From very closeted to openly gay...Now what?

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

    Oct 17, 2009 7:31 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    I'm looking to hear some people's experiences after coming out late, and who were very closeted until then. I recently came out in April, and never really dated or hooked up with girls, and never even flirted with a guy. Back in April, I met someone on RJ and really got close to him. Around this same time, I started to feel comfortable with being gay and came out to all my friends within a month or two. I did the LDR thing with this guy for about 4 months, and it ended up not working out because we both finally realized that we couldn't plan our futures around each other. An LDR wasn't the right thing for either of us to be going through at the time. Anyway, I was absolutely crushed and still am because I can't even be his friend since it hurts so much.

    The whole experience of breaking up with him made me feel so immature and not ready for a relationship. Even though I kept my distance for the most part, my mind was still racing with "what if" scenarios, and trying to decide if i hated him or loved him. It was all so confusing. Now I wonder what is the best way for someone like myself to move on. I feel like dating will help me develop, yet searching for a bf isn't a good idea either. I want to just relax and have fun, but damn it I've waited so long to start dating and feel like it's finally time for me to get out there!

    Since breaking up with him, I find myself searching for someone to help me validate, in my mind, that there really is someone else out there for me. I'm just now starting to meet the local gay community and so far don't feel like I have much in common with anybody. I know it's still very early, but I feel like the gay community by me is very small. And an LDR is already out of the question at this point. It is frustrating, because I'm starting to wonder if it will ever happen. I'm not really a shy guy either.

    Does anyone have similar experiences? Advise?

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

    Oct 17, 2009 8:17 PM GMT
    First of all: welcome to the gayborhood.

    I'm sorry that it didn't work out with your LDR-boyfriend, but don't despair.

    You are feeling immature because you are. Dating, falling in love, relationships, breaking up, picking yourself up from getting your heart broken are all things you learn by doing/ from experience. Nobody is good at them when they start. Put yourself out there and get experiences under your belt. Admitting that you like men was the easy part, now you need to figure out what you want from a relationship, what kind of guys you like, what are your red flags, what are your sexual preferences, how sexually adventurous do you want to be etc etc. And then, of course, you still need to find the right guy.icon_rolleyes.gif

    I remember from coming out that I wanted to be in a relationship real bad and I made a couple of bad mistakes early on. I broke someone's heart when I was too chicken-shit to tell him, that he didn't do anything for me, that me getting together with him was just better then being alone.icon_redface.gif Someone broke my heart when all he wanted was to have sex with me and was willing to go through several dates before I put out. When I realized that he wasn't interested in me anymore, I spent a sleepless night tossing and turningicon_cry.gif. But at the end of the night I was ok again.icon_smile.gif I didn't love my first boyfriend, but was very much in love with being in a relationship.icon_confused.gif After he broke up with me, we stayed great friends (with occasional benefits) for years.icon_biggrin.gif My first time being in love with my boyfriend was in an LDR. Lasted only 4 months and it took me 6 months afterwards to look at other men again. Made me swear off LDRs for good.....Until I met my current boyfriend 16 years ago and we had an LDR for 6 years before moving to the US together.icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

    If bars, clubs or manhunt aren't your thing, look for gay groups, gay sports teams in the local lgbt center or rag. Don't go into things with the intent of finding "the one", but try to have a great time, enrich yourself, grow as a person, make friends.

    Have fun, be safe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 18, 2009 1:05 AM GMT

    BernD nailed it.

    Let yourself feel what you feel. Be guided by your brain and your heart (and your gonads too). Be brave, but not deaf to your anxieties or stupid. Try to have some fun, be 100% kind to yourself and stay safe. Best of luck. And, congrats on coming out: now go get em !
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 18, 2009 1:33 AM GMT
    The devastation you feel and the knotting endless loop of "what-ifs" is a normal response to a relationship, particularly a first/early/young one.

    I had my first crush at about your age, and whoo-boy, was I ever a classic case. Near-stalkerish, if I can confess. My depression from its collapse was near-fatal.

    What I lacked was concerned, informed friends, a mentor, and an understanding that this was a common-place feeling. Also, a tremendous lack of security and sense of humor about it.

    So, invest in an accountabilibuddy. Someone who you can ask: I'm devastated by this break-up; can you slap me around a little when I start obsessing about it too much? You need an outsider to help you put it in perspective (on a daily basis).

    Eventually the rush wears off, like getting over nicotine withdrawal. Do it with a friend.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 18, 2009 1:39 AM GMT
    Don't be discouraged by the 'slim pickings'. When you start factoring in all the qualities in a person you are interested in, the number of guys that are right for you becomes small and then how do you find them? There isn't a gay convention where all the guys in the area gather so you can take inventory and sort through them. You may have to use all available options - personals web sites, gay events, clubs, whatever - don't be afraid of using an advertisement avenue - just be smart about how you use it and the expectations of the guys you connect with through it.

    If you aren't looking for much - like a one nighter or a short term fling - you can find that easier. You might also find that you have to settle on not-quite-right-for-me guys just to get the companionship you need. Don't be afraid of these, because you need them. But I wouldn't advise letting the other guy feel like he's found 'the one'. Have fun, but before too long have 'the talk' where you make sure he knows where you are at. If you can't keep seeing eachother, then so be it.

    I started dating guys at 37, after a wife and kids, so I don't even imagine that I'm going to find someone I have alot in common with. I'm looking more for who can I get long with. I'm still immature in the gay dating environment too, and learn more about what I like and dont, who I can like and who I can't as I meet guys.

    I went through about 8 guys over a year before I connected with someone better than the rest. Met him through Chemistry.com. We've seen eachother for over 6 months, but we've had 'the talk' about how we aren't good for eachother in the long term - we just also both find the relationship convenient and fun right now, so we haven't moved on.

    I would not be interested in a LDR. Luckily the Columbus Ohio area has a great gay community, so I'm not feeling isolated here. That might not be the same for you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 18, 2009 1:47 AM GMT
    Tremendously helpful guys. Thanks! Mickey -- you nailed a lot of what I'm feeling right on the head. I know some day I'll look back on this and laugh and wonder how I could have been so silly, but as of now, the ending of my first relationship with a man has been the hardest thing I've ever gone through. But hey, if thats the hardest thing then I'm still a pretty lucky person.

    It's comforting to know that what I'm feeling and going through at this stage is completely normal. I'll try to remember to be kind to myself, and just feel what I feel.

    Thanks again for all your support icon_smile.gif
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Oct 18, 2009 1:50 AM GMT
    go back in the closest you are safer there trust me, dont get corrupted
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 18, 2009 2:15 AM GMT
    GatorBoy saidIt's comforting to know that what I'm feeling and going through at this stage is completely normal. I'll try to remember to be kind to myself, and just feel what I feel.


    Good luck! It might sound weird to hear someone say this, but enjoy the sickness for awhile. You may never encounter it again (because your mind and body adapts to the stress), and it's a valuable insight to pass on to someone you'll meet 10, 20 years from now.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 18, 2009 2:26 AM GMT
    Hi Gator

    Good luck man, you will be fine, your first "obsession" is the hardest for sure. Dont give in to the temptation to reconnect, it will just lead to further frustration.

    I think what Mickey has said is worth listening too. Im taking it to heart as well!

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

    Oct 18, 2009 2:49 AM GMT
    enjoy the sickness for awhile. You may never encounter it again (because your mind and body adapts to the stress), and it's a valuable insight to pass on to someone you'll meet 10, 20 years from now.

    Abso-freekā€™n-lutely!!



    Welcome to the journey.


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

    Oct 18, 2009 2:52 AM GMT
    The only way you get experience is trying. A LDR was a bold move for a first. Also the first can be toughest because after being pent up and closeted you tend to be a little insecure and ready latch on to anything. It probably happens to most gay men. Maybe it will be different when/if society so is accepting of gays that they don't have to be closeted in the first place.

    Give yourself credit for having the courage to come out and being open in the first place, and at a young age. It helps gays as a whole when each person comes out. The relationship thing will fall in place.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 18, 2009 4:55 AM GMT
    Jmuscle33 saidgo back in the closest you are safer there trust me, dont get corrupted


    Why should GatorBoy go back into the closet?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 18, 2009 4:57 AM GMT
    I've been there. Do the things that make you happy. Don't try to force relationships. The good ones will come, usually when you aren't even expecting it..........