The Waiting Game

November 12, 2010
Category: Dating

Ever since I was little, I always wanted a relationship. I wanted a girlfriend in second grade, so I went out and found one. Even brought her in for show and tell. Ultimately, I realized it was men I was after and the thing that I believed would make me happiest would be a boyfriend. Here I am today, out for nearly 10 years now, and have never had the satisfaction of calling someone my boyfriend. At this point in my life I realize that it could take another 10 years before I meet someone. It might even take 20. It's not that I struggle with this potential timeline, it's the time in between that I don't know what to do with. Because even though I've accepted that things are out of my control, to a degree, the desire to be with someone will not go away. No matter how hard I wish it, or how much I distract myself, that want to be with someone is always there and so far I haven't found anything to take it away. So what do I do with myself in the meantime if I can't have what I want most in life?

Well for starters, I can try and get to the bottom of where that desire comes from. The desire to be with someone, is it nature vs. nurture? Is that need to be in a relationship an inherent part of being human? Or are we raised to believe that we need to be with someone to be happy? And when I say raised, I don't just mean by our parents and society, I'm including the arts (literature, television, theater, movies, music, etc.) just as much for filling our minds with stories about great loves. I tend to lean towards the latter. It's all those silly love stories I grew up with that have set my expectations about love and relationships. The parade of divorce that marched through much of my childhood certainly didn't leave much to look up to when it came to love, so fiction became the benchmark.

I also have to take issue with my generation in that we expect everything in our lives to be instant. There's an immediacy these days that has bled into our relationship expectations, and possibly fueled the flames of this particular desire. Because I want a boyfriend, I should have a boyfriend. That's the thinking. Or has it always been this way and I'm just looking to use our modern lives as a scapegoat. If that's the case, maybe it is nature.

I know not everyone needs to be with someone to be happy, but I think the LTR dream has been something that everyone one of us has thought about for at least a moment. So what say you good men of Daddyhunt? I want to hear from the youngest of hunters to daddiest of daddies on this one, what have your experiences lead you to believe?


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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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Well,...I had the unusual good fortune to be able to come out when I was 17, back in 1974. I faced then as you do now the desire, driven I think mostly be our culture, to have my "one and only". I cried about it, drove my friends crazy about it, and doubtless drove a lot of nice men away because of it.

When I finally DID get into an LTR nearly 10 years later it ended up not being at all what I had thought it would be, because the support I thought I was going to give and get wasn't truly there. Not that We didn't get on well in many ways and teach each other a great deal, but we weren't right for each other, ultimately.

I have since then had another two LTRs both with their successes and foibles. But now that I'm in my 50s I am looking around and seeing just how few real LTRs there are out there. Real in the sense of their giving full measure to both partners. Certainly the sexual monogamy issue is one that is far from resolved in our community. I can honestly say I know only 4 couples in my large sphere of friends who can claim a real monogamous relationship. The others are involved with either open relations of some level of self or partner deceptions.

In the final analysis, Love and relationship come unbidden. When we are least expecting them they knock us flat. Just live your life and enjoy what and whom you may. Sure you'll give thought to it from time to time, but trying to get it to come to heel like a well trained dog is less than fruitless.

Love DOES happen.

Well written.
I've been in 2 LTR's, 25 and 11 years, never been single, dated till now.
Liked your remark about "Open Relationships or other partner deceptions"
Bullseye.
Sorry to say sometimes we can't be more honest in our relations with ourselves, as well as our so-called partner.
In Miami we called it "good friends/roomates with sex privledges."
But a real, committed loving relationship ?
Some don't know the meaning of that, never will.
They only kid themselves. I guess it makes them feel proud to say they have a 'partner'
Jim

Interesting that you would read the phrase, "... open relations of some level of self or partner deceptions" as "Open Relationships or other partner deceptions", which he actually didn't say. In fact, I think he made a typo, exchanging "f" and "r" as I often do and meant to write something that was more logical but had a different meaning completely than your interpretation: "... open relations OR some level of self or partner deceptions".

When you take it that way, you will see that he wasn't putting a judgmental spin on open relationships, while you were. You sound quite proud of your LTRs, and quite judgmental of others' but we as readers have no idea if yours were like our dreams of one, or the living hell that so many seem to end up in.

Most gay people have grown up with life changing circumstances that have influenced much of who and maybe even what we are. I don't think anyone really knows for sure except it isn't any one thing in particular. Some of us spend our lives reconciling ourselves to death and never really grow into the maturity necessary for a deep love situation that actually grows with time instead of whithering on the vine. I spent most of my life needing and wanting to be loved but mostly using my self acceptance as an excuse for how I turned out. I don't think I've read an ad yet that asks to be taken as they are and get very far unless of course he has the youth and physical attributes so finely outlined in the requirements area. I wasted my youth and was stunted liveing out my life as I did in my twenties and for all my intents and purposes I still feel 20, the sad reality is that person I look at in the mirror is far from twenty. I suppose I've learned some things with the addition of 40 some odd years but true love hasn't been there or could it be I wasn't ready when it was? When I was 20 the thought of being with someone even in his 40's was the furtherest from my desires and now that I'm in my 60's I find it even harder to believe that there are youths out there that prefer people of my age so now that the tables have turned it feels most strange. Being not the best judge of charactor from time to time I find a few younger guys being interest aside from the ones that either want money, some wanting to escape their South African or European countries or the ones that tell me they are in love with me by the 3rd letter, there may have been a few decent ones that I've managed to run off by being too honest perhaps too soon. You may ask yourself "honest about what?" well lets just say I had a slight run in with silicone while in my mid 20's and have been embarressed and or rejected numerous times since. So, it would seem that I am my worst enemy. To me it appeard so simple to look for someone who is easy to be with and possess a fond affection for one another and to know by a soft touch or a warmed gaze that the feelings were still there and time hasn't destroyed what was sort of happilly ever after. Well---it isn't it has appeared to me that most including self are wrapped up with their own fantasies of the dream individual when few fit the criteria only to be disappointed giving in or up and move on to the next version of their dream until they find themselves in my position which is alone and without. Really I'm not complaining I am aware and realize who is to blame. But here at nearly 62 nothing really has changed and life goes on knowing that so to speak "most of the sugar has gone from the bowl". I duped myself into thinking that the erges would wain with time, let me be the first to say that they don't, except for the abilities to do it or keep up. I honestly have found that "the desire is truely sweeter than fulfillment!

You ask very good questions. I came out late in life and was married with kids. When I came out 4 years ago I thought to myself, I must be messed up after hiding Twenty-five years since I've been with a man.

What I found and this is a personal opinion, is that many men I met seemed to unstable to be in a relationship. It took me 10 months to find someone I was even interested in dating. And I'd like to think I'm in good shape and a looker. So you are right it does take time. And the pool may be limited. I had my first man to man relationship for 2 1/2 years and it was beautiful, so natural. When I found it I had never been happier.

I've lived straight and am now living as an open gay man. And the two worlds are very different. Relationships in the gay world are harder for various reasons. It's okay, it is what its but one needs to understand it.

I read several books because I could not quite figure out gay men. I have a greater knowledge of who I am, what is my biological makeup and who would have the traits that would be a good match for me. Most of this is found in the book "Dynamic Duos". It's helps you understand how to look for a compatible partner.

Now I'm just going to give my personal opinion why relationships are harder for us.

When a woman meets a man is the first thing she thinks about is sex? No.

Pretty easy in the straight world. Top and bottom. Even in the gay world if you are compatible that way it has to be a good "fit" and sex has to be hot to go forward. Do women put a priority on that? Of course the answer is no they're biological clock is ticking.

When a woman meets a man is she heavily relying on physical looks to make her decision of who her mate should be? No.

It is what it is, we are mostly visual as men and looks are important to be attracted to the other.

Finally, not getting to do what "I" always wanted has brought to me a different perspective .

To know what it is to be partnered and live with another individual is invaluable. The give and take, the compromise to make it a long lasting bond. Does the average gay man give it a try and move in? Or do we only partly commit always having the out? To be in a LTR takes understanding, a readiness to blend and compromise. The two are stronger than the one.

Gay is more difficult but I'm hopeful it's not impossible. You need to be open to the possibilities. Until that first meeting who knows if the chemistry is there?

My struggle being" single " as you say is with all that time is what do you do with it?

Any single person gay or straight has two freedoms: Time Freedom and Sexual Freedom. What is the purpose of your life? What do you do with your time? Is there substance in your life that fulfills you? Wow, these are the hardest questions in life to answer.

Now that I'm am Single for the first time in many years I struggle with the same questions. All we have is our time in this world at it is limited. Hopefully we all find a purposeful and meaningful life.

For it is the journey not the end that counts. Mine started late in life so my lesson is it's never too late to get what you want out of life or at least give it your best shot.

Cheers.

What you have said is so true and I know because I too have walked in similar shoes. I guess for me though the realization I came to is this..................coming out late I learned how wrong I had it and how I was too "straight" in thinking of what a relationship would be. I took off the rose colored glasses and understood that what I was looking for only happens in movies and in books but was not realistic at all. I am much happier letting go of trying to find something in all reality is very rare out there. The way I look at it now is, my door is open and should something come my way that is fine and if not, life is too good to let it go by.

What you have said is so true and I know because I too have walked in similar shoes. I guess for me though the realization I came to is this..................coming out late I learned how wrong I had it and how I was too "straight" in thinking of what a relationship would be. I took off the rose colored glasses and understood that what I was looking for only happens in movies and in books but was not realistic at all. I am much happier letting go of trying to find something in all reality is very rare out there. The way I look at it now is, my door is open and should something come my way that is fine and if not, life is too good to let it go by.

I think a moment to consider the children is appropriate. The nature of a partnership mit kinder is much different than a partnership solely based on desire, attraction and erotic charge. Our societal norms tell us that from A) desire, attraction and erotic charge must come B) progeny.
Well, for all us lapsed heterosexual sperm dads (go team!) we have adroitly or clumsily avoided the "trap" of being complete abominations against nature because (pace Maria Von Trapp) "there must have been a moment of good" that resulted in these miracles that are my children.

HOWEVER, the wreckage of a failed marriage, the wreckage of any failed relationship and partnership, the pain and suffering of not realizing or recognizing my true nature until sustaining the self deception became too great does not mean I won't continue to treasure my relationship with my wife. I tried and we failed. She may or may not - treasure or bemoan that relationship. But we have the kids as a superglue for that sad liason morte.
As I go forward as a newly gay queer dude - struggling to figure out important questions like whether I am an old cub or a seasoned otter with daddy issues, I remember a Dennis Cooper story where the protagonist collects polaroids of his conquests and fills the top drawer of his dresser with the pictures. "It's full, but there's still room" is how I think it ends...
We can only end on some grace note or elegiac glance of recognition and shared acknowledgement of the unknown, the joyful, the lonely and the eternally imperfect.

That's pretty much my story. I'm still a couple years off from being out for a decade, and I've had an LTR before, but I doubt it can really be called that because it was long-distance the entire time and we never met in person, so might as well say I've never been in one.

Part of the reason I have the one pseudo-relationship to show for my life is because I realized that I was gay and liked older men (daddies) when I was 15, and that inherent desire for an LTR already had deep tap roots in me, so that made it all the more difficult for me, a minor yearning to be in a relationship with a man old enough to be my father.

But now that I'm legal, what's holding me back? My dislike for going to bars. They're loud, crowded, and they ones I've been to were full of idiots (worse still, drunk idiots). There's also that fact that the guys I see while out and about that I like are more often than not married. Narrowing the search field down with that information, I live in an area where I could easily happen upon a gay-basher (hardly an excuse, seeing has how I'm a big guy who could probably intimidate persecutors, if not defend myself from them; but I'm a pacifist, so what can ya do). So, for all that I can see, my only option left is the internet, but there's the ever present hurdles that've plagued me since adolescence: I'm not fit enough, I live too far away, they're only looking for NSA fun, etc. What men that actually DO give me the time of day tend to lose interest after a few messages, as if leading young guys on is a game to them.

Maybe it's time to lower my expectations and settle with an idiot that I can get from a bar? *sigh*

Personally, you sound like a wonderful guy. I wish I knew someone like you. Have confidence in yourself and don't give up, buddy.
eric

Kudos, to Manadude for being so clear headed. Its a good idea to keep ones expectations in check. But don't lower your standards to include people and things you know you dislike. In my case I created a list of things I was looking for, then put the list away, taking it back out a week later and making changes to it. I did that until all that was left was the stuff that truly mattered. Then I put it out there to the Universe that THAT was what I wanted, and I got it. Though the relationship that I had where I did that is over now, for 10 years it was a great thing in my life and in his. We're still deeply close, BTW.

I have had the great fortune to not only be fully actualized as a gay man, from just weeks after puberty, but also to have enjoyed several long-term, committed relationships.
Are we programmed to think that being with someone is wonderful, by media, family et al?
Absolutely! - But that's only because, it is wonderful.
Anyone who has ever experienced the remarkable joy of true love - meaning a state in which one is completely honored, supported and desired strictly for who they are, knows that it is a transcendent state of being. One in which, all your positive attributes are accentuated.
The problem with getting to that, is you have to practice.
It takes experience and wisdom to attain a relationship of an unconditionally loving magnitude.
All love feels fantastic, but not all love is selfless or unconditional. You have to know who you are, to fully give yourself to another. The less you know, the less comprehensive is the gift of your being.
It is my personal opinion, culled from more experience, then I usually like to publically admit, that one is happiest when love is self generated. If you're looking for someone to complete your life, or add a dimension of loving comfort that you feel is lacking, then you will forever be looking. (You think 10 years is a long time?) You may find someone who is equally in need, but those shortcomings and expectations will not feed each other, but off of each other, resulting in resentment and bitterness.
When a person comes fully into a loving state with themselves, and therefore is no longer in a state of need for anyone else, it paradoxically is at that moment, when they become the most attractive.
So, I strongly suggest you stop searching. Go inside and work on yourself. It sounds hokey as hell, but . . . if you build it, HE will come.

Truly paradoxical...when you attain that state of fully loving yourself - what would you need a partner for, especailly if its not just physical but emotional connection [honored, supported, desired + respected] that you are looking for in coupledom?

I would submit, that you would no longer 'need' a partner, at which point you could experience the joys of sharing your life with another. Instead of completing or giving purpose to your life through another. Which ulitmately will fail, since no one will ever be able to live up to any one else's expectations and needs.
Life shared, is life magnified.
Life in dependence, is limited.

Loving yourself means being at peace with yourself. Only then can you focus on another without a lot of barriers keeping it from being successful.

VERY well said man... as if you pulled it from my own mind ;-)

Even peer pressure didn't make me go for girls because I wasn't an assertive individual and would tend to be the less assertive one getting me bum pinched in class where others knew what I was even as a strict religious household never gave me a clue.

I don't think you're being honest with yourself about where your desire for a LTR comes from. You're placing it on nebulous external sources like society or the arts or other sources of "stories" yet the powerful emotional drives for such a large component of your interpersonal behavior surely must come from something beyond just the intellect. My experience says it comes from emotional patterning we receive as children and infants, and only when you go find that patterning are you truly free of its consequences - such as a lifelong feeling of incompleteness that needs a LTR to make it go away. The difference between us (gay people) and straights is that they don't often have to ask themselves why they want a LTR, since it's so ingrained in their mainstream life-patterns. We are lucky enough to get sent on a vision quest to find ourselves, since ultimately our lovers - whether they are dream-lovers or the men we wake up next to - are just reflections of who we are. How else can you explain why some people easily find compatible mates and others struggle in vain?

I'm five months away from being "officially" 70 years old. Actually, because I was born really nine months old to start with, I've decided to bite the bullet and claim 70 now ...it's not painful, lol.

During these seventy years I've been married three times; once to a woman for 7 years, which was a disaster until a friend of mine saved my butt by running off into the sunset with her (I mean what are good friends for anyway?), then to a guy in the style of whirlwind gay-gale-force proportions altogether too common (I'm not at all sure I've abandoned the crush for him) which ended in an almost as colorful shipwreck, and finally a full-blown formal wedding to a German lad, which lasted for over ten years in married bliss, doing everything together, building a house and 57 acre farm, deer and bears running through the front 40, and bullets whizzing over your head and zinging off the trees during the yearly inundation of City Hunters in camo-and face paint (if you've ever experienced the latter, then you know what I mean, i.e. you purchase extra heavier loads of buckshot.) I can actually say that I loved him with literally everything in my heart, but every three or four years he'd decide he needed new blood, and so would throw me away. After the third time I said: "No More!"

For a full five years following, I refused to even consider trying to love again. I've lived alone now for 15 years all total, with 10 back home in Ireland. I did the whole bar and disco thing way back when, and have lost interest in it out of boredom. My problem is not that I wouldn't like to have close companionship and sharing, rather, it's more like not being really sure it'd be worth all the hard work, along with another person's socks on the floor. In addition, I've noted that so many guys my age are "waiting to die," and I'm still running out the door to live. I've just finished my second book, and when it hits the shelves in about 2 months, then I'm planning to start book number three. Or, possibly, a pack (Yak?) trip into Mongolia and then following the route of my ancient Celtic ancestors in the Steps, India and across Europe ...Maybe I'll do both at the same time. Oh, one possible consideration worth the reflection regarding wanting to have your own LTR; insanity. But by all the gods it's a grand one ;=))

Nice article,and great comments.....I also wonder about the ticking clock...i have gotten tired of looking and waiting...so now more than ever I enjoy my own company(never had a ltr)...the home with a spouse and kids is all a fairy tale now..I have reached the point in my life where it is a complete solo act.... if he does come along i may be too busy to notice..lol
Hang in there guys and love yourself.

Relationships come and go like the four seasons. (My straight friend for the last 20+ years perfer using the term 'relationshits.') I've only had two serious ones since the early 1980s. The first from 1982 to 1986, then in 1999 for six months. That one I didn't really consider a relationship. It was more like a "do I still know how to fuck a guy" situation. Eleven years have passed and I'm in my late 50s. I'm not breaking my neck looking for number three. I'll say hello on sites or in a bar. If it goes beyond that, fine. If not, I'm not going to cry in my pillow like some love-sick high school girl. I don't daydream about finding the "perfect partner." There's no such thing. I'll settle for a Mr. Right Now over a Mr. Right. My feeling is, when it happens, it'll happen. Things always happen when you're not looking for it. Do I want a relationship? Yes, I do. I would've given anything for a 30 year relationship, as does a couple I know have. Until then, and it's been paraphrased in numerous personal ads, I'll just enjoy the occassional romp in the hay.

When your luck has run out and the only prospects you face are bookstores and the woods, and the best you can get in all of the legitimate places you frequent is a fleeting smile, what do you do? I can't go back to the bars; I don't drink and I can't stand poseurs. I can't deal with all the come-on signals that dissolve when it's actually time to come-on in the bars. What's a 58 year-old who's still breathing supposed to do? The internet!

There are two types of sites, dating and sex. I have had my picture on Silverdaddies for over a year. I've gotten emails from 87 year-old men who just lost their partners. I've gotten emails from Thai twinks. I've gotten emails from Harvard grad students. From Venezuelan bears. From Florida retirees who want to know what size bed I sleep in. Numerous requests for nude photos (which I never honor). So many of the men who post are married or just plain paranoid; you know because they can't host. Successes are so rare. There was a Latino who has an understanding with his impotent partner. He wasn't interested in any foreplay, and I can't just "turn it on." I was out of there fast. There was another guy from the Cape who wrote me email after email. We finally met and there was the proverbial chemistry, so much so that we actually started to make out in the parking lot of the shopping center. By the time I got home there was an email waiting for me: I'm not ready to enter into a relationship. He was 65! When would he be ready, when he was 85?

Match.com is a different matter - sort of. I get rejected for reasons unknown many times. I met two men: one with whom I had no chemistry, the other who didn't share my attraction to him. Finally, I met a great guy in September. We dated for 2 1/2 months, no sex. This is different, I thought. He had a lot of baggage (don't we all), but he was handsome, intelligent, and very warm. Then the bomb: an old flame he had an affair with was suddently available. I'm still getting over it.

After many years without a steady relationship, why don't I give up? I don't know why I still have hope, after so much pain and disappointment. I know I have a lot to give. All my experiences have given me a certain wisdom. I am just fed up with anonymous sex. I know you're out there; I can hear your breathing.

Well said. Getting over a whirlwind "relationship" as well and having a hell of a time with it. While it feels like hopefulness is lost, its the fleeting nature of anonymous sex that perhaps drive desire to couple with someone who hopefully is in same and complementary situation, not into playing mind games and on same page as you are. Saw a you-tube video about getting over a relationship - which begins with remarks about how the 1st person one falls for seldom becomes the dreamed for, lasting relationship 99.9% of the time. Yet it still hurts leading me to feel like the weepy high school girl referred on a previous post. With hope, there is this same feeling to toughen up while afraid to be totally cynical. Perhaps its really a product of media and our minds' programming - these lasting LTRs that become envy and ideal among couples. In real life they rarely happen even with heterosexuals and likely worse statistically in our community ;-(

i understand where your coming from i feel the same way i did for a long time then i found a boyfriend but things didnt last now im single again i feel the same way again i think its normal to feel that way it is part of being human no one wants to go through life alone everyone wants a partner by there side even people that say they dont in there hearts they really do.To everyone thats single hang in there i believe theres someone out there for everyone inculding me.

Well you certainly have gotten a lot of good and thoughtful responses. I am impressed with much of what has been shared. One of the themes that resonates with me the most is that of knowing yourself and loving yourself well enough to be able to be happy. i think that is because I do not believe that a partnership based on any kind of need is likely to work out. Whereas, finding new worlds with each other is....and having a really deep understanding of just what commitment is.....pretty well sets you up for when HE comes along. A psychologist once told me that our emotional needs should be met 60% of the time by ourselves; 25% from a circle of deep friendships and only 15% from a partner. I don't know if I agree with the exact figures, but I sure do agree with the idea being presented. Happy living, my friend.

Theirs tons of attitude approaches to how things happen for sure. I have some friends who had a certain similarity of attitude and for some reason it just worked pretty quickly and their still together years later after many friends analyzed the situation and warned them to not get engaged too soon but they said "screw it" to the mainstream couch potato analysts and did their own thing because it was something that they understood between themselves even as the experts and professional cynics advised otherwise.

So much on here resonates with me... I've been in 4 relationships during my 27 years of adulthood... non, unfortunately, lasting beyond 9 months. When I see couples, it does sting abit, especially when most of my friends are in couple-hood and have been for many many years.
I too, like most others, grew up with plethora of romantically flavored stories, tv shows and movies that romanticized the white picket fence and having the husband that was there to take care of it all.
I tend to gravitate between two polar opposites: 1) I wish wish wish I had someone to come home to every night and wake up with in the morning. 2) I really don't need a "partner" to make me happy and fulfilled. Rationally, I know the right end of the spectrum is more healthy, but now that I'm just in my 45th year, single, and no longer young and slender, I find that the dreams I had, sometimes consciously, are still just as big and real as they ever were. That yearning to merge is so much a part of me that it's incredibly hard to ignore... and I say "yearning" because it's much more long lasting than an "urge". Those I can fulfill pretty easily.
I read the personals and cruise the sites (bearforrest, daddyhunt, bear411, etc) and find, for lack of a better word: Limitations. I think sometimes, "is it me"? "Am I too independent"? I don't know... ironically, it probably is and I probably am.
But, you know, while the image of my "dream partner" overwhelms me, intimidates me, and scares the heck out of me.... Sadly enough, I just can't let it go.

Cheers.

I feel the same way. Hang in there Bud.

You know how it seems like there is a drought of men, and then suddenly, hot guys are everywhere and practically falling over you to give you their numbers, especially when you're in a relationship? OK, that's only happened a couple times to me, but it does seem to come all at once or not at all. I think that's because so much of one's "luck" with relationships is created from one's relationship with oneself.

I've found the LTR to arrive when I'm in my best space - the most generous, loving and nice. I have to be all those things to _myself_ to attract the man of my dreams, to recognize him, and to keep him. Only then, magically, confusingly, and non-sensically...love comes. And he cannot miss you.

Beautifully said.
Love is self generated - when you love yourself, everyone else will want you.

OK, I think the bottom line would be this; love will happen when it is meant to happen and not when you want it to happen. There are so many guys on this site and many other sites, why aren't they (we) all taken? We as men (gay men) and as human beings are too judgmental and particular with our wants, needs, desires. We want the perfect man and there is no perfect man out there. Everyone has their quirks, drama and we should learn to deal and adjust. The line would be " I won't settle for anyone or second best". Back in the 2's and 30's gay men got together because they were attracted to each other, they figured out the rest as they went along in life - THEY MADE IT WORK. In the 60's, 70's and 80's things changed to have sex with everyone. We are all victims of this (myself included,but trying to change).
WHEN IT IS RIGHT AND WHEN YOU ARE LEAST EXPECTING IT, LOVE WILL HAPPEN AND NOT BEFORE.

Dear RobHeartsDH, Yes you have reached a simpatico note with me as well on your thoughts. I wish that I could converse with you in detail on this subject. In my waiting game I find the important thing is that we grow and develop into the man that we feel we would like to attract. By doing so we offer them the best of ourselves and also create the energy we want to attract in others. I have grabbed at many a relationship out of desperation instead of really asking myself what it is I want and what it is that I deserve in a relationship. This is part of the growth of loving yourself and developing your own self-esteem so that you have the independence and self-confidence that is so attractive in a mature male. In observance I see many a relationship of half a person connecting with another half a person and the two become one person... this is terribly co-dependence on each other to be one person. What I want to find is another whole person so that together we make 2 complete whole people independent of each other but yet together we have more to share and the confidence to make the relationship last and grow together into a very healthy partnership. I hope that you can relate and read this response to your heartfully written blog. Kiev

Great article and an even better bunch of responses. I could see myself in so many of the postings. I'm mid-fifties and really didn't come out until my late forties. I've known I was gay or at least bi-sexual since puberty but it wasn't really something you acted on in the Dakota's in the early 70's. But I did have a special friend back then, my age, and we experimented. We grew apart, moved apart and I got married, twice, had a family and went on with my straight life as did he. Well about 8 years ago I received a call from his family, he had suffered a heart attack and died and they wanted me to go home to help. On my way to and from I reassessed my life, I suppose it was his last gift to me as when I got back home I had decided I needed to spend the years I had left living those years as the guy I really was.

And a very very foolish part of me thought guys had to be easier to understand than women. That was my first big mistake. In the intervening years I've had a couple of serious relationships. The first one was a real heartbreaker and when the inevitable occurred after a year and he left me for a younger guy, damn, it was almost a self-fulling prophecy. The second lasted four years. Again, same result in the end. But with out the heart break, we just grew apart. Someone above quoted a physchologist regarding percentages of reliance. I think they are pretty damn close. You have to like your own company and not be afraid of being alone. Thats a hard one. We all long for the touch of another, the intimacy, going to bed and waking up with someone beside you. But without the willingness to face it alone I don't think you can ever be successful in finding anyone because it does cause you to try to hard, to come on too strong, and perhaps to cling too much. I think that was my problem with the first of my relationships.

I've never tried the open relationship route. A part of me just rebels against it. Through two marraiges and two LTRs I've never been unfaithful. It just never felt right to me. I can see certain circumstances where it would work but I don't think for me. I certainly don't judge those that are in open relationships as its not my place. None of us know the circumstances that might bring them about. But in the end I think being willing to be alone and liking it or at least accepting it frees you up to find love when and where you least expect it. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

Sorry for the ramble. I do hope that you all find what it is that you're looking for or find peace in what you have.

I think everyone's gone through the phases of looking for "the one" and giving up on men altogether, switching back and forth, wanting and not wanting.

Without a doubt, companionship can grow stronger over time and that can be a great reward that can only be accomplished over time. Some people claim needing variety in their sex lives as in different partners. I suppose that can be exciting but for me, if it's good the first time, it's good the second, the hundredth and so on. I know with the right person, I won't have very strong desires to have experiences with others. Sure, the feelings will arise and fantasies will manifest, but I can be happy with one man, the right man.

But that's the trick. Not only do you need sexual and emotional compatibility, you both have to be available (physically, mentally, emotionally), geographically desirable, have common interests and values, chemistry, stability on so many levels, etc. And if you aren't getting all of these things from one person, well, it makes sense to have an open relationship. In fact, on some level, all relationships are open as we have needs met by spending time with other friends, even if it's not on a sexual level.

So it's a numbers game. You have to keep looking and hope to be in the right place at the right time in order to meet the right person.

On top of all this, not all people love the same way with the same intensity. Some people can jump into a relationship soon after a break up or death of a partner. Some mourn for years on end. Some will never care for others as much as themselves. Others will always prioritize a loved one first. With countless factors and variables, it's no wonder that so many people are single or in less than ideal relationships. Humans are complex. Well, most anyway.

What have my experiences led me to believe? It's shown me that it is possible, whatever your desires are. But that doesn't mean that they're likely to come to fruition. Most of all, when you have something good, appreciate it and hold onto it for as long as you can. And forgive, more for yourself than for anyone else.

The partnership question is the subject of zillions of books both fiction and nonfiction. It is THE most abiding question of all of our lives.
1. First ya godda live alone happily. This can take years and years of work and usually does not happen until well over 50.
2. Second ya godda realize that your own birth is the product of some kind of love or relationship in the straight world. Since birth the daddy/mummy/child architype has been constantly in front of you. Whether or not your parents had a good marriage is irrelevant. The architype of partnership is very powerful indeed.
3. When gay marriage became a reality in Canada I was hoping that gay men would bring a whole new notion of coupleness to the whole question of marriage for both straights and gays. No such luck. I have been to a dozen gay weddings and they are still making those ridiculous vows about "till death do us part and in sickness and health and cleave only unto him a la monogamy" etc.

I know of 4 gay relationships that have lasted over 30 years; 2 are married, 2 have not bothered to get married. In all cases the relationship is OPEN. It is completely unrealistic to expect hot sex and passion to last more than a couple of years. Even Shakespeare knew that. The Elizabethians laughed about it all the time. I look forward to the time when straight persons commonly have OPEN RELATIONSHIPS also. Perhaps THEN little gay boys will grow up hoping for a series of wonderful loves and not feel it is at all a failure when they normally and naturally come to an end.

A stunning description of such a relationship was Bertrand Russell's. He described his parents open relationship that happened at the turn of the 19th century. Both parents have several lovers on the side. Some of them were homosexual. Bertrand Russell was a truly great mathmetician and philosopher of the early 20th Century.

Open relationships make for honesty and allow persons to live in accordance with their REAL nature. Some people can be fully happy with monogamy. Most cannot. The longest relationship I have ever had was one where the partner had her own house and I had mine and we ran back and forth for 14 years:)) We always also maintained our own private time and private friendships and bank accounts. Eventually my gay self became stronger and stronger and I had to end it and move on to men.

Hopefully over the years we grow and change. A relationship or a marriage is a VISIT. sometimes it goes for 2 days and sometimes it goes for 20 years. "Working on your marriage" is truly one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard. Sex and passion or even the wanting-to-be-with a certain other man is the business of the UNCONSCIOUS MIND. No one can consciouslly will themselves to be in LOVE with another. Fortunately this whole question is out of our conscious control and it happens willinilli or it doesn't. (see number 1. above)

Many guys these days have an incredible amount of issues sometimes and in some cases fewer issues actually do make things work according to some friends I know around the country where complex psychology is not a part of things and each guy has a sort of ole fashioned place in the relationship rather than infinite debates and so forth. That's just a matter of those type of guys recognizing something and forgetting what the mainstream would advise them about for sure. The mainstream can get confused till they have problems tying their shoes over little issues and get anxiety for every little thing where too much information makes a lot of folks wishy washy and endlessly wandering. I have good assertive friends for life in the non-intimate way which is fine for the meantime. People don't get to know each other through a lot of Internet chat either.

Do you think gay men are too picky? As we get older do we lower our standards? Especially if we weren't in the right place at the right time earlier in life. If long relationships are rare, why is it that most of my friends are in one? If straights had open relationships, would the divorce rate be so much lower?

One would think, specially from a younger view, that as we get older, we lower our standards but I think it's more of the opposite.

For those of us who have attained a certain comfort in life...either through our materialistic surroundings, work and hobbies that keep us busy and/or the satisfaction of our own company...those comforts are, for lack of a better word, at risk when someone walks into our lives now. In my younger years, I guess I didn't have as much to possibly "give up"...my solitude, my life routine, my schedule, my side of the bed...lol....there's a lot more to consider no matter how hot Mr. Gorgeous may be.

I think a lot of those long relationships that we envy are established in those younger years when the excitement of life and building a nest together are ripe. Once we figure out that a nest can be just as cozy alone, the search for someone suitable to share it with becomes a bit more scrutinizing. This is something that I am finding to be quite complex in my life currently....my want of a longtime companion vs the concerns of giving up my comfortable solitude.

Put down the Jane Austen novels and get on with life.

No, keep reading Jane. Her astringency is the tonic to these Oprah-colored laments. But do get on with life - that is the thing, right? Stoicism and just pure misanthropy might help, but I gotta confess, when love comes to town, duck. He hit me and it felt like a kiss - you know what I'm sayin', right? Even us queers get to sing the blues sometimes.

I think it is not 'nature vs nurture', I think it is both, and yes society IS geared to encourage pairings. It is all of these things, because they are not separable.

Biologically speaking, one can look at various other species and see that there are innate patterns in mating and partnering, that run deeper than learned behavior, so it is ovious these patterns exist in humans as well. The expressions of Art, Literature and social customs reflect and reinforce this. Are we bound by these patterns? No. There are variations within all species, relative to what is typical. This is magnified in Humans because logic can overide instinct, however the urge of biology, instinct and social custom can continue to be felt, and exert influence.

My oppinion is that there is one definitive answer to such questions, and there really is no right and wrong outside of personal choice, regarding these matters. Personally, the desire is there for a partner, though the logic is aware of my polyamorous nature, as well as the cyclic quality of my previous relationships. Ideally, a partner or two, in open relationship, with a broad circle of "friends with benefits" would suit me...HAHAHA, dream on boy.

Their really doesn't have to be a whole boatload of issues and supposed sensitivities based on feeling way too special. Also sometimes we all take things too personal during little arguments where the reality is that we are not having issues with the individual human beastie but the whole argument really is just based on cultural programming and we can see past that outer cultural shell and get to the basic need for warm hugs and squeezes. Sometimes guys meet and then there is that Elite Stuffy Aristocratic Shakespearean idea that life is a stage to play with or that a guy is a nice compliment to a fine meal without any intention of being serious at any time even while talking of relationship stuff but always having everyone at arms length to prevent actually opening up beyond a roll in the hay while using generic philosophies of a circle of life for the reasons for constant exploration and then just write it off as being a socially gregarious Daddy and leave a trail of drama fit for a Broadway musical.

To agree with what others have said:

From desireyounger:
" You have to like your own company and not be afraid of being alone.
Without the willingness to face it alone I don't think you can ever be successful in finding anyone because it does cause you to try too hard,
to come on too strong, and perhaps to cling too much.
Being willing to be alone and liking it or at least accepting it frees you up to find love when and where you least expect it."

From tatdad:
"Ya godda live alone happily. This can take years and years of work and usually does not happen until well over 50. (It happened to me at 35.)
It is completely unrealistic to expect hot sex and passion to last more than a couple of years.
I look forward to the time when straight persons commonly have OPEN RELATIONSHIPS also. Perhaps THEN little gay boys will grow up hoping
for a series of wonderful loves and not feel it is at all a failure when they normally and naturally come to an end.
Open relationships make for honesty and allow persons to live in accordance with their REAL nature.
"Working on your marriage" is truly one of the most ridiculous ideas I have ever heard.
No one can consciouslly will themselves to be in LOVE with another. This whole question is out of our conscious control and it happens willinilli or it doesn't."

From billybareblu:
"A partner or two, in open relationship, with a circle of "friends with benefits" suits me fine."

I think it's interesting that such a handsome and sensitive younger man such as the author is having some difficulty in finding romantic possibilities. It seems to confirm my thought that the internet may actually be working AGAINST those of us seeking loving relationships. I tend to think the internet fosters unreasonable expectations, as so many men seem to hold out for their ultimate fantasy men, overlooking those who might be good emotional matches despite not living up to physical perfection.

Online life seems to discourage any level of risk-taking... when I was younger, we pretty much had only the bar scene to rely on to meet other men, and while I've never cared much for the bar scene, at least we were meeting men IN PERSON, with the possibility of that magic spark of real attraction with someone we could gauge chemistry with, despite the fear of rejection.

I find it rare anymore that men I meet online actually want to meet in person... I start to wonder if they prefer the fantasy in their head to the risk of meeting in person and finding that I might not fulfill all their expectations. Do we have a generation now that prefers perfect, non-threatening fantasy over flawed, flesh and blood reality?

I think you've come up with something there. I have a friend who says the Internet is for those who "don't meet." Most of it has to do with expectation, which in some books, is just a resentment waiting to happen. Most guys do have expectations, and they build up an image of what a relationship with someone might be like before they even have coffee together. They construct a fantasy, which is OK if both parties are in on it. But this is seldom the case. When you mention meeting or god forbid, a phone call, these guys panic because they suddenly realize that their fantasy is going to become reality and the pieces might not fit. So they run. What a waste of time. Best to meet someone for coffee or a drink and let nature take its course. The ads should serve merely as introductions. Can't we get over this mail order bride mentality and meet some interesting people who have, yes, been screened a little bit, so we know we might both like Broadway shows or something else in common. More and more, I am trying to spend less time here and more time meeting and talking to people wherever I go.

Wvradicalman has a point in how the expectations can be quite extensive. Expectations can get quite complex in todays psychological drug assisted world full of overblown sensitivities and needs based on feeling so special that the realization that other peoples feelings matter then gets ignored in favor of what they feel they deserve. People who tend to be followers or even open doors for people can get labeled as having a crucifix complex because they do not engage in extensive self indulgence. Therefore some of the psychological community will actually label the act of extensive volunteering and helping others as being an issue when in fact the Hollywood drama personality of feeling super special is where behavioral problems can turn into drug addictions after following doctors advice for feeling as happy as possible and then the sad thing is when the act of their self indulgence then leads to isolation and then a life of being a star at the local pub then leads to having no friends as they get older and all the sex events have led to being alone. I feel lucky to have some good friends who have lifelong experience at directing the activities of lots of people over many decades and are like non-intimate family where regular biological family does not accept the nature of being gay due to fundamentalist ideals so its like having better family than the accident of birth can provide sometimes. It is possible for people to have minimal issues when they both come from a certain down to earth way of seeing things.

Gentlemen thanks for these postings! You've given me a lot to think about today and made me remember a personal ad experience from ten or more years ago:

It was an initial phone conversation and the guy asked me this question, "Are you looking for a soul mate?" I choked at bat. I stuttered some half-assed affirmative and never heard from the guy again, understandably. I spent the next week asking myself, 'What WAS I looking for?' This is what I came up with: I was looking for a guy to share interests with whether they were the same or oppositional (i.e. live sports vs. live theater or traveler vs. homebody) and find a happy compromise. The petty day-to-day things like 'leaving things around the house'(me), 'how clean does the bathroom need to be?' (not me) and snoring (sometimes), I hoped we could work out with flexibility and humor. The major things to me were family and good friends who did not like (or worse, did not 'approve of') the other guy. These were the ones that would require mutual respect.

These many years later do I still feel the same? Yes I do. I was far too pragmatic (then and now) to be seeking something as lofty as a soul mate. Give me some shared values AND enough difference of opinion to make it interesting and I'm good to go.

Lastly, on the subject of listing ‘looking for LTR’ in a profile, I feel it is like those buzz terms applicants place in a cover letter such as 'team player,' 'self-starter' or 'works well with diverse populations.' It sounds date-friendly. Like the guy from my past you can tell pretty quickly if the other guy is on the same page as you or somewhere else.

My best to all of us!
Joe

A "waiting game" can take on different meanings depending on the key elements considered to be of value both emtional and physical. Achieving mutual satisfaction depends on the degree to which commonalities exist in mind and body (sense of purpose and community, self-gratification, self sacrifice, common interests, desire to grow and learn and so forth). In cases where self gratification, showtunes and personal taste in art and wine are the main focus then the short term becomes the focus as in "what the heck..life is short so have a blast." The fabric of the interpersonal relationships directly passes on to the quality of an overall community as it relates to understanding and compassion where the "what the heck" philosophy creates a domino effect and eventually comes back to us later in life if the partying spirit and self pleasure was the main focus till everyone is driven away during times of feeling prosperous and then results in loneliness later on after thinking life was so short so what the heck. Guys do manage to meet in ways other than clubs and social venues. There are people within the Internet sites that are not putting value in glitter, fashion and just getting off for the sake of self satisfaction only. In real life some of those folks can be found in segments of the community not related to media, church, Hollywood glitter or book sales. Their are places where guys meet and the pursuit of a brotherhood reaching out to a community creates links to friendships that last a lifetime with no amazing drama with group meetings not advertised on billboards. That is where another approach to relationships is overlooked by the mainstream where there is a mentoring element that passes on to other generations that has elements unheard of in mainstream social drama (discipline, brotherhood, dedication, outreach across cultural boundaries, etc). That is where connection of mind and spirit does not drift with every change in the wind and a certain warmth of bonding can not be explained to mainstream Hollywood glitter circles. There is a whole human world outside of our personal desires that can benefit from less extremism and drama and build a great community from the inside out based on attitudes and not just the idea of departmental categorization to sweep many social issues under the rug while we head to the movies. Movies are great but you can get too lost in the entertainment aspects of things that many things of true value beyond art and fashion are lost. Birds of a feather do recognize each other where the mainstream gets lost in personal entertainment and how many features the cell phone has. There are down to earth people who see the need for grass roots development within any flavor of approach to things whether left or right and so on. How we manage relationships trickles down to the whole fabric of society at large even as we can end up thinking "its me and U against the world" and certain attitudes can create a more isolationist community last resort institutional approaches should never be an overall mainstream way to treat an entire populace. Personal preference and taste can lead to the very economic wars that result from priorities being more based in personal pleasure than in the human warm fuzzies of stuff that counts more. Many people meet as a result of the deeper communities within a community and there is a lot of name referral in such cases that never gets advertised. Relationships that form are just as important within the framework of bonding friends even if an intimate element is not involved. I hope everyone has someone to hug even if its special friends where dropping pants is not always the focus and yet we all need the intimate element too but not at the expense of the deeper stuff for sure.

From what I've seen, you, the author of this blog, should have nothing to worry about. As I remember you're intelligent, young, youthful, and not nearly broken down. In point of fact you're flat beautiful! Without regard to all that I agree with your assessment in general. I would like to think it's still within the realm of statistical probability for me. That's a probability within Quantum Law; NOT a mathmatical certainty. Oh how I wish it were "certainty" but age and ageism in our present gay culture prohibits much, if anything. Therefore the probability of the probable, probably ain't good.