As men we have an obligation to work and provide for ourselves and our family. We also have to figure out how to balance our professional life with our personal life, which can be even more complicated if you’re gay.  You can draw your own conclusions to this statement, but I remember before coming out how difficult it was to keep everything in life separated.  It’s like having a day life and a night life but the two never meet.  Things are a lot easier once you’re open about who you are, though still complex.

Trying to find balance is a challenge I have yet to figure out for a variety of reasons. My main conflict is my hours at work are from 3pm to 11pm with rotating days off. The problem here is that when most of the world is socializing or spending time with family, I’m sitting at work making money to pay bills.  At first I found my job to be perfect but recently I’ve realized I’m missing out on a lot. Do any of you feel the same way?

I do feel lucky to have an understanding husband and family who realize I have to make a living, even if that means missing out on social occasions. That doesn’t make things any better in my mind and heart though.

With all that said, I introduce my next challenge. How do we find time to make friends and nurture these relationships when we barely have time to maintain our responsibility to loved ones?  I have yet to find the answer to this question and have decided to reach out to you, my readers. It’s not always about giving advice, but about getting others to consider a situation and provide feedback.

While I’m completely happy with my life and the time I have with my husband, I will say that I wish we had more friends to spend time with. When we look on television we see these groups of close friends on The L Word and in the past on Queer as Folk, but I have to ask, are these scenarios for real?

My husband and I have tried to find friends to hang out with, but seem to frequently hit a wall. Not only because of my work schedule, but because the people we meet seem to have lifestyles that conflict with ours. We meet people who live life consumed with drama, like to party too much, are into drugs, or are out to have 3-ways with couples. For us it’s not cool at all.

A few months ago we thought attending a local gay church would present to us new opportunity to meet others who are more like us. Unfortunately we failed again as many of the people who were at church were the same ones frequenting the bars. On the flip side, the others were very much outside of our age group.

This week I ask you, my readers, who I’m sure struggle now or have in the past with meeting quality friends; what did you do to conquer this and what ideas can you share to help the rest of us?

How do you find balance in your work, personal and social life?  How do you find quality friends to build relationships with that last?  How do you avoid those people who consume your soul with their own misery?

Let’s spend the week discussing this and see what kind of progress we can make. Can you help me and at the same time help yourself?