Why can't male-male relationships ever last? My 2 cents...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 9:40 PM GMT
    Many of us have spent 10, 20, even 30 years trying to find someone else who is gay, sober, healthy, ready to admit he's gay, is able to date, and is sexually compatible. Keeping in mind that gay men in American society - I am talking about exclusively gay, open, gay men, only make up 2% of the male population, I find it a miracle that any of us find anyone at all who will be in our lives more than six months. I rarely see it happen, and with all the internet sites which have made our community even more anonymous, HIV even more transmittable because nobody cares what happens to anyone else; it seems as if the old 'gay relationships never make it past six months' is now six weeks. Then it's off to find a 'new' soulmate.

    We are constantly told that our relationships and relationship styles are similar to heterosexual people. For some gay men, maybe that's true. But heterosexual people have 98% more choices than we do. They don't have the sexual confusion of who does what in the bedroom - for us, that can be a devastating discovery that usually ends the relationship dead in its tracks. Straight people can usually bounce back after a breakup and meet someone new pretty quickly. For a lot of us it might be another 5-10 years before we find that connection again. There are so few of us out there, our chances of finding a connection that is so intense: spiritually, sexually, emotionally - that is what I call a true soulmate - and that takes time. It doesn't happen in three days. It's months of getting to know someone. It's going through all four seasons and four more seasons - it's dealing with being bored out of your mind with the guy but also giving him the benefit of the doubt. It's knowing that some of us are going to get very sick during our lifetimes and loving someone so much that you wouldn't dare walk away from them because their lives are in crisis. Our parents, brothers, sisters, etc are going to die someday and we will be at our worst emotionally. Typically (with two men) this is when one guy checks out of the relationship and never calls, writes or comes back again. This is what has crippled most male-male relationships.

    Almost every one of us has never learned how to DATE - because between those years (14-24) that our straight peers were learning those social skills, we were either praying to God that 'this gay thing' would go away, or we were stuffing it - doing whatever we could so that nobody else would know. Of course, many of us were out, but that's not the point. Because so many were not out, and so many were in denial, it did no good for those of us who were out because it made our choices for dating even fewer. What good is it to be out of the closet if you can't date, experiment with sex, or even have a civil discussion with other gay people? I often wonder if, for many of us, coming out was a waste. We did all that self-improvement, we told the truth, we worked so hard on ourselves in order to achieve honesty in our lives only to not find anyone at the end of this 'rainbow'.

    We rarely find soulmates as gay men because we expect too much out of a group of men who've been emotionally traumatized from the moment they learned there was 'something wrong' with them - from all those times they were told 'all fags should be lined up and shot', from the moment they heard all those horrible lies about us during their adolescent years - how do you not take all that misinformation in without it affecting your relationships and mental health as adults? The lack of social skills that so many of us have - even in 2009, not many of us know what do with each other unless we aren't sober. Instead of the bars, we hide at home with the door locked and hang out on line. We could go out and meet the guys from this site or any other one, but look at all those years we missed out on how to have a continual, healthy social relationship with other gay men - 95% of the time our dealings with other gay men happen once, we never even know his name, and there is an unspoken rule that we never acknowledge each other in public again.

    I don't want to be all doom and gloom, but it seems that every discussion about gay relationships tosses out the millions of gay men who are still stuck at 'how do I find another gay guy to go on a second date with?'. For the lucky few who have the 'soulmate' or 'what to do with this relationship' problem, there are millions of gay men who can't even look in the mirror and say the words to themselves.

    Why should you care? Because these are the men who are anonymously having sex without condoms. They are making the rest of us sick. They don't care what happens to us because to them, we are people without a face, without a voice, and people who nobody cares about anyways if we can't even care about each other. I believe that relationships between gay men can work, but in order for that to happen we have to start telling the truth as we see it - and as it really is - rather than
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 10:06 PM GMT
    On Saturday we'll be congratulating a gay couple on their 27th anniversary. Got together in their early 30s, the age you are about now.

    I simply don't know know the rate of gay couples with that kind of longevity, but I know a few others, and it exists. My unscientific subjective observation is that gay relationship longevity is indeed lower than straight longevity, however.

    But that wouldn't surprise me if true, since most gays don't have the binding hold of legal marriage, which requires a legal divorce to undo. Nor are there typically any dependent children to consider, when a couple is contemplating a break-up.

    Gay couples are freer to split, and I believe they do in fact break up more easily and more often than their straight counterparts. But if straight marriage didn't exist, along with the responsibility of having children, I suspect the comparative rates for straights would be much more similar.

    Not to mention that the "wanderer" in most marital infidelities is the man. So put 2 men together as partners, and wouldn't the chances of infidelity be doubled?

    Well, weak logic and terrible science, I suppose. I think your problem may not merely be the well-known frailties of gay men, but the far-off failings of Duluth, Minnesota. Where I've been many times (used to rappel down the sheer 200-foot cliffs at Split Rock Lighthouse north of the city, and camp at Gooseberry Falls).

    Your view of the gay world might improve if you saw more of the world overall. Imperfect, I would agree, but perhaps not so negative & grim as you portray it. Certainly hasn't been for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 10:27 PM GMT
    i agree with u i'm in that exact same mood where it feels like i'll never find another GUY that i can have the type of bond i share with sum of my best friends. Thats what any good relationship should b based on and it seems like every gay guy ive met is so confused and out of their minds.
  • Sebastian18

    Posts: 255

    Feb 09, 2009 11:02 PM GMT
    I feel that the topic of monogamy, both sexual and marital, in our society is a very problematic issue that really reaches deep into our cultural and social infrastructure and deserves special consideration when examining same-sex relationships over time. Personally, I feel that our society has out-grown the need that monogamy served in the past when it was needed to secure the fundamental dominance of a particular tribe/group/people over others and increase agricultural and economic output. Even then, I feel that monogamy as a construct is something that is largely synthetic to humans, although in culture specific situations it may serve a valuable purpose – primarily for heterosexual men and women, but also in some instances where it may be a rational choice made to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections within a small sub-set of society, particularly among LGBTQ’s.

    Socially though, among other animals, social monogamy is relatively rare and sexual monogamy among mammals only occurs 7% of the time. Since we have largely outgrown the need as a society to reproduce in order to obtain psycho/socio/economic dominance it really seems to me, especially in the case of lesbian and gay men who lack the biological ability to reproduce with one another, that we should look at alternatives to the problem of finding our “soul-mate” or idealized sexual partner - which I feel is highly unrealistic – and examine (safe) alternatives to monogamous sexual and social pairing by analyzing other cultures where it is less common and perhaps come up with our own alternative.

    Personally, being bound within a particular culture, about 75% of my sexual relationships have been monogamous to one degree or another. The rest have entailed the usual one-night stand, polyamory or “open-relationship” styles. I personally find that the latter make more sense to me in that they allow me a social context in which to emotionally and socially connect with other people and, if it ever happens, have the availability of one or more sexual encounters. In my opinion sex doesn’t need to be rationalized beyond fulfilling a specific biological need, love on the other hand is an entirely different matter which would possibly deserve a new post all on its own and even then doesn’t necessarily imply the need for sexual congress. I guess, in short, I’m in the camp of Love ≠ Sex.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 11:09 PM GMT
    I think I can chalk up most of the relationship problems experienced by gay men to a combination of poor communication, mismanaged expectations, mental illness, and general immaturity.

    You see screwed up relationships in heterosexual couples that are amazingly similar to situations you see in gay couples and it's all for the same reasons.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 11:13 PM GMT
    Red Vespa says that marriage between straights tend to last longer than two people co-habiting. I agree. Figures given through the Media suggest that among straights, twice as many co-habitees break up than those who are married.
    But among gays, holding a relationship between two males is even more difficult, because the male gender is generally the hunter while the female is usually the hunted. Each male is programmed from conception to be the head of the home and to be the breadwinner and provider for the family, despite the objections femminists may throw at this. Therefore in a gay male to male relationship, I think, there is competition for the role, even if either of the two partners are aware of it or not.
    Red Vespa does give a testimony of male to male relationships lasting for many years. But because of who we are - hunters - this tend to be the exception rather than the rule.
    In the UK, the number of married couples is now becoming a minority, for the first time in known history. Personally, I believe that this is caused by the rise of "Women's Lib" where far more females are now attending University and other higher education institutes, and have become much more independant. As a male myself, I believe that the role of breadwinner has been robbed from us, resulting in quicker breakups and divorces, and a population growth of singles living on their own, both male and female, gay and straight.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 11:14 PM GMT
    But I've been in a long-term, loving and passionate relationship for over 13 years now. And I don't even have tricks on the side. That is, until ZiMsTeR and I finally meet.

    ZiMsTeR ... you ... complete me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 11:18 PM GMT
    Sebastian18 saidI feel that the topic of monogamy, both sexual and marital, in our society is a very problematic issue that really reaches deep into our cultural and social infrastructure and deserves special consideration when examining same-sex relationships over time. Personally, I feel that our society has out-grown the need that monogamy served in the past when it was needed to secure the fundamental dominance of a particular tribe/group/people over others and increase agricultural and economic output. Even then, I feel that monogamy as a construct is something that is largely synthetic to humans, although in culture specific situations it may serve a valuable purpose – primarily for heterosexual men and women, but also in some instances where it may be a rational choice made to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections within a small sub-set of society, particularly among LGBTQ’s.

    Socially though, among other animals, social monogamy is relatively rare and sexual monogamy among mammals only occurs 7% of the time. Since we have largely outgrown the need as a society to reproduce in order to obtain psycho/socio/economic dominance it really seems to me, especially in the case of lesbian and gay men who lack the biological ability to reproduce with one another, that we should look at alternatives to the problem of finding our “soul-mate” or idealized sexual partner - which I feel is highly unrealistic – and examine (safe) alternatives to monogamous sexual and social pairing by analyzing other cultures where it is less common and perhaps come up with our own alternative.

    Personally, being bound within a particular culture, about 75% of my sexual relationships have been monogamous to one degree or another. The rest have entailed the usual one-night stand, polyamory or “open-relationship” styles. I personally find that the latter make more sense to me in that they allow me a social context in which to emotionally and socially connect with other people and, if it ever happens, have the availability of one or more sexual encounters. In my opinion sex doesn’t need to be rationalized beyond fulfilling a specific biological need, love on the other hand is an entirely different matter which would possibly deserve a new post all on its own and even then doesn’t necessarily imply the need for sexual congress. I guess, in short, I’m in the camp of Love ≠ Sex.


    Is Mr. Spock your father?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 11:19 PM GMT
    Life is extremely short and it is brutal. It is easy enough to allow ourselves to participate in a long drama that plays out like a Greek tragedy where we end up alone and howling at the moon. If we let straight people define our lives and our relationships then they will happily do so. Then each of us will end as decomposing matter under the dirt without ever having tasted the joy of this life.

    Well no, I don't accept that. Destiny doesn't play the odds, rather it gives us simple choices. We either walk towards happiness or run in the other direction forever blaming them for our own failure to claim what is already ours. My love requires no ones permission and my finding love is neither a probability nor a statistical anomaly.

    Exactly what am I going to do today, with the next five minutes, this is the relevant question. Will I wallow in misery or make myself happy? Will I sit by while my own attention span is whittled down like some dog chewing on a stick, or will I stop and listen to who and what I actually am.

    Being purely pragmatic, the miserable are neither sexy nor attractive. No one wants to be with a downer (unless they happen to be terminally fucked up). Many of us work through depression and we go on to do things that are worthwhile with people that are worthwhile.

    "Many of us have spent 10, 20, even 30 years trying to find someone else who is gay, sober, healthy, ready to admit he's gay, is able to date, and is sexually compatible." Put away the checklist. It isn't helping. I suppose what I want is someone with whom to share my life not a mirror or some inflatable Deepak Chopra mannequin.

    There is no way to manipulate a man into materializing in our lives. Cause and effect simply doesn't work that way. The only rational thing to do is work on being happy and available. Happy and available is attractive, negative with long checklists is unattractive. You want to attract a man well then act like a man. If you want to attract some drug addicted loser that is, well, easier.

    One thing I try to remember is that no one gives a fuck if I am happy. That, by the way, includes my partner (we will celebrate our tenth anniversary in 3 weeks). Even my partner wants to be with me because I am happy not because it is his job to make me happy or patch some hole in my life.

    Envy sucks, and there is nothing on the face of this planet dumber to envy than the institution of heterosexual marriage. Yes, I am exorcised about the situation of marital rights in our nation and in the world. Yes, I sent the Ken Starr video out to all of my friends today. HOWEVER, I don't have time to base my happiness on the presence or absence of justice. I need to be happy right now. Tomorrow, maybe later today I will be dead.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 11:22 PM GMT
    Tapper saidBut I've been in a long-term, loving and passionate relationship for over 13 years now. And I don't even have tricks on the side.


    You´re my hero icon_biggrin.gif

    Keep working on it!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 09, 2009 11:24 PM GMT
    this is a bunch of horse shit. i didnt even read it. you cant find someone cuz either your not meant to be or your not lookin in the right place. us as gay men are nothing different from heterosexual relationships. we all go out to bars and clubs and wine tastings and dinners and the park, movies, the mall. ect you can find an acceptable person anywhere.

    personally i hate when gay guys bitch about how hard it is to be gay, and that we cant find partners. GET THE FUCK OVER IT. if you dont like it fuck a pussy? oh you cant? you dont like it? then quit bitching. maybe your not meant to be with anyone. accept the fact that you might not find exactly what your looking for and just live your OWN life and quit trying to find someone to complete theirs. str8 couples go through the exact same thing we do. is the rules and regulations of relationships different when it comes to gays and str8s? as far as i thought....i figured it was meet, date, relationship, engagement, marraige. not meet, fuck, married.

    so quit opening you cheeks and open your eyes and ears.

    icon_cool.gif btw..i was in a bad mood when i started writing this and topic starters choice of rant just hit me the wrong way. but i feel better....Thanks
  • Sebastian18

    Posts: 255

    Feb 10, 2009 12:07 AM GMT
    Tapper said
    Is Mr. Spock your father?


    Umm... I'm pretty sure I'm more closely related to Freud than Spock, but I'm willing to go along with it. icon_wink.gif

    I'm just saying, people exist within a given culture and a given society and the vast majority of our opinions, values and actions are influenced by that society for better or for worse. How we communicate and how we interact varies from one society to another and in a world that is rapidly changing, given technology, communication and ease/ability to travel; it doesn't make much sense to me to go along with a status-quo which is largely outmoded and seems to result in the disappointment or disaffection of so many people regardless of orientation.

    While my perspective may seem more calculated than what I've observed as the "go with the flow" norm of "falling in love" meeting "Mr./Ms. Right" etc. It's based on the simple premise that we cannot remove ourselves entirely from our animal natures and instead of suppressing them which has led to a number of social ills, we might benefit from constructively channeling that drive and challenging our paradigm.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 10, 2009 12:30 AM GMT
    A lot of people think they want a relationship when they actually don't. They just don't realize it.

    Some others want the perfect guy. There is no perfect guy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 10, 2009 12:46 AM GMT
    Duluth, somebody needs to give you a big hug and make you see the world isn't as bleak as you see it now. Many of us have stable, reasonably happy relationships that have lasted for years or decades. Are they beds of roses? No, they're daily exercises in the arts of tolerance, patience, and compromise. But if that's what you want it's out there for the finding. Alternatively, many of us live happy, fulfilling lives as single people. As others have pointed out, you don't need another person to complete who you are, but if you're a complete person others will be attracted to you.

    This is the only life you're going to get, so try to enjoy playing the hand you've been dealt.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 10, 2009 12:54 AM GMT
    Next month I celebrate my 10 anniversary with my Russian husband, and in April, I celebrate my 20th anniversary with my American husband. So happy together.

    I don't know why, but sometimes I smile when some-one is having trouble keeping one relationship alive and going.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 10, 2009 12:59 AM GMT
    thay can if the people want it too thay just dont try to work things out its easy for them to mess around on there mates
  • metta

    Posts: 39099

    Feb 10, 2009 1:22 AM GMT
    Duluth has made some excellent points. It is difficult to find someone to have a relationship with. Our values are all so different. There are so many issues, including there being such a huge percentage of gay men seem to push that open relationships or hookups is the only way to go. Well, I have to tell you that just does not work for everyone. Yes, there are many gay couples that are in happy monogamous long term relationships, but I don't see any where where Duluth denied that. The odds really don't look good if you fall outside what many gay people tell you how you should be as a gay man.

    On another board, someone recently recommended a web site that worked for him rather quickly. I signed up for it to check it out and I think that they may have done a better job to help people find someone with similar values, assuming they are being honest. I have not been on it long enough to test it out but it looks interesting. Try it out and see how it works for you. The site is free: http://www.okcupid.com

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 10, 2009 1:24 AM GMT
    TexDef07 saidDuluth, somebody needs to give you a big hug and make you see the world isn't as bleak as you see it now. Many of us have stable, reasonably happy relationships that have lasted for years or decades. Are they beds of roses? No, they're daily exercises in the arts of tolerance, patience, and compromise. But if that's what you want it's out there for the finding. Alternatively, many of us live happy, fulfilling lives as single people. As others have pointed out, you don't need another person to complete who you are, but if you're a complete person others will be attracted to you.

    This is the only life you're going to get, so try to enjoy playing the hand you've been dealt.


    I agree with everything Tex said. I also agree with Duluth that the odds for LTRs among gay men are worse than for straight men. But so many gay men in LTRs have had the same odds against them and beaten them that Duluths generalizations are just stupid. If relationaship is what you want, you can't while away the time behind the PC, but have to put yourself out there and if you've exhausted the dating pool in MN, move on to another and/or bigger pool. But as mentioned before, if you want to have a happy relationship, you need to be a happy single first.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Feb 10, 2009 1:38 AM GMT
    Jeez guys...such a "woe is me" attitude about gay relationships. Bottom-line, you get what you expect. And you attract what you are. I love the line "to be loved like you never been loved, you have to love like you've never loved."

    I'm not Polyanna here. Finding a soulmate is not easy. And there are certainly plenty of fakes and flakes out there (particularly online) which muddies the waters. But there are lots of great guys too...both types - the good and the bad - are in abundance on this site or anywhere else.

    I ended a long-term 15 year monogamous relationship last year. It was my choice. So I know that you can have a loving long-term relationship as a gay man. And I have no doubt that I will find another soulmate. You can do the same. It's a choice...but it requires action on our part to make it happen.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 10, 2009 3:05 PM GMT
    flex89 saidI think I can chalk up most of the relationship problems experienced by gay men to a combination of poor communication, mismanaged expectations, mental illness, and general immaturity.

    You see screwed up relationships in heterosexual couples that are amazingly similar to situations you see in gay couples and it's all for the same reasons.


    I agree 100% with the added proviso, that until recently gay men were very much a despised minority that put added pressure on their relationships that straights didn't necessarily have.

    Gay men are not THAT special or different from their straight counterparts.
  • MikePhilPerez

    Posts: 4357

    Feb 10, 2009 3:15 PM GMT
    flex89 saidI think I can chalk up most of the relationship problems experienced by gay men to a combination of poor communication, mismanaged expectations, mental illness, and general immaturity.


    But I'm mentally ill (right?) and my relationship has lasted and continues to last icon_confused.gif
  • gsh1964

    Posts: 388

    Feb 10, 2009 3:18 PM GMT
    Bitter..... party of one!

    Sorry, but I think that everything you stated is an issue in the str8 world too. I have a couple of str8 girlfriends who have been without a guys for several years.

    So what that we are all screwed up or scared somehow. If you find the right one, it will work out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 10, 2009 3:24 PM GMT

    "so as far as i can tell, long term relationships are not at all dependent upon sexual orientation, but about how we orient ourselves to each other."

    *Doug gives animanimus a grin and wink* Excellently insightful.


    DuluthMN you seem to know some amazingly happy straight people. Many of those we know have the same troubles you're describing about gay relationships. The straight divorce rate is staggering.

    Here's some Canadian stuff where gay marriage is legal.

    in 2004 about 140,000 straight marriages took place and in that same year there were about 60,000 divorces.

    Since gay marriage was introduced several years ago, there have been about 10,000 in Canada and 2 divorces. So far so good, and time will tell. When more gays start marrying the divorce rate may go up.

    It would appear that settling for too much less gets higher divorce rates.
    It would also appear that having high standards means fewer possibilites and more short-lived relationships. Quite frankly it's better, though painful, to go through short-term relationships and break-ups than be in a co-dependent one where each person hates the other but can't exist without them.


    We're happily together (monogamous) 20 years this coming November...Drawbacks? Yeah, because when you're happy times flies and sometimes it feels like we met only a short time ago - that parts nice, but in a blink, we're suddenly OLD! heheheheh

    -us guys




  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 10, 2009 3:34 PM GMT
    I'm constantly amazed when two gay guys find each other for a LTR. People always tell me I'm too picky and I probably am. However, it's harder to be picky when you're a gay man. If gay people are 10% of the population, a picky straight man at least has 45% of the population to work with(half of 90%). A picky gay man only has 5% of the population(counting lesbians). I don't demand perfection(though a lot of gay guys do), I'm just particular in what I'm attracted to both physically and mentally. To find a gay guy is difficult. To find a gay guy who I'm attracted to both physically and mentally is even more difficult. To find a gay guy who I'm attracted to both physically and mentally who is also attracted to ME is almost impossible. Hence, I lamentably remain single and may always remain single. I both envy and and am happy for two gay guys who find each other for a LTR.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 10, 2009 3:41 PM GMT
    I tend to agree that although there are some differences, gay dating/relationships aren't really all that different from straight ones. As many have posted here, there are many straight people that have trouble finding partners or a relationship that will last.

    My partner and I have been together for 8.5 years and I'm certain we'll be together for the rest of our lives. I think there possibly may be more gay couples out there than we know of simply because we don't have visibility to many of them.