Social Isolation May Hurt Health of Gay Older Adults

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Apr 02, 2011 12:18 AM GMT
    Social Isolation May Hurt Health of Gay Older AdultsThe survey found that half of gay and bisexual men in California live alone compared with 13.4 percent of heterosexual men.


    Now that is depressing. Maybe it isn't overreacting for gay guys to be so worried about not finding anyone at an early age icon_confused.gif
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    Apr 02, 2011 5:11 AM GMT
    I've always thought gay relationships, compared to straight ones, were kinda like the story of the grasshopper and the ants. There's an Aesop fable about a grasshopper who would play his fiddle and relax during the spring while the ants were busy working to secure food for the winter. Well, when winter finally arrives, the ants are happy and warm inside their home with the food they secured during the spring, while the grasshopper is cold and hungry. I've always wondered what gay men will be like when we reach our senior years. We spend so much time searching, chasing, and dating in vain. One day, we'll be old... and most likely single. We'll be the bar trolls of the future.

    The grasshopper = single gay men
    The ants & hard work = serious, monogamous gay men or straight couples
    Winter = old age

    I hope we all have a happy ending. We really need to get serious about our relationships. And for those of you who cheat or like open relationships, think about the old saying: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

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  • rdberg1957

    Posts: 662

    Apr 02, 2011 5:27 AM GMT
    I'm not interested in trashing open relationships; it's just not what I want. I don't need to limit the options of others. What I need is to make sure that my options are available (long-term relationship with one man). It makes sense that gay men have trouble connecting with each other. I'm 53 and single and definitely have wanted a partner since I came out 31 years ago. I've had 2 partners and had men I dated. It's difficult because we were raised not to trust each other. When you're told how bad (parents, media, secrecy) gay men are from the get go, it's hard to trust those to whom you are attracted. Trust is hard to come by in this world; I think it's just that much harder for gay men. It has been hard for me.
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    Apr 02, 2011 5:28 AM GMT
    That shouldn't be a problem...

    you have us young guys to socialize with! icon_smile.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 02, 2011 5:29 AM GMT
    Posting here counts as social interaction right

    ...right?



    ............guys icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 02, 2011 5:29 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidPosting here counts as social interaction right

    ...right?



    ............guys icon_neutral.gif


    yes it does icon_smile.gif
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    Apr 02, 2011 5:50 AM GMT
    HEY! IT ONLY SCARES US...BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE CREATED AS A CULTURE/SOCIETY! IF WE STOP, THINK, AND DO NOT LIKE IT....WELL WE KNOW BETTER THAN ANY GROUP...WE CAN CREATE "FAMILIES/COMMUNITIES" THAT SATISFY OUR TRUE SENSE OF WELL-BEING!! LET'S TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE!!icon_idea.gificon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gif
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 02, 2011 7:01 PM GMT
    I wish that somebody in the gay community (who's a hell of a lot more outgoing than I am) would start a social organization where single gay men could get together on a regular basis.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Apr 05, 2011 8:50 AM GMT
    Webster666 saidI wish that somebody in the gay community (who's a hell of a lot more outgoing than I am) would start a social organization where single gay men could get together on a regular basis.


    I think a lot of people would rather just not think about it - until they are older.
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    Apr 06, 2011 2:58 PM GMT
    Part of the problem is all or i should say most of the older gay men don't want someone their own age. Turning 40 and thinking they are old ! Can't tell you how many times i have read profiles on sites and you will have a 50 year old that says that his age limit is 18 -30??!?!?! So he does not even want guys in their 30's and 40's, thats 20 years of guys that he says he is not into and he is 50.


    Another issue that i see is there are so many men in the closet ( yes still ) and also many bisexual men. These men when they want to play they play with men...meanwhile go back to their wives and girlfriends who most of the time don't have a clue. So they fit in with society being married and all and these types usually don't even consider themselves gay/bi even though they are alot of times messing around with more guys than OUT gay men, but that is another story.


    Making and finding good gay friends is hard enough...i just about given up on relationships. Gay men to me are so very superficial. They judge you on what you look like and what their friends will think of you. All of them have a list of physical requirements. Then some of them have a mate and are looking for a third or someone to play with on the side...its like one is never good enough they have to try to have them all. They are always looking for something better.


    The institution of marriage is another factor for gay men we cannot really get married...that is changing though. But growing old and you cannot share in job benefits etc. That hinders us from staying together as well. Alot of str8 couples benefit finacially from being married.
  • CAtoFL

    Posts: 834

    Apr 06, 2011 3:51 PM GMT
    It's a deeper problem than just being old and alone.

    Straight people have a template for their lives. Generally speaking Gay people don't. Straight people generally follow the road of meeting their other half, raising a family, empty-nesting, retirement and holidays with the kids. We don't [usually] have that option. In fact, the Gay community really hasn't developed a good lifepath for our members. Which is why so many have so little direction.

    I live in an area where about one-quarter of the residents are retirees. The area also has a huge gay population. Here, we're beginning to 'get it'. There are social groups for gay seniors and there are gay 'old age' homes opening up. But to be frank, most of the gay seniors spend their retirement time populating a few of the bars during the day and early evening. Their generation grew up knowing bars as their place to meet. For them, it still is. So, the accompanying problems occur - alcoholism, depression, financial distress ... it's all a little sad. Many of the patrons call the most popular bar "God's waiting room" and, to be honest, who's dying or who dropped dead is a routine topic of conversation.

    But it's not solely the fault of the older gay guys. We operate in a community that destroys the value of it's older members. Sex isn't logical and is based on desire and physical cues that are often shallow and fleeting. Unfortunately, we are a community that defines itself on our sexual orientation. So, dismissal of our elders is routine. It's seen on here all the time and no one is (or will be) immune. By over-inflating the value of the meaningless, we do our community little service. We have precious few 'elder statesmen' because our defining focus is sexuality and men become decreasingly attractive as we age. In this respect, we are unfortunately unlike any other minority. Most learn from and value their previous generations. We don't.

    If I had a wish for the early 20-somethings on here, it would be that they'd help craft a better 'template' for what Gay life is. Because in 20-30 years, they'll be faced with the inevitable task of growing older without a unified community behind them. And the more we perpetuate the same mistakes, the more they become ingrained in our lives.
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    Apr 06, 2011 4:39 PM GMT
    Buffhunk64 saidI fully expect to live alone for the next 30 years or so and die alone. No expectations of companionship, intimacy or affection.

    I am both saddened, and annoyed by this. You live in fucking Dallas. I lived in fucking Portland, North Dakota. Look it up on a map, see where it's located, check its statistics. Population: 550, although I admit the nearby Mayville has a whopping 1900.

    And I had a BF there for 2 years. (Who I found AFTER moving there, not before or because of him. My gaydar found him just 5 doors down from me). I had a very active social life overall there, and a rich gay life, too. Often had to drive a lot of miles to get to the gay stuff, but I wasn't deprived.

    Yah know, if you want a gay life, and companionship, you look for it. It doesn't come looking for you. I was basically your age (50) when I moved to Portland. A tiny farming town, so quiet at night, so dead silent on the Great Plains, that our house guests from the "big cities" had trouble sleeping there.

    If you die alone then it's from choice. Sorry, my friend, but I think you need some tough love, and some serious shaking-up. In the Army, we might have called this a self-inflicted wound, for which you get no sympathy.

    And so I ask you: what do you really want, and what are you going to do to make it happen? "No expectations of companionship, intimacy or affection" is absolute BS.

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    Apr 06, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidIf you die alone then it's from choice. Sorry, my friend, but I think you need some tough love, and some serious shaking-up. In the Army, we might have called this a self-inflicted wound, for which you get no sympathy.

    And so I ask you: what do you really want, and what are you going to do to make it happen? "No expectations of companionship, intimacy or affection" is absolute BS.


    You go, Art Deco!

    There are lots and lots of gay men in long term relationships. Just because you don't us out at the bars in the gay ghetto doesn't mean we don't exist. I just do not believe that it is any harder to find a long term partner in the gay community than for straight folks. More people might CHOOSE to remain single, but that's a different story entirely.

    sportyred saidWe really need to get serious about our relationships. And for those of you who cheat or like open relationships, think about the old saying: "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."


    Sigh. You have conflated two topics. I have no desire to bring back the same old discussion, but an open relationship can be a serious relationship with all of the love and companionship as a closed relationship. For anyone who would "disagree" I frankly have no patience with it unless you've also actually experienced what it takes to keep a relationship going through multiple decades.

    CAtoFLStraight people have a template for their lives. Generally speaking Gay people don't. Straight people generally follow the road of meeting their other half, raising a family, empty-nesting, retirement and holidays with the kids. We don't [usually] have that option. In fact, the Gay community really hasn't developed a good lifepath for our members. Which is why so many have so little direction.


    This, I agree with. It has always seemed to me that since the generation older than me was decimated by HIV, it just doesn't seem to exist in the same numbers - and the guys who survived had their life-paths totally changed. I often feel like we (my age cohorts) are making it up as we go along. I wonder where our community would be now if HIV hadn't come along. That's one of the reasons that I love seeing posts here from Art Deco and other older guys, it gives me a sense of perspective and continuity that I don't often get in my day-to-day life.