Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bloodied, bruised, but not beaten...


This coming out thing is not an easy process. In many ways, it’s like moving to a foreign country, one in which you are required to learn a new language, a new culture, and establish yourself in an environment that is a little disconcerting at best.

While the difficulty of my transition has been mitigated to an extent by friends who care for me and do what they can to make my life easy, there have been inevitable bumps along the way that have left me with a few scrapes and bruises and perhaps even a broken bone or two.

Fortunately, I have no permanent scars and am recuperating. I’m confident that one day I’ll be as good as new.

The source of my most visible injury is predictable and should have been preventable, but my naivety coupled with confidence (some say arrogance) led to a series of decisions that reminds me of the idiot man who keeps pounding his head, bloodied and lacerated, against the block wall simply because the block wall is there.

And what is my block wall, you ask?

A man. The Butterfly Man, to be exact.

Those of you who have been longtime followers of my blog remember my encounter last winter with The Butterfly Man, the first man in a very long time to actually make the butterflies in my chest take flight. There were early signs that this relationship would end as platonically as it began, but I refused to accept the obvious and instead hoped for something better.

Rather than go into detail about the romance that never was, let me suffice it to say that while he was as honest in his intentions as I was in mine, after six months of spending most evenings and many days together, it finally became clear to me that he is as committed to remaining alone as I am to finding a partner. While many of my friends and his saw us as a successful match, the reality was far different and I finally awoke to that fact.

So now my heart is somewhat broken, my confidence somewhat shaken, and my optimism somewhat diminished.

In a discussion about our relationship several weeks ago, TBM said something that he intended to be instructional, helpful, but in fact left me crushed. “Clive,” he said, “In two years you will find yourself still single and alone. That is the nature of a gay life. You might as well get used to it. The most you can hope for is a ninety day romance followed by a cordial separation.”

Is his comment cynical or an accurate portrayal of the typical gay man’s life?

For me, the answer will eventually unfold with all of its own bliss and heartache. I must be patient and find solace either way in the discovery.

And yet, down deep, despite his words and experience, I still have faith in the power of love and I still believe that there is in our natures an imperative that cries out for a partner with whom we can shoulder the joys and the trials of a full and fulfilling life.

My time will come. Eventually, I will find the man who is searching for me and we will bind our lives together not just for an instant, but forever.

I just must be patient. I just must have faith.


  1. "Is his comment cynical or an accurate portrayal of the typical gay man’s life?"

    Yes. :)

    Gay guys aren't any less capable of committing to a relationship than straight ones. ...Which is to say that they aren't, in general, very good at it—but they can manage it if they really want to.

    The difference is this: Women are better at long-term commitment (and know that I'm speaking in generalities here, and that there are men who are good at commitment and women who aren't). So a straight relationship has a better chance of lasting longer, because there's a good chance that at least one half of it is going to not only try herself to make it work, but also to hold him accountable and insist that he do the same.

    A coule of guys, on the other hand, are more likely to be realistic, and to feel less obligation to keep things going when perhaps that's not clearly the best thing to do.

    On the one hand, that means gay relationships don't tend to last as long as straight ones (and again, there are exceptions). But on the other hand, it also means that gay guys are more likely to remain friends after a breakup (because they ended things while it was still possible to remain friends, rather than hanging on until that was no longer an option).

    Yes, this is a cynical view. I also think it's fairly realistic. And I don't believe it contradicts the notion that "there is in our natures an imperative that cries out for a partner with whom we can shoulder the joys and the trials of a full and fulfilling life."

    ... It just means that that shouldering of joys might not be with the same person "until death do us part".

    Personally, I'm okay with that...

    I want a guy who can share my joys and my burdens. I want a guy who I can go to bed with and wake up next to... One who I know I can rely on for physical presence and emotional support and mental stimulation and romantic companionship.

    I even want a guy to whom I can say "I love you and I will give my all to our relationship, so that together we can be something more than the sum of our individual selves".

    ... But I'm realistic (or cynical, if you prefer) to recognize that I can't guarantee that our paths will always parallel each other's—that there may come a day (9 months later? 9 years later? 99 years later?) when we are no longer capable of that synergy. If/when that day comes, I hope that we can both recognize it, and redefine our relationship however necessary so that we can remain as close as friends as we possibly can...

    ...and then I hope that I can find another guy to share another portion of my life with.

  2. It's both. There are going to be men who for whatever reason will not/cannot commit.

    I however just celebrated my 12th anniversary with my partner.

  3. I don't buy it. Not one bit. Don't give up. I know people who are in committed same-sex relationships that have persisted years (won't it be nice when we can just call them marriages/relationships). It's always hard, gay or straight. But hard doesn't mean impossible.

  4. Clive - His comment is reflective of where HE is at, and he is projecting his own inadequacies and issues upon you. Don't buy it. This comment says volumes about HIM, not "gay live."

  5. Loved what Scott had to add to this post.