Over Glamorizing Relationships

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    Dec 02, 2010 7:23 PM GMT
    It is amazing how many times you will hear someone say they’ve never been in a relationship and have all but given up. You have to laugh when you look at their profile and see that they are barely legal. I have news for all the single guys out there. If you’re miserable being single you won’t be much happier being coupled.

    Now I have a story to tell so bear with me. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I reconnect with old flings. They have all been partnered for many years. One looked me up recently and then I decided to look up another. Most recently I looked up and old friend, I’ll call Kurt (not his real name), whom I never dated but wanted to. He has been partnered for 12 years now and I couldn’t help feeling like the last single guy standing.

    I met Kurt in my mid-20s. I was out with a group of friends and we met playing pool at a gay bar. He was dating someone at the time but that didn’t stop me from realizing he was the portrait of the type of boyfriend I had wanted ever since I came to terms with my sexuality. I started realizing I couldn’t ignore my sexuality in college. A lot of my friends were hot jocks on the basketball and rugby teams and I inevitably had crushes on a few of them. When I came out I wanted so badly to meet a similar hot jock that didn’t just look the part but played it as well. Kurt fit this description to a tee. He did all kinds of sports and had a lust for adventure. He was the kind of guy who turned heads. To give just one example, once when we left a bar with another friends, three women who looked like they belonged on Sex in the City stopped in their tracks. “What kind of bar is this”, they asked. “It’s a gay bar”, Kurt answers and we hear a collective sigh of disappointment.

    One day I ran into him and he told me he had ended his relationship and that we should go out sometime. I remember thinking “did he just ask me out on a date”? I found out on the “date” that no I’m not his type. He tells me he feels so comfortable with me because he can be completely himself. As he put it “I can show up at your messy apartment and just ask to use your shower (which he had just done that evening) and know you won't find my request strange. ” Although I felt some disappointment I was happy to be his friend.

    He had a glamorous life working between NY and LA. He did a lot of work for a famous director who was a big hit around that time. He confided in me about his struggles with his relationships, I learned about his dark side, he even flew me around Manhattan when he was getting his pilot license (just for the fun of it). He wrote to me a few times (snail mail which shows how ancient we are) while I was living in Europe. But after three years abroad I returned and realized his old address and phone numbers no longer worked.

    One night at the movies as I was watching the credits go by (something I never do) I saw his name go by. I figured he was in LA but to my surprise I would stumble upon him playing pool once again at a bar in NYC. We picked up where we left off with our friendship but I would eventually loose touch with him once again.

    The last time I saw him I was surprised at how old he was looking. He was still in great shape but was losing his hair and his face was looking more weathered than most guys his age. He was only in his late 30s at this point. We spoke a bit on the street and he told me he was moving to LA.

    Yesterday we reestablished contact. We exchanged a couple of emails and that is when I learned he has been partnered now for 12 years. He just recently turned 50. I checked out his Facebook photos and saw he was still as fit as ever and had a sexy handsome mature look. In fact he didn’t look much older than he had in his late 30s. I tried to determine which one of the guys in the photos was his boyfriend. He had one photo with a really hunky surfer that I thought might work but he also had one with an Asian guy. He had a thing for Asian and Latin men and sure enough the Asian guy is his current boyfriend. I felt a bittersweet feeling wash over me as I looked at all the photos thinking about how I never did settle with the jock like him I had always hope to meet.

    Last night while watching a basketball game he pokes me in Facebook and we start chatting. He discusses his mid-life career crisis. He works as a cameraman and doesn’t do much directing anymore. I knew this as I had found his bio on the internet movie database when I googled him. He tells me it must be nice to be financially independent. He talked about his relationship. He said it was honest and loving but he also told me about the challenges. I felt a familiarity reemerge from all the past conversations we had had. I always loved his directness and honesty. That chat helped put my temptation to over glamorize his life in perspective.

    Near the end of a long chat he asks me if I’m happy these days. Very, I said. The bitter part of the formerly bittersweet feeling was now gone. I was feeling a warm contentment pass threw me. Once I stopped using the fact that I’m single as an excuse to be unhappy, I told him, my bouts of depression seemed to vanish. I’ve come to accept the fact that I may remain single the rest of my life but I also realize that it doesn’t make me any less happy than anyone else in or out of a relationship.

    I had to give up on relationships temporarily to reach this point but lately I’m back on the market. I have past the half-century mark and have yet to cohabitate with a boyfriend. So you can imagine how hard I laugh when I see someone bemoaning their perpetual single fate and they haven’t even reached the age I was when I came out. I accept this as a possible fate without the slightest pang of pain. I would still love to share my happiness with someone but that someone has to want it and I know that I can’t rely on him to make me happy just as he can’t expect me to bring him happiness. I’ve tried too many times to lift unhappy guys into my world and all they want to do is pull me into their tiny comfort zone. They want me to feel the warm coziness of melancholy and share their bitter feelings with me but I know, only too well, about the poisonous side effects. Misery doesn’t just love company it demands it.

    In all the years of being single I’ve learned how to fill my empty moments with excitement. Sometimes this adventure takes care of my carnal urges or leads to a romantic one night stand or vacation romance. Other times it doesn't involve anyone else: just me jumping naked in the plunge pool of a waterfall, or riding a wave with a dolphin on an empty pristine beach near home. Those moments give me the kind of euphoria people get when they fall in love or crave when they resort to drugs. So go out and get some and stop pining.

    Unfortunately most of the guys I wish were reading this advice have probably not read this far. They are usually bored after the first paragraph and off to look at more photos. Nevertheless, I’d love to hear someone say what I have written helps put the pursuit of love and happiness in perspective.
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    Dec 02, 2010 9:11 PM GMT
    Nice post! I read it all. A good read (but do change bare to bear) and a really interesting snapshot of what's going on with you.

    Thanks for sharing like that,

    -Doug


    OK 20 somethings, read and post!
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Dec 02, 2010 9:37 PM GMT
    What a story! I wanted children. I knew I would have to do something about it while I was still in my younger years while I still had parents to help me. That's pretty much the biggest reason I got married. Additionally, she is an ideal partner for me.
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    Dec 02, 2010 9:41 PM GMT
    It's got a good message, that in respect to relationships seen from the outside, all that glitters is not gold. Some yes, some no.

    -Doug
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    Dec 02, 2010 10:39 PM GMT
    30, never had a bf before, and accepted my singledom and that i probably will be a bachelor till the end of my days. and i'm totally fine with it.

    however, there is something that makes me shudder thinking about myself at 50 and that i would've gone through 20 years of adult life without anyone, single.

    i know it's a bit of a contradiction, but still. happy tho.
  • oyoung

    Posts: 97

    Dec 02, 2010 10:44 PM GMT
    wow~ I am surprising that I finished reading them all.
    First, I have to say thanks for sharing...

    Even you are not his type, didn't you try to make him change? I know, it sounds stupid, but sometimes I always think "what if...", but never had courage to do so.
    I always think happy is about self, the one can make himself happy or unhappy, guess it is about his life attitude.
    In the early years, I don't feel lonely, even sometimes without a partner, but recently, not sure why I start to have that feeling.
    I always believe I need someone to share love, not always the happy things but also the sad ones. Emotional exchanges is important. But out there, mostly it is ignored by physical. I don't say shap is not important. Just say it get way more attentions. Or maybe I really should change the "type" I currently like~
  • oyoung

    Posts: 97

    Dec 02, 2010 10:46 PM GMT
    commoncoll saidWhat a story! I wanted children. I knew I would have to do something about it while I was still in my younger years while I still had parents to help me. That's pretty much the biggest reason I got married. Additionally, she is an ideal partner for me.


    lol.... I want children tooooo. You just described my ideal life~~ icon_cool.gif
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    Dec 03, 2010 12:45 AM GMT
    Great post man!
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    Dec 03, 2010 2:34 AM GMT
    Thanks for the feedback guys I'm glad you enjoyed it. And thanks Doug for finding the embarrassing but amusing mistake. Its funny how your mind knows the difference between the homonyms but your fingers don't always take the time to listen to my mind.

    To Oyoung's question: did I try to change his type? No, your energy is better spent finding the guys who's type you are than wasting it trying to change anyone.

    To musefreek I want to say I felt the same way at your age. In fact I suffered from a mild depression from my mid to late 30s. Like you, I pictured 50 as sad and lonely. My 40s were much better than my 30s and so there is no reason to think my 50s can't be just as good. It is true that as I aged it seemed so obvious that the choices were fewer. I'll add that when I do find a guy I like, I seem to throw all my philosophy out the door and think about him way too much. I suddenly feel like he is the only match left for me on the earth. But when it doesn't work out I know I'll bounce back. I have too many passions to be able to let my depression return.

    Case in point. As I was finishing writing the above, a buddy of mine called to tell me he was going to hit the waves. It was cold and flat this morning but he told me he saw some surfers on the cam. I met him at the beach and saw the most beautiful emerald green A-frames rolling in. This particular buddy is married, painted all over and says dude every other word but we have more in common than you would think. As our excitement grew with each playful ride I turned to him and said we are both so in touch with our inner kid aren't we? "Hell yeah dude" he answers. We played until the sunset over the undeveloped barrier island and marshlands to the south of us. With nothing blocking the sun, the white sand, ocean water, and intercoastal waterway took on an orange glow. I caught my final ride to shore and as if to complete mother nature's masterpiece I turn to see a dolphin swimming by. That is something I can love until the day I drop dead.
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Dec 03, 2010 2:44 AM GMT
    friendormate saidIt is amazing how many times you will hear someone say they’ve never been in a relationship and have all but given up. You have to laugh when you look at their profile and see that they are barely legal. I have news for all the single guys out there. If you’re miserable being single you won’t be much happier being coupled.


    Hallelujah Amen Amen...icon_wink.gif
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    Dec 03, 2010 2:52 AM GMT
    im not gonna lie, i only read the first paragraph. but that first paragraph is GOLD! and i assume the rest of the post is equally as good
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:03 AM GMT
    "They want me to feel the warm coziness of melancholy and share their bitter feelings with me but I know, only too well, about the poisonous side effects. Misery doesn’t just love company it demands it."

    You certainly have a way of putting things.

    Having a relationship is neither good nor bad in itself. Happiness comes from finding satisfaction in your own life path, whether or not you share it with another.
  • NerdLifter

    Posts: 1509

    Dec 03, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    Just remember, these guys, including me, *every single day* they see their friends and fellow students on campus with their significant other. For example, I just rode my bike down to the engineering building for class and I passed by 6 couples holding hands, and that is not uncommon.

    Just try to put yourself in our place, we are young, all our hetero-peers get a chance to have *many* relationships over the course of high school and college, yet we get delegated to having zero. Wouldn't that make you want to just experience it? After all, most people only get to have the high school/college experience in their life. Wouldn't you want that chance to walk down the library with your boyfriend in hand? Get a chance to have a PDA at the football game?

    Then you graduate, never got to experience that in your late teenage/early 20s; a chapter in your life gone forever.

    Now, to all the young guys reading this: Being desperate for a relationship will land you NOT having a relationship fast. You have to first be comfortable with yourself, which is an oxymoron if you want to date so bad because you feel left-out.

    Now as for the Original Post: Relationships ARE over-glamorized and I agree. Just sometimes guys on RealJock forget that the social pressure to have a boyfriend is really high. I'm *not* saying that it is a good reason nor is it the right reason; I am just saying that's how it is, so don't beat up a guy too hard for wanting it.
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:26 AM GMT
    Great post! We do over glamorize relationships in America. We are often made to feel like, whether consciously or not, that if we aren't in a relationship, there is something wrong with us. And, if we don't get into a relationship, then we are doomed to a life of loneliness and unhappiness. But, people often forget that being in a relationship DOES NOT bring automatic happiness and everlasting joy.

    Does anyone else also agree that we over glamorize marriage as well?
  • NerdLifter

    Posts: 1509

    Dec 03, 2010 3:34 AM GMT
    cmhoh1985 saidGreat post! We do over glamorize relationships in America. We are often made to feel like, whether consciously or not, that if we aren't in a relationship, there is something wrong with us. And, if we don't get into a relationship, then we are doomed to a life of loneliness and unhappiness. But, people often forget that being in a relationship DOES NOT bring automatic happiness and everlasting joy.


    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ icon_exclaim.gif
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:44 AM GMT
    Studinprogress saidJust remember, these guys, including me, *every single day* they see their friends and fellow students on campus with their significant other. For example, I just rode my bike down to the engineering building for class and I passed by 6 couples holding hands, and that is not uncommon.

    Just try to put yourself in our place, we are young, all our hetero-peers get a chance to have *many* relationships over the course of high school and college, yet we get delegated to having zero. Wouldn't that make you want to just experience it? After all, most people only get to have the high school/college experience in their life. Wouldn't you want that chance to walk down the library with your boyfriend in hand? Get a chance to have a PDA at the football game?

    Then you graduate, never got to experience that in your late teenage/early 20s; a chapter in your life gone forever.

    Now, to all the young guys reading this: Being desperate for a relationship will land you NOT having a relationship fast. You have to first be comfortable with yourself, which is an oxymoron if you want to date so bad because you feel left-out.

    Now as for the Original Post: Relationships ARE over-glamorized and I agree. Just sometimes guys on RealJock forget that the social pressure to have a boyfriend is really high. I'm *not* saying that it is a good reason nor is it the right reason; I am just saying that's how it is, so don't beat up a guy too hard for wanting it.


    I remember my high school and college years well. I remember my intense death dreams and the torture I felt wondering if I could be gay. I remember my crush on the MVP of the basketball team and the time he asked me "Why don't you have a girlfriend given how good looking you are" . I remember lying in the point guard's queen bed (fully clothed) listening to music and when he inched closer I tightened up. Loosen up he said squeezing my shoulder. I remember not knowing what the fuck to do.

    I certainly don't want to beat up any of you young guys going through this period of hopeless confusion. I just want you to stop and see that life has so much to offer even during the periods you spend it alone.
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:45 AM GMT
    Frienormate I too have felt in the past the way you do nowadays! with one big difference thou, everyday is a new start at life as well as a new opportunity to re-connect with another human being; I still do have a strong faith in humanity despite its many challenges and disappointments!

    When I was a young boy every morning as I wake up from bed I always felt like a new bloom budding from the same old branches, in other words I felt like a new person each and everyday even thou my body kept getting older each passing day. Although I must admit that I went through an early frost period of sorts made up of bitterness and hopelessness throughout my late twenties, but when I reached my thirties maturity did thawed out a lot of that coldness build up within me from those younger years! today as I am well into my forties I have a greater understanding of human nature's many diverse emotional climates. My last boyfriend was quite a disappointment but a challenge nonetheless, and also one of many that have helped me become a better human being and a tolerant one at its worse.

    I love to love...period!! and despites its many challenges and disappointments human relationships as complex and tiresome as it seems to many in the gay community,love relationships, to me personally is by far the most rewarding human experience I have ever experienced. I never get tire of falling in love all over again, it is how I am wired I guess!?



    Leandro ♥
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    Dec 03, 2010 3:50 AM GMT
    I agree marriage is over-glamorized. It is a giant party about who is fucking who in a socially acceptable way.

    However, I also think the post is sort of a forced rationalization of your life situation. If you didn't come to that rationalization, you would be mentally ill.

    I also agree with the young cute shirtless guy on the playground (didn't check out your profile yet). I went through undergrad without a relationship, and by the time I got to my 5th year, I said screw it. I came out and was active in LGBT activities, joined clubs, and was relationship oriented for my junior and senior year of my 5 years (came out junior year). In an age when guys can get sex with men via the internet and never have to come out, it takes balls to come out now, especially with facebook and it being broadcasted to all of our hometown (facebook used to be restricted to .edu emails btw). I had dates (lasting a maximum of 1 week), but I got heartbroken enough.

    So, I lived it up being a 'player' with the internet my 5th year. I had fun. It was fulfilling at the time, and I got more by not being out.

    It is rare to find a mature young guy.

    I mean, people should at least pair up and be monogamous for the hot bareback sex right? Nah. Not worth it.

    So, I am in grad school and continue to keep my eyes completely peeled wide open 24/7 when I'm in public, and it is extremely difficult to find anyone who lets on that they may be interested. I even talk to people and make friendly conversation, but people don't seem to know how to communicate in person anymore and are always hiding emotions.

    It is also hard when you have a bald spot on your crown at age 24. Can't do much about that. Certainly makes me self conscious.
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    Dec 03, 2010 4:03 AM GMT
    Great Story!

    I think that many things in our socieity are over glamorized, not just relationships. I understand where a lot of young guys are coming from though, everyone has those moments where they just want someone to share their life with. The biggest mistake I think people make is that they think someone or something can make them happy, can make life better. In reality you have to be happy with yourself, content with who you are, you have to be able to leave the negative behind and focus on the positive in your life to be happy. You've got to love yourself before anyone else can love you. I want a LTR, I want to experience everyday with a special guy, but I'm not going to drain all my energy into finding a guy, I'm not going to lose sight of who I am for the possibility of finding someone and I'm not going to go around feeling sorry for myself, but I'm also not going to ever give up on love.
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    Dec 03, 2010 4:41 AM GMT
    bluey2223 saidI agree marriage is over-glamorized. It is a giant party about who is fucking who in a socially acceptable way.



    Now that's a perspective I didn't know.
    For us it was a solemn and powerful occasion, witnessed by the people we loved, who also proclaimed it as part of our vows.

    Nothing frivolous.

    -Doug

    PS I personally feel it's something you do after your relationship is well explored and decided, and not in the early stages of getting to know one another.
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    Dec 03, 2010 4:47 AM GMT
    Great post and story but I wanted the happy ending with you and Kurt together! It's all those damn movies that make me feel like the two people are better off together. I guess we don't see all them together and all the things that can happen like boredom and familiarity and stuff.

    I was with my ex for 11 years until this year and loved being part of a couple but hadn't know life as a single man or really had the chance to date. I'm definitely not finding the dating world to be as glamorous as it's portrayed on movies and TV and readjusting to being single.

    Good advice friendormate. It's been hard to just be me and single and know that I may not have someone permanent in my life again for years or maybe ever but you can still live a happy and fulfilled life with friends and family. Cheers to that. Doesn't mean I'll stop looking of course.
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    Dec 03, 2010 5:02 AM GMT
    friendormate saidIn all the years of being single I’ve learned how to fill my empty moments with excitement. Sometimes this adventure takes care of my carnal urges or leads to a romantic one night stand or vacation romance. Other times it doesn't involve anyone else: just me jumping naked in the plunge pool of a waterfall, or riding a wave with a dolphin on an empty pristine beach near home. Those moments give me the kind of euphoria people get when they fall in love or crave when they resort to drugs. So go out and get some and stop pining. ...I’d love to hear someone say what I have written helps put the pursuit of love and happiness in perspective.


    Great post! I've been 6 months out of a relationship that lasted about 8 1/2 yrs, and finally feeling I'm getting some bearings, and not going through the emotional upheavals as much. I know it's the best time right now to define/redefine myself, so it's also good to read someone's thoughts about being single and utilizing their single time to find various pursuits rather than pining over the "what was" and romanticizing the best parts of a relationship (and totally forgetting or ignoring the not-so-great portions). I have to admit that it's a bit of a hill to overcome when you haven't been "alone" for a while, and the learning process of how to take care of yourself without someone there to do it with you; but how you deal with yourself and being alone has its significant life lessons as well. Thanks again for the post.
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    Dec 03, 2010 5:03 AM GMT
    meninlove said
    bluey2223 saidI agree marriage is over-glamorized. It is a giant party about who is fucking who in a socially acceptable way.



    Now that's a perspective I didn't know.
    For us it was a solemn and powerful occasion, witnessed by the people we loved, who also proclaimed it as part of our vows.

    Nothing frivolous.

    -Doug

    PS I personally feel it's something you do after your relationship is well explored and decided, and not in the early stages of getting to know one another.


    Oh don't get me wrong. My comment is nothing but cynical for something I'm quite jealous of icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 03, 2010 5:05 AM GMT
    that was amazing man. I really liked it. I read it all.
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    Dec 03, 2010 8:37 AM GMT
    friendormate said I’ve tried too many times to lift unhappy guys into my world and all they want to do is pull me into their tiny comfort zone. They want me to feel the warm coziness of melancholy and share their bitter feelings with me but I know, only too well, about the poisonous side effects. Misery doesn’t just love company it demands it.


    Hmm...this sounds exactly like my ex-boyfriend. icon_mad.gif

    And thank you for sharing your story. It was great to read. Let's hope it will open some eyes, although I'm not sure it will...