By Branden Lee

 

I’ve discussed the terrible reputation men in Atlanta have many times before. I still find it laughable that everyone I meet seems to have the same shared distaste and annoyance for the men in this city. Bonding about how terrible men, especially in Atlanta, is a great way to make new friends since it’s a common interest every gay man and straight woman have in common.

 

Everyone has a story about being lied to, deceived, and catfished by guys that refuse to be honest about themselves and their life circumstances. Even in my time in Atlanta which is still under a year I’ve had guys lie about their age, weight, height, sexual orientation, relationship status, how many kids they have, how many baby mamas they have, how much money they make, etc.

 

I’m attracted to honesty and authenticity. I live my life honestly and openly. I share my true stories on my blogs, YouTube, social media, etc. – although social media seems to be where people love to falsely represent themselves the most. Everyone wants to be Instafamous, and have tons of likes and followers to feel like they’re important. Yet in reality, they have no job, no education, no bank account, sometimes not even a home. Living a glamorous illusion on the ‘gram with nothing to show for yourself isn’t cute.

 

So many gay men I’ve connected with in Atlanta have told me about dealing with guys that were users, moochers, losers, and I’ve even got my own experiences with these types of men. It’s really sad. I’ve also noticed domestic violence seems to be more common than not in gay relationships, especially among gay men of color.

 

Social media can have a dangerous impact on people’s realities and what they aspire to achieve. We do see these seemingly happy couples online. Doing cute couple things. Kissing, traveling, living an enviable illusion. In reality, they may be broke, fighting, one is cheating, and the social media illusion is all a lie. Just like reality TV, you have to take social media with a grain of salt. It’s there to entertain you, but you never really know how much is real, and what really goes on behind the scenes.

 

I want someone that is honest with themselves. Don’t lie to me about your age, because then I won’t trust you to be honest about anything since that truth definitely always comes out. People have age limits for a reason, they know what they like and are comfortable with. Deceiving them won’t make them love you. Don’t lie about your weight. We all have a type. Pretending to be smaller than you are alienates the guys that prefer bigger men and may actually be attracted to you for how you actually look. I love a belly, thick thighs, and man boobs. Don’t lie about your height, since that will just make whoever you meet want to run away from you.

 

Don’t lie about how much money you make. If you’re in your 20s or even early 30s, no one expects you to be living in a mansion, driving a Maserati, and to be a billionaire. We’re all struggling to get by and get ahead in life. It’s more attractive to be with a guy working towards his dreams, than dating a bum pretending to have luxury cars, when in reality he can’t even afford a Marta pass.

 

In my own experiences the guys that have the biggest issue with me and how open and honest I am, are the ones that aren’t open and honest with themselves. Of course, men that aren’t living their truth will become enraged when you reveal their veneer is a lie.

 

When you pretend to be something you’re not, you’re blocking out those that will love you for you. I don’t want a relationship that just looks good online. I want something that’s healthy, loving, lasting, and stable in real life. Which sometimes feels impossible to find in Atlanta, where many men would rather pretend to be the perfect man on social media than tell you a single truth about themselves if their life depended on it.

Branden Lee is a writer and actor living in Atlanta. Follow Branden on Instagram and Twitter @Brandeness. Watch Branden discuss dating, sex, and relationships on his YouTube channel SexxxPerTease.