30 years old crisis?

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    Aug 15, 2011 3:19 AM GMT
    I turned 30 back in June. Everyone told me that turning 30 is the best birthday and decade because you're really not a kid anymore and you're more established in life. In the few months that I've been 30, however, I've been feeling really down.

    I have a good career, I'm financially stable and independent, and for the most part there are many good aspects to my life.

    The problem I'm grappling with is the social/sexuality one. I did not come out until just before I turned 26. Before that, I was basically in denial of my sexuality. Sure, I looked at gay porn and knew deep down that I was gay, but that was the extent. No partying, clubs, no experimenting while in college, no dating, no trying new things at an age when I was supposed to be doing so. Hell, I never even tried having a girlfriend. I buried myself in schoolwork and then subsequently in my career.

    Right around the time I finally came out, I met my former boyfriend with whom I had a three and half year relationship. He was the first gay guy that I dated and he became my first long term relationship. We broke up a year ago and by that point I was 29. We have since remained friends. Shortly after we broke up, I met my current boyfriend who's 10 years my senior. He was the second guy I've ever dated and he also has become a long term relationship because we've been together for almost a year now. He's done the club scene, dated several different guys, and he's been gay and single---something that I've never really been.

    As the months have gone by, I've become stuck comparing my life to his and I feel like my 20s were completely wasted socially speaking in the gay world. Now that I'm 30, I don't have as carefree of a lifestyle as I did ten years ago. There are mortgage payments, job responsibilities, etc. and I feel like I've completely missed out on something that most young people (gay and straight) experience.

    It's easy for people to say to me "You have all of your 30s in front of you," but deep down I feel like the best time is over, and I wasn't even able to enjoy it. icon_neutral.gif

    I compare my life to my boyfriend's. He's done the club scene, met and dated tons of guys, established friendships and bonds, and then there's me---I never did any of that. Sure there's a degree of jealousy, but there's just an overall sadness. Why didn't my life follow that road? Instead, it turned out very different.
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    Aug 15, 2011 3:45 AM GMT
    No matter what you do in life, you will regret something. No way to avoid it.

    I spent most of my twenties doing the kind of things you think you wish you'd done, and now that I am accelerating toward fifty, I wish I'd done things like be more serious about my career, develop longer lasting, stable relationships,and really take care of my long-term finances.

    Simply put, it's impossible to make all the right choices. Don't beat yourself up about it.

    And you should give yourself credit for making a lot of smart choices, such as coming out, building a relationship with someone you've remained friends with.

    That said, it sounds like you want a little time to cut loose and try something new. Talk about it with your boyfriend and try to find some ways in which you can make some changes, big and small.

    You still have a hell of a lot of life to be excited about. Start striving toward something new and worthwhile and you'll find yourself looking forward to things again.
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    Aug 15, 2011 3:51 AM GMT
    Make a gratitude list.

    In addition to putting the things on that list that you are grateful to have, also list the things that "you don't have and you didn't get" because you "came out late".

    Like:

    HIV and other STD's
    A Meth Addiction
    Conflama (Conflict mixed with lots of Drama)

    Count your blessings. Comparison with others will only make you unhappy.
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    Aug 15, 2011 4:15 AM GMT
    me11 saidIt's easy for people to say to me "You have all of your 30s in front of you," but deep down I feel like the best time is over, and I wasn't even able to enjoy it. icon_neutral.gif
    I was raised in one of the most conservative and fundamentalist "christian" (non-capitalized on purpose) families you've ever seen...dad was a church elder and mom was the secretary. And, it was the Church of Christ, one of the most fundamentalist denominations out there.

    As you can imagine, my teen years were spent pretending to be the most upstanding kid you've ever laid eyes on. I'd even pray for forgiveness out loud immediately if I said "crap" in public.

    You missed your 20's, which were pretty fun for me. But I missed my entire childhood, which is the most important part of growing up.
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    Aug 15, 2011 4:20 AM GMT
    me11, my 30th was not at all what I expected it to be; full of accomplishments and and a feeling of having done something with my life. lol, it was pretty awful. Yet I had, in retrospect.

    Then I met Bill at 34...

    -Doug icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 15, 2011 9:37 AM GMT
    It's easy to feel sorry for ourselves. Who doesn't like being self-centered?

    On the opposite end of the spectrum perhaps your boyfriend is thinking something different. I know that I did experiment in my 20s, wasted time and money, and there's things I would've done differently. IE) focus on my career instead of riding the next dick for a month or two.

    GAMrican is right. The easiest way out of that thinking is make a gratitude list.
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    Aug 15, 2011 9:48 AM GMT
    me11 saidWhy didn't my life follow that road? Instead, it turned out very different.


    Well there's no point crying about it, you can't change the past. Think about what you want your life to be NOW then start making it happen. Yes, you may have more responsibilities etc now but that doesn't mean you can't also have some fun and personal development!

    Also, just because your life turned out to be different than other guys you're comparing yourself to, doesn't mean it's worse, and it may be better. A lot of guys may have partied too much in their 20s, shagged around too much and be pretty worn out and used up by the time they are your age. Would you envy them?
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    Aug 15, 2011 11:29 AM GMT
    Dearest OP, I can completely completely completely relate to you. I'm about to turn 30 myself and there is so much that I didn't do in my 20s.

    But life doesn't end at 30. And there's still time to do the things I never did in my 20s.
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    Aug 15, 2011 11:36 AM GMT
    Let me say that I actually admire your life and that can only hope I can say the same thing when I am thirty.

    Nice to see your type of gay guys exist!

    It's ok to regret and feel sad now and then, but don't stick in it too long, just move on as soon as you can.
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    Aug 15, 2011 11:44 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidMake a gratitude list. ...Count your blessings. Comparison with others will only make you unhappy.


    QFT icon_biggrin.gif

    The past is done and gone. Tomorrow is open to unlimited possibilities.
    Today is now to create. Live, my friend, live.
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    Aug 15, 2011 11:45 AM GMT
    Mate don't beat your self over it. Sure you may have not done things that you would have like to, but just look at all that you have accomplished in life.

    I'm 28 and I'm nowhere near to where you are. Maybe in two or three years but I would rather be where you are.

    We all have regrets and I know I have a basket full of them..But what can you do? Backtracking isn't possible and wouldn't suggest to throw away your current relationship over hookups and parties...Those things come and go and such a short term happiness is counter productive.

    We all have responsibilities, it's how the world work. If you're still feeling down, talk to a therapist whom can help you deal and adjust your out look.

    Best of luck mate icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 15, 2011 11:54 AM GMT
    I hated my 30th birthday, too - realizing that I wasn't necessarily the youngest, coolest, hippest any more really did a number on me for a while. But now that I've passed my 40th and 50th I can confidently tell you that you have many adventures ahead, if you just look forward instead of backward. Focus on knowing who you are and what you want out of life now. We can't turn back time but we can do everything in our power not to squander the future. It sounds like you have a lot of things to be thankful for. Enjoy them - and if you decide you want something different out of life, you have plenty of time to make that happen.
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    Aug 15, 2011 12:34 PM GMT
    I'm 54 and I swear to you it really seems like the first day of school was last year. In fact it feels like everything I've ever done just took place in my very recent history.
    My first shave, my first sexual experience, learning how to drive and going vote are all things that could have happened in the last few weeks. Part of my brain thinks that this all a funny dream and when I wake up I will be 26 like I was last night when I went to sleep.
    I asked my 82 year old parents how old they felt in terms of time spent living and the they both said that they feel "30 something..." - of course for them physically it's a very different story. I'm just starting to slow down, but I know other men my age who have a lot more energy than I do.

    I don't know how to communicate how quickly it goes by. Smile at a good looking guy, eat some ice cream and do somethning crazy. Raise hell, drink beer and get into trouble. Fall in love whenever you can (even if it's not returned) I promise you that a time will come when you'll wonder if you could ever feel that way again. That's a scary feeling.

    If the club scene is what you want then go for it - you've got lots of time to enjoy it, but the critical word here is "enjoy" get it?
    If you need to get some counseling to deal with whatever your going through then get it and go on to the next thing.
    When you meet the next Mr Right you'll wonder what you ever saw in your ex.
    Go ahead and give yourself permission to feel young and happy before you have to start trimming hairs off your earsicon_wink.gif
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    Aug 15, 2011 12:51 PM GMT
    me11 said...I compare my life to my boyfriend's. ...

    That's one mistake. The other point made many times already is to not dwell on the past. The best is yet to come.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Aug 15, 2011 1:10 PM GMT
    I was thirty seven before I came out and even began to live the life I would like to,so you seem very young to me!You have plenty of time left for doing other things!
    Don`t ever compare your life with other guys as I can guarantee you will find something to regret.That was their life,not,yours.I spent more than a few years doing that and wishing I`d done things.It won`t do you any good,I promise.It`ll only make you unhappy.
    Most guys do what you`re doing to some degree.I know a few guys who did what you seem to long for.....and they`re full of regrets they didn`t do what you`ve done!
    You have a good career and no money worries(how many guys would love that!)so carry on....And start doing things you always wanted to.It sounds to me like you`ve done well in your life.
    Best wishes for the future!
  • HndsmKansan

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    Aug 15, 2011 1:16 PM GMT
    How very interesting... here is someone that has had some of the same experiences that I did.... didn't come out until I was 32, however. Had 3 different girlfriends when I was in my 20's, always focused on my education and then my career.... it wasn't until I decided and realized how important it was to accept and explore my life when I was 32.... and met and got involved with my now partner before I really came out or had totally accepted my sexuality.

    I've had a few thoughts of what you are saying. "What if" I had come out earlier when I was in my 20's.. the fun that could have been had.... and I was even older than you are. I spent my WHOLE 20's decade in denial.

    My partner has had 2 prior long term relationships, was out early and has lived in Houston and Denver. Lots of fun.... lots of things he did and I never have......

    But the reality for me is, I'm who I am and I happen to like me. I came out at a time I was ready and I've had some fun along the way of the coming out process.
    I had trips to see friends... 3 times to Toronto and got to see Church St.... my bf was always very supportive. I was always on my own path to self acceptance, however. Today I'm very comfortable with it all. I've done some of what I wanted... I certainly don't compare myself to my partner. He's older than I am and "charted his own path" based on who he is. I respect that, but I have my own path of self acceptance.

    Your're 30 years old now. Lots of things to do and enjoy. Don't compare yourself to other people. Cherish who you are, what you've achieved and work to do things that somehow might be lacking. I've only had 1 serious male relationship all this time.... you've now had two. I hope you have a successful one and work to make it an awesome life!
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    Aug 15, 2011 1:55 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidHow very interesting... here is someone that has had some of the same experiences that I did.... didn't come out until I was 32, however. Had 3 different girlfriends when I was in my 20's, always focused on my education and then my career.... it wasn't until I decided and realized how important it was to accept and explore my life when I was 32.... and met and got involved with my now partner before I really came out or had totally accepted my sexuality.

    I've had a few thoughts of what you are saying. "What if" I had come out earlier when I was in my 20's.. the fun that could have been had.... and I was even older than you are. I spent my WHOLE 20's decade in denial.

    My partner has had 2 prior long term relationships, was out early and has lived in Houston and Denver. Lots of fun.... lots of things he did and I never have......

    But the reality for me is, I'm who I am and I happen to like me. I came out at a time I was ready and I've had some fun along the way of the coming out process.
    I had trips to see friends... 3 times to Toronto and got to see Church St.... my bf was always very supportive. I was always on my own path to self acceptance, however. Today I'm very comfortable with it all. I've done some of what I wanted... I certainly don't compare myself to my partner. He's older than I am and "charted his own path" based on who he is. I respect that, but I have my own path of self acceptance.

    Your're 30 years old now. Lots of things to do and enjoy. Don't compare yourself to other people. Cherish who you are, what you've achieved and work to do things that somehow might be lacking. I've only had 1 serious male relationship all this time.... you've now had two. I hope you have a successful one and work to make it an awesome life!


    ...and this is the key - if you're in a relationship that is supportive then you can still explore these things you feel you missed out on... with or without your BF... just be open with communication and he'll understand, he's been there, done that... he'll understand why you may want to... the big question is - what is it that you think you've missed out on? your story is not disimilar to many gay men!
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    Aug 15, 2011 2:41 PM GMT
    Do an assessment of where you are now and how you feel about the assessment. Then look back to your 20s from where you are now. What I hope you do see is that as bad as you may have thought those years were, they actually were pretty good. The focal point of life is now. Propel those things that you did have and didn't appreciate enough into the future. I'm sure you will learn to appreciate where you are now, what you have and will find new directions for the future. You have opportunities to be what nobody else can be.
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    Aug 15, 2011 2:56 PM GMT
    I don't get it. How can you be depressed about something you can't change? The past is the past. You have a successful life and are acting like you're 60 or 70 instead of 30. I was not supposed to live past my 30's due to a childhood illness that nearly killed me when I was 14 years old through 17 old years. You're depressed about not doing the club scene and that garbage.

    Be happy you are a live and press forward. Good LORD! When I made to my 30th birthday I was like whew "I was not supposed to even be alive and I'm still here.

    I was not concern about someone else life and what they experienced. I was just happy to be live and healthy. Every year I celebrate my birthday by treating myself out to an expensive diiner and toast to the fact that I'm alive and healthy! I don't compare my life to anyone else's because that's their experience my not mine.

    Have you ever thought that, had you done the whole dating and clud scene that you would not be the person that you are, that you may not have let's lived through it? Fate has a way of putting on the path that we were meant to be on. Your path was diffrent than your ex and your current partner embrace it, instead of feeling like you missed out on something.

    Just a thought.
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    Aug 18, 2011 1:42 AM GMT
    There's a lot of this going around apparently!

    My 30th is in 3 weeks and I'm not terribly happy about it. Not terribly sad either.

    Like you, I have gotten no action for most of the time everyone else is getting their best. Unlike you, I haven't had a boyfriend or been on a date or kissed anyone.

    I do think of my young adult years as wasted sexually, and in part socially. But it was kind of my choice for half of that time. There are other issues complicating things and I don't think I would have done anything differently despite feeling like I've lost something.

    I sigh with you my brother.