what's on your mind tonight?...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 06, 2012 6:55 AM GMT
    I've been sitting in front of my computer for the past hour now looking at houses.. Ready to sell my condo and move on and start that next chapter in my life. Owning my very own home.. with a driveway, a garage and a yard for Ben. ....So this isn't really what I had envisioned for myself. Had you asked me 10 years ago where you'd think I'd be at 34, (which I realize is fast approaching)..icon_eek.gif I would have answered with, something along the lines of, settled into a career and in a loving relationship ..perhaps already a few years into it.. purchasing a new home together etc. Instead, I feel as though things have begun to plateau.
    I often feel like I'm a lousy gay. Or at least I must be doing something wrong. I have had only a handful of relationships, each of which ultimately failed. I cling to this idea that I can possibly find an amazing guy who wants the same things I do. Someone to build a relationship with, share incredible experiences with and grow old together. Yet, with each passing day I feel like I am nowhere closer to achieving this. Is this normal?... Have any of you fellas experienced this yourselves?

    I have often felt as though I don't belong. At least in the broader gay sense. Not that anyone should use social media as a gauge for what's normal, but I notice others doing what appear to be extravagant things, or socializing in typically gay ways. (Ie...half naked on a dance floor) Ok, so I've tried this a few times.. I never really cared for it. I've often wondered if that has anything to do with my inability to foster long lasting relationships with other gay males, both as friends and as potential partners ..Moreover I wonder if this has impeded in my ability to find my Mr. Right, often wondering if maybe i just don't put myself out there enough. The scary part is that when I've tried to put myself out there, I've been hurt. I've met people on line, much like I bet many of you have, who had one thing on their mind and one thing only. I approached meeting people I have met online with this naive optimism. End result =hurt and shame. It's taken awhile to get over some situations I've put myself in and to trust again. I avoided gay oriented websites such as this one out of fear of exposing my vulnerability again and going through the same shit as before. Luckily for me, my experience on RJ haven't been anything like that. Sure, there are jerks out there with crass comments and cheesy one liners...but there are also many sincere genuine gay guys. Some even in meaningful long term committed relationships. For someone like myself, who continues to find it difficult to make friends with gay men, this has been a positive experience.

    As far as future relationships are concerned, I've realized I've become a lot more pensive as I get older, but I can't really help it. I know the amount of love of capable of giving and the older I get the more worried I become that I wont be able to share that with someone. I worry that as someone who doesn't care to frequent the gay scene, I'm limiting myself with regards to meeting someone. My experience online has also made me realize that often the person that possess the most qualities you personally value and seek in a mate, often lives a lot further from you than you'd care for which comes with a lot of mixed emotions.

    So if any of this seems at all incoherent it's because it's late... these are the thoughts that have been creeping into my mind as I try to settle into bed. SO why not share them with complete strangers my experience on this site over the past year. With that said, i'm off to bed.

    Good night/Bonne Nuit

    Sv
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    Dec 06, 2012 7:00 AM GMT
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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 06, 2012 2:46 PM GMT
    ^^^ at least have the decency to read what I wrote before you post your dumb shit here.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Dec 06, 2012 4:11 PM GMT
    Finding that one guy is just difficult ... why? because a) we are a very small part of the total population b) our appeal is the same sex so our standards are higher because we know what we are capable of c) we are a bundle of natural instincts. In the straight world, a man meets a woman and there are expected differences and they learn to live with those differences. With many men it it the song "it's raining men ... so many men, so little time." And it is basically because men are born with a natural instinct to wander. We are not naturally nurturers or nest builders. We are wanderers.

    In the straight world woman train their man not wander and to become a nester. In the gay world this goes against our nature. That's why you will see lesbian relationships in general, usually lasting a life time.

    You are in love with a concept of nesting ... but it is not in your nature, so you are going to have to work a little harder to achieve it (since you are also choosing from a small population.) Even now, you are ready to roam and wander on, even though you have created a nest for yourself. You are not happy to create the nest and try to attract someone to share it with you, instead you want to wander and create a new nest. If you created a new nest, whose to say you will not tire of that one too and abandon it.

    I think, for men, the natural nesting instinct doesn't really kick in until a much later age, then it does to women. Why is that? Because men instinctively need to deposit their sperm in as many females as they can so that the species can continue to exist, while women instinctively need to stay put and care for their young, in order for the species to exist. As gay men, we still have the basic instincts of the survivalhood of the species, and so our natural instinct as men, is to wander.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 06, 2012 6:05 PM GMT
    I begin with a sigh because it isn't easy to address everything you're saying and experiencing. Also, beyond reading what you've written here and looking at your profile, I don't know you. You're obviously a very attractive man and you seem to have a good heart. You want to share your life with another man and that's all good. But it isn't easy, really, so far as I can tell, for anyone.

    One of my firsts posts on this forum was about the challenges of gay relationships. Like any relationship, they require effort on the part of the people in them. A lot of guys, especially younger ones in my experience, have rather 'romantic' notions of what a relationship is and bemoan the fact they can't find one that lasts. Why is this?

    Amoonhawk, has sketched out part of the problem. Another part of it depends on where you are, locally. What kind of 'scene' there is, the number of potential prospects. Obviously the more men there are the more likely you are to find someone compatible but even then chances are you're going to have to make yourself available for the 'lightning to strike', so to speak. It could just happen randomly out of the blue, but, in yourself, you need to be available FOR it to happen. And by that I mean something more than wishing for, longing for, or wanting it.

    I'll try and say more about what I mean but to do that I'll have to talk about me and my life which may not correspond to you and your life very much.

    I knew I was queer long before the word "gay" was in common usage. My earliest sexual experiences were with other guys my own age most of whom were straight. This was in a rural setting and there was no 'gay scene' at all, just horny guys fooling around and that was all there was to it. I didn't meet other out gay men till I moved to Chicago to go to college (1966). Mostly what I found there, though, was troubling. Sex (pre HIV) was very available but relationships, not so much. I didn't 'fit in' with the scene and, frankly, didn't want to. I wasn't (still am not) into random hookups.

    A few years later I found myself living in the San Francisco Bay Area where you can't throw a rock without hitting a gay man. Worse, the 'scene' in those (again pre HIV) days (in my experience anyway) was a sort of sexual militancy. Gay men were trying to break down the doors of social repression that had kept them closeted forever. The "Free Love" mantra of the '60s was a life style for a lot of people, regardless of their orientation, but for many gay men it was a kind of political statement. It was sort of like, if you weren't having sex with five or six random strangers a day, then what the fuck was wrong with you?

    I was a horny guy in my 20s at the time but I couldn't relate to that at all and was miserable and largely, perhaps similar to yourself, thought there was something wrong with me.

    Strangely enough, I ended up falling in love with a woman. How this came about is a story in itself I'll skip over. The point is, though, I fell in love with another human being for the first time in my life and, although she was the 'wrong' gender for my sexual orientation, the love was very real (still is--we're like brother and sister to this day). We ended up living together for over 10 years. All this time I knew (and she knew this going into the relationship) that I was gay. Not bi, gay. She gave me permission to have sex with guys on the side, even encouraged me to do it (again, pre HIV), but I didn't feel comfortable with that at all. It wasn't because I felt some moral obligation--we weren't married--it was more like, for me, 1) I didn't want to loose what I had and 2) I knew doing that would just make the relationship even more confusing for me.

    However, eventually, we both came to realize we needed to move on. We got along very well together but the sex, for her, was less than she needed or wanted and the same was true for me. Moreover, by this time, HIV was a reality everyone knew about and, interestingly, the gay 'scene' had begun to shift. As one gay man I knew put it, "Yeah, now gay guys may actually want to talk with you." (!!)

    So at that time, now a few years older than you, I had to "come out" (socially) all over again. But rather than throw myself back into the 'gay scene' as such, I found a LGBT organization near where I lived, Pacific Center, that offered a variety of support groups for LGBT people.

    The first group I attended was an on-going 'drop-in' group for men who either still were or had been in relationships with women. Some of the men were married and not out to their spouses. Some were out to their families. Some were divorced. Some, like me, had never married but had been in relationships. Some identified as gay, some as bi, etc. We'd meet for 90 minutes once a week and talk about what was going on in our lives. Often some of us would go out for coffee afterwards and occasionally someone would plan an event, a pot luck or day trip, to which we were all invited.

    For me it was very helpful on a lot of levels. If nothing else, it showed me I wasn't unique or particularly 'weird'. I *am* weird but that's just me; my situation wasn't all that unusual.

    Eventually I started participating in some of the other gay groups as well and even further on, after receiving some training, I became a volunteer group leader for these kinds of drop-in, topic oriented, 'rap' groups.

    There was one group in particular that I led entitled "Finding Mr. Right," that I found particularly interesting. 30 gay guys all in the same room. I started the meeting by suggesting we go around in a circle and each guy take no more than 2 minutes to tell all of us why they came to this group, what they were looking for, and so on. This took an hour of the 90 minutes of group time.

    After everyone had 'checked in', a little light-bulb began to light up in my brain. Imagine being in a room with 30 other gay guys ALL OF WHOM say they are looking to be in a relationship and yet can't find anyone "available" or "compatible". icon_eek.gif It was a true WTF moment for me. It was a question I put to the group: "What do you think it means that there are 30 gay guys all in the same room, saying they want a relationship and all saying they can't find another gay man to have a relationship with?" The next 30 minutes was spent with different guys trying to answer that question.

    What *I* began to see was that it wasn't enough to WANT a relationship. On some deep level, one has to be *available* for a relationship. In other words, there needs to be ROOM inside one's self on a lot of levels and inside one's life for the acceptance of another human being into it. If we're totally caught up in our own lives as they are, totally caught up in some romanticized 'ideal' of a relationship, then there is no room for the reality to show up.

    Exactly what that means will vary for everyone. But sometimes we need to really try and look at ourselves objectively, with as little judgement as we can. For example, you're sort of asking 'what is wrong with me'. Well, of course everyone has room for improvement but, in a way, it is the wrong question. We need to know what is 'right' with us, too. We need to accept who we are, what we want, and not assume there is anything 'wrong' with that. It is what it is. We're not likely going to be able to ACCEPT other people as being who THEY are if we can't accept ourselves, right? We aren't likely to fall in love with a real 'other' human being (as opposed to falling in love with some fantasy of who we think they are or wish they were) if we don't accept and love ourselves, more or less objectively.

    See what I'm getting at here? No one is perfect. You're not. Neither am I. Neither will be the man you let into your life. And, of course, it is always a 'it takes two to Tango' situation. It requires a willingness to be
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 06, 2012 6:11 PM GMT
    LOL... went beyond the word count. Typical of me...

    Continued from above....



    See what I'm getting at here? No one is perfect. You're not. Neither am I. Neither will be the man you let into your life. And, of course, it is always a 'it takes two to Tango' situation. It requires a willingness to be vulnerable to deep emotions but, to be clear, by 'vulnerable' I do NOT mean without boundaries. It's a balancing act.

    But, in the chronology of the life story I'm telling, all this was far from clear to me at this time.

    Interestingly, not long after this group I mentioned, I met the man who would become my first LTR. I had been dating for a couple years but hadn't 'found' anyone that really worked for me. I found some very good prospects. One in particularly was supper hot and had a lot of attributes I liked BUT, unfortunately, he wanted to change me, make me 'better', make me into something I wasn't. I knew enough to know that wasn't going to work. A part of me wanted him badly enough to think, maybe I should let him take over my life. But another part realized, uh, no, you'll just end up miserable and resentful.

    So I met David and he and I started dating. I'm not sure how long but eventually it became clear that we had strong feelings for one another that went beyond sex. We really liked one another and had a lot of fun together. We bonded and defined ourselves as a couple. For the first time in my life, now age 42, I found myself in the gay relationship I'd always longed for.

    It is worth noting, too, that about this time a couples group formed. There were several of us (most had been or still were facilitators at PC) who were in new relationships and we decided to meet once every three weeks to help deal with the inevitable problems that arise in relationships, especially gay ones. This was an amazing event and I suggested at the time we document this for the purpose of writing a book about our experiences later on. However, for various reasons, the other guys couldn't see doing this. This is one of the few regrets in my life. It would have been a VERY useful tool for a lot of gay guys who want or have relationships -- or create couples groups along the lines that we had. We really worked together and examined all this over a period of SEVEN YEARS.

    My partner, David, and I were apart of that group until David's tragic and untimely death from a brain tumor in 1997. I'm not sure if the group is still on going but I know for a fact that some of the couples who were in it are still together.

    So, no, there isn't anything wrong with you. In a way I think you're fairly typical of a lot of gay men. Not all, of course. Just because we're all gay doesn't mean we aren't any less diverse than heterosexual men. Yes, "nesting," isn't exactly instinctual to us males BUT "nesting" is more instinctual for some of us than others. There's also the reality that growing up gay in a homophobic world, we've internalized a lot of shit about ourselves that we may, or may not have dealt with. There's also the prospect that we can shape our relationships however we want. Unlike traditional het relationships, we can decide how we want our relationships to work. This adds both a layer of freedom and a layer of complexity to the whole thing.

    For me, the most important thing is to have examined one's life and one's self enough to know whether or not there is, in fact, room in one's heart and one's life for another human being (who may have warts as well as a six pack, speaking allegorically). Loving someone is more than being attracted to them. It's more than seeing whether or not they match a check list I have in my head. It really is, ultimately about openness, availability (his and mine) and, ultimately, the ability for both to work toward vulnerability and intimacy.

    Moreover, one has to learn to communicate. People think that just because they can talk they can communicate. Not so. Communication is what relationships are all about and it happens on MANY levels. Way too big a topic to even begin to address. But suffice it to say, good intentions aren't good enough. It takes more, much more.

    Real relationships are a flow of energy that binds people together through time. It can't happen unless we're really ready and open for it to happen, no matter WHERE we live or what the 'gay scene' is doing or not doing.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 06, 2012 9:27 PM GMT
    Estevao said^^^ at least have the decency to read what I wrote before you post your dumb shit here.


    Oh I read it, 20 post. Not my fault you wrote a textbook coolstorybro.
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Dec 07, 2012 3:39 AM GMT
    All the hot Latin men, I'm traveling through Mexico city.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 07, 2012 3:41 AM GMT
    Wonder if hackers can see me through the computer's webcam, and hear my oh my phone when I'm not using it?
  • thatirishbast...

    Posts: 3523

    Dec 07, 2012 3:44 AM GMT
    JR_RJ saidWonder if hackers can see me through the computer's webcam, and hear my oh my phone when I'm not using it?


    Only if they're able to remotely turn it on. If it's not on, then they cannot see you.

    Only if the hacker is Batman. But if Batman is listening in through your phone, you've got bigger problems than how he's doing it.

    batman-tv-series.jpg?w=640
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 07, 2012 3:48 AM GMT
    thatirishbastard said
    JR_RJ saidWonder if hackers can see me through the computer's webcam, and hear my oh my phone when I'm not using it?


    Only if they're able to remotely turn it on. If it's not on, then they cannot see you.

    Only if the hacker is Batman. But if Batman is listening in through your phone, you've got bigger problems than how he's doing it.

    batman-tv-series.jpg?w=640

    Oh my, Batman & Robin? icon_surprised.gif
    tumblr_m3a3jrHlt71qzozj1.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 07, 2012 3:51 AM GMT
    ^^^Seriously, don't know why people would invade my privacy or pretend to... my god, I'm transparent to the point of self defeat. I like to sit back and see how things go, but damn... am I REALLY THAT important, jeez! icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 07, 2012 4:40 AM GMT
    Sounds like a sad story, Estevao. I cannot speak for others, but I do relate on some levels. I find that I have yet to fully integrate into a gay social life. I am just not 100% comfortable with aspects of gay culture that others readily accept. It does distance me sometimes. If I am disconnected from the gay community, how will I find a gay man to share life with? I've had a few boyfriends, but nothing with any semblance of permanence.

    I do realize change comes from within... But at the same time, I wouldn't be me if I changed in a way that would compromise my integrity. I don't want to sound as if I am condemning all of gay culture by any means. I go to clubs and bars and I do hang with friends, but, again, there is this overall disconnect between me and the local gay community.

    Like you, I have found RJ to be a haven expressing some of the best, and the worst, and mostly the best of what gay life has to offer. I have chatted with a ton of great guys on here. The problem is the guys on here are usually hundreds, if not, thousands of miles away. Can't exactly call anyone to hang on a Friday night.

    Point is I hear you. I think the important thing in this situation is to realize nothing worth having comes easy. True happiness takes a lot of work and unwavering dedication. So make a promise to yourself now not to focus on the past (the what ifs and the grand plans made). Adapt. Come up with a new plan and work hard at it. And if that doesn't work, try again. If we stop trying, then we fail 100% of the time. I may sound cliched, but I doubt that makes it an less true.
  • Myles_

    Posts: 114

    Dec 07, 2012 4:42 AM GMT
    Well look at all you mature people...

    I'm sitting at home trying to writing an essay... lol.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Dec 07, 2012 5:25 AM GMT
    Myles_ saidWell look at all you mature people...

    I'm sitting at home trying to writing an essay... lol.

    Copy .... Paste
    new world issues icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 01, 2013 12:35 AM GMT
    What it really comes down too is longing and acceptance. Someone to gove the reciprocation back. In any relationship where that dosent exsist its doomed to fail.

    Don't let yourself settle for less. Don't allowq your self essteem to be an exstention on the lack there of. You gotta first look at your self, and find out what u really want, find other couples with those attributes and model them (positive relationships)

    After all, your worth the relationship,


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 01, 2013 12:46 AM GMT
    Is it me, or are these forum posts getting longer and longer and loooooooooonger......
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 01, 2013 1:14 AM GMT
    huhwhat saidIs it me, or are these forum posts getting longer and longer and loooooooooonger......


    And 20-post never did come back.
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    Feb 01, 2013 1:23 AM GMT
    Narciso said
    huhwhat saidIs it me, or are these forum posts getting longer and longer and loooooooooonger......


    And 20-post never did come back.

    Life is hard when you're a sexy, built canadian with free health coverage.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 01, 2013 1:26 AM GMT
    huhwhat said
    Narciso said
    huhwhat saidIs it me, or are these forum posts getting longer and longer and loooooooooonger......


    And 20-post never did come back.

    Life is hard when you're a sexy, built canadian with free health coverage.


    I've always wondered what having health insurance feels like, but I'm too much of a badass and like living life without a net.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 01, 2013 1:31 AM GMT
    Narciso said
    huhwhat said
    Narciso said
    huhwhat saidIs it me, or are these forum posts getting longer and longer and loooooooooonger......


    And 20-post never did come back.

    Life is hard when you're a sexy, built canadian with free health coverage.


    I've always wondered what having health insurance feels like, but I'm too much of a badass and like living life without a net.

    I have health insurance.... and I'm too afraid to get a strange lump on my back checked out. No worries, though. It's been there for about 6 years now, and if it was something really bad, it would've burst or turned into cancer or something....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 01, 2013 1:34 AM GMT
    huhwhat said
    Narciso said
    huhwhat said
    Narciso said
    huhwhat saidIs it me, or are these forum posts getting longer and longer and loooooooooonger......


    And 20-post never did come back.

    Life is hard when you're a sexy, built canadian with free health coverage.


    I've always wondered what having health insurance feels like, but I'm too much of a badass and like living life without a net.

    I have health insurance.... and I'm too afraid to get a strange lump on my back checked out. No worries, though. It's been there for about 6 years now, and if it was something really bad, it would've burst or turned into cancer or something....



    It's still gestating, waiting for the right moment to burst out through your heart.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 01, 2013 1:36 AM GMT
    Sometimes when I'm in meetings, I run my fingers on that back lump and dream about it slowly eating away into my spine. I should really get it checked out. But all the men in my family die strange deaths before hitting 40. I'd like to be surprised.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 01, 2013 1:38 AM GMT
    "I often feel like I'm a lousy gay. Or at least I must be doing something wrong. I have had only a handful of relationships, each of which ultimately failed. I cling to this idea that I can possibly find an amazing guy who wants the same things I do. Someone to build a relationship with, share incredible experiences with and grow old together. Yet, with each passing day I feel like I am nowhere closer to achieving this. Is this normal?... Have any of you fellas experienced this yourselves?"

    Yes, I did. I decided that this, "The scary part is that when I've tried to put myself out there, I've been hurt."

    Was just the way it was and so incurable, endurable.

    Had I given in to that last sentence I quoted, I would not have met Bill at age 34.

    icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 26, 2013 3:58 AM GMT
    Trying to figure out what I'm going to do for my vacation this week and thinking about what I wanna do on my birthday that's coming upicon_eek.gif.