A Change in Direction

Hey Sam and everyone,

I feel like Sam’s story is a very relatable one: corporate life disatisfaction, moving abroad, making big choices and choosing to live an authentic life to become a relationship coach for gay men. The road to get here was bumpy AF but totally worth it!

I come from Sydney, Australia where I was raised by a very controlling family and didn’t have it easy growing up in school. I was always pegged as gay but that caused me to feel shame and sink deeper into the closet. I didn’t have close friends, I was told I wasn’t good looking, I actively immersed myself in video games to escape my reality and I achieved high results to please my family.

It wasn’t until I moved overseas and lived abroad in Japan that I began to question many fundamental pieces of my story that I realised weren’t true. I became very close friends with a great bunch of people, I stopped working hard to please others, I got fit and focused more on what I wanted out of life, became fluent in Japanese, worked in a night club and fell in love with a guy. That single year overseas made me realise that I wanted to live abroad again as it was such a transformative experience. It also made me appreciate freedom from the opinions of others back home.

But, ultimately, I came back to Sydney to finish my bachelor’s and went on to start looking for work. I never felt good enough to apply for a high earning job so I worked in events and restaurants because I thought starting from rock bottom was the best way to get to the top.

Not a smart move on my part.

But it did teach me to focus more on things that challenge me. I decided to focus on a Masters of Marketing and that got me into a sweet, sweet position as a marketing manager for a small startup selling healthcare equipment to the elderly. At that point, it was the beginning of 2019; I was being paid really well, I had a great title, I had an abundance of friends, was living at the peak of my life… and something inside me was empty. I would find myself constantly browsing on Google: “What does success feel like”, because all I felt was loneliness and boredom. I thought that dating would cure this.

I wanted to find something more meaningful. So I started dating, met a guy who I fell in love with very quickly. We had very similar interests, had such intense chemistry, great humour, and we could talk for hours. Our dates were magical. I felt like I’d found someone really special and was told by my partner that we should consider planning to do trips overseas and work more closely together… until he decided, without my involvement, that he didn’t want to be in a relationship. Though it was only a month, I thought I’d known this guy my entire life. I was devastated.

I criticised myself and wondered what I had done wrong to cause this? I had created such a perfect image of how I wanted people to think of me and so this rejection caught me completely off guard because it made me feel like I was a failure. How could I be so good with friends but not keep a guy for longer than a month who acted like he wanted a future with me?

So after 9 months of heartache, constantly thinking about my ex-lover, poor sleep, a disrupted fitness routine, hours of therapy, countless days of research into gay psychology and relationships I FINALLY hit my “aha” moment when I realised why my ex left me and how I also brought this person into my life. I recognised that I had been raised as a people pleaser and a perfectionist and that I was attracted to men who are avoidants/ emotionally unavailable and that I was going to continue this painful cycle unless I became self-aware and put my needs first and respected my self-worth.

But that wasn’t the only thing I discovered: There was not a single expert in our community who was an expert in this field who was visible or who could help us to achieve the relationships we deserve in life.

So after all of this learning and with the recent pandemic, I went all in on quitting my boring marketing job to become a relationship coach for gay men. And I have not looked back.

It has been the best decision of my life, the feeling of fulfillment I get when I help my clients overcome their dating challenges, beat loneliness and raise their self-esteem is my soul nourishment. I’ve had clients who’ve recognised they don’t need to change in order to attract the right guy in their life, raise their self-esteem and quit therapy thanks to the work we did.

Now, I’m on a path to not only become the leading therapist for our community but to take this one step further than that. My aim is to help our broader LGBTQIA+ community to be able to see visible role models who they can be inspired by. I want to be able to lead a business of life coaches for our community that help us with our financial wellbeing, mental and physical health and our relationships to help us overcome the frustrations of loneliness, shame and perfectionism to help us achieve a life of fulfillment that we deserve!

This is really the start of my story and this is why I wanted to share it with people such as yourself in the hopes that it would resonate with you.

You can catch me on instagram @ken.reid_relationship.coach

P.S: I would love to virtually meet you Sam for a chat as I really am inspired by your story and what you’re sharing, especially after your video about battling anxiety. I’m very inspired by your journey of authenticity and how its resonated with so many people.