Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote
plus A Switch Hitter
By Angelo Pezzote, MA, LMFT (MFC41291), NCC
The problem with guys is it is hard to find someone to share a lifetime together. I'm gay but I met a woman I love. I am not truly in love, but know I can spend my life with her. Is this a mistake?
Signed, Switching Teams
Dear Switching Teams,
Yes, it is. Sexuality can be fluid, but changing your sexuality is not like substituting egg rolls at the Chinese restaurant. Unless you're bisexual, you cannot bend your sexual orientation and turn to women because you cannot meet a guy. Since you say you're gay and not bisexual, this woman, as lovely as she is, is not going to fill the place in you that has not been filled by another man. She'll be like a band-aid on your wounds instead. She is also undeserving of the hurt you'll be causing her.
The essence of being gay is wanting to share your life with a man. You know you're gay when you are predominately sexually attracted to men AND when you want to fall in love with a man romantically. When you desire to truly love another man. When you dream of waking up next to a man and sharing the moments of your life with a man. When you wish to create a union and perhaps a family with another man. Such feelings are at the core of being gay. You cannot abandon them. It can be hard to find love, but do not give up.
There is someone for everyone - even you. You are not left out. You can have love. Nothing can keep your soul mate from you. He is out there. You just do not know his name yet. Your time for love is now. Get out there, keep your heart open, trust and don't get insecure. There is no need to settle in love. Your man will show up.
There seems to be a gay game I call "come here, go away." Gay life is tough enough as it is, why are guys so afraid of meeting, especially at the bars?
Signed, Hot and Cold
Most guys at the bar are interested in fraternal bonding, coming out, being seen, partying and sex. It's not the ideal environment to form deep meaningful relationships. But intimacy is a problem for men in general not just gay bar patrons.
Men are raised to be tough guys. Somehow, we are all supposed to be the contented Marlboro Man, scoring often, but ultimately alone. We're socialized to be independent, swallow our feelings, compete, provide and protect. We may become commitment phobic not wanting to be smothered. Many men end up having trouble creating noncompetitive emotional relationships. Gay men are men and do not escape this. Only unlike our straight brothers, we have no females to guide our relationships on emotional matters.
So, when another man gives you the signal, "come here," and you do, he can become frightened and either shut down, or run the other way. We then receive a contradictory message, "go away." He could be unsure about how to respond or about how he feels. Maybe he's shy or trying to protect his heart. Many gay men at my last workshop expressed that they'd been so burned in the past, that they'd rather not respond or call guys back than risk being hurt again. We are also all inhibited to some degree with our uncomfortableness about our own gayness. It's not possible to fully appreciate another gay man if we don't value our own gayness. We may continue to believe it's not OK to woo another man. And gay coupling requires higher visibility or being out.
This can all feel like risky business. So we may make like turtles and go back in our shell. Yet we strongly desire real intimacy at the same time. Hence, the mixed message. Could be too that the guy's just flirting to stroke his own ego. In any case, you need to ask yourself if you truly want someone who is emotionally unavailable to you.
Angelo Pezzote, MA, LMFT, NCC
The Gay Man's Therapist
For Today's Gay Man
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