Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why Be Gay and Lonely? - Part Two

In the last post, I made the argument that a gay man who is married to a woman has certain advantages. One is that he is less likely to be lonely, especially later in life.

By a score of 3 to 2, the "Nice try Cameron, but you know the fear of the unknown is preventing you from making a better and truer life" crowd wins.

What I found interesting is that everyone who replied is married, yet the vote was split. So, while the fear of being alone applies to many, it is definitely not universal.

As for my own feelings on the topic, Jayson (Guys like Me) was correct when he said that the fear of being alone is really just the fear of the unknown. Given the right circumstances, I know I could overcome both fears.

Overall, I think NewLeaf (My Travels Out Of The Closet) made the most compelling arguments when it comes to dealing with being old and alone. Essentially he said that you have to take personal responsibility for your situation. You have to make friends and not mope around feeling sorry for yourself.

NewLeaf also said about himself, "Do I crave a long term relationship with a man? Sure. Do I think it will happen? Probably not." Now that's a depressing thought. If NewLeaf can't find a long term relationship then 95% of singles over the age of 40 should just put a gun to their heads now.

Well. Perhaps that's overkill...Maybe the end-all goal of life is NOT to find a long-term relationship. Maybe it's ok to transition from relationship to relationship over time.

Damn, that's a hard one for me to swallow. Even at 43, I remain a naive romantic.

Mark (Edgy Husband) gave me a proverbial kick to the nuts: "I don't buy that gay men don't value relationships and family. That all sounds like the Yes on 8 propagandists talking." Holy shit, now I'm a prop 8 propagandist?! Are there any guns left from the singles over 40 group? - I need one for myself.

One of my better qualities (?) is that I never take anything personally. Even when I should. For example, someone could look me in the eyes and say very directly, "You are one ugly dude," and I would think, He must be having a really shitty day to feel like saying that to me. I feel bad for him.

My point is...I know Mark doesn't think I'm a prop 8 propagandist. But damn, those steel-toed boots hurt!

Actually, and for the record, I did not say that gay men don't value relationships and family. I know that is not true. There are all kinds of gay men in this world and many greatly value relationships. What I'd like to know is --- where is the guy who greatly values a relationship with ME????

Because I will tell you this, I don't want to be old and alone.

That scares me.

11 comments:

  1. Oh... there are so many things to say.

    True, there are homos out there who do not value relationships and would rather mark their lives by the tallies on their belt and the stains on their bedsheets than the hearts and lives they touch. But then there are heteros who do the same. The heteros and homos that jump from one sexual partner to the next and don't seek fulfillment have got themselves stuck in a material-driven rut that they feel comfortable in and, if that's what they want, then good for them. But you can't paint 'em with the same brush.

    I guarantee that for every sex-crazed gay guy there is one that just wants someone to love. For every one-night stand is a once-in-a-lifetime and you can't figure out which is which until you put yourself out there.

    I have to say, with my limited experience with relationships (I am only 24) these last few entries have made me furious. Each time I read one, all i can think is that in all the stories and anecdotes that I read, lies never work out. You're basically letting this woman walk all over you. You're sacrificing your own emotional health for hers (which only hurts both of you) for what you perceive to be a stable foundation for your kids. You can find love, you can find support, you can find someone with whom you can share your mind, your heart and your body and not have to lie. But not if you trap yourself in this... fairy tale. I don't doubt there is love between you and "Gabbie", by any means. But it's not the kind of stable love where others can flourish.

    Then again, I'm only a drunk 24-year-old. So who the fuck knows what I'm talking about?

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  2. As a 67 year old gay male partnered for nineteen years with another male I can only tell you that I was more lonely during the twenty four years spent with my wife than I am now. I think it was because I couldn't share my entire life with someone who couldn't possibly understand. I'm not lonely anymore.

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  3. I look hot in my steel-toed boots and I know how to use 'em. ;)

    Cameron, I warn you this is going to sound horribly New Agey...so read on at your own peril...

    Granted it has been a long time since I was single, but I recall very well how discouraging it sometimes felt. One night when I was really depressed I got out a piece of paper and started writing "There are plenty of wonderful, available men out there that I can have a relationship with." I wrote it over and over and over until I felt better. And after that every time I felt discouraged, I got out my paper and wrote it some more.
    Damned if I didn't meet my partner not too awfully long thereafter. Not that this is some kind of magic - but sometimes you have to convince yourself that what you want is really out there - so that when you get introduced to him, you're not so cynical that you think, "Oh sure, he looks good, but I'm sure he's really a jerk." You have to look around with eyes that believe you'll find who you want, and I really believe that eventually you do....

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  4. Hey Cameron,

    "Old and alone" is terrifing to think about. I have been in my marriage about as long as you. My wife and I still love each other, but I don't think we like each other any more. We sure don't see eye-to-eye on much now. Could I live the rest of my days like this? Would a man on the side help? Would anyone want me if I wouldn't get divorced? So many questions to look into (and I am). On the good days and months (and there are some) I think I can make it. Sometime, after a screaming match away from the kids (for the most part) I just want to end it. National Coming Out Days can really suck too.

    Love your blog. There are so many of us married with kids guys. It's really staggering.

    Roger

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  5. I like Rex V's comment - because I can totally relate to being married, but feeling alone. A warm body does not constitute a partner.

    I would rather roll the dice for the chance at a real relationship with a man, than have a guarantee of a long lasting empty marriage. And I'm not a gambler.

    Even with my new found "it's complicated" status - I am happier right now than I have ever been. I realize that there's a good chance that the "relationship" I have now won't last, or may not develop into what I hope for. But I still think it's worth pursuing.

    So is there no one out there for Cameron? I doubt that. I know it's been a few years, but you didn't seem to have a hard time finding men for long term relationships in the past. Some of those relationships were pretty deep. So you must have some redeeming qualities. We all know you write well. I think you're focusing on the negatives here - you're a little older, have a little less hair, etc..

    So what? I'm only a few years behind you. My hair could be thicker. I could have a better body. We could all make a list of things about ourselves that we find unattractive. There's nothing wrong questioning our looks. If you think you're the sexiest thing out there - then you're an asshole. Two words: "The Situation"

    I've found by putting myself out there - people respond. Some of the people are not my cup of tea. Some are. And I'm no Scott Herman. Pee Wee Herman, maybe.

    I know you've done your experiments on CL or other dating sites. But if you really invest the time and effort, you'll find that decent people with respond, eventually.

    So hold off on the pistol for the time being.

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  6. Lol. Or there's the me in this equation. Ive been happily (for the most part ^_~) Partnered with my hubby for almost 10 years. We are young (24/27) but we have made the lifelong commitment. Amazingly enough, our life is often compared to a normal heterosexual couple. We argue over the same issues, have the same domesticated problems (what to make for dinner, who is gonna run to the market for milk, who is gonna walk the dogs). Alot has to do with both members of the relationship being in it for a long term. Men in general tho have issues making that kind of commitment, no less a monogamous one as we have. That is probably the root of the problem. Most men cheat. Alot of gay men are happy living "serial monogamist" type lifestyles, or you have the "edgy husband" blog that is an open relationship. That phenomenon is a bit confusing to me, as having a fully trusting committed relationship to me is the most fulfilling thing in the world. Anyways, I wish you luck on ur quest and there is lifelong potential, unlike what ur thoughts have given of recent.

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  7. I agree with what Dodger said. For me there are days when I couldn't be happier being married and I'm so pleased that I am. On other days I hate it and long for the romantic idea of being on my own with a male lover.

    I don't see me ever coming out, I've never had a desire to come out and personally think it would only make my love more difficult.

    I think it depends on what would make you less miserable and definitely thinking in the long term. Sure, you can be true to yourself, stop living a lie (and all the other bullshit) but what about in 6 months time, in a years time and in five years time. Would you still be happy.

    As married gay men we often long for what we can't have and when we have it it's normally quite disappointing.

    Every situation is so different and individual there is never a right or wrong answer. Some will tell you coming out is the best thing they ever did, others will say it was the worst decision they ever made. Just do whatever feels best for you.

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  8. I am reading all the words carefully but don't have many of my own to add here ... my situation is equally as complicated and confusing and terrifying so I just keep on keepin' on

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  9. Thank you for the superb comments! I hope that everyone who stops by takes a second to scroll down and read what you all have said. Undefined - I really appreciate what you said. I also appreciate that you were drunk. Drunk and 24, woo! Funny how we're more likely to be drunk at 24 than 44 but at 44 we have more good reasons to be drunk.

    Rex - Thanks for giving me confidence that I could come out at 48 and still have an awesome partner 19 years later. Honestly, that is not a story I ever remember hearing before.

    Dodger - Do we share half a brain because (that's all I have) we certainly share exactly the same thoughts on good days and bad days. When you figure out what the right answer is, please let me know.

    Mark, NewLeaf, Guy Stuck - Your thoroughly upbeat thoughts are much appreciated. Fear dwells in cold, dark places and your warm thoughts give me hope.

    LQ - Wow! I hope you don't mind if I feature your words soon. I think many, many married guys would agree and many, many gays would not.

    GLATF - "Keep on keepin' on" - that about sums it up, doesn't it?

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  10. I was so happy in my marriage, not only was he the love of my life, but my best friend as well. With him around I didn't really need anyone else, and he felt the same way too... I January I came out to my husband as transgendered, and he was supportive at the first, and agreed that yes now that he thought about it I was a guy and so not a girl. But as time has gone on, it has more and more become this "thing" between us. Yeah, I understand how me being male gendered mucks up his idea of him being a "straight" guy. We are slowly drifting apart, and as of this moment I'm not sure what's going to happen, even without me transitioning. The idea of living alone without my best friend in my life scares me to death.....and coming out to my kids is something that scares me to pieces as i dont want to lose their love.

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  11. I've been single a long time. A really long time. No, I'm talking 16 years. Its a long story.

    BUT, I most certainly haven't been lonely that whole time. And not for more than a couple of days a year for the past 10. At some point I decided that I wasn't going to classify everyone as "potential boyfriend"/"not boyfriend". It was too much pressure and it wasn't making me happy. It was also causing me to shut out really good people in my life just because I already knew they were in the "not boyfriend" category.

    That was stupid.

    I've spent the last 5-10 years making really deep connections with a wide variety of very good men. Some of them I'd love to sleep with. Some of them I do from time to time. Maybe one will be a boyfriend some day. Maybe not. But what I do know is that I'm very rarely lonely because I have lots of wonderful connections with good men.

    Focus on that, the rest will come or it won't, but you'll be happy in the meantime.

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