No one really talks about how gay men love. It isn't talked about. Sure, there is Dan Savage. But I believe that there aren't enough people who write for us, who speak to us, who help us through. No one makes movies about how we deal with breakups. And modern television turns it into this self-serious commentary usually involving the worst of people.
I am no expert in love. That's for sure. But I've known love a few times. I spent my early-mid 20s in New York City. And let's be real: being a gay man in New York City is a strange, strange beast. There are so many options, and yet, many of these options don't want to settle down. You can go onto your phone, meet someone, and a subway ride later, you're at there house, with nothing between you two but the afternoon sun.
It's a beautiful thing, in some respects. This freedom, this daring. An ability to meet someone, hit it off, and connect. But for me, at least, it was missing something. I wanted more, and there were few men to give to me.
But it wasn't always like that. Some men wanted forever with me, and when I felt it, I was too scared to let in. Scared that they would take me from my writing, scared that an awkward first-time in bed meant that this is how it would be from here on in. I always thought five steps ahead in every relationship that seemed to go somewhere. So scared of what this could mean, that I would lose me in the process. And I gave up on good, good guys. I let them go because I was riddled with fear at what it could be. That, yeah, maybe it could be great. So, instead, I fell for the guy that didn't care. I fell for the man who enjoyed my company, but only for a short while.
How many mistakes do we make until we finally get it? What does it take for us to realize how we are and how we need to change? The truth is, there aren't many people that talk about the struggles and pains that gay men go through. Google "gay dating advice" and the earliest link is from a year ago. That's intriguing when everyday, straight people can read posts about how to navigate their relationships. Why is this? What does this say for the gay teens who are coming up?
If we can't talk about the issues, worries, and fears that live inside all of us, then how can we learn from them? How can we figure out relationships? How can we better navigate love? There is something very wrong with the fact that not enough people are talking about modern love in the LBGT world. And there is something sickening that when we do, we tend to only show a certain type of look. We are of many colors, many sizes, many types. We are so many things.
So, what is the best way to handle a breakup? What happens when you've lost that guy, and it feels like you're never going to feel better again? And what can you do when your straight friends don't know how to talk to you, or your gay friends would rather party? How do you respond beyond just meeting someone a week later? How do you know what feelings to trust, and which ones to steer clear of?
There are no rules to this thing. For me, it's a steady diet of Kelly Clarkson, Whitney sad songs, Netflix, YouTube videos, crying in my bed, journaling, crying in my car, and splurging on sugary coffee drinks. For other's it's another story. But these are our stories. And how we deal with it matters. And people should know how we deal with it. How we date is not different than how straight people do. What's different is that they have people in their corner. And sometimes, we go at it alone.
More to come..