I recently went out with a gay male friend for lunch at a coffee shop near my house. As we stood in the vestibule of the restaurant waiting to be seated, he nudged me and indicated the ostensibly straight young man in the white t-shirt tightly stretched across his nicely developed chest draping himself across his girlfriend.
I think I muttered an "Ewwww, no!"
My friend then pointed out the young Latino waiter with the neatly trimmed beard who had several open tables, "Maybe we can be seated in his section."
I think I said, "Yeah, whatever."
To which my friend retorted, "I'm only trying to find guys I think you think are cute."
And I responded with, "I'm tired of men and their bullshit! I've sworn off men!"
And on later reflection, I can't even recall a time when my friend actually pointed out another guy to me, even the few times we were actually in West Hollywood rather than the gay desert where I live known as the North San Fernando Valley.
And all that got me to thinking about the R-word and what it means to me at this time. And so, this is what I've come up with:
No one is getting near them.
- Time consuming
Wow! What a downer.
I realize my list is hardly positive. After all, I'm not in a place to regard them in a positive light right now.
Okay, let me think. Maybe there are some positives:
- Companionship- wait, I can get that from a dog or cat;
- Sex- I can take care of that need myself; and I don't want anyone poking at me in the middle of the night because he's horny, yet too tired when I'm in the mood;
- Conversation- I can talk with my friends on the phone or via text, or during our occasional gatherings.
In facing my inner demons over the last few years, I've discovered my trust issues are now raised like the hackles of an alpha wolf fiercely guarding his pups.
No one is getting near them.
I've written about some of my trust issues before: how do I know he's telling me the truth, in any instance; his HIV status, his views on monogamy, his current relationship status, etc.
Yes, I've been hurt, and badly. We all have. Many people go on to get over their hurt and forge new and better relationships. Yet, right now, I see no need for one.
I've always been independent, after all I am an Aquarian, the independent child of the Zodiac, the free-thinker, the misunderstood one. Yet, whenever a man came into my life and began to pay me some attention, I immediately began to think of developing a relationship with him, and stick it out despite red flags flapping frantically in hurricane force winds.
My dichotomy...my own personal catch-22;
My first partner was a bit jealous and so afraid of losing me, we hardly ever went to gay events or clubs, to eliminate the potential competition, I guess. I saw elements of my stepfather in him: possessiveness, jealousy among the strongest. And because my ex wanted me, I stuck it out for nearly nine years until he died. It felt nice to be wanted and needed even if it wasn't by someone who could meet all my needs whatever they were.
My ex-husband couldn't communicate with me. I tried sharing my feelings regarding situations/conflicts and he couldn't take responsibility for his part. He shifted the blame to me. He also later turned out to be a bit possessive and chased the close friend he associated with my first partner out of my life. She and I were estranged for a number of years, until I learned he was responsible for pushing her away, and not someone else. And yet I stuck it out unhappily for almost sixteen years until he asked for a divorce.
The few men I've met since have also let me down, in that I saw that they were good, decent men and I found them attractive. I began to think of them as possible boyfriends, or more, but nothing materialized leaving me feeling rejected, hurt and now distrusting.
As my financial situation improves giving me resources and self-esteem to get back out there, I fear I'll be repeating the habits of settling for someone simply because he wants to be with me and I'll ignore the signs. Better to be with someone, anyone, rather than being alone. After all, I've done that before.
But, lately I've been thinking the opposite. It is better to be alone than with just anyone. And that is true. But, I've been thinking of making this my life's goal: be single. Accept it. Embrace it. Enjoy being single but not alone.
I'll look to construct a geographically desirable social circle to socialize with. I'll attend writers' workshops to socialize and obtain feedback and encouragement on my writing.
I'll find a social group to hang out with to make new friends to occasionally catch a movie or a coffee.
And we'll see what happens...