Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Still Haven't Found...

...what I'm looking for, exactly.

Because I don't know what I'm looking for.

And therein lies my problem.

Or, maybe not.

As I have come to accept that I am cautiously entering the dating pool because I am becoming more social, it's bound to happen. Some handsome man will ask me out, I'll say yes, and he's going to look at me across a table, or turn to me while we're driving to our destination and ask or, horror of horrors, at some point text me that inevitable question, "What exactly are you looking for?"

While my first impulse is to reply, "Winning lottery numbers!" I don't think that's what he meant. Yet, I should have an answer ready. And if I don't know what I am looking for- husband, boyfriend, friend-withOUT-benefits, hookup- why should he bother sticking around? Unless he doesn't know either and then we could continue looking for whatever it is we're looking for and possibly find it, or maybe not find it in each other, even if we do ultimately figure out whatever it was we were looking for in the first place. But, then one of us could find it, and the other might not, and that's a whole other scenario. And that's the peril of dating. Someone usually ends up getting hurt.

I mean I am ultimately looking for a husband. I think. There are times when I wake up and want to cuddle, or talk, or make him breakfast in bed and then make him my breakfast in bed. And there are times, I don't. There are times I enjoy being alone. I think all that just makes me human.

I am a typical gay male in a few respects. I mean I'm emotionally and physically attracted to men, I worship Cher, I have artistic sensibilities, and like many gay men I have several friends in my life, who are mostly straight women. I am atypical in that I lack a close circle of gay male friends who live relatively close enough to see on a semi-regular basis, if only to see a movie, grab a cup of coffee, and discuss our horrible dates from the last few weeks, or to celebrate the successful ones and ask our friends to keep us grounded in reality and be our sounding board; "What do you think he meant by that?" or "Should I keep or dump him?"

I must say I do have gay male friends I can share with, however 50-60 miles away is hardly local, even by Los Angeles standards, and few of them are single, let alone single and at mid-life. To a gay person, this family of friends who understands the nuances of our gayselves is crucial to our survival. Who else would understand the rejection we often feel by our blood family? The sting of discrimination often hurled at us? The celebration when the courts rule in our favor? The elation when we feel we are finally beginning to start feeling equal to the heteros? And finally accepting the beauty in that feeling?

I guess what I'm looking for now is that family. A family of brothers I can relate to. But, as I search for that band of brothers, I am also keeping my eye open for that someone special who makes me look forward to tomorrow, which also complicates the answer that question.

Because as I am trying to sort out what I generally want in a husband, I'm also sorting out where Prospective Date fits on that scale and/or seeing if he even falls on the I-really-like-you-as-a-friend-but-just-not-that-way list.

Yet, if I were to answer Prospective Date's question, by saying I am looking for "friends" that's an immediate shutdown and limits possibilities and can lead to misunderstandings. I learned that lesson the hard way.

To say, "I'm open to possibilities" suggests I'm open to anything; friends, friends-with-benefits, f**kbuddy, boyfriends, husbands, whatever. It comes off as vague, desperate and maybe even uncaring.

Is there any good answer to that question?

I think it depends on what my intuition says about him and about me at the moment when he asks. While I may believe life brings people into our lives to teach us lessons about ourselves, and there's something for me to learn in this particular encounter, if I were to reply with something like, "I want to see what life lesson I can learn about myself from our meeting," I could come off as snooty, not-down-to-earth or very selfish.

For right now, while I am searching for that band of brothers with the underlying hope that one of those brothers might emerge as possible boyfriend/husband material, I think I'll just respond with, "I'm looking to meet guys and just see what happens. I have no set agenda." To me, that's open, honest, and it's where I am on my path. And I think it invites more conversation.

Then I'll just sit back and enjoy the journey.

(And hopefully a very enjoyable view!)

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