Thoughts on Gays & Relationships…

I recently read an article that talked about how gay guys find it increasingly difficult to fall in love in modern day society – what with hook up apps, social media, pre-defined stereotypes that we, for some bizarre reason, feel the need to live up to; as well as our inept ability to either love ourselves too much, or not love ourselves at all.

It really got me thinking about several things which I have witnessed within my own LGBT+ community, as well as the wider spectrum, in that: I truly believe a lot of gay guys simply get into a relationship for the simple sake of ‘being in one’, that label –

Be it through desperation:
A guy is in a situation in which a relationship would help them financially, socially and aiding with their own self worth. For example, quickly moving in with someone they have been dating for a short period, simply because they have, as they put it, ‘nowhere else to go’. When in fact they have a lot to learn about said person and things are not quite as they seem.
It’s a sad irony, but this is happening a lot lately, particularly with LGBT Youth homelessness at an all time high; a quick fix, for whatever reason, sees young people jumping into bed just to live. I hate seeing it, especially when the best thing for certain people is to go home (don’t get me wrong, I know some people don’t have a ‘home’ to go to), but being treated in a way that is not the best a ‘loving’ relationship should offer, is not a relationship in my eyes.

You also see it with people who obsess over the first person who gives them attention, as it is something to boast about, and make them feel good about themselves.

First Contact:
Grindr Boy: You’re hot.
Boy: OMG thank you.
Grindr Boy: Wanna meet?
Boy: Sure.
*Cue hook up sex.

First Date:
Boy: Hey, wanna go for coffee?
Grindr Boy: Er… Okay?
*Cue Coffee date, followed by hook up sex.

Week Later:
Grindr Boy receives Relationship status request from Boy.

Okay, that’s a very harsh example, and is not that simple and bitter as I make it sound… But it happens. It is like we, as a community, are one extreme or another – we crave that ‘loving relationship’, whether it truly is loving, or at least looks like it to the outside eye; or we simply crave the desire for attention from others. I blame Instagram (and we all know, I’m never too shy for a selfie)

Be it to visibly appear ‘in a relationship’ for others’ benefit:
You see this type of relationship so much, people rushing into things so they can show off on social media: “Me and my one“. I find this so frustrating, as I am a self confessed romantic, I believe the beauty is in the chase – dating someone for a period of time, getting to know them, understanding them as a person, and with that time comes ‘the label’; that thing we, oddly, feel the need to post on social media as quickly as possible for others to comment on. #Boyfriend.
How romantic (note my sarcasm), but sadly, this is becoming the norm. How often do you see one person’s relationship status change on Facebook several times throughout one year? And every time, they are completely dumbfounded and in love with each and every one. Unfortunately, it lasts maybe a month, and suddenly the bitterness that is social media trolling occurs, in which every picture is removed, every mutual friend is deleted, and status upon status from at least one of the couple is posted slandering the other.

No wonder we are a community full of self loathing…

I absolutely despise seeing the sly comments made by others when two people ‘announce’ that they are now in a relationship – suddenly everyone’s back story is everybody else’s business,
“Did you know they slept with this person?”
“He had an orgy 3 years ago, did you know?”
Why is it every gay and its dog’s business to get involved in other people’s relationships, particularly in a degrading way.
My opinion is, I do not care overly about a partner’s past, as long as they are upfront and honest with me about it, and of course, are exclusive and committed to me from that point onwards –  what happened before me, in one respect, is none of my business, as I, either, didn’t know him, or had nothing to do with him in a romantic fashion and so really, have no right to an opinion to judge.
So, I will never understand this notion that the gay community has with getting involved, particularly in a malicious attempt, to try destroy a new found relationship, before it has even truly begun.

Then, of course, we have a need to be in a relationship – a sincere desire to be loved. But sometimes, I do genuinely feel that many in our community do not truly understand the concept of ‘love’, as some simply see a relationship as a status to be acquired, not an emotion, a connection, to develop and work on  –  then again, who am I to make such ultimate judgements on an entire community? I’m single with my fair share of stories.
But I have witnessed and observed members of our community in truly loving and fully committed relationships… It truly brings a tear to my eye, a lump to my throat, and gives me hope.

Maybe I’m a bitter queen, who is yet to find ‘the one‘.
Maybe I’m holding onto something in the past, something I need to let go of to move on.

I guess I can’t help observing others, people watching is always a fun past time.

’til next time.

2 Comments

  1. John,
    You are spot on…as someone (aged 53) who has lived through the AIDS plague, got fired from jobs for being gay, etc….I have a a number of thoughts on the subject. “In my day….” we went to bars or bath houses to meet other guys….and you had to actually, INTERACT with the person…one of the things that I think is going on is that apps like Grndr, Scruff, and various web sites…we have become expendable to each other…don’t like that one? swipe to the right….don’t like the guy that just sent you a “woof”…ignore him…he’s fat, he’s old, he’s too young, he’s whatever one doesn’t want…and there is no need to be civil…because…hell, it’s just a jpg on a phone app….
    I think the #boyfriendstatus changes and all that you mention are part of that…I agree, especially in areas where the cost of apartments and other living expenses are high….guys get partnered up to help with the logistics of living life in an expensive city (I’ve lived in NYC and San Francisco so I know of what I speak)…
    You don’t sound bitter (I subscribe to your youtube channel and was sorry to see you hang it up..) so I thought I’d put my 2 cents in…
    Greetings from America from a middle aged guy that gets what you mean…

    All the best.

  2. We have a saying in the south (state of Georgia to be exact), “child … you just speakin’ the truth in love” — said with a Nell Carter accent (if you are too young — she starred in Gimme a Break).

    Had a fantastic relationship for 17 years (knew him 21 years) before he passed suddenly. And getting out to just make new friends (he was also my best friend) was a huge challenge; one finds themselves in the middle of their life not knowing which direction to go. But you keep moving forward, jumping over a few lumps in the road along the way.

    The non-social apps, as I call them, are a joke unless you are looking for that quickie and please don’t talk to me mister; because those quickies are a dime a dozen. Have a coffee? Oh you can’t, but you wanted to have sex just a moment ago? Sorry, not my style. And my gaydar is not really Y2K complaint either — everyone is kind of gay to me in the Midwest. So meeting in person is so awkward too — Google Maps, Goggles, something help me please!

    What is a 40-something year old gay man supposed to do? Play World of Warcraft, watch BBC shows, crime dramas, movies and of course comedy. Maybe a little gym. Coffee shops and artsy things. Be creative. But best not to settle. I’ve known real love and well, if it ever comes along again then so be it. Else, I’m very content living my single life now. It can be kind of cool if one just lets it.

    Thanks for hitting the nail on the HEAD. Fantastic article.

    Cheers from a Southern guy now living in the Midwest.

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