"No thanks," or "What I'm afraid of"...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 16, 2007 12:39 PM GMT
    Fear might not be the best way of putting this.

    On this site there is the odd post or message about relationships and what one is looking for. It's easy to think that there is some guy out there who is going to make you happy and fulfill your dreams. I don't buy it.

    But I thought it would be interesting to list why not to have a relationship, specifically what you think is a good reason to not be in one (even if you are).

    Like what would make it not worth it. It's easy to think of why a relationship would make one happy, or why another person would, but the question is:

    how would another person be unhelpful for your happiness? What do you fear from relationship?




    (Okay, I know there are many awesome relationships out there. So please for the sake of this thread, do not tell us how wonderful yours is and how you can't think of an answer to this question. On the other hand this is NOT about relationship bashing. It's merely an exercise to reveal how each of us may be thinking about love and romance.)
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    Sep 16, 2007 12:53 PM GMT
    First of all, to get my perspective read my profile, especially the part about what I'm looking for.

    I was thinking about this question as I was exploring what it is I really want from life. I began to think through all my past relationships and saw a common thread.

    I am afraid of the mundane.

    I'm don't want someone to hold me back, that settling down is settling. I want to settle down, long for it, and know that is where it is possible to cultivate a rich life in the fertile ground of the ordinary. But my ordinary looks very different from many I have meet.

    Two of my ex's said I exhausted them. Not cause I talk too much or am ADD, but because I could not sit still in life. I have never lived in one place longer than 3 years, literally since day one. I'm used to being a nomad and love it. I've been running away from home since I was 2, sometimes for days on end. I just want to go out and see the world.

    So, I have had a few relationships or just people question my ideas and dreams in not so helpful ways. It is one thing to do a reality check, another thing to shut down dreams or ideas for living and happiness. Reality checks are for testing the waters and seeing how something can be achieved, not for blowing ideas out of the water.

    That's all to say that on a conceptual level I am not interested in letting someone into my life who is not so adventurous and is stressed by the life I lead.

    I enjoy the anchoring that close friends and a lover brings, but the anchor can't be tied to a noose.

    I hope this is clear-ish.
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    Sep 16, 2007 3:32 PM GMT
    "I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
    And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 16, 2007 6:00 PM GMT
    It seems a little bit like eating only one meal - say, steak and potatoes - forever. Even if you really, really enjoy steak and potatoes, can you live on nothing else?
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    Sep 16, 2007 11:59 PM GMT
    It sounds like you have an aversion to stillness/boredom. Of course I could say much about real "stillness" but that would be its own forum.

    I think there are two base human desires that are at odds here. The desire for freedom, and the desire not to be alone (perhaps the same as security).

    When you have a certain image of freedom the idea of a relationship can seem like a jail sentence. Of course that would all depend on who you were paired with.

    On the other hand, most people really fear being alone. In reality "solitary confinement" can be a form or torture or punishment that is used around the world.

    I feel like what I get out of relationship is a kind of practical use. It is simply good to have someone that can help you when you falter (illness, support, etc) and vice versa. As you get older this may become more apparent. There are other physical aspects of pleasure which we are biologically programmed to seek out. Of course there is love, and a whole range of emotions that being in a relationship can be useful for. So in that sense being in a relationship is like being in a laboratory.

    I think by the way humans like other creatures are "programmed" to seek out relationship. The nature of our existence is that it takes two humans to make another. Whether you are actually reproducing or not is irrelevant because that desire is still there. The fear of being alone can cause us to rush into things without much thought. So we are in a natural cycle that pushes humanity forward as a collective.

    The Tao gives birth to One.
    One gives birth to Two.
    Two gives birth to Three.
    Three gives birth to all things.

    All things have their backs to the female
    and stand facing the male.
    When male and female combine,
    all things achieve harmony.

    Ordinary men hate solitude.
    But the Master makes use of it,
    embracing his aloneness, realizing
    he is one with the whole universe. (Tao Te Ching 42)


    That may sound like a whole lot of nothing to some, but the point is that we exist as individuals and a collective and we have to explore both even though in someways they are the same. It may be that your needs are more in one area than another. Everyone needs balance, but my balance may not be your balance, so it all comes down to what you feel you need. You can use relationship and you can use solitude, they are both tools for growth and you may need to use them both in varying degrees at different times.

    The secret of your happiness is that only you know it.
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    Sep 17, 2007 12:18 AM GMT
    ActiveFit, thanks for responding intelligently and wisely to my specific reason, but I am not trying to air my stupidity or shallow-mindedness (this is not supposed to be about me).

    I was simply posting a possible reason I came up with to not be in a relationship. It's sort of a two dimensional response to the question I posed. Like Mindgarden's excellent response.

    Again, the idea is to list something that might cause you to rethink why you would be in a relationship. The reason is because it might be a helpful exercise to explore what you want from life, what you suspect makes you happy, by looking at what does not or possible cannot.

    I believe that we should all be conscious of what makes up our happiness so we may be more skilled at pursuing it for ourselves and possibly sharing it with others.

    As gay people we have a more of a challenge as we rail against the "norm" perhaps. So we have a call and destiny, if you will, to live life more awake, to be aware of what makes us happy, and to then be an example of this to other both gay and straight.

    That's just my perspective and why I ask asinine questions like this.
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    Sep 17, 2007 12:21 AM GMT
    TT - John Fucking Masefield?

    I think I prefer George Chapman:

    "Give me a spirit that on this life’s rough sea
    Loves t’ have his sails fill’d with a lusty wind,
    Even till his sail-yards tremble, his masts crack,
    And his rapt ship run on her side so low
    That she drinks water, and her keel plows air."
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    Sep 17, 2007 12:34 AM GMT
    I can understand your dilema in that too many gays guys are dellusional about creating a 1950's sitcom marriage minus the female mom; all morality and conventionality intake. They even use Christian right wing values to support their one-man-for- life type lifestyle. They go so far as to create homes decorated like mom's and even buy kids to fill it.

    I don't believe a gay lifestyle can be a conventional one. There is no reason it should be. I don't believe gay people should even want to co-op the term marriage. Gay living is unique. Have the balls to define it for yourself.
  • qalbi30

    Posts: 116

    Sep 17, 2007 12:55 AM GMT
    What a splendid reply Active and Fit,it was a pleasure to read.

    Apollo you appear to have answered your question in your last two sentences.

    Am in total agreement with the last writer,we should not try to mimic the strait way of life but find our own.

    P.S.love these forums and the exchange of ideas.

    Regards R.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 17, 2007 2:41 AM GMT
    As far as the original point: while I'd like to be in a relationship right now, I'm not. And there are plenty of reasons to not be in a relationship:

    Not having met the right guy
    Not having the time to devote to a relationship
    Knowing that you'd resent having to compromise what it is you want to do with your time
    Still wanting to sow more wild oats
    Belief that the concept of monogamy is unworkable
    Expecting to move soon and not wanting something long distance
    Boredom with routine

    But I have to say...wanting to have one guy for the rest of your life, live in the suburbs, and have kids doesn't mean that you aren't defining what you want out of life. For some of us, that *is* what we want.

    I'm all for people making their own choices in life, and living with the consequences of them. And I in no way feel that what is right for me is necessarily right for everyone. But just as I wouldn't presume to tell other people that it's wrong of them to not want they want, I would expect other people to acknowledge that I may make these choices not out of some blind adherence to an outdated cultural norm, but after reasoned consideration of my own desires. It's the same way a woman can be a feminist and still choose to be a stay at home mother--the important thing isn't working outside the home, but having a choice in the matter.
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    Sep 17, 2007 3:58 AM GMT
    To answer your original question asking for reasons not to be in a relationship - I fear not being true to what I want and giving up what I want for the sake of the other person.

    It would be great, if, learning from my last relationship (a 12 year-long, and my only really significant one) I could just stay really grounded in who I am and if someone happens to jog along the same path as me out of their own desire to be there, then great.
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    Sep 17, 2007 4:33 AM GMT
    MadAplloAgain, the idea is to list something that might cause you to rethink why you would be in a relationship.


    Actually my response was supposed to be very general . That is I am pointing out reasons why humans seek out relationship.

    The reason why you might not enter a relationship would be the reason others do. We are programmed to enter into relationship, and we are afraid of being alone. So if you enter into a relationship for the wrong reasons, before you really know yourself, you may end up becoming a person that others expect you to be and not who you really are or want to be.

    The last part of the post was about the usefulness of solitude, and points out that all that you feel (happiness included) is in your own head so only you can really define it for yourself.
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    Sep 17, 2007 4:46 AM GMT
    I'm one of those people who has never managed NOT to be in a relationship. Since I was 18, I've only had two years that I was without a mate. I get in a relationship and won't leave until they pry the ring from my finger.

    My principal complaint has always been fundamentally the same as yours Madapollo -- the imposition of conventionality. I think I actually got convinced I needed to have that or I'd go completely off the deep end. (I recall my mother telling my ex-wife that she was the only thing that stood between me and a life of complete weirdness!) I passed over some pretty remarkable opportunities in order not to rock my more conventional mates' boats.

    That changed after my last partner, when my two years of being single occurred and I became very happily free. Then, almost 15 years ago, I met my current partner, who is as independent-minded and adventurous as I am.

    For me, a loving, lasting relationship goes way beyond romantic idealism. I had to scrap that to find real pleasure with another person. The only thing that would make me want to be single again is a loss of the freedom that unconditional love accords.
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    Sep 17, 2007 4:59 AM GMT
    Companionship, encouragement and love. That's what I hope to find in a relationship. Too many people act in ways they THINK they should, instead of placing trust in their gut. Somewhere along the line, gay guys thought it was possible for 2 guys to behave as man/wife, so a great many of them choose the nagging schoolgirl method instead the best friend/confidante route. The gay male spirit requires dynamics not available in a traditional male/female bond, and the drama queen thing grows tiresome.

    True happiness can be very elusive, or it can be extremely basic. Just depends on your perspective. I just want a best friend, and I'll let the sex part take care of itself. Nobody is perfect.
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    Sep 17, 2007 5:04 AM GMT
    Tofustud: Is that your baptism picture?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 17, 2007 12:20 PM GMT
    Fer cryin' out loud, OW, he's a Tofustud. Everyone knows that tofu has to be kept in water.
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    Sep 17, 2007 12:34 PM GMT
    ParadoxFer cryin' out loud, OW, he's a Tofustud. Everyone knows that tofu has to be kept in water.


    Ohhhhhhh. So you can't eat the head part?
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Sep 17, 2007 12:55 PM GMT
    After my ex left me , life is a little bit lonely and empty. Really I am desperate to find somebody to share my life with and to fall in love again. I dont mean sex, I can get it pretty easily. Just go to some gay sauna and expose myself. But a real partner, somebody I can share my trouble, happiness and build our future together. I am tired of one night stand , sleeping with stranger and keep repeating the same routine every weekend. I have all kinda of fantasy and sexual fetish I plan to do with him (and him alone).

    If I find him , this time I not gonna be afaid or saying no. I just gonna follow my heart and go for it.
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    Sep 17, 2007 1:46 PM GMT
    zak, i love reading your candid entries. i feel i can hear your voice. long may you post!
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    Sep 17, 2007 2:49 PM GMT
    I've been working at this for a while. I'm now 2 years single and I'm actually enjoying it. I'm at the "meeting guys" stage, but not really into dating yet.

    A great question that someone posed to me was:

    [quote][When you're with this person, are you more yourself than when you're apart? If you are less of yourself, then this isn't the relationship for you.[/quote]

    I've been starting to really find out more of who I am, and this is a good guidepost for me. I need to be more of who I am, and then have whoever comes into my life support that, instead of me trying to be someone else.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Sep 17, 2007 2:53 PM GMT
    I was single most of my early 20s, because I wasn't sure exactly who I wanted to date or settle down with. I don't think it's a bad thing to be single, it just requires some self confidence...going out alone, or knowing you will be able to find a date when you want company...
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Sep 17, 2007 3:19 PM GMT
    Well relationships aren't easy and you do have to compromise to make them work.

    I'm in a relationship, and loving it. But that doesn't mean I don't miss the things I did as a single guy and resent having to do things I'm not totally into.

    I think relationships are about responsibility and putting another person before yourself. Sometimes I feel I lose my identity a little becoming part of a couple, but I view this as maturing.

    There's a lot of pros and cons to being single, and being in a relationship. Different things work for different people. Enjoy who you are and don't sweat it if you don't want/have a relationship.

    Lozx
  • OutOfEden

    Posts: 100

    Sep 17, 2007 3:44 PM GMT
    Hmm, we seem so deep on this thread, but since the original request was excuses to not be in a relationship, here are some of mine.

    "I'm still in school, I can't provide (financially) for a partner like I would want to"

    "All those little boys are way too immature for me"

    "I'm not in the shape I want to be in to really impress someone."

    "That guy is really into me but I just can't imagine him along with me on all the great things I'm going to do with my life."

    "He's so flawed / broken / damaged and I can't spend my time fixing his issues"

    "I have so much more fun not having to answer to someone or consider how my actions affect his feelings so I'm glad I don't have a boyfriend."

    "He's so amazing but I'm not ready to tell my parents and there's no way we could keep this quiet"

    Even though all these things run through my head regularly, it really is just excuses that are trying to mask fear and foolishness. Ironically, it is so easy to meet someone and hookup that I think I don't learn to cope with relationship and personality issues because I don't have to in order to receive sex. Then I bemoan the lack of dateable guys but really have no real concept of how to work out a great relationship because it hasn't been necessary. I guess you can add to it all the sad stories I've heard from guys who have been in 2, 3, 7, 14 year partnerships and then ended it and are so despondent, it would be easier if you'd seen them when they're happy, but at least in my area when a couple is happy together they aren't out at bars and parties and sporting events because they aren't looking to meet more guys, so we don't get that perspective.
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    Sep 17, 2007 5:52 PM GMT
    Buminman stated "I can understand your dilemma[sic] in that too many gays guys are dellusional [sic]about creating a 1950's sitcom marriage minus the female mom; all morality and conventionality intake. They even use Christian right wing values to support their one-man-for- life type lifestyle. They go so far as to create homes decorated like mom's and even buy kids to fill it.

    I don't believe a gay lifestyle can be a conventional one. There is no reason it should be. I don't believe gay people should even want to co-op the term marriage. Gay living is unique. Have the balls to define it for yourself. "

    Wow - what a generalization.

    Why do so many gays believe that you have to choose one or the other. Isn’t the entire point of the exercise the FREEDOM to be the way you wish to be, to live the kind of life you want?

    Since when were morality and Christian values the exclusive province of either the ‘right wing’ or of the straights? I have wanted to meet the people who ceded those values to them for quite a while (I want to deck them).

    As for a “one-man-for- life type lifestyle”; Yes – I think I will happily cop to that one. I think it is ridiculous to think that you can be that intimate and sharing with multiple partners while trying to build something mutually fulfilling.
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    Sep 18, 2007 10:00 PM GMT
    Having unconventional lifestyles is not the sole prerogative of gay men. There are tons of examples of straight people leading such lifestyles, especially talented artists, writers, you name it... (Van Gogh, Proust, Einstein come to mind). One can argue that the people who had the most unconventional lifestyles tend to be troubled and unhappy. On the other hand, coming out for us gays is already an unconventional act. Although historians say that Paul Gauguin was unhappy, his escape to a native Tahitian lifestyle was inspirational to a lot of people. I think everyone needs to find his own balance between conventional and unconventional in order to achieve happiness, not just for the sake of being "different".

    Back to OP's question regarding conventional relationships: if you're able to form close bonds with many people without being frustrated by possessiveness and insecurity, I think it's a very enlightened lifestyle. If you're fine with forming very light bonds with people, I think you're missing out on a lot of intimate communication that happen within relationships, communication that is highly rewarding, makes one feel secure and helps one grow. There are certainly lots of people like this, I know many in the outdoor adventures circles. These guys are completely independent, content with little interaction with other people, often surviving in the wilderness for weeks or months. If they die of accidents in the wilderness nobody would know until long after. They live life to enjoy the challenge of solo adventures.

    So don't be apologetic about what makes you happy. Instead of feeling afraid of being tied down by relationships, seek out others with the same adventurous spirit who could be partners in crime. Negotiate the space between each other so that each can pursue his dreams while lending support to one another.