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Broadcaster Evan Davis reveals best way for gay men to find a boyfriend

Broadcaster Evan Davis reveals best way for gay men to find a boyfriend

Evan Davis in discussion with Jamie Wareham

BBC Broadcaster Evan Davis has opened up about relationships, love and settling down. The gay journalist, famed for interviewing political heavyweights on shows such as Newsnight, took part in a podcast recording last night as part of this week’s Digital Pride.

Davis, in conversation with Jamie Wareham, Young Voices editor at GSN, talked about coming out, the impact of the AIDS epidemic on generations of gay men in the 80s and 90s, and growing older.

The live recording of National Student Pride’s podcast #QueerAF took place in front of a small audience at Vanilla in central London.

Davis revealed that he doesn’t want to be seen as a role model, and about being body conscious when he was younger.

Now 56, he said his main concern was to grow older in ‘a dignified and sensible way.’

Settling down

He also revealed how he had come to embrace being in a long-term relationship following more ‘promiscuous’ ways when younger.

‘My mum always said “You must settle down with someone.” That was probably through my more promiscuous years, and I just thought that’s what mum’s say.

‘[But] mum was right. And you do want to settle down. And that doesn’t mean settle down at any cost, and it doesn’t mean get into the wrong relationship.’

Evan Davis talks love and relationships at the event in central London
Evan Davis talks love and relationships at the event in central London (Photo: Lewis Peters)

He said he believes that love comes in various stages, and that scientists had done some research into this.

‘There is a euphoric, initial stage, which I think is called the facelicking stage where you want to lick each other’s faces. That lasts anything from one night to eight months. That’s a very important phase and you feel very good in that phase.

‘And then you move into a different phase, which is “We need to go to IKEA.” And then you grow old together and the relationship bends with you together, because you’re actually developing together: you’re changing and you’re hoping to change together.

‘The mistake people make is they love the drug of the euphoric facelicking stage, so they go through that, they don’t get to the next level, let alone on to the third level, so they’re always getting lots of facelicking, which is lovely, but they’re never getting to these late stages.

No relationship is a bed of roses

‘And my view is that the late stages are deeply, deeply satisfying,’ he said. ‘Not in a facelicking kind of way. I can’t remember when Gio [partner Guillaume Baltz] and I last licked each other’s faces, but we do maintain a lot of physicality, a lot of touching.

‘I do think, realizing you have developed as a couple, and you have no thought that you won’t spend the rest of your time together, is deeply satisfying.

‘That is not to pretend the relationship is some bed of roses in which you are constantly gazing into each other’s eyes. But it is to say you have no expectation that you will ever split up. You have that security and have that understanding of each other.’

Think about how to make them happy – not what they can do for you

He said that not everybody would find the right relationship, and acknowledged not everyone wants to be in a relationship. However, he had noticed that some gay friends of his approached finding a boyfriend in a certain way.

‘I have noticed this with friends of mine, younger friends of mine – gay men – they think getting a boyfriend is like buying a house: ‘I want this thing and I want this, and I want two bedrooms…’ and it isn’t quite like that.

‘I think the best way to get a boyfriend, honestly, is not to think “Is this person meeting my standard?” The best way to get a boyfriend is “How do I make this person really, really want me?” Let me give, give, give … [and] you know what, if you give, you tend to get a lot back.

‘And if you don’t get back, they’re probably not the right person. But only come to that judgement, after you have really tried to give and make them happy.

‘If you start out, say, in the first four dates thinking about them and what they want, you will have better relationships than if you’re asking, “What am I getting out of this? Am I getting enough out of this?”

Watch the whole Digital Pride discussion in collaboration with Rendezvous events, below.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, or search ‘#QueerAF by National Student Pride’ in your podcast app.

See also

At what age does a gay man give up looking for love and resign to being single forever?

I’m gay and a homophobe – now I understand why