I'm Not a "Rugged Individualist"

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    May 19, 2010 4:31 AM GMT
    This popular American concept of rugged individualism leads many men to think they don't need anyone but themselves, that they are complete and totally independent creatures. They believe they can do it all, without anyone else.

    I've learned otherwise. And gawd knows I was trained to practice a military self-sufficiency that would make a hermit envious, or a modern survivalist, too.

    But over time I came to realize that humans are social creatures, and that I was rejecting what I am. Just as I rejected my sexual orientation for too long.

    I believe humans want the company of other humans. We are better when partnered than when single. Ideally, we combine our individual talents & strengths into a team where the whole is greater than its parts.

    I bring this up because I read some things here about guys who say they intend to remain single bachelors indefinitely. Is this out of bitterness from failed relationships? As my late mother used to say, are we cutting off our nose off to spite our face?

    And I read other guys who get discouraged because they're still single. Though they're often living in some low-population place, politically conservative, where it should be no big surprise to a gay guy when he lacks many gay social contacts.

    I don't doubt the existence of truly solitary persons, who cannot and will not form an intimate bond with anyone. But I think those are the exceptions.

    For the rest of us, let's not deny reality, by pretending we're a John Wayne character riding the Plains on a horse all alone. I've found more strength & comfort, and certainly more love, in the arms of another man than I ever found all by myself.

    Being men who are gay, I suspect we fall into a macho trap, where female relationships don't interest us, yet reliance on other men is an admission that we aren't all self-sufficient John Wayne types.

    How foolish that we would model ourselves after myths. All I know is myself, and that I am better & stronger partnered than when alone. I propose that other gay men consider this for themselves as well.
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    May 19, 2010 1:38 PM GMT
    I need my people and yes, I call them my people in my head, they are part of me, part of who make me who I am, they have touched me deeply in ways that I could never actually say, I have watched them grow and change, I have hugged them, loved them and smiled with them, when they have cried, I have cried and when I am with them, I feel content...

    But I have no desire for a relationship, not at this point, I'm not entirely sure why to be honest, I have a few theories, I don't have the energy, I've no desire, I want to heal my heart and mind first, I would be unable to commit to a relationship properly, thus hurting another person AND my self even more, I am content to take what i have and make more of it, I want to do things alone, without someone else, I want to see if I can do that, I believe I can, but I want to see if my believe in my self is justified..

    And so much more, so much more that stands in my way about having a relationship, I look at that path and a part of me shrugs knowingly, I know what it feels like to have a relationship, what the joy is can bring, the comfort, the tenderness, the pain.. but still I shrug and look at other things more excitedly, at the prospects, they excite me more then a man, even the idea of a man is less exciting then the idea of what is to come in other areas.

    at the end of the day, right now, I'd be content not having a relationship again, why? because I've had one, I relished the best of it, I worked through the worst of it, but I've had it and what I had was real, I truly felt this deep turbulent easy gentle exciting comforting rude arrogant stressful and painful love for another person, when he hurt I hurt, when he felt joy my heart blossomed with a joy I'd never felt before, I've had all that, do I really need it again? do I really need it forever? memories are memories everything eventually moves into the past.. why try to reenact it again just so you can "feel that again"

    not entirely sure to be honest, but for now.. I'm happy icon_smile.gif
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    May 20, 2010 12:30 AM GMT
    I'm a very strong introvert, so dealing with people is work for me. e.g. I'm always exhausted after going to a party or a long meeting at work. That doesn't mean that I don't need human interaction, I only need small dosages.

    So, I'm also not a 'rugged Individualist', but my boyfriend and friends allow me to have all the social interaction I need. And without the boyfriend I would feel deficient very soon.
  • JayDT

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    May 20, 2010 12:37 AM GMT
    Oh Lord knows I need people. No way I could ever be the unibomber living in some cabin in the middle of no where, or on an island with no one to talk to but a volley ball named Wilson. I'd have to find a parrot on that damn island and teach him to talk or something.
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    May 20, 2010 1:09 AM GMT
    lilTanker said...at the end of the day, right now, I'd be content not having a relationship again, why? because I've had one, I relished the best of it, I worked through the worst of it, but I've had it and what I had was real, I truly felt this deep turbulent easy gentle exciting comforting rude arrogant stressful and painful love for another person, when he hurt I hurt, when he felt joy my heart blossomed with a joy I'd never felt before, I've had all that, do I really need it again? do I really need it forever? memories are memories everything eventually moves into the past.. why try to reenact it again just so you can "feel that again"

    not entirely sure to be honest, but for now.. I'm happy

    Your frankness & honesty are startling, and refreshing here. Some guy will find you, or you him, and your love will be epic. You do know that, right?

    It'a just matter of time. You are too good, too special, too exceptional, to go unnoticed for very long. Damn, if I were 30 years younger, and not partnered, I would try to scoop you up in a flash. Not that you would have me, but I'd give it a try. And how many other guys here think the same? I suspect a great many.

    You had a bad relationship? Like the rest of us haven't? Well, you go back and try again. We need to be tougher than hurt, and memories become lessons, that tell us how to avoid past mistakes.

    I never give up. There are bumps in the road, but I keep moving forward. Like giving up is a better option? Not what I do, and not what I recommend you do.

    You are a remarkable guy, I've read your posts here. The guy who partners with you will be incredibly fortunate, a once in a million find. So you find that guy, OK?
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    May 20, 2010 4:27 AM GMT
    I am, for the most part, an introvert, too, but that doesn't mean I'm antisocial or a hermit. I like people, in smaller doses, and prefer quieter, smaller gatherings than loud crowded parties.

    I've been partnered, and I've been single, and I prefer to be partnered. Not dating at the moment; waiting for the right guy to knock me out of complacency. icon_smile.gif And having fun in the meantime.
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    May 20, 2010 4:35 AM GMT
    Well, I'm a rugged individualist! It took a lot of personal fortitude and yanking on my bootstraps to clamber up the wall of bodies formed by everyone who went before me.

    That said, I'm glad my mom has Medicare, Social Security and votes Democratic. She regrets voting for Reagan in 1980.
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    May 20, 2010 4:47 AM GMT
    If you put people in isolation long enough they go crazy or start talking to inanimate objects like volleyballs.

    All human beings are born into the world dependent, and most people that think they are independent just don't see how they are not. It is natural to NOT want to be alone.
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    May 20, 2010 11:10 AM GMT
    mickeytopogigio saidWell, I'm a rugged individualist! It took a lot of personal fortitude and yanking on my bootstraps to clamber up the wall of bodies formed by everyone who went before me.

    That said, I'm glad my mom has Medicare, Social Security and votes Democratic. She regrets voting for Reagan in 1980.

    Oh sweety you just rugged and hot and ever so shexy *nods* ;)
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    May 20, 2010 11:30 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    Your frankness & honesty are startling, and refreshing here. Some guy will find you, or you him, and your love will be epic. You do know that, right?

    It'a just matter of time. You are too good, too special, too exceptional, to go unnoticed for very long. Damn, if I were 30 years younger, and not partnered, I would try to scoop you up in a flash. Not that you would have me, but I'd give it a try. And how many other guys here think the same? I suspect a great many.

    You had a bad relationship? Like the rest of us haven't? Well, you go back and try again. We need to be tougher than hurt, and memories become lessons, that tell us how to avoid past mistakes.

    I never give up. There are bumps in the road, but I keep moving forward. Like giving up is a better option? Not what I do, and not what I recommend you do.

    You are a remarkable guy, I've read your posts here. The guy who partners with you will be incredibly fortunate, a once in a million find. So you find that guy, OK?

    Perhaps one day some guy will find me, perhaps I him, but right now, I'd prefer not to find anyone but me, while I know who I am, I know very strongly who infact, I ponder if I have a real understanding of it and I am not sure I could, should or would do that sort of soul searching with another person ya know..

    While everything you say about me is flattering, I certainly don't feel that way, especially right now.. but anyway.. I wont talk about that it's, well.. not ma style heh

    Yeah I had a bad relationship near the end, actually pretty bad really, but on the whole it was good, I know I'm not the only one by any means, hell, my story would pale into insignificance in comparison to some stories that people carry with them, but, right now, my pain feels pretty big and needs my attention, will I be willing to try again in the future? sure, I can say confidently that if a man comes along that inspires me to chase, I will throw my all into it, just as I did last time, will I actively seek it out...... no, not out of fear, I don't fear commitment, I don't fear pain, pain I can deal with, pain I know incredibly well, I've had a lot of it in my short years (although not as much as some) and I'm sure still a great deal more to learn about it, I think that right now, I wont seek it out because it's not right for me now, not right for me or anyone else.

    I am unequipped emotionally and mentally to give my self to another person in that capacity, my emotions are volatile and rather explosive, I'd be the guy who is neglectful and distant, ultimately that'd be selfish of me to do that to a guy who liked and wanted me in that capacity, I also want to enjoy being single, enjoy being able to look after just me, no demands from others to care for them and there needs, just mine, just my own, just me.. I really think I need that and not only do I need it, I need to learn how to do it, far to much of my life has been spent looking after the needs of others, giving to them, thinking about them, wanting for them.. Had I known way back then what that would have cost me mentally and emotionally, I probably would never have done it in the first place, although having said that, I wouldn't ever change it since I have now learnt so much from it and will be learning more..

    so in the end i think that one day I'll be ready again, but not today, nor tomorrow, possible many tomorrows, but one day, I will be ready and I will try again.. if someone comes along that I see as special, someone who I look at with that odd feeling again.. I'll do it and I'll give my all to it just with everything that drives me in life, inevitably something causes me to throw everything I have, everything I can muster to go after it..
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    May 20, 2010 12:08 PM GMT
    Excellent observation Red_Vespa.
    Perhaps the single most paramount reason we seek each other is the most basic of all needs in nature; to procreate.

    Granted, homosexuality makes this impossible because you can not produce a baby through male+male intercourse. We are not biologically equiped to handle that. And yet, through more complex needs we still come together and interact with one another. And through that contact we develope and nurture these complex things called emotions and feelings and form connections with our mate.

    As macho and 'mannly' as it is to appear an individualist, that is not the way humanity works. Nature speaks volumes; there are creatures that travel, hunt, and live in packs or groups (like communities). While it is possible for something to survive on its own, we come to depend (to a certain extent) on one another out of nessecity to survive.

    A lovely topic! Very thought provocking.
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