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Gay men, relationship-phobia, and genuinity
#1
I don't know what to believe in anymore. I'm in my mid 30's and have never really had a long term relationship.

I'm a natural introvert, but I used to try and go out and make new friends in the gay community. While I have, and have had fun doing so, most gay men I'm friends with are either partnered or not my type.

I get messages from guys on dating websites, again, mostly from guys I'm not interested in.

Guys at the bars aren't any better; they act like I owe them something for being nice/chatting after /they/ started the convo.

I hook-up on Grindr/Scruff maybe once a month or every other monthly, sometimes it's hot, but I'm usually not satisfied afterwards. I've never gotten a date out of hook-up, although I hear others do. Hell, most don't give their names, never mind a romantic opportunity.

I have never felt like the gay community (outside the online one) has ever fully embraced me. I don't feel adequate enough or "fabulous" enough. I've been told that I'm a good looking guy before, but the community alternately makes me feel either invisible, or like a piece of meat to be conquered.

I'm not souch looking for advice, as I've probably heard it before (do things you like and see if you can meet others with the same interest, etc) and the end result is still the same.

Does anyone else feel this way? I'd give up sex if it meant genuine love and affection, as opposed to being used and being told you're just not quite good enough repeatedly.
#2
I can relate to an extent. I'm pretty introverted, myself. I don't have much experience with guys, because most are not my type.. Go figure. Mid 30's and not having a long term relationship isn't quite a bad thing. At the very least nothing to beat yourself down about. I wouldn't worry about the labels of the gay community, either. Fabulous is a social construct and worrying about being adequate enough will dig your hole deeper for you. Just worry about being you and the rest will fall into place. You won't be lonely forever. Cheer up! Smile
So lost in your addiction
The solemn comfort of your grave
If you close your eyes the light can't take it away

Reach back behind your pride
And pull the thorn from the burning pain in your side

Demon Hunter - Not I
#3
Anonymous Wrote:I don't know what to believe in anymore. I'm in my mid 30's and have never really had a long term relationship. ... I'm not souch looking for advice, as I've probably heard it before (do things you like and see if you can meet others with the same interest, etc) and the end result is still the same.

Does anyone else feel this way? I'd give up sex if it meant genuine love and affection, as opposed to being used and being told you're just not quite good enough repeatedly.
I have a bunch of questions:

First off, why do you feel the need to post this anonymously? I can sort of understand you don't want people to know that you (whoever you are) feel this way. But why not? It is your truth. It's how you feel. What's wrong with it? You feel at a loss, fed up, disappointed, annoyed, perhaps even 'angry' with yourself and "the gay community".

"The gay community," is just a concept, really. Right? To me that phrase, when used as you've used it, is shorthand for a type of prejudice. A stereotypical world of self-absorbed, self-serving narcissistic men who are constantly one-upping on one another through a social hierarchy based on looks, sexual desirability and attention seeking popularity. Do I have that more or less right? To the extent that it exists, yeah, who in their right mind would want to have anything to do with it?

And, to be fare to you, yes, it does exist. Sort of. Personally I believe it *does* exist to the extent that many gay men are self-loathing and project that self-loathing onto other gay men around them that they ALSO desire. IOW, It's a bizarre mix of sexual desire and self-loathing, fueled by alcohol and party drugs.

I could be totally wrong, OFC; this is just how it looks to me.

But... lets get back to you....

I've been around a long time and what you're voicing is a complaint I've heard over and over and over again from countless gay men. Again, I'm not saying there is no legitimacy to the complaint. There is. There is genuine reason to feel exactly the way you do. At a loss and fed up.

But what I VERY seldom see is any gay man expressing this complaint OWNING anything of what they put into it. They don't even ask themselves the question: "How is it that I am contributing to this state of affairs? How is it I'm keeping myself perpetually unfulfilled and unhappy? What can I actually do to change this situation for myself? How can I, as a gay man, begin to live a satisfied and happy life with a partner whom I love and who loves me equally in return?"

It is as if all this is just supposed to "happen". Magically "just happen". And, sure, it DOES "just happen" for some people. But I think if you really look at the number of times it "just happens" you soon discover it doesn't "just happen" nearly as often as people -- many if not most gay men -- think it does. I may have a distorted POV but it looks to me like mostly it does NOT "just happen".

From the POV of someone old enough to be your dad, someone who has been in two long term gay relationships, someone who has lived through the hedonistic 60s and 70s, the AIDS crisis of the 80s and all that came during and after it, and has known literally hundreds of gay men -- not to mention hundreds more straight men -- I've come to the conclusion that most gay men are simply CLUELESS about what it means TO BE EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE to one another. Yeah, they know a lot about sexual availability, but "emotional availability"? Just ask anyone, most won't even have a clue WTF you're talking about.

And, of course, to be fare, this isn't just "most gay men". It is, but it is also MOST MEN in general, regardless of their sexual orientation. Most men are fucking clueless about what it really means to be emotionally available.

You've hidden yourself under a sack for a reason. You don't want to be emotionally vulnerable within this forum. Right? That's understandable. Who but a masochist would set himself up for possible ridicule by a bunch of internet strangers? But in so doing, you've limited the potential depth of this on-line conversation. You've limited it to being a kind of impersonal ranting complaint about how fucked up "the gay community" is... as if we didn't know that already.

IDK... I'm actually trying to help here. I probably come across as a grumpy old bear. Well, I am a grumpy old bear, LOL! But I actually AM trying to be helpful here. I'm trying to get you (and anyone bothering to read all this) to THINK about what it MEANS to *have a relationship*. A real, loving, healthy, functional (as opposed to dysfunctional), relationship.

Does anyone believe these "just happen"? Seriously?

Well, I'll say this, to the extent that they "just happen," they only "just happen," to those men who are ready for them to "just happen" to. That is, specifically, men who have allowed themselves to become EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE to one another. Allowed themselves to RISK loving and being loved -- which MEANS moving beyond their own self-absorption into the realm of actually LIKING and CARING and eventually LOVING another human being while simultaneously ALLOWING themselves to be liked, cared for and loved.

SO FEW MEN are willing to go there. It's too "risky". Too "vulnerable". They'd much rather fuck one another's brains out than get to that deep level of emotional connection and commitment.

So. The way I see it, until you get there within yourself -- which very likely means letting go of all your pent up hostility toward yourself as a gay man and all the other gay men you toss into that dreaded hole of "the gay community" -- until you've allowed yourself to to truly CARE about YOURSELF enough to ALLOW yourself to genuinely CARE about anyone else -- their well being, their feelings, what makes them 'tick', what would make them happy, which would make you happy, etc. -- until you get THERE in yourself, chances are high it ain't going to "just happen."

On the other hand... and I'd say this comes from my own personal experience and observation of other men and especially gay men... when you DO get there, get to a place of emotional availability, you begin to look at the men around you somewhat differently. Yeah, sure, there are still those you find sexually desirable and those you do not... but THAT no longer is the primary motivation for interacting with them. Now you're searching for something else. Something that begins with valuing something WITHIN yourself that can be shared with another IF he is equally available to it.

Just food for thought, Mr. Sack Head.
.
#4
I'll show who I am, but I don't think it makes a difference as far context. Folks on here who remember me know I've talked about this in the past. I'm still pretty much stuck in the same rut I always have been.

I just don't care anymore. I'm depressed, and finding less reason to eat right or keep up with exercise. I know (so they say) that you have to love yourself first, yadda yadda. I just have no motivation to find out how to "make it happen".

I come from work and just lie down. No one to talk to or care. It feels like the only reason I go to work is to help pay off my stupid never-ending student loans. I don't see the reason to be social or to go out anymore. There's no point.

Basically, I feel like I only do things to keep stuff from sucking worse, rather than propelling me forward.

Sorry, this isn't so much a reply as it is more ranting. I'd rather it here than social media. Thanks for listening.
#5
I'm sorry that you're hurting and feeling so depressed. I know what it's like and I know the weight that comes with feeling like you're nothing. I also know how impossible it is feel any self-worth when you're stuck in this space. I saw a counselor - and still do - in order to get myself out of my funk. Not only did my self-esteem increase, but I was also able to realize what I was doing to contribute to my depressed state.

I know how hard it is to actually pick yourself up and look for help when you're feeling so low. But you have to do something. If you don't reach out for help you can't expect for something to magically happen that will turn all your feelings around.

Get help Drew, talk to someone, re-discover your worth. You have value...you matter.
#6
Drew Wrote:I'll show who I am, but I don't think it makes a difference as far context. Folks on here who remember me know I've talked about this in the past. I'm still pretty much stuck in the same rut I always have been.

I just don't care anymore. I'm depressed, and finding less reason to eat right or keep up with exercise. I know (so they say) that you have to love yourself first, yadda yadda. I just have no motivation to find out how to "make it happen".

I come from work and just lie down. No one to talk to or care. It feels like the only reason I go to work is to help pay off my stupid never-ending student loans. I don't see the reason to be social or to go out anymore. There's no point.

Basically, I feel like I only do things to keep stuff from sucking worse, rather than propelling me forward.

Sorry, this isn't so much a reply as it is more ranting. I'd rather it here than social media. Thanks for listening.

Well, if all you want to do is rant, moan, whine and complain, fine. We humans can always find something to complain about.

Its just that from my POV, I don't understand why anyone would want to stay stuck. Why they'd have no motivation to change. Don't get me wrong. I understand depression from the inside out. I know first hand how debilitating and de-motivating it can be. I *grew up* depressed. I stayed depressed through much of my 20s into my 30s. It took FOREVER for me to get a handle on it. But I *did* get a handle on it. I also had a lot of help doing so.

I assume you know, however, that no one can change you. You wouldn't let them even if they tried. Right? No one can just walk into your life and make it all better. There is no magic potion. (Well, there are psychedelics and they're the closest thing to "magic" I know... they DO change you temporarily... shoot you totally outside of your normal eg0-structure and then let you settle back into it. The journey can be of value to some, but they don't FIX or CURE anyone.) There's only one person who can even begin to change you, and you know who that is as well as I do. The thing is, he has to begin. Somewhere. Sometime. Somehow. He has to really look at himself. His life. Really understand that everything that is his life right now -- well, he did that. You put it in place. You set it up. NO ONE ELSE. And if you're not happy with it, it isn't anyone else's fault. Yeah, "the gay community" is fucked up... but why is that? And what does it have to do with YOU, your responsibility to your own life?

So.. *shrug* not my life. Not my problem. Been there done that. Yada Yada indeed. Rolleyes
.
#7
Look here, handsome mofo, maybe you do owe those guys in the bar a little something. Maybe you woe them a share of your inteligence and one or two of those smiles in your profile. Anybody that lives in New Haven and knows who Dave Brubeck is has not only something going on themselves but has opportunities to drink from one of the deepest wells of intellect and culture in the western world. Don't sell yourself short. Get out there and allow the world to enjoy an exceptional guy. And please, for God's sake, take time to tell us all how well you did!
I bid NO Trump!
#8
I don't owe them anymore than they owe me. And for living nearby to one of the "deepest wells of intellect and culture in the western world" - I suppose you're referring to my proximity to Yale? Dating Yalies - been there, done that, not for me. Every single one I've ever dated was either full of themselves or crazy. I'm in my mid-thirties; I don't share the same world view or relationship goals as most 20-something Ivy-leaguers.

I dunno. I knew airing my grievances publicly would be perceived negatively. Why is that? Pretty mucj anything else, people show compassion. 30-something that just can't make that spark happen with other guys? Shit show. Thanks.
#9
*sigh* gotta love when you reply, site kicks you out and you fucking lose the entire text.

Here we go again. Sorry if it sounds not fluid or too cut-throat, I can't be bothered with replicating the entire original post I was doing.
[MENTION=13555]Drew[/MENTION]

First: Don't get enveloped in a routine. Do things (on your own, for yourself) that you like to do. Anything. That will help with this current emotional state.

Second: When approaching dating, if your not social enough, don't like gay bars, the "scene", etc, do the above and try to meet people like that, in an evironment that you like and feel comfortable in.

I find it hard to think that where you live you won't find said activities and someone you like.

Third: You say a lot about guys that are not your type....well, what IS your type? What do you like, what are you looking for in a guy?

Having a clear picture of what to look can help you to find it. But, drop some expectations and be open to surprises. Flexibility is the key.

Fourth: You say you don't feel accepted by the gay community.

Do you need to be? What IS the "gay community" anyway?

I personally find the concept a bit ridiculous. You and me, for instance have never talked or otherwise interacted in any way, so despite being gay men, there's nothing that connects us. We are complete strangers. Why, then, should you seek my acceptance or I yours? Why should 2 straight men need to feel mutually accepted if they're complete strangers, for that matter?


See what I mean?

Perhaps a better approach for you would be not to seek people that are part of a collective but rather looking for individuals that you find interesting. You may meet a friend or a potential partner.

Those are my 2 cents on the matter anyway. You've been trying. I say, don't stop trying. You'll succeed eventually.
[Image: 05onfire1_xp-jumbo-v2.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp]
#10
I can concur with the same feelings as the OP on this.

I came out approximately 8 years ago by my own choices. In that time, I've had relationships, hookups, went to various GLBT events, so on and so fourth. I have many friends and acquaintences. I currently have a BF.

I have gone through periods where I feel like I truly have noone, and that is me glossing over all the people that have crossed paths with me in some way, shape or form. Often when I've struck up conversations with others, it's almost as if they really did not want to talk to me, and one can tell by either the body language, or the words in a text / message. Yup, I get it.

I also learned that I need to look forward to the things I have to do in this life, and what I want to do. In a very realistic honesty, I have to say "so be it" when it comes to meeting others, those who chose me as a friend, those who did not, those who fucked me over, so on and so fourth. In the grand scheme, I am my own work in progress, and for those who want to join the ride, I let them. Fuck me over, get your ass out of the car now. Those who I hang onto legitimately and with conviction, I have my reasons.

I can't say I "love" myself... "love" can be construed in many ways. I more accept myself, work on myself, and project myself the best way possible. That counts more to me than using the word "love". The context never made sense to me when describing myself.


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