Sunday, February 16, 2014

Gay Oedipus Complex?

Sigmund Freud proposed the theory of the Oedipus complex as a stage in the psychosexual development of children. It occurs around 3-6 years of age where the child wants to sexually possess the opposite-sex parent. As psychologists, and Lady Gaga, are now advancing the belief gay people are Born This Way, it stands to reason that gay children would have the opposite type of Oedipus complex; they would want to sexually possess their same-sex parent. While some may argue children of the 3-6 year old range may not be sexually aware enough to possess a parent, it could also manifest itself in simply wanting to spend time with that parent while excluding the other. 

With the mixed messages gay men have received while growing up, especially from our fathers or the father figure in our lives, this could explain why many gay men have had strained or difficult relationships with their fathers; religion and other homophobic beliefs notwithstanding.

Well, maybe at least it explains mine. And my dating conundrums. 

When I meet a new man I'm interested in, either as a friend or a potential boyfriend, I get attached quickly. Perhaps too quickly. I want to know what's going on, what's he thinking, does he like me, too? When he doesn't reply to my text/email/phone call, I know he has rejected me. Either that, or he's in a hospital, lying in a ditch somewhere, or worse, he's dead!

And I ask myself, why? Why do I do that? After all, we only met for coffee, and I'm picking out china patterns before we've even had sex, which is a whole other can of worms I am afraid to open right now.

As I've met some really nice men in the three years since my divorce,  many of these encounters sent me all in a tizzy because I found myself interested in him and thought he was interested, too. As it turns out, he was interested, but usually in a third person,  so we could only be friends. Okay, that's fine. I could always use more friends.

But, I would go through all the same emotions, as if we were dating. Which we weren't, and weren't going to. Yet, I wanted to pursue the friendship with the same fervor as if we were. Well, he said he hoped to see me soon, he enjoyed his time with me, but since he hasn't called, he obviously didn't mean what he said. Oh my god, he's dead!

And I ask myself why? Why do I set myself up for this?

It's simple.

I am lonely. The loneliness has raised its ugly head. When I feel there is a connection, however strong or weak it may be, I want to see the friendship/relationship flourish, and immediately. And when it doesn't move the way I want/need it to, I feel rejected. 

And then I ask myself why? Why do I feel rejected? What's wrong with me? What did I do? But, what if I did nothing? Except maybe come on too strong too fast.

And I ask myself why? Why is this so familiar?

The answer finally came to me. 

My father.

My parents divorced when I was five, right in the middle of the Gay Oedipus Complex. I should be over it by now. The fifty-six year old is, kind of, but the five year old isn't. The ten year old isn't. The sixteen year old is angry because father wasn't around and the stepfather couldn't (wouldn't?) connect with him. The sixteen year old gave up waiting for the father to at least send a birthday card. Yet, our moving around all over the country didn't help the father stay in touch with the little boy. It wasn't entirely the father's fault, but excuses don't always help young children understand. Or heal.

While I have come to believe everything happens for a reason, and while my parents had their reasons for the divorce, I have become an innocent victim of the circumstances surrounding it. It was not my fault, but now I am bearing the burden of that injured child. Now that I have identified this part of my shadow, it is up to me to find the light to help manage it. 

And the only way I can think of is to embrace the loneliness, to embrace the fear of rejection-either as boyfriend or platonic friend, and to accept the fact that I truly didn't do anything to chase my father away; just as I may not have done anything in particular to chase those men away. I just need to remind the little boy, especially when a new man enters our life, that whatever happens, we both will be just fine. In time.

And for the men who reject me, either as a friend or boyfriend, they are missing out on one hell of an amazing man and a great friend.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Tale of Two Men

In the three years post divorce, I have met seven men who've stood out in some way (I've actually met a few more, they just didn't stand out as much) and only three of those were on actual dates. Of the seven men, I felt connected enough with only two of them for me to seriously consider a relationship, to be willing to risk my heart. Surprisingly, I did NOT meet either of those two men under dating circumstances. 

The connection I felt with both of them was more than just a physical attraction: it was, in my mind and heart, based on a possible deep friendship first, the kind that could grow into an amazing romance later. And with one of them the connection even felt spiritual. At least for me. And even stranger was that the connection I felt was very strong, stronger than with my exes.

Both men are intelligent, are very attractive, have a passion for life, love animals and are all around amazing guys.

But, perhaps the most unusual connection they share is the fact they were both born on the same day, but different years. 

And I fell for them really hard. And fast, perhaps too fast.

But something happened and I'm not sure exactly what it was or where I now stand with them. Well, I know I will probably never hear from the first one ever again. And time will tell with the other one. But, I think the writing is on the wall. And it's not looking good.

But, time will indeed tell on both.

So, what happened? I don't know, but the only thing I can think of, since I am the common thread, is that I may have misunderstood their intentions, miscommunicated mine, or scared them off some other way. 

But, the fact that they both appeared in my life and I felt so very connected to them tells me that those are the qualities I am looking for in a husband. The first one had actually set the bar and the second guy has now raised it. 

My Potential Husband has some big shoes to fill! 

And he will.

But, I'll just get a little freaked out if he shares their birthday. 

Or, I'll take it as an omen. Third time is the charm, they say.

People enter and exit our lives for reasons and both of these men have taught me several lessons:
  • Really good men still exist out there
  • I am not emotionally dead
  • I will know when I will be willing to take that risk
  • Trust my instincts 
Also, as the people in our lives serve as a mirror of ourselves, the fact that I admire certain qualities in these two men also tell me I also admire those same qualities in me.

I just need to find them. 

They're just deeply buried right now.

As I'm still smarting from the second whatever-it-was (we didn't officially date, never kissed, and yet, I still fell for him) I've decided to concentrate on exploring more of my spiritual side. 

A recent sign I received from the Universe reminded me I always have a choice. In every matter I always have a choice. I'm choosing to develop more of a relationship with Spirit and with each of the various Spirit Guides I've encountered along my Path.

And this, in turn, will help me be ready for the next time I meet someone amazing.