In a letter to my parents, posted on this blog, titled Dear Mom and Dad, I talked about my life this past year and what coming out meant to me. My parents reacted wonderfully to the letter and both said that they did not know that so many opportunities and organizations existed in the LGBT world. Which did not surprise me, since neither of them have had much exposure to the gay world. My mother said that she cried at points in the letter. But when I asked my mother if anything I wrote surprised her, she said that yes, she was surprised that I said I was looking for love.
I am not really sure what to make of my mothers comments. I do not think that it was from any bias that she made this comment as much as it could have been in part from naiveté. Mostly, I think it was a more personal comment, that at this point in my life, she did not see her oldest son, who is 56, out there dating and looking for love. I think she just had not thought of me in this way.
But I am looking for love, which makes dating all that much harder. When I meet a man I ask myself if he would be someone that I could spend time with for years to come, and how much would I enjoy being with him? I am not interested in quick sex at this point in my life. Rather, I want to build community. And while it would be nice to have a boyfriend, I haven’t gotten to that point yet.
I’ve met a lot of great men, some of which I like very much, but I think I’m not ready to go further. After being married for 20 years, going into a relationship at this particular point feels like closing myself off from the new life I’m building, and going back to something narrower. It may be that I am jaded from my marriage, which was very insular. My wife and I had very few friends, and I had fewer friends than she did. Because I was in the closet, I found that I could not get close to other men in an honest way. Straight men seemed so foreign to me, so I didn’t develop any close relationships with anyone over the 20 years of our marriage. In fact the opposite happened, as the years went on, I closed myself off from the friends I came to the marriage with.
So yes, I do want to find love. But there is process to respect, and since I only came out of my marriage a year and a few months ago, I suspect that I am not ready to take the next step. I am enjoying getting to know a number of men and am enjoying going on dates. More serious dating, well I hope that is in the future. Love, likewise, I hope is part of the plan.