Aging as a gay man. What happens to gay men as they age? If your single and have no special someone in your life? It's an extremely depressing thought.

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    Sep 25, 2009 6:58 PM GMT
    I'm just thinking out loud for us single gay men that never married and have no children, what happens to us when we age? I'm just thinking because both my parents are getting to age of not being able to take care of themselves. My dad has lung cancer, and my mom's a diabetic on insulin with lots of health issues.

    It makes me think of when I age, what's goin gto happen to me. Yea I have some friends but they have their own lives. It's scary to think about. Just wondering if you guys ever think about it. I'm sure I'm not the only one.icon_sad.gif
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    Sep 25, 2009 7:17 PM GMT
    Yes, aging can be a scary thing for anyone single, gay or straight.

    One thing to consider is Long Term Care Insurance. It can give you piece of mind.

    Another thing to do is self preservation, keeping your body healthy and having safe fun.

    I find that giving Mega Hairy Muscle Hugs to guys makes both them and myself feel much better.

    You're a young guy, so don't worry too much.
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    Sep 25, 2009 7:30 PM GMT
    Yeah...getting old is pretty much my biggest fear...Good thing I'm Asian...we age very slowly :]
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    Sep 25, 2009 7:55 PM GMT
    I considered this also several years ago. I decided on addressing it in a few ways.

    Physical
    1.) Take care of yourself in a sensible (not over the top) way. Eat healthy, get exercise through either consistent workouts or regular (at LEAST 3 times a week) strenuous activity.

    2.) Relax. Devote an hour or two every day to a relaxing and/or cathartic task. Don't relax your life away. For example, relaxing is what you do after a workout not after your bored. Make it a reward for hard physical work you've done.

    3.) Don't watch more than a few hours of TV a day.

    Mental
    4.) Learn new skills and develop yourself intellectually and culturally. Make sure that this aspect of self development isn't easy. It should challenge your mind. Don't learn just to cook, learn to master Parisian French cuisine. Don't learn to make a bookcase, learn to reproduce an authentic mission style piece of furniture. Don't just maintain your old Ford Falcon, learn to rebuild the engine and do it. Your mind can atrophy as easily as a muscle will and once it starts to go, there's not a lot you can do to recover it.

    5.) Decide you're going to do something(s) that you've never done because you thought you were incapable, too old, or unskilled in. Keep thins in mind:
    "If you think you can or think you can't, either way you're right!"

    Social
    6.) Network with friends. Don't focus on getting into a relationship, focus on developing good friends. Do that and a good relationship is far more likely to happen on its own. If you have family that your close to, include them in your life. If they are a hindrance to you, then leave them out of it. It is your life.

    7.) Be happy being single. Don't gloat about it and don't moan about it. It is simply a state of being that is no better or worse than the state of being in a relationship. If your not happy as a single man, your going to be unhappy in a relationship.

    8.) Join local clubs, special interest societies or even an accepting church where you can share a common interest with others, or help the less fortunate in your own community (there's plenty to do in the White Plains area). Sing in the local Gay Mens Chorus, become a Candy Stripper (do they still exist?), help at a nearby historical organization, volunteer at the soup kitchen.

    So far this has really helped my life and it will continue to. I gathered this from the people I know who are in there 70's to 90's who are active and happy and many of whom live by themselves.
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    Sep 25, 2009 8:00 PM GMT
    I am worrying about myself being single the rest of my life icon_confused.gificon_sad.gif
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    Sep 25, 2009 8:01 PM GMT
    Just want to add my 2 cents worth as I turn 50 next year. Man, number one thing to work on is DON'T BE AFRAID. Worrying, stress and anxiety about things that have not happened yet is a gigantic waste of energy that only ends up making you lose the moment of now. Stay cool about it and, as I've seen it so far, try to keep on track with the following things:

    - Save money. Don't hang onto every cent and sacrifice fun all the time, but make sure you are putting money away. Become financially savvy. You dont have to be a Wall Street banker, but learn how to maximize your money, pay your bills, and SAVE SAVE SAVE.Dont get caught up in having what everyone else "seems" to have. Make sure you can afford what you buy! And if you can't...wait until you can!

    - Make the gym a priority. Staying in shape will not only extend your "attractive years," which as gay men is no small deal, but it will also help delay the inevitable physical problems of aging that start creeping in over 45. Being fit and disciplined with diet and gym will help make these problems and changes far more manageable and less impactful. Don't smoke, don't mess around with a lot of drugs, just use your brain.

    - Have good friends. There are all types of connections in this world, from casual friends, to sex buddies, to work friends, to relationships. But nothing more important that true, reliable, loyal friends. Treat them well and make them important. You dont have to have a huge social network, just one or two really true friends. Long-term gay romantic relationships are not the most stable, reliable or guaranteed connections...despite our drive to try and have them. But friends, true friends, are invaluable and will see you thru the good and the bad.

    -Have faith. Spend time with your Spirituality, your connection with God or the universe or whatever it is that lies behind this existence. Ask for help, meditate, think positively. If there's nothing out there listening to us, spirituality can at least help you come up with the answers yourself.

    Aging is not always easy. But the changes that happen, the things you have to deal with are a lot less scary if you just stay grounded and remember that your skill set grows over time. Your experiences in life help give you the skills to handle the situations that seem overwhelming or really scary when you are younger. But DON'T BE AFRAID!

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself...no truer statement was ever said!
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    Sep 25, 2009 8:13 PM GMT
    And I would add that a good relationship...the kind we've had in our heads since we first realized there was an empowering connection that could be made between a man and a woman - and between same sexes...is not always easy to find in the gay culture. Most of us grew up having to hide our sexuality and didn't obtain the skills of relationship building that traditional dating and societal approval give the str8 world. Gay men, not all but many, often have a lot of issues and are often disfunctional when it comes to the type of traditional relationships and dating we see in the str8 world. Gay relationships are a lot of work. Just don't let that part of your brain that seeks the security of a relationship overwhelm you with fear if you don't manage to get one. Or allow you to think your life would be this great, safe, secure, completed bliss that being single is supposedly not. There are distinct and real advantages to both sides of the track. But you will succeed at being single or partnered ONLY if you are independent and confident and a survivor...one who knows he will be just fine fine whether he has a romantic relationship or not. Being gay isn't easy, being single isn't easy. But its not the end of the world. Unless you spend your time worrying about it and torturing yourself. Cut yourself some slack and enjoy life. It friggin' flies by so give yourself a break and let things happen!
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    Sep 25, 2009 8:15 PM GMT
    Wow i didnt think I'd even get any responses. In response to Ironjungle.
    I do think pretty positive, I have a good job of 20 yrs, I do not do drugs or drink alcohol or have any promiscuos sex anymore as I did when younger. I do exercise atleast 4 days a week. Those things will help me preserve my self and live longer yes, but what's the reason to live longer without any loved ones in your life? That was my point.

    We all in our younger years try to look great and be "hot" ( which I hate this word) and once we start aging if we have not met that special someone, whats left? Yeah i have friends, but most have partners or are straight and have kids.
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    Sep 25, 2009 8:36 PM GMT
    italianguy63 saidWow i didnt think I'd even get any responses. In response to Ironjungle.
    I do think pretty positive, I have a good job of 20 yrs, I do not do drugs or drink alcohol or have any promiscuos sex anymore as I did when younger. I do exercise atleast 4 days a week. Those things will help me preserve my self and live longer yes, but what's the reason to live longer without any loved ones in your life? That was my point.

    We all in our younger years try to look great and be "hot" ( which I hate this word) and once we start aging if we have not met that special someone, whats left? Yeah i have friends, but most have partners or are straight and have kids.


    well unless you are good black, that don't crack - be prepared to shell out some of that loot in nips and tucks to maintain the youthful looking packageicon_razz.gif

    that's what's left
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    Sep 25, 2009 9:00 PM GMT


    We all in our younger years try to look great and be "hot" ( which I hate this word) and once we start aging if we have not met that special someone, whats left? Yeah i have friends, but most have partners or are straight and have kids. [/quote]


    Loved ones need not be confined to just a romantic partner. And what makes your life satisfying and worthwhile will not be determined by the presence of a partner. Honestly, I dont have all the answers...as I grapple with these issues too. If I dont end up with someone, then thats the way it goes....I will try to do some good things, try to be a good friend and try to get thru life enjoying it as much as I can. There are new and unexpected opportunities to meet someone every day, and anything can happen in life, but you are seeing realtionships as the sole way to happiness. Bro, there's an expression something like "all roads lead to Rome." Meaning, there's more than one way to be happy and lead a fulfilled rewarding life. Give yourself some breathing room and some options and giving those other roads a chance, as well as the one that includes a relationship. The world is not black and white, yes and no. Your thinking is going to end up chosing whether this journey is a good one or not, not a relationship.
  • italguynj

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    Sep 25, 2009 9:19 PM GMT
    Find really good friends and if you can find someone special (boyfriend/husband) that's great too. Remember nothing is a given in life gay or straight. Just surround yourself with great people and I'll be fine.
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    Sep 25, 2009 9:20 PM GMT
    Take care of yourself.

    Adopt children.

    Make more friends.

    Be god father or mentor to kids.

    Participate in community service.
  • docbailey2005

    Posts: 362

    Sep 25, 2009 9:21 PM GMT
    I'm not afraid of getting old in fact i'm proud to be getting older and still be in such good health. However, one of my biggest fears as a gay man is growing old alone. I feel that life is to be shared with someone and the thought of not having anyone there to share things with when i age does bother me. Granted i'm not willing to settle for the first man that comes along but at some point i may have to.
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    Sep 25, 2009 9:21 PM GMT
    two biblical sayings come to mind:

    Teach us to number our days aright,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.


    Show me, O LORD, my life's end
    and the number of my days;
    let me know how fleeting is my life.


    I think a fearful anticipation of getting old is counterproductive, but certainly making provisions for it is good. Also consider that what you do now towards others will determine who stays around in the form of friends and family. The goodness you put out will come back to you. Build loving and compassionate connections with others now that will follow you as you get older. It is the wisdom of kindness.
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    Sep 25, 2009 10:32 PM GMT
    Find a wife, marry her. At 57 years old, it was the best thing I have ever done.
    Being old, single and frightfully lonely was a source of terror in my younger days!
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    Sep 25, 2009 10:45 PM GMT
    stu1 saidIs there any organizations out there that assist the elderly gay people who live alone? I would like to volunteer some help.


    you know that's a brilliant idea. i would do the same
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    Sep 25, 2009 10:58 PM GMT
    Being gay is not the same thing. 2-5% of the population for us versus 95-98% for them. And we don't give a shit what happens to each other, nor do we even care to know how to help out other gay men that make up this tiny percentage of the population. We see so little of each other that we don't even know how to be around each other sometimes unless we're stoned, high or drunk. With that said...

    I'm with you on that one too, Italianguy. I haven't met anyone now since 1995 and have pretty much concluded that he's not coming back (lol) and it doesn't appear that there are many other gay guys who are looking for anything serious, much to my disappointment. There are many times where I definitely regret coming out. The gay men I knew who stayed closeted and had kids (and a few of them came out later in life) seem MUCH happier - their kids understood, in many cases their wives knew all along; in some cases the wives wanted nothing to do with them again. But at least they had the opportunity to be a dad. Single gay men for the most part will never get that chance. It's getting harder to adopt for anyone who isn't in a heterosexual marriage that has lasted at least ten years. Some countries require that just to start with. Many places will never let a single man adopt a child. There is the surrogate option but most of the gay men I've seen do this have extraordinary incomes and money will never be an issue for them. I can pretty much forget about it. So forgetting about the two things I wanted most when I had this great idea to come out: to find a gay man to share my life with and also to still be a parent someday, are two things I've learned to cross off my list about 5-7 years ago.

    What hurts the most are the support networks that were set up years ago and especially with non-gay friends when they see what this has done to my emotional health, they no longer ask about my life. They don't ask if I go to Pride. They are no longer interested in anything that has to do with being gay. They see the effects of it when they look into my eyes. There is no party and there never was - that's in the campy movies and in fictional characters on the sitcoms with the stereotypical gay guy. Never in those movies are there topics that deal with the general hate and malice that goes on between gay men. So not only are we outcasts in mainstream society, we make sure that we outcast each other in gay society as well. Learning that at a young age has helped me tremendously - I see gay guys who still appear shell shocked at 40, 50 and up - thinking that all gay guys were supposed to be there for them, how could they betray each other? How could we lie to each other and rip each other off so much? Look at what we came into! A community with no rules, completely anonymous (even more so today with the internet) no relationships (that we knew much about) that ever lasted, and lots and lots of drugs and alcohol to numb out whatever we felt when we woke up alone the next day.

    It's now 2009 and those of us who are still here and still healthy have learned something:

    1) A lot of us who've been out for a while know that we aren't going to find anyone who has the ability to be a partner in a relationship that is going to lead to marriage. Theoretically, sure, it could happen, but a lot of gay men are still trying to figure out how to even get to first base and meet someone - 15-20 years after most straight teenagers learn these things. Most of us will be playing catch up for the rest of our lives or continue to wait for someone or something that is very unlikely to happen.

    2) Our expectations are so overinflated that we set ourselves up for misery. That has to change. If we are going to live very long, especially with this recession/depression, we have to understand that we will experience being poor. The majority of us live so far beyond our means that we don't get it when society scoffs at our wanting civil rights - so many gay men have so much and live so high above anyone else it's like you're saying that Beverly Hills needs more soup kitchens. When mainstream society sees what you have and how you live, come on. It's very hard to have sympathy for anyone who has more money and education than you will ever dream of having. The sad thing is that most of us go into debt just to appear like we have things - the truth is that most of us, too, are barely getting by. There is no shame in being gay and poor.

    3) Take care of yourself but don't go overboard. Meaning that we often overdo it when it comes to just about everything - the more expensive it is the better it must be, right? Do things that make you happy but in moderation. The reason why most straight married men get that checkup is because there is a wife pushing him to do it. Understand that we are probably not going to have that other person there to look out for us. It's going to be us at the end of the day looking out for ourselves. Like the one guy said about long term plans and insurance - definitely. Look into all these things now so that you don't have to deal with them while you're dealing with ten other things when you're 30 years older.

    4) Last ones standing: the hardest and most unfair thing is that we are going to be the ones in our families who will see everyone else die. Get used to that idea now. Don't dwell on it, but be aware of it. Understand that for us, being alone, it is going to be much more difficult than for your siblings who have spouses and kids. For us, again alone, losing parents will be the worst thing we will go through. So at this point in your life, do everything you can for them. Mend fences. Get to know them. Help them out. You'll be glad you did later on.

    I don't mean to make this a session of misery but reality - open up any gay magazine and it's as if we've all realized our dreams and are raking in money and getting married. That's maybe the upper 5% of the gay world. Lastly, remember you are not the only one thinking this! Don't be afraid to talk about it because it's on our minds too!
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    Sep 25, 2009 11:00 PM GMT
    Being gay is not much different than being straight. Most marriages end in divorce or your partner dying first so you will be alone anyway. Having some one to change your bedpan when u get old is a lame excuse for getting into a long term relationship. Slightly off f topic but have you seen Grand Torino?
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    Sep 25, 2009 11:16 PM GMT
    DuluthMN saidBeing gay is not the same thing. 2-5% of the population for us versus 95-98% for them. And we don't give a shit what happens to each other, nor do we even care to know how to help out other gay men that make up this tiny percentage of the population. We see so little of each other that we don't even know how to be around each other sometimes unless we're stoned, high or drunk. With that said...

    I'm with you on that one too, Italianguy. I haven't met anyone now since 1995 and have pretty much concluded that he's not coming back (lol) and it doesn't appear that there are many other gay guys who are looking for anything serious, much to my disappointment. There are many times where I definitely regret coming out. The gay men I knew who stayed closeted and had kids (and a few of them came out later in life) seem MUCH happier - their kids understood, in many cases their wives knew all along; in some cases the wives wanted nothing to do with them again. But at least they had the opportunity to be a dad. Single gay men for the most part will never get that chance. It's getting harder to adopt for anyone who isn't in a heterosexual marriage that has lasted at least ten years. Some countries require that just to start with. Many places will never let a single man adopt a child. There is the surrogate option but most of the gay men I've seen do this have extraordinary incomes and money will never be an issue for them. I can pretty much forget about it. So forgetting about the two things I wanted most when I had this great idea to come out: to find a gay man to share my life with and also to still be a parent someday, are two things I've learned to cross off my list about 5-7 years ago.



    hmmmmm interesting... so perhaps gay is somewhat of a misnomer... sort of seemed force... a desperate attempt to appear sanguine.

    i feel the pathos in your statements ...
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    Sep 25, 2009 11:49 PM GMT
    I'm old. I'm single. I'm loving it.
  • TallGWMvballe...

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    Sep 25, 2009 11:57 PM GMT
    torqueinsd saidI'm old. I'm single. I'm loving it.


    HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHA 32 and old?
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    Sep 26, 2009 1:42 AM GMT


    Being coupled as you age, though wonderful, gives nothing more than a false sense of security regarding this. Anything can happen to either one of them at any time. One who's coupled has no more guarantees than the single man.

    And aging can be, and is for me, an adventure if you're not drowning in the fantasy that is youth.
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    Sep 26, 2009 1:44 AM GMT
    TallGWMvballer said
    torqueinsd saidI'm old. I'm single. I'm loving it.


    HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHA 32 and old?




    icon_idea.gif
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    Sep 26, 2009 1:46 AM GMT
    torqueinsd saidI'm old. I'm single. I'm loving it.



    If this is what old and single looks like then dam it sign me up!!!
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    Sep 26, 2009 1:51 AM GMT
    I am just 7 months away from being 48 and have been single for a little bit longer than a decade now. The only thing about growing old is the possibility of losing my mental capacity to take care of myself. Do I want to be in a relationship and get married. Yeh, of course I do. But I made peace along time ago with the possibility of it never happening. I have my days where I wish, but it's cool. Even at 48, I have had to start over again in other areas because of the loss of the job, the car, the savings, etc. Even gave up working out a few months ago because of the stress. But I have to look forward. At the end of the day, I am responsible for my own happiness and no one else. I lost my job last year, along with my car, and recently the apartment because of a bad choice in friends and roommates. So I instituted what I like to call "Operation New Direction". I started a new job two weeks ago and it is going well. I just got approval for a new place (albeit sharing the townhouse with 3 other people, but I will have my own lease) and next item on the agenda is the car by Christmas.

    I use to be afraid of the progression of my life, thinking that I would never measure up. The lesson, at least for me, is that as much of a cliche' as it is and may sound, the time I have is up to me to make the most of it and to always keep moving forward.

    Chin up fellows. Life is never meant to be a cake walk, but it can be if we keep our eyes, mind and hearts open to what it has to offer.