Sunday, January 22, 2012

I am not a Looker

While in Alaska, I went hiking along a portion of the Chilkoot trail. This trail was one of the main routes into the gold fields during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1899. The trail is approximately 35 miles long and can take from three to five days to complete. The trail itself begins near the old townsite of Dyea, Alaska and ends near Lake Bennet, in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory in Canada. Along the trail I was able to see some beautiful scenery, and some other interesting finds. But, I had to be observant. Or, at least pay attention to the guide.
Bear Scratch Marks

As we hike along our trail through life, many of us  ultimately hope not to travel alone. There are those of us who like company for a while, and some of us who want company until Trail's End. I am one of the latter. I would like someone by my side until the trail comes to a natural end. However, I have learned I have no control over the other person and their journey.

As I continue this new fork along my hike, I have come to realize that I need to keep my eyes open for a new partner as he could come along at any time and in any place. We could be in a supermarket, both reaching for a zucchini, or we could meet in a Starbucks, I could be writing, he could be reading. But, does this mean I am actively looking for a relationship? No. When I am ready, or the Universe believes I am, someone will enter my life again. I am open to the possibility for that to happen. I have learned from my past relationships and experiences and hope I am better prepared for the moment when the Universe brings someone to me. And then we can explore our options.

Watermelon Berries
Both my past relationships came along when I wasn't looking. They just happened. I met both men through mutual friends, and both ended up not being the best match for me, but it was always my choice to stay or go. I consider both to be learning opportunities and next time I will leave if I feel the need to, but only after I have made absolutely sure I have done all I can and I will make sure it is not out of fear that I am leaving.

Fear can make us do irrational things.  Fear can also be a wall we must overcome. Fear of being alone made me stay with my partners longer than necessary, or healthy. Fear of not finding anyone better made me settle for someone less than what I truly wanted. Fear of having to settle yet again, may prevent me from wanting to continue hiking. At least for a while. 

Taiya River
While I am not actively looking for a partner, the likelihood of him walking to my door is nil. I at least have to be out on the path to stumble across him. If I hadn't been on the Chilkoot Trail, I would not have seen the scenery here. If I hadn't been hiking in Franklin Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains, I might not have seen the Western Fence Lizard.

Chaparral Trail, Franklin Canyon
So, when I am ready to resume hiking, does this mean I have to go trolling in bars and clubs or list myself on dating sites and apps because it's easier to find a gay man at a gay place? No, I don't have to, they are merely places to visit along my way because I do have to be out on the trail, if I want to meet someone at the appropriate time. What I have to keep in mind is the attitude I have. I mean, yes it is easier to find a gay man in a gay establishment, but those aren't the only places where we hang out. But, if I am expecting to find Prince Charming in one of these places, I won't. If I hope to meet people and make friends, I just might.

I know many people go to bars and clubs with the attitude of finding someone special, only to end up disappointed. Many people are trying online dating, or listing themselves on "hookup apps." But, by putting up a profile on one of these sites, am I hoping to meet Mr. Right and not Mr. Right-Now? Maybe subconsciously I am. But again, it goes back to my attitude. Many of the men on these sites are looking for Mr. Just-for-Funtimes, or at least Mr. Right-Now. I am not looking for either. First and foremost, I am looking to make friends, and if a friendship leads somewhere else, all the better. I don't expect the first guy I meet to be Mr. Wonderful, and I have been down that path of being a Mr. Right-Now before and I didn't like how I felt about myself afterwards. I don't want to go there again. Does that mean I won't have a good time now and then? Not necessarily, but I will follow my instinct and if it feels wrong, I just won't do it. And if he doesn't like it; well, then it wasn't meant to be.

And I will continue my hike.

Western Fence Lizard


  1. For me, it is all about timing and perspective. I met my now partner of 9 years on, and would've never dreamed that would have been how I'd meet a partner. I was open to any and all possibilities, and threw my "list" of requirements out the window.

    Sometimes, who we need isn't necessarily who we want.

    Happy trails, Jeff!

    1. Kergan,

      You are absolutely correct. It's all about timing and perspective. For me, I am contemplating where I am on my hike, and when my path does cross someone else's we will need to see where our trails conjoin, or not. As for "requirements", I just follow my instinct.

      Thanks for reading, and commenting!

  2. I have started dating again recently after many years of flying solo. I'm 47 so you can say I am pretty set in my ways and that makes it even harder to find someone I want to be with, not to mention how weird older single men can be. I will keep searching for someone but I will continue to search myself as well because I am the best I got right now.

    1. Scott, thank you so much for taking the time to read and to comment. Yes, older men can be weird and very set in our ways. Sometimes, the longer we're alone the more 'set' we can become. I like your last line, and I agree, we are the best we got right now. But, let's both keep our eyes open as we hike along the trail. We never know what we might encounter! Best of luck!