No Gay Left Behind.....

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    Mar 19, 2009 2:43 AM GMT
    I apologize in advance for this thread and long post. I have been deeply bothered and don't know what to do. So I figured I'd turn to my good friends on RJ for some insight.

    First, I'm 23 years old and from Texas. Not very liberal to say the least. So growing up gay was tough. Nobody was aware of my sexuality until I was 22 years old when somebody outed me to my friends, neighbors and my work (they called up there pretending to be a parent saying I was talking to their 15 son on a gay webssite....yeah, right.). He did all this after finding my profile on gay.com. So ever since that happened, I realized that it was a battle I was bound to lose and now I just admit it when people ask and thankfully nobody has treated me different.

    All that to say that now that people know, I want to date. I'm 23 and have never dated....not even a girl. I'm not a virgin and have rolled in the hay with guys before, but I realized very quickly that most are just after a nut. And after playing the role of a postage stamp one too many times (lick me stick me and send me on my way), I wised up.

    The Problem: I've never dated. Most people that are 23 have dated many and some are even married with kids. My parents for example married at 22 and I was born when they were 23. I don't even know where to begin. I feel so left behind. I'm in a position that most 16 year-olds are. What do I do? What do I say? What if it's awkward? Will he like me? What do I wear? Where do I go? These are questions I don't know the answer to! Where do I begin?

    Problem #2: I've been talking with a guy online for a long time. I like him so very much. We've talked on the phone a lot. He's expressed interest in me multiple times and has told me repeatedly how much he likes me. Well Feb. 26th was the last time we've talked...at 1:30 pm...21 days (but who's counting). The last thing he said was he liked me very much but was on his way to Oklahoma for a funeral and he'd contact me when he got back. It's 21 days and counting. I'm really devastated over this. I mean it has affected everything from dominating my thoughts to almost not being able to eat. What went wrong? Everything was working like clock work. And if that's not bad enough, I've found myself insanely envious of those who are in successful relationships and I'm pissed about it. When is it time to let go? I like him so much.....desperate in Dallas.
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    Mar 19, 2009 3:00 AM GMT
    23 year olds are having the same problem from The Woodland, TX to Manhattan. At 23, everyone wants a roll in the hay but almost everyone says they want a relationship. I am not saying that is necessarily true of you, but it will be true of most guys your age.

    Thankfully, there is hope. If the google is with me, you live about 40 minutes outside of Houston. There should be plenty of gay guys in the area to date. The trick if finding them.

    You have to put yourself out there. Find the places queers congregate. Find queer organizations. Make little trips into the gay bars and clubs of Houston. You necessarily wont find what you want there, but being gay is like being a member of the Freemasons: you now have connections to hundreds of other gay guys.

    It is going to be awkward as hell. It is for everyone. You just have to go out there and make some mistakes and learn from them. Having come out later than many do, you are missing out on some very basic experiences. The only way to make up for that is to reread the previous paragraph and make friends.

    Happy hunting.
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    Mar 19, 2009 3:55 AM GMT
    What Muncher said. I came out at 26, and felt like I was instantly a prepubescent girl, quickly followed by an I-wanna-fuckin-jump-anything teenage boy. You're gonna learn all sorts of things -- most of them not the easy way and many not entirely pleasant -- but that's the way it's gotta be. My biggest piece of advice: be yourself. Be confident. Be comfortable with who you are. Don't sweat the small stuff, and don't worry too much about what guys think of you. The great thing about larger metro areas like Austin are that you'll meet all sorts of guys -- some are completely with it and together at 21, others are going through the same thing you are at 50. I'll tell you what I reminded myself when I came out, too -- you may be a fifteen-year-old girl when it come to this dating thing, but you've got the wisdom and life experience (in other facets of life, if not dating) of a 23-year-old man. You'll do just fine...you're intelligent, grounded, and hot. Just take a deep breath, be ready for some blunders (oh, but they're fun!), and wade in.
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    Mar 19, 2009 3:58 AM GMT
    Be strong gayblaketx. You may be learning a big lesson about human nature. Also, there may be a good reason, who's funeral? Have you tried to call him?
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    Mar 19, 2009 4:00 AM GMT
    Don't worry about it. You'll be just fine.
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    Mar 19, 2009 4:05 AM GMT
    It not metter what age u come out, just do what u belive!! and honestly long distance relationship it so fucking hard, not saying never work, but its not easy, plus internet contact even worst!! you are young and handsome!!
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    Mar 19, 2009 4:30 AM GMT
    Dating... You might start by joining some gay sports teams. Houston has both gay volleyball and bowling teams/leagues. It would be a way to increase your circle of gay friends without the pressure of hunting for someone to ‘date’. Then if you meet someone you are attracted to… ask them to lunch, out for coffee, dinner – whatever you think you both would enjoy doing. Best of luck! jt
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    Mar 19, 2009 9:19 AM GMT
    Well I was 25 when I started dating, and really did not get much practice in until I was 27 or 28. I am too reserved and shy to be great at it. It is one of those skills you have to learn by doing. There are not any good instruction books as far as I know.

    The best of luck going forward.
  • cbrett

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    Mar 19, 2009 9:29 AM GMT
    Hi I m only just coming out now at 35 but the one thing i no about dating is i no nothing, everyone is different u need to go with flow be confident you sound like a smart guy your cute so just have some fun and about the guy u have been chatting to maybe he is the same as you maybe he just got scared. and u have already answered all you own question
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    Mar 19, 2009 10:16 AM GMT
    Everything you talked about is TOTALLY normal for gay or straight and ANY AGE. You are in this beautiful time of self discovery and exploration, which can happen anytime. There is a lesson I think you already know that you can really internalize the hard way over many years of frustration or choose to remind yourself and believe in it everyday.

    There are many ways of saying it, but you will need to find the way that makes the most sense to you now. And it will change.

    It can be:

    I am all I need and am happy

    I am awesome

    whatever you say it will develop an equilibrium between being happy and confident, avoiding arrogance, which can mask the opposite of confidence, or ignoring when you do need to mourn something (sorrow I don't think is the opposite of happiness, maybe it is desperation).

    Guys like the one you describe come and go, and you may even do it to someone sometime yourself. It may not even have anything to do with you, you don't know. The point of your story is that you made this virtual person into something you needed, but what you need is already within your grasp. As you realize your own worth, not in an arrogant way, you will be more attractive and attract people to you. Then you develop the wisdom through trial and error of who you really want in your life. And then, if the relationship inspires it, you might commit to someone.

    But to say you want to date is like saying you have this job to fill and you are taking applications. Then you compromise things you shouldn't, do things that deny who you are and what you are about to get the person to follow through, and etc.

    You are not worthy of being desperate. Remind yourself of that, everyday if necessary (actually it may be necessary to do it many times a day - make it a meditation/song/mantra).

    Being in a relationship is not a cure for desperation or lack of happiness with yourself or your life. If anything it is a new set of circumstances you have to navigate now with someone else, who, if you are mature and a good person, you take into account as you navigate - being a bit more selfless.

    Dating is da puta madre (awesome)!! Meeting people, having great conversations or boring ones, figuring out how to gracefully bow out of a bad date or not regret and learn from a disastrous one, are all so rewarding and awesome. And as you learn that inside you are this rock or strength of great person who has a lot to offer, you will negotiate this like a pro.

    Of course we all fuck up and forget who we are and that's good fun too.
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    Mar 19, 2009 12:48 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie said you live about 40 minutes outside of Houston. There should be plenty of gay guys in the area to date. The trick if finding them. Make little trips into the gay bars and clubs of Houston. You necessarily wont find what you want there, but being gay is like being a member of the Freemasons: you now have connections to hundreds of other gay guys. .

    Houston has a huge, diverse, very friendly gay community. It's also an easy community to make friends in (too easy, some might say). Just pull yourself together and hit the bars in Montrose, and it's guaranteed that lots of people will talk to you. Also, try working out in town instead of out in the Woodlands. Your odds of meeting guys at the gym would be vastly improved.
    Of course many of the people you'll meet won't necessarily be to your liking, but it's a way to develop your interpersonal skills. And it's a lot easier to tell who's a keeper in person than online. Eventually you'll find there's someone out there for you. Good luck!
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    Mar 19, 2009 1:47 PM GMT
    It is true that I see many younger guys in thier early 20's ahving a problem finding someone to take them serious. It is a shame. However you need to remain faithful to your dream.

    If you truely want to date then look for those wanting to as well. There are not many in your age group, but prehaps you should look toward those a bit older than you. Most that are in thier late 20' and early 30s typically want to date. I suggest to you expand your horizons past those your own age.

    However whatever you do, dont give up hope.
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    Mar 19, 2009 7:17 PM GMT
    WOW! Thanks for the advice. When your the one going through something, it always feels like the worst....like nobody else could even remotely understand. It's amazing on a planet with 6 billion people just how lonely it can be.

    As far as the guy I'm head over heels for, I suppose I'll let go gracefully and hope that he'll return.

    Thanks again!