What if gay men stopped trying to couple up?
What if we simply stopped seeking out “the other half” of the relationship we are all desperate to have? What if, instead, we simply allowed ourselves to be passionate, fully-engaged lovers with each other, and stopped trying to cram ourselves into this weird hetero-normative mold of coupledom? What could we do with our energy and time instead of seeking our perfect forever-partner? What does that even mean in our world?
Of course, this is really a personal exploration of myself.
What really kills me is how much energy I put into finding a partner just so I “fit in” with those I know. I find myself playing this game that I will have more value in my self if I find a man who will love me, rather than be a valuable single guy. I don’t want to be a player in that any longer. I don’t want to have my worth measured by the man on my arm. I would much rather be known as Thom, and not so-and-so’s boyfriend.
I have spent so much time in my life being defined by others around me. I have hardly ever stood out on my own and said, “This is me. Take me, or leave me be.” That kind of vulnerability is not what I’m comfortable with - or at least, I’ve never been comfy with it. Lately, though, I have had to swallow the lump in my throat when yet another friend announces they’ve become one of a couple and that they’re so much happier and aww so much love and squish. This means that, inevitably, they will see me as a sad lonely man, even when I’m not sad, and I’m perfectly okay with being alone (which is NOT the same as lonely). It also means that I will more-than-likely lose contact with them as they disappear into a different existence.
I need to find my peace with this. I need to find my okay-spot - where I can be totally okay to let them go into whatever bliss they believe they’ve found, and enjoy their happiness along with them, so long as they’ll let me stay in contact. I need to also fight back when that creeping ugly grossness of judgement attempts to throw a veil over my mood and remind my how much worth a person has who is coupled versus a person who is not. That is not a reality. It’s not something that is honest. It’s merely a social construct I don’t buy into.
In the end, I want to connect with other gay men. I want to be part of the community I identify with. Does that mean I’m seeking a long-term husband for the ages? Not necessarily. Would I shut down any attempt to share a space in time with me? Not at all, if it were right.
A good friend said, instead of calling it “single,” call it “individual.” I rather like that concept a lot. We, societally, celebrate our individuality. We shun those who are loners and not part of the coupledom ideal life. I’d much rather be a colorful, contented, and well-rounded individual than a weak shell of a human who requires a “better half” to complete me.
I’m done trying to fit in. I’m also done seeking validation through commitment to another. I don’t need another to define me. I’d love another to elevate me, as I would him too.