39:27] Weeks.
Tyler [00:39:28] If you're rejected. Right. And that week where I was flaked on five times, four or five times, I was like. No bueno. So I had to do something to interject that very embodied feeling and and get out of that slump. Right. And so the demon really loves rejection. Now, the demon. All of these voices, the six IRA and Demon all have a role to play. They're not something we want to be rid of. The demon in in our childhood might protect us from might have protected us from danger. Ida is a little bit of our excitement, our wonder, our imagination that could, like, spark our six. We should not hate on our younger self. We didn't know what we were doing. It was other people's responsibility to care for us. So yeah, these. These three voices suck. But they should never be apart. Considered as somebody or a quality of us that should be away from us or apart from us. They all serve a function on some level. These are just the ways that they suck and the ways that they affect us and can sabotage us in dating. So there's a there's our three hour, six hour Ida and our demon. All liars, all pieces of shit.
Speaker 4 [00:40:48] Yes.
Jonathan [00:40:49] I think my demon is really good at pre rejection. It doesn't doesn't often put myself out there just because it's easier not to.
Tyler [00:40:59] Okay, Jonathan, I have a term for this. Somebody and I need to. I need to it. I call it pre reject humiliation. Yeah, I experience it too. That's the voice that goes, Oh, he's way too hot. You could never. Right. Is the pre rejection or suddenly I remember somebody was supposed to come to to my house and all of a sudden he was taking too long. He wasn't sending me texts and blah, blah, blah, blah. And I was like. But the first date went so well, whatever happened? Blah, blah, blah. He was stuck in a snowstorm, right? But I had the pre rejection where I was like, Oh, it's over. What about our wedding.
Speaker 4 [00:41:44] Right? Yeah. The.
Tyler [00:41:51] Crack and hack. So I feel and I feel that.
Britt [00:41:56] It's just both really efficient.
Jonathan [00:41:57] And dealing with it before it even happens. Yeah, I thought so. Living a full life for that person before they were that. Yeah.
Speaker 4 [00:42:09] Yeah, I know it.
Tyler [00:42:10] Well, we got to know we. We got it. We got to know all the scenarios, right.
Jonathan [00:42:15] That's true.
Tyler [00:42:16] Yeah. And I mean, if we, if we, if we put the joking aside and connect that to evolutionary psychology, why why do we do that then? The reason that we do that is because we need to know all the possible outcomes so we can keep ourselves safe. Because if our cave if our cave person brain was was worried about a hunting expedition being away from the tribe, what have you, we. That's what we do. Our brains go. Here are the scenarios. Be ready for each. Right. And so it's really just a part of us. And but it does make us look like a hot mess, that's for sure.
Britt [00:42:56] You know, the another disempowering message I hear from a lot of queer guys is if only Gurinder weren't so mean, then I would be happy. If only the dating apps were nicer, then I would be married and have a boyfriend or whatever.
Jonathan [00:43:15] But it's not the apps, it's the people on the other side.
Tyler [00:43:20] And can I add to that? I would also argue I'm taking notes. I would also argue that it has to do with intention. So I went on a date with this, with this fellow who I completely adore. It didn't work out, but who I adore. And he said to me, because I was like a grinder.
Speaker 4 [00:43:41] Bleep, bleep, bleep.
Tyler [00:43:42] And we were having the most lovely night, like being so gay. We've got our shoots bought out, we're sipping wine, there's jazz music on. We're by the fire. It was the whole scene. We had it all. Got anything?
Speaker 4 [00:43:52] Yeah.
Tyler [00:43:53] Little pride flag in a flower pot near the window, the whole nine yards. So we're sitting there shooting the shit and I'm bitching about Grinder. And he goes, Ty, you met me on Grinder. Grinder as an app. Grinder as an app is completely neutral. It's how you choose to use it and what you choose to look for and who you choose to connect with. Because if somebody's sending me an unsolicited asshole pick and I'm like, Well, what if I just do your out? You're out of alignment with your integrity in what you're actually looking for. So, yes, you're right. It has to do with the people on the other side. But we also have to then take our finger pointed at ourselves and say, what is what do I want and what is the intention that I want to get out of this? Because Grinder is harmless. It really is. But it's it's what who you're choosing to put the energy into.
Jonathan [00:44:55] Yeah, I think that's a really important point because so many people don't really tune in with what they want. And maybe if they do, they still allow their boundaries to be crossed. Yeah. So you might be on Grindr looking for dates that are pulled in by the dopamine release of all of those messages from random people. And so before you know it, you're talking with somebody who isn't interested in what you're interested in. You just got caught in the trap.
Tyler [00:45:27] Yes, yes. Or maybe you're you weren't feeling very frisky at the time that you started the conversation, but things got turned up and then there was a physical need that you feel you needed to meet. And then you do that thing and meet that person and you're like, The fuck was I doing right?
Jonathan [00:45:44] And she would drive is real, right? Yes.
Tyler [00:45:47] Yes. So. So that's just that. That's just it. It's a I'm keeping my eye on the time here. We're going to have to wrap up here shortly. However, I do want to talk about dating integrity statements because, Jonathan, you just alluded to how important it is to know what are you looking for, what do you want? And so I literally have a journal. It's right here. Boop. For those of you that can't see, I'm just holding it up. I literally have what I call my Ten Commandments or my dating integrity statements of things that I will or will not do. And it doesn't mean that I always follow them because I am human. But I've written them down and I put it in my mind that I'm done with that particular game. I'm done with that particular that particular struggle. I'm done with that particular type of dude. Right. So, like, let me read you one. Be honest and expect honesty. Okay. Right. I need. I need to know that going into the game, I do not chase periods.
Britt [00:47:00] In.
Tyler [00:47:00] Because.
Jonathan [00:47:01] A frickin.
Tyler [00:47:02] Meeting shouldn't. Yeah. Dating shouldn't be hide and seek. It should be tag. So it's hide and seek. If I tag them and just fucking run away and I never see them again. So it's, it's these are the things that I need to, to remind myself. Another one I have here is get off your crazy train with a mantra. So if I'm going berserk on something and I'm like, Wait a minute, and six and eight and demon are all filling my head with lies. I have mantras that I've written down that help me remain. Remember my value. For instance, my top. My favorite is maybe he just didn't like chocolate chip cookies. And by that I mean I'm a chocolate chip cookie. Maybe he likes Fudgy those. Maybe he likes Oreos, right? Maybe he's one of those savages that doesn't open the Oreo and eat the white stuff hurts. He just bites into it on the side. And he doesn't want me. He doesn't want this type of cookie. Right. So if you if you boil it down to just a level of preference, like people love potty play, some people want literally to be defecated upon. I don't want that, but no shame to them. You go and find that buddy, right? And so we all have our different tastes and preferences. And so boiling it down with or pulling myself off the crazy train with the mantra is part of my the things that I have to do with dating integrity statements.
Jonathan [00:48:31] That's awesome.
Tyler [00:48:32] There's more. But these are the things, right? These are the things that we have to do to just be more aware because dating is hard were you have to do the work at the same time or you drive yourself crazy.
Britt [00:48:45] I do want to. That was awesome. And I want to highlight something because we're three white guys here and that I, I witness and I hear a lot of anguish and joy and righteous rage from people of color in our community that experience queer racism under the guise of preferences. And so I think there's a lot of soul searching that folks are doing about like, is this a prejudice, a bias or a preference and figuring out where they are. And, you know, these apps can make it really easy to filter people out of our lives and limit our access to love. So while today's episode is not about going down that whole path, I just want to create space for the fact, like, you know, we're three white guys with that and all that that implies. And we know that there's added burdens that people of color experience that are above and beyond even this conversation. And we as a community have a lot of soul searching to do.
Tyler [00:49:53] Yeah. Or to add on to that or our our trans brothers and sisters and people that aren't that are cis people that are we're all fairly straight presenting. I'm holding up air quotes when I say that as well. So there's a lot that that that we acknowledge that we have a certain level of privilege in that that everybody's journey is quite different. Hopefully there are still nuggets here that everybody can relate to, and I think there really are.
Britt [00:50:23] Oh, yeah. You know, femme phobia. Fatphobia. Like I said, there's a whole litany that's all very real. And what we're what we are hopefully inspiring everybody to do is to reclaim your power. It all starts with a choice. Here we are all complex mixtures of privilege and adversity, every single one of us. And there is nobody that is coming to save us except ourselves. So what the three of us are trying to inspire you to do is to get in the game, to do your prep work, to date and have fun and follow the energy wherever it leads to follow your heart. But to constantly find ways to to feel empowered.
Tyler [00:51:07] That's it. Constantly find ways to feel empowered because life is hard. Matters of the heart. Our heart. And it's not any easier for anybody else. I don't care how hot they are and how many followers they have or whatever. It's really, really, really, truly not. So the ways that we can find empowerment for ourselves, the ways that we can shine our light by doing what's right for us and being good human and inspiring others is a great way to to be empowered and following the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. If you don't like ghosting, don't do it. If you don't like people talking to you that way, don't do it. If you don't want to be on that app, don't be on that app. Right.
Britt [00:51:53] You know, I love it. And I also like the idea of like toughening up, like you said earlier, kind of flipping the script so we can get a little more fearless and creative. There are so few people in the world who self-identify as queer, gay, trans, whatever. There are so few of us. I mean, we're a tiny minority. And so we're simply sitting back at home alone and crossing our fingers and wishing for the best. Probably is not going to work for most of us. We're going to have to get out there and work it and get creative and and, you know, really approach this not as a job interview, not as a as a process, but as a grand adventure. But the spirit of fun.
Tyler [00:52:47] Yes. Yes, 100%. It's it. Dating. As we mentioned, dating takes work. The work is is on us to be doing. But I also want to add on to your point that we should also be aware when too much is too much and you're spinning too much. And it's time to take a break. As I mentioned or alluded to earlier, I'm just coming off a break and it was a long break and that's how long I need it. And so you don't also there's FOMO attached to this where we think that when we take a break, we're missing out on the 1r1. No, really not.
Britt [00:53:27] Tyler, how did you know when it was time to take a break? And how did you know when you were done with a break and you were ready to get back out there?
Tyler [00:53:36] How appropriate this question. I just had this conversation with with a friend of mine. I was like, how do you know when I'm not okay? There's a great question for anybody to ask your dear, dear loved ones. How do you know when I'm spinning or I'm not? Okay. And she said, Everything that you say about dating is negative. So from an outsider's perspective, everything that I have to say about that last interaction, that last hookup, that last date, that last third date, whatever it was, everything that comes out of my mouth is negative or or there's stress behind it. So that was from an outsider's perspective, from me as an insider's perspective. I get because I'm very I'm very I'm jokingly representing the body here because I have a lot of anxiety that that will come. I can feel myself spinning and everything everything starts to look bleak. Right. Like I come home and I'm just scrolling on apps and swiping, swiping and all of that stuff. Instead of working on passion projects, like talking about this stuff on a podcast, doing a painting, going out for a run, these are the things that I'm putting aside because I'm spinning. So when I feel so much like shit that it's, it's I don't feel healthy anymore. And my friends are hearing negativity. Negativity. That's how I know I was done. And I was done. And four months. Like, I wish I wish I could give you a timeline, but it must be clean since. So we're recording this in June. There must have been. Since before January. So at least six months of just a solid break. And I mean, if the universe threw me somebody in the middle, which they did, to go on a couple of dates with here and there, I followed it, but there was not an active pursuit. Hmm.
Britt [00:55:33] And then how did you know when it was time when you were ready to reenter the dating game?
Tyler [00:55:39] Because. Because Hope came back when my hope was gone and my negativity outweighed my positivity toward what my future would look like when my hope came back. And I was saying kind things about myself. And I'm feeling a little cocky and a little confident, and I'm like, Ooh, I wonder who I could get on the line. Ooh, this is going to be so much fun. Oh, what? Like, what can I do? I whatever. What have I done for a date? And I started to explore it with excitement. Game on, baby. It's ready to go back. And if that just means going on one date, reminding myself that it's hard, and then taking another step back, I can do that. But that's how I knew I was ready because I'm not doing anybody a service by showing up in a state of anxiety or a state of smash and grab or a state of feeling deserving it, if that's a word. I'm not doing anybody a favor showing up that way. So better show up as as light and bubbly and a little too much. Tomorrow.
Jonathan [00:56:45] It's more of the two.
Tyler [00:56:48] Much more of the two, much more than I saw, quote online. That said, if you're too much for somebody, let them go ahead and find somebody lesser.
Jonathan [00:57:01] Mm hmm. Great. Mm hmm.
Tyler [00:57:04] That's a pretty good one.
Britt [00:57:05] It is a good one. Tyler, I could talk to you all day. You know, next time I hear somebody struggling on dating, I'm so excited, I'm gonna refer them to this episode into your work. You give so much pragmatic information. It was so fun and inspirational. You have such a great outlook that I think could transform. Like you said, I think it really could transform our community. So I'm just so grateful that you joined us today. It was an absolute pleasure to have you.
Tyler [00:57:36] Thank you. I had a blast. I was as I mentioned, I was very excited to work with you both today. It was a lot of fun, a lot of laughs. And thanks for putting up with my too much sadness and joy.
Britt [00:57:50] Yeah, yeah. And, and like I said earlier, we're going to put links and talk to your socials and your website in the show notes. I encourage all of our listeners to check out Tyler Boyle. This is just really the tip of the iceberg. Tyler is such a genius. I mean, his art is absolutely incredible. He does so much from public speaking to hosting events to to dance parties, to, you know, speaking on love and dating and relationships is just a really great guy. And I hope everybody checks them out and we'll give you the links to that in the show notes. And so it'll be handy for you and listeners. You've made it through yet another episode of Not Going Quietly. I'm so proud of you for sticking with it. On doing the hard work, the soul searching, the gut wrenching labor of listening to us yammer on and on about all sorts of wonderful topics like gay dating advice. I think that there's a lot of good stuff in here and if you just do one or two things a day implementing some of the recommendations that Tyler had and doing some of the soul searching that Tyler recommended, I think you would be really surprised over the course of a year or even six months where your life might be and where you're at, how your attitude might shift, which is which is kind of the name of the game. So thank you so much for joining us, listeners. We really appreciate it. And till next time you've been listening to Not Going Quietly. Thanks, everyone. You've been listening to me not going quietly with co-hosts Jonathan Beale and Britt East.
Jonathan [00:59:23] Thanks so much for joining us on this wild ride. As we explore ways to help everyone leap into life with a greater sense of clarity, passion, purpose and joy.
Britt [00:59:31] Check out our show notes for links, additional information and episodes located on your favorite podcast platform.
Speaker, Educator, and Spirit Artist
Tyler Boyle is a speaker, educator, and spirit artist (which is a term once used to describe his niche in the visual and performing arts world, and now used to describe his contagious energy and talent to uplift and inspire). Speaking professionally since 2012, his work includes:
• Presenting Mindful Metacognition at TEDx Collingwood
• Co-Hosting TEDx Collingwood
• Returning host for the regional chapter of Dragon’s Den Live
• 2019 Speaker Slam, Canada’s 31 inspirational speaking competition, where his speech “Sabotaging My Dating Life” went viral – amassing over 250k views in 48hrs
• Invited host, Grand Marshall, and speaker at various pride festivals
Tyler is also a multidisciplinary painter and sculptor – exploring themes of masculinity and the gay male experience.
As an elementary school teacher, Tyler is a recipient of the 2020 National Prime Minister’s Award of Teaching Excellence and the 2020 Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontario's Award for Local Humanitarian.