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15 August 2011, 9:00 am 19 Comments

Cynical And Southern: I Desperately Want To Be Loved

This post was submitted by Jeremy Gloff

I desperately want to be loved. How dare anyone want that out loud.

I’ve learned how to put my desperation on mute. I tuck it behind my eyes. I’ve gotten so skillful at hiding my desperation that quite often I even hide it from myself. Perhaps it’s in remission.

Late lonely nights when I turn off the computer, fall onto my bed, and give my mind a break from the everyday noise, I realize that hunger is still there. The hunger to be held. The hunger to be understood. The hunger to connect. And I never do.

It’s so out of fashion to say it aloud. To stand on a mountaintop and scream at the top of your lungs “Goddamnit I want so desperately for someone to fucking love me.” These are the kind of things you are never supposed to feel. And if you feel them you aren’t supposed to. Never say it out loud. Neediness equals weakness.

Our society is rampant with slogans tailored to illustrate the point that severely wanting to be loved is bad. We’ve been told our whole lives that the only way to find love is to not want it, to not need it, and to not look for it.

“If you aren’t looking…you will find it.”
“You should love yourself before you can ever love someone else…”
“The best things come to those who wait…”

Abiding by those rules I’ve gotten it wrong my entire life. I’ve never stopped looking. I love myself a lot and am fully capable of loving someone else. And I’ve waited. And waited. And waited. It doesn’t click. I love men that don’t love me.

It’s easy to dismiss me with a quick retort suggesting I’m psychologically off, and my defense mechanisms draw me towards men who don’t love me because I don’t love myself. Or because I am afraid of being loved. Perhaps this is the case. But what if it isn’t? What if some people just truly have bad luck? What if some people’s lives are just a series of mishaps and misadventures and near-misses?

The loneliness in me is so severe I stay on my computer until 5 am so I am not left with my own thoughts. I look around me. Most of my friends’ relationships are disasterous. Either they are constantly fighting with their partner or they are broken up about an unhealthy relationship that didn’t work out. This doesn’t make me want love any less.

I am past the portion of my life devoted to broken love. I am not mourning any lost loves. I am not crushing on any new loves. I feel unemotional, void, empty, and unable to even hope about love anymore. But within this white blank numbness still lies this intense urge to connect. For something sensual. For something intense.

Tonight I will go to sleep gapingly open. Tomorrow I will wake up with my defenses on. I will be embarrassed I was vulnerable enough to tell anyone just how much I long to be loved. To admit how lonely I am. I will put on my steely smile and pretend it doesn’t hurt when the adorable boy I had a crush on ignores me. I will pretend it doesn’t sting when I see the boy I adore fighting with his boyfriend he doesn’t really love.

I used to pretend I’m a robot like I’m supposed to. I pretended so long in many ways I’ve become that robot. Except on nights like these…

So here I say out loud the most unacceptable thing possible. I WANT TO BE LOVED. Tonight. Right now. With every fucking cell of my being.

And now the masks go back on.

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19 Comments »

  • Brandon Corbin said:

    I know exactly how you feel, but let me say this it isn’t the weak who show their true feelings and selves, it is the weak who hides themselves away and make themselves numb to life. Vulnerability is strong and beautiful. Never forget that.

  • KJN said:

    I was never happier than when I learned to accept being alone. The truth is that even in a relationship, one feels loneliness. That’s just life.

    We can offer ourselves to other people, but if we believe there is free will, then the decision whether to date you or even partner with you is up to the other person. And if that decision to them, then there is a possibility that no one will choose to do so.

    The better path is to develop one’s self, one’s interests, hobbies, career, friendships, etc. Then if the opportunity for love arises, it is simply an added benefit to an already enhanced life.

  • queer dude said:

    I echo what KJN says, with the added bit that I believe pursuing your own genuine interests will provide you with the opportunity to meet other people with whom you share interests. Jeremy, you say you never stopped looking: maybe now’s the time.

  • Ed said:

    Thank you for having the courage to publicly admit what men in general and, in this specific case, gay men are terrified to acknowledge.

    “Working on yourself” isn’t an alternative to finding love. If one is to grow and become spiritually (for some) and emotionally fulfilled, working on yourself is indicative of a life in balance. So, absolutely work on yourself, and admit that you want to be loved. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    I say this a lot because no matter how often I say it, people–usually gay men– behave as though I just said I’m from outer space. Next month, my partner Adrian and I will be celebrating 9, monogamous years together. (Pause for gasp of disbelief.) We love each other deeply, passionately and profoundly. One of my favorite things in the world is knowing that he is going to be lying in bed next to me when I wake up in the morning.

    Love is profound. It doesn’t just change you emotionally. Science has shown that it changes our brain and body chemistry as well. I’m not talking about the transigent 9 month or 2 year relationships that are all to common in Gay World. I’m talking about the love that we seldom see in our community … love that lasts five, six, and even seven decades. When you’re with someone for that long, there’s no amount of work you could do on yourself that is going to prepare you for building a life with another human being. For example, when I started dating my partner, I was happy with who I was. I had great friends and was pursuing many things that made me happy. Then, I met a man who was nothing like me. On paper, there is no way our relationship should have lasted this long, but everything that makes us different is what makes us stronger. However, I have to be clear. Our differences aren’t adversarial. They don’t clash … too often. When one of us falls short, the other has a skill set and interests to pick up the slack.

    We don’t “complete” each other. We complement one another. Call me bias and intolerant or whatever other labels are hurled at individuals who have the audacity to form an opinion., c’est la vie. But, I present you with two options. In one, you are content with your life. You have the freedom and the ability to pursue whatever interests you desire, but every night you go to bed alone. In the second, you have everything presented in the first scenario, but you have someone to share everything with. “Attachement theory” teaches us that the more we surrender to love and our relationship, ironically, the more we feel free to be our own person. Essentially, when you have forged a relationship with someone who, in my case, is also my best friend, you always have someone in your corner who is going to back you up and support you at every turn.

    I’m hard pressed to think of a single column you’ve written that has contained an idea I found remotely agreeable (if you genuinely want love, let go of the “gaydolecence.” If you want mature, adult love, you have to be an adult–or at least making a deliberate effort to be one.) But your willingness to embrace so boldly an ideal that most gay men won’t even acknowledge, makes you a hero in my book.

    Finally, love is just and onramp to something far more spectacular. When you fall in love, you start on a journey that eventually leads you to a place that is healing, safe, and nurturing. Love leads you to family, and if, for no other reason than that, I say keep the faith. Know that you will probably have to take the lead because our community is quick to settle for a bunch of good friends, a sprinkling of whom come with benefits. It works for some people because that’s all they know. I wanted more, and I wasn’t willing to settle for anything less than finding the man with whom I will spend the rest of my life, and building a family with him.

    It’s hard, but if I had to give you any advice, I would recommend the following three things:
    1) Embrace your inner-romantic. Show it to other people because there are others who feel the same way and are just as terrified to show it.
    2) Find someone who can demonstrate, to your satisfaction, that they share your values and are willing to develop new ones with you if necessary.
    3) Be willing to make a fool of yourself. Pride is one of the greatest barriers to finding true love. Be willing to do whatever you have to do to win a man’s heart–one that you want and that is worthy of your love. My partner shot me down hard 3 times before he finally agreed to go out with me. Even then, he was casually dating someone else. I was determined that I was going to move heaven and earth to have that man in my life, and, nine years later, he loves to tell the world how a confident, seemingly well-adjusted, man pursued him relentlessly and won his heart.

    I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • KJN said:

    Ed, no doubt you have put a lot of work, time and patience into creating and maintaining your relationship, and that should be acknowledged. However, I do not think you give enough credit to random chance in our lives. Most of us will never get the opportunity to meet, much less mate with, a person who would be a good partner for us. At least half of any encounter with another human being is out of our control.

    This emphasis on mating concerns me because I think that when a subculture (such as gay male culture) becomes so heavily focused on marriage/mating as ours has, we tend to induce guilt in those who are single. The implication is that if a gay man is single, it’s his own damn fault. Bullshit. There are a host of reasons why someone may be single, the person’s individual choices only being one factor.

    Of course a society such as ours, which is rooted in Protestantism, tends to teach it’s children that all their life’s problems are their own faults, and if only they’d behaved better, everything would go their way, including finding a life partner. Even those who do not profess Christianity are still infected with this guilt-ridden mental virus. I prefer to draw on more ancient, wiser traditions which teach that I have a responsibility to know exactly what I have control over, and what I do not, and to concern myself with what I have control over. So, ‘working on myself’ is something I have control over; finding a life partner is something I have only partial control over. Therefore I focus on the former, and leave the latter to whatever chance provides.

  • Ed said:

    @KNJ,

    I don’t even know how to respond to your post. 1) It is so far from the reality I live I can’t even begin to relate to it. Chance is for gamblers and people who don’t realize their real power. We make our own fate (that’s an oversimplification.) 2) No one is making Jeremy feel guilty about being alone. He flat out says that people are making him feel ashamed and embarrassed to admit he wants to be loved.

    I think he is brave, and I am pledging to support his efforts, and those of other gay men who are willing to come out of the closet as romantics in order to find the love they want. If he were here in DC, I would invite him over to the home my partner and I are building together. It isn’t perfect, but it’s ours. Last year, we put up our Christmas tree, and it was a adorned with things we’ve collected over our 8 years together, gingerbread ornaments we made and decorated together, and ornaments from our childhoods. Without even intending for it to happen, we created one of the most beautiful trees either of us had ever seen. It was the perfect reflection of our love and the family we are trying to create despite all of the people who say it won’t last, the people who say two men can’t love each other, and those who don’t even make the effort to consider monogamy.

    I would also show him the work I did on our front yard this year. It is an amalgam of our favorite colors and plants. The cool thing about finding someone who loves you is that I want to do things like that for Adrian. I do them because he lets me love him. He wants to be loved, so he makes himself vulnerable enough to let me in and to let me get to know his heart–despite “society” telling us that men don’t show their emotions.

    We would sit down in the dining room that we decorated together and I would tell Jeremy about the time I called my Mom to bitch about Adrian, and she told me I was wrong and needed to go apologize. I would tell him how Adrian and my Mom love to read and bond over books, while his Mom and I love gardening. I’d tell him how our 3 year old nephew give me hugs and says, “I love you Ed (He doesn’t understand the concept of uncles and aunts yet.)”

    And Jeremy would see what everyone who knows us sees. We are a couple who is deeply and passionately in love. We have to work at it just like any other couple who wants to be together forever, and the at the heart of everything that is sacred and special about our relationship is the simple fact that we respect one another. He wasn’t my best friend when we started dating, but he is now. I want to raise children with him. I want to grow old with him, and spoil our grandchildren the same way my grandparents spoiled me. Like many others in the LGBT community who’ve been rejected by widely held traditions, you seem to be taking an “If they won’t have me, then screw them” attitude, but, when we do, we miss out on something critical–the opportunity to build our own families and to pass our own values on to another generation of human beings. We can’t do that alone–as a single parent, yes, but that doesn’t seem to be the definition of “alone” you’re articulating.

    There is nothing perfect about our relationship. If it were, then I would be worried. Love is imperfect. It can be ugly and traumatic, but if you find someone who is as devoted to getting it right as you are, and Jeremy, those men do exist, then it can be transcendent. It can be healing. It can give you the strength to tell all those people who would dare to judge you to go suck an egg.

    That’s the mushy, romantic version, but I am ready and willing to back up everything I’ve said with the most recent scientific research that you already know. People who are in healthy longterm relationships are happier, live longer, are healthier, make more money, and have an overall better standard of living. Gay men are increasingly trending toward monogamy and longterm relationships, and, last, forensic anthropologists have learned that some tribes of early man did not survive because they did not developed a strong sense of community. There’s more if you want it. Again, religion and the ignorant pulls of general society have nothing to do with my love for Adrian, but to the extent that I have to defend it, primarily to other gay men, your’re not going to hear me talk about Christianity and other emotional factors like guilt and whatever else. I am an adult, and I made a choice about the life I want to live. When pressed I will defend my family’s right to exist in a community that dismisses us as heteronormative clones.

    We will be married. We will love. We will work our asses off every hour of every day because what we have is worth it. This is the most important thing I will ever do in my entire life, and, if Jeremy wants love, then he has found a stauch ally in me and my partner. True love is real, and it is attainable. No matter what anyone else tells you Jeremy, NEVER EVER EVER give up on that idea. Don’t ever give up hope. I’ve got to go now. One of my favorite things in the world to do is to climb into bed every night with the man I love, and it’s way passed our usual bedtime.

    LOVE FEARLESSLY!!!

  • KJN said:

    Ed, again, I’m not denying you’ve worked hard to create and maintain a relationship (and thus your long description of domestic bliss was in response to an argument I did not make). Nor am I saying single people should not be on the look out for possible relationships. Most of us want to have a relationship someday. What I am contesting is the implication that if someone is single, then it is entirely his own fault. I can make myself available and willing to do the hard work of relationship creation and maintenance, but that doesn’t mean someone else who is a good fit will automatically come along. Me being ready, willing and capable of creating a great relationship, and keeping my eyes open for one doesn’t make the right guy magically appear. Reality isn’t magical. If someone else who is the right fit does come along, that is chance. I’m may have laid the groundwork within myself to be available and ready for this work, but the arrival of the other person in my life is beyond my control. To think otherwise is to think I have control over the decisions of other people, and that other people are pawns in my game of improving my own life. You have worked hard to make a relationship with your partner, and again I say, “Wonderful! Congratulations!” But surely you are not implying that you have such a great control over your ‘fate’ that you actually forced him to magically appear in your life at just the right time (I’m talking about the events leading up to your first meeting, not your extremely aggressive pursuit of him once you’d met him). Did you force him to be born, too? His parents to meet?

    Of course not; that is ridiculous. You can ready yourself in all possible ways to create and maintain a wonderful relationship. But if another willing and capable person, who is also a good match, does not happen to show up in your life, it’s not your fault. A lot of us are single and waiting. But I absolutely refuse to accept that my singleness is all my fault because I control my ‘fate’. The bottom line is, the right man has not yet appeared in my life. And if he does, that will be due to random chance.

  • Ed said:

    @KJN, My “long description of domestic bliss” wasn’t meant for your benefit. I chose not to engage you in whatever you’re saying about your self-imposed guilt. After all, no one can make you feel guilty. I spent tons to learn that one in therapy.

    I think, maybe, this is just a suggestion, when people tell you that being single is your own fault, they are referring to the condescending, rude, and negative attitude you’ve displayed in your responses to this column. You infer that I have a problem determining reality from magic, but here’s some reality for you. Out of the last 20 years, I’ve been single approximately 5-6 of them. I’ve been in 4 relationships, and I’ve been in love with everyone of them. The longest of the two were 4.5 years and 9 years and counting. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that the love I have for my partner eclipses the love I felt for all of the others combined.

    According to your philosophy, I should move to Vegas and become a professional gambler because it looks like I am kicking “random chance” in the nuts. I found the illusive magical “love.” I wonder how that happened. Maybe it’s because I am hardwired to be in a relationship. I know that goes against the conventional gay wisdom, which is the same “wisdom” that says we should just make peace with being alone. After all, isn’t that what the anti-gay factions say? We can’t fall in love. We’re promiscuous. We’ll wind up dying alone. Awesome outlook.

    Instead of encouraging another gay man to accept your limited and self-imposed isolation and telling him that the only way he’ll find love is if it’s wounded, blind, and limping along slowly in front of him, maybe it would be nice to get some support for gay love.

    Whatever else you have to say about love and your persecution complex, try to remember that this isn’t about you. Here’s a little more reality. If Jeremy wants to find someone to love him, it’s not your job to unload your issues on him and discourage his pursuit of happiness. Of course, now comes the diatribe about how mean I am and how I’m one of those arrogant people who makes single people feel guilty, crappy, or whatever. But take a look around. How much domestic bliss do you see in our community? How much cynicism and loneliness do you see? I can’t tell you how many gay men I know who don’t believe in true love. They tell me they want the right to marry, but they don’t see it in their futures. After reading your comments, I wonder why?

  • KJN said:

    Ed, it’s hard to be respectful of your position when you completely miss the substance of my arguments. If I’ve come across as rude it was unintended; I will however admit to being defensive. And my defensiveness is this: I want to be in a relationship, truly wish to be in one; but just because I want to be in one doesn’t mean there is one out there “ripe for the pickin’”. You seem to think that because you have had a successful long-term relationship, then everyone can have one, too. This is what I react to in your mentality: you cannot imagine a reality outside the confines of your experience. Again I say I am not denying that you have worked hard for your relationship. It’s clear that you work very hard to maintain it. I would like the opportunity to work hard at a relationship, too, someday. But just because I want that opportunity, and believe I am well capable of making the most of that opportunity, doesn’t mean I’m going to get that opportunity. I cannot bend the forces of the universe to my will. What happens will happen when it happens, and my responsibility is to be ready and open to it.

    So that I can be sure I’ve been as clear as I can possibly be, let me summarize: I would like to be in a long-term, successful relationship. I believe I am willing and capable of creating and maintaining a long-term, successful relationship. If I get the opportunity to have a long-term, successful relationship, I will pursue it. If I do not get that opportunity, I will not blame myself. I will not let people who are in long-term, successful relationship try to convince me that the only reason I don’t have one is because it is my fault. I will not believe that I should automatically have a long-term, successful relationship just because I want one and just because I’m able to have one. Finally, since it is entirely within the realm of probability that even though I want to have and am capable of creating and maintaining a long-term, successful relationship, that I may never find one, I will do whatever work I am capable of to make my life of singleness meaningful in itself, without waiting for a relationship to come along. My recommendation to all single people is to seek meaning in their lives as they are, and to consider themselves fortunate if the opportunity to create a long-term, successful relationship comes along (but not to waste away their lives waiting for it).

  • Ed said:

    KJN, I will say this until it sinks in. Jeremy wrote this column because He wants to be loved. I’ve been able to find love and maintain my relationship for 9 monogamous years. You don’t think I have anything to contribute to a conversation about how to find love? If Jeremy wants it, I support him in his every effort to find it. Did you read the part in his column where he says he stays up late because he doesn’t like going to bed alone? He doesn’t like it, and he doesn’t want to be okay with it. Again, that’s his choice. You’ve expressed yours. The two are not compatible. I don’t know everything about finding love, but I know this, “wanting” and “actively seeking” are two entirely different things. You accused me of employing aggressive methods to court my current partner. That’s who I am, and if that perspective can help Jeremy, I am going to offer it in a way that’s, hopefully, not too obnoxious.

    Sometimes, we make our own opportunities, and that is just a difference in the way we see life, that will probably never be resolved. I offer my experiences in the hopes that Jeremy might find something helpful in them. You have to understand. I have no problems with asking guys out. I have no problems with them saying no. I have made the first move in all my relationships because guys in DC-can’t speak for the ones in other cities–are so passive and wishy-washy. In one relationship I saw a guy sitting at an outdoor table on 17th street, said hello and asked him to dinner. In the next, I was hanging out with a guy I was getting to know, and I liked him. He asked me for a lifesaver. I put one between my teeth and kissed him. In the next, I was attracted to a friend’s ex. I live by the code, You don’t date your friend’s exes. This time I was having some trouble with it. So, I went to my friend and asked his permission. It’s old fashioned, but it works for me. Finally, yes, I was relentless and dogged my pursuit of Adrian. Nine years later, ask me which part of the behavior you describe as “aggressive” I regret or wouldn’t do the same way all over again.

    I wish I could do a Vulcan mind-meld to show those who have some trepidation about going after love how much more it is than we imagine before we have it. I don’t say that to be arrogant. I’m saying that because it’s the truth. There are moments I’ve shared with my partner that were 100% magical. They defy all logic and reason, and were entirely generated by emotion–raw, naked emotion. It’s the kind you can only share when you are with someone you trust entirely with your heart. Again, I say none of that for your benefit. I have no regrets. I found my penguin, but I made up my mind. That was what I wanted, and I went after it. I didn’t make peace with being alone. I let the loneliness fuel my search for true love. I didn’t share my bed with a bunch of guys who would make me feel good for an evening. I held out for what I wanted.

    Call me selfish. Call me a dreamer. Tell me I believe in fairy tales, and I’ll own up to every one. Wanna hear something even more absurd? I fell in love with Adrian the first time I laid eyes on him. I love being in love, and I want more people, specifically LGBT people, to experience the real deal. I’ve changed my definition of love, but it’s based on where I am currently in my life. For me there are phases of love that grow deeper the longer you are in it. I don’t remember my life without Adrian. That’s how powerful his influence on me has been. I remember things I did, but my life started the day he walked through my front door. Now, love is planning our future together. Raising children. we talk about the values we want them to have and how we are going to defend their right to be an individual. We are at a point in our relationship where there is so much love that we feel we have enough to share with a son or daughter or both. I want LGBT people to find their own versions of that happiness.

    You see it as a matter of chance. I see it as a matter of time. If you want someone to love you, you have to be lovable, open, generous, appreciative, and have a vision for the future. There are so many times in our relationship that if I hadn’t told Adrian that I see us growing old together, he would have lost focus on our shared objective. We both want this, but neither one of us has been entirely sure how to make it work. We’ve had to pull miracles out of nothing. There’s no one we can ask for relationship advice. We’ve looked for other couples who have been together as long as we have AND are monogamous. Still looking. Open or monogamous? That’s up to Jeremy, but finding love, in my opinion is only as certain as you believe it is.

    One last piece of advice for Jeremy. I stopped looking for advice about love from gay men. I went to my heterosexual friends who have been married and or in love for a really long time. Adrian’s parents are awesome. My grandparents are awesome. If you want to know how to do something right, you go to the people who’ve done it. Then, we adapted the hell out of the things we learned from them so that they worked for us.

    @KJN, I’m not trying to change your mind. You have to make the decision that’s right for you. I can only tell you what worked for me.

  • KJN said:

    I’m happy you found love. I’m happy for all people who get the opportunity to find/create true love. I most certainly congratulate you for putting in the effort and reaping the rewards. Again, I say to you, congratulations. You deserve recognition and praise for that. But if I understand you correctly, you seem to be encouraging single men who want love to nurse their discontent in singleness in order to give them the impetus to find love. I find that advice irresponsible. I maintain that if you cannot be content in being single—if you cannot dwell with yourself in that way—you will bring baggage into a relationship that is unhealthy and destructive. Contented people make contented relationships.

    I can’t give you advice on relationships. Clearly you’ve blazed your own trail. (Again, good for you!) We are going to continue to disagree on this. You pursued your opportunity with Adrian and were successful at it. But nothing you did created Adrian in the first place. You neither caused his birth nor raised him to have a personality that made a good fit for you. He happened to be the right person at the right time for you to pursue a relationship with him. Your initial encounter with him, regardless of whatever putting yourself out there you did beforehand, was chance. You may well believe we all get the same chance, that there is someone perfect for everyone, and if we all just put ourselves out there aggressively, we’ll get the same opportunity to meet the right guy. I just don’t see reality as coming with such an awesome guarantee.

    (BTW, Ed, we’ve discussed this and other topics before. Not only here but face to face over coffee. You know me as Kyle. And you’ve even encouraged me to challenge you in the past whenever I thought you were off base. Just saying.)

  • Ed said:

    Hey Kyle,

    We haven’t done this in a long time. I hope you’re doing well. You’re right. This is one of the issues on which we agreed to disagree.

    Just to be clear, I said that I used my loneliness to fuel my search for love. I’ve been exceedingly clear in saying that I’ve been sharing my experiences. If anyone benefits from them, that’s great. I conclude my previous statement by saying that you have to do what works for you.

    You’ve used the word “reality” a lot, and I think you would know that “reality” is relative. Our respective positions on this issue make that case. We have very different “realities.” If someone wrote an article saying they want to be in an open relationship or enjoy being single, I have nothing to offer.

    If your choice is to make peace with being single, more power to you. I can’t muster up the sincerity to say congratulations because i hated being single. I don’t understand the reference to Adrian’s birth. If you want, you can go back and say, “what if the Mayflower sank?” His family is part of the Mayflower Society. What if primordial ooze hadn’t developed a nucleus and turned into the first single celled life form on the planet?

    You say, “He happened to be the right person at the right time for you to pursue a relationship with him. Your initial encounter with him, regardless of whatever putting yourself out there you did beforehand, was chance.” Not a single word of that is accurate. Again, you can’t project your assumptions onto other people’s lives. Adrian was dating someone else when I met him. I didn’t know. They weren’t serious, but Adrian had met the other guy first. So, it’s “chance” that he blew me off the first time I chatted with him online? It’s chance that he blew me off the second time we chatted? It’s chance that he didn’t remember me the third time? It’s chance that he was dating someone else? How many of those barriers would it have taken to make you quit? I kept pursuing him. When he told me about the other guy, I asked him if they were serious. He said, “No.” I said, “If it does, let me know.” I was pretty confident at that point that he would choose me. Did I leave it to chance? God no! If I thought for one second that he was going to choose the other guy, I would have stepped up my “A” game.

    You give chance too much credit. Sure, certain things have to be in place fo find love, but the same can be said about being hit by a drunk driver. What if he had never been born? What if I had stayed at work 10 more minutes? What if the bartender had stopped serving him? Again, I could “what if” myself into paralysis. Opportunity may present itself, but it’s up to us to take advantage of them.

    Based on our previous conversations, I have to wonder how many times “chance” has put you in the same room with the man of your dreams, but you missed the opportunity to speak to him because you were waiting for him to approach you. I wonder how many times guys have thrown away their chance at happiness because they thought the hot guy flirting with them might be Mr. Right, and they walked away from the love of their life–because of chance?

    I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but I don’t gamble. I don’t buy lottery tickets. I don’t bet on ball games or participate in office pools. I feel like i have too much to do to leave so much up to choice. To quote the poem that inspired Nelson Mandela to survive 25 years in prison, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

  • KJN said:

    Ed, may I then ask some questions?
    Given you ‘make’ your opportunities, before you knew of Adrian’s existence, how did you make him come into your life for the first time?
    If there had been no Adrian, are you asserting that there would definitely have been someone else with whom you would have partnered by now?
    Are you saying that Adrian is one of several persons with whom you could have been partnered with?
    Do you assert that everyone has multiple persons with whom they could be partnered at this very moment?
    Do you believe that, as the saying goes, “there is someone for everyone”?
    Are you asserting that if a person who deeply wants to be partnered and yet is still single, his singleness is due solely to that person not trying hard enough to be partnered?
    Are you telling Jeremy it’s his own fault he’s single?
    Are you telling me it’s my fault I’m single?
    Are you telling both of us that if we try harder, we will be guaranteed to have a partner?
    Does that guarantee come with a time limit?

  • Ed said:

    SORRY THIS IS SO LONG, BUT YOU ASKED… ;-D

    Ed, may I then ask some questions?Of course. See my answers in bold/italics.
    Given you ‘make’ your opportunities, before you knew of Adrian’s existence, how did you make him come into your life for the first time? First, I reject the premise of the question. I’ve never claimed to be clairvoyant. However, in an effort to clarify the difference between making one’s own opportunities and being able to predict the future, I’ll try. Your question is based on two things that are, in my mind, completely separate.
    1) We make our own opportunities by deciding what we want and then taking actions that are consistent with that choice. When you seek out the thing you desire, you find ways to put yourself in proximity of that thing. EXAMPLE: I want to meet someone. I’m going to go to places where I can meet people. EXAMPLE: I want to be in a monogamous relationship. I’m only going to date people who want the same thing. I won’t get serious with anyone who won’t consider it. I made opportunities to meet guys with that attribute by eliminating the guys who didn’t have it.
    2) I didn’t make Adrian come in to my life. I know how smart you are. I don’t know why you’re asking me a question you know is impossible. Again, I’m not psychic and have never claimed to be. This is one of those areas, you’re not going to agree with me, because it requires a leap of faith. I had faith that if I pursued my goal (and this applies to more than finding a husband), I would eventually find the person with whom I was meant to spend the rest of my life. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I believe in true love. I believe it’s out there for everyone, but, to find it, I had to do things that would leave me exposed to being hurt. I had to be willing to fail, learn, adapt, and try again. I don’t believe in coincidence. Things happens the way they are supposed to happen. Stop! Please do not extrapolate. That’s what I believe. It works for me. I work everyday on being true to my nature. When I am, life unfolds in miraculous ways. When I’m not, I keep bumping my head against the same wall until I learn whatever it is I was supposed to learn. Instead of viewing my ideas asa threat, try listening to them. Think about them. Is there anything Im saying that resonates with you? If so, try it. What’s it going to hurt?

    If there had been no Adrian, are you asserting that there would definitely have been someone else with whom you would have partnered by now? I would have to be psychic to answer question. I can’t tell you what would have happened if the Mayflower sank and ended the bloodline that eventually created Adrian. The “reality” is that he does exist. Did I know he existed or would become my penguin before I met him? How could I? It sounds to me like you’re looking for guarantees or certainty before putting your heart out there. Back then, in my mind, the only thing standing between me and finding “someone” was making sure I was out there actively looking and being open to the possibilities.

    Are you saying that Adrian is one of several persons with whom you could have been partnered with? Psychic … I don’t know, and I don’t care. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda. I can’t see alternate time lines. My reality is that I found Adrian. What purpose does it serve to speculate about finding someone else? God willing (another one of those pesky differences in our personal philosophies … LOL.), Adrian and I will have a long, happy life together. Life always presents challenges. If any arise, I deal with them as they come up. There’s no purpose in obsessing about things, I can’t change.

    Do you assert that everyone has multiple persons with whom they could be partnered at this very moment? No. If you want to know what I believe, just ask me. Wait. I’ll save you the time and just tell you. I think that the first step in the process is making up your mind about what you want. Then, pursue opportunities that will put you in proximity of attaining your goals. See everything as an opportunity to move you closer to one goal or another (I’m not sure how you deal with optimism. Everything, no matter how emotionally devestating, is a learning opportunity. for me. You could be trying to get a new job, and, when you do, the guy in the next cubicle could be your penguin, but how will you know if you don’t know what you’re looking for? and you’re not willing to try something different?

    Do you believe that, as the saying goes, “there is someone for everyone”? I believe there is someone for everyone who wants someone, but this question oversimplifies things. The husband of a close friend asked her to marry him. She said no. He knew she was the one for him. He asked her again 10 years later, and she said yes. She’s grateful that he never gave up. She didn’t see him as the treasure he is, and she needed time to mature. As you’ve said, a person has to be ready and willing to accept love. It’s not as simple as your question presents it.

    Are you asserting that if a person who deeply wants to be partnered and yet is still single, his singleness is due solely to that person not trying hard enough to be partnered? No. I’m kind of insulted (not really) that you would ask me that. Life happens the way it’s supposed to happen on it’s own schedule. The more accurate question is, “If a person deeply wants to be partnered, is his or her heart open to all of the possibilities, or is it buried beneath hurt and fear?” All I know is that I learned volumes from every relationship I was in about what I did and didn’t want in a partner. I also learned the things I was doing that were pushing people away. I learned that I had to be introspective. It sounds to me like you’re saying a person can be ready, able and willing, but if he doesn’t find love, it’s just not in the cards. You say believe in magi. I say that’s a defeatist attitude. Like you, I believe in working on one’s self. I’ve had to change a myriad bad habits since I’ve been with Adrian. Things I saw as being benign and harmless turned out to be hurtful to him. What’s wrong with taking a look at our own perception filters, if you agree they exist, and making sure they aren’t smudged or cracked? If they are, wouldn’t that mean we could be exhibiting behaviors that are driving people away from us? Would you date someone who is needy and clingy and wanted to be around you 24/7? Anyone who would should look into dealing with codependency, and I think we can all assume that relationship probably won’t go the duration if they don’t address their individual issues. Perception isn’t reality.That’s why I had tried to make sure I say that these have been my experiences. Everyone of these questions is rooted in your perception of how to find … I’m not exactly sure.

    Are you telling Jeremy it’s his own fault he’s single?ABSOLUTELY NOT! I addressed this in my last two responses. Plus, I don’t believe in fault. We all make mistakes. We all learn. We all, well many of us, seek authentic growth and improvement. You talked about older, wiser faith traditions. “Fault” is deeply grounded in Judeo/Christian religious abuse. It is a tool used to manipulate people. I care about being a responsible human being. In this case, “responsible,” means doing everything within your power to achieve your goal, but my grandmother always says, “You can only be as good as what you know.” So, when I got serious about being in a relationship, I went to therapy to deal with my issues, to grow, to be better, and to learn. I also hung out with people in relationships I respected and asked them how they dealt with conflict. I asked about their individual needs. I took the parts that were helpful, and I made my own plan about how I would proceed. That’s not about fault. That’s me creating opportunity by preparing myself for something I wanted.

    Are you telling me it’s my fault I’m single? Dude, seriously. Let it go. All the time you are obsessing about “fault” and trying to fight the associated guilt trip is souring your chi (sp?). In this exchange alone, you’ve admitted to being defensive about the choices you’ve made for your life. When I’m unsure, I go to my support network. They are the people who know me the best and can tell me if I am being true to my nature or if I’m bullshitting myself. I’m NOT saying you are. I’m saying these questions aren’t really questions. They are totally loaded and a way of making trying to make your point. Maybe it’s time to let go of all the “they say” and”feeling guilty” nonsense. Again, no one has the power to make you feel guilty. Generally speaking, we give it to them. Get the word fault out of your vocabulary. What purpose does it serve? Instead of looking for fault or asking, “who’s fault it was,” I look for opportunities to be responsible and fix things. A friend of mine grew up in a house where everything that went wrong had to be someone’s fault. He spent years trying to be perfect and avoid being blamed because it made him feel so guilty he went into deep periods of depression. He did something particularly shitty to me once. I told him it wasn’t cool, and it hurt my feelings. He started crying because he felt so bad. I said, “Look, there’s no point in dwelling on it. I said what I had to say. What you did was fucked up, and I don’t appreciate it. So, you say you’re sorry, and we move on.” He acted like I was speaking in tongues. The concept was unheard of to him. “Fault” and “guilt” are for self-righteous windbags who should clean their own house before worrying about mine.

    Are you telling both of us that if we try harder, we will be guaranteed to have a partner?Come on, man. What’s with all the loaded questions. I’ve been clear from my first post. I’ve been talking to Adrian about this conversation. Last night, I told him about the question I asked you. Without any guarantees, if you were in my shoes, would you have continued to pursue Adrian despite him having blown me off repeatedly? And him being in a non-serious relationship? When would you have quit? The “reality” is that I didn’t. I had no guarantees. There was something about this man that I could not shake. I thought about him all the time. We spent three months chatting online before we met, and the first few times I asked to meet him, he flaked on me. Would you have given up then? It turns out he had been in some relationships that made him skittish about committing himself to a new one. He reminded me that after we did meet, which was the second I fell in love wit him, I “courted” him. I took a few pages out of the books of older couples I had talked to, and I showed him that I thought he was special. He reminded me that one night I made myself dinner, and there was extra. He was out of the house for some reason and wouldn’t be able to make lunch for work the next day. I took some of the turkey meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans, I’d made, put them in a container, and left them on his doorstep with a note letting him know I was thinking about him. He will tell you that he was gun shy about getting into another relationship. He had done similar things for other guys, and they hadn’t appreciated him. He said it felt good to have someone do those things for him, and that I, essentially, earned his heart. The crazy thing was that he had had mine from day one. The idea that you have to “try harder” is absurd. You’re a grown man. You pay your own bills. You decide what’s best for you. If there is one thing in my story that helps you find what you’re looking for, whatever it is. I will feel privileged to have had an opportunity to help. I don’t make your goals for you, and you should tell the guilt police that you live outside their jurisdiction.

    I want to say one other thing about this line of questioning. You’ve said you want a relationship. You’ve said that being single is what works best for you right now, but are you telling me that there’s no room for improvement in your life? Everything Is perfect? If not, then stop feeling guilty and blamed for being a human being. It hasn’t served you well at all. It seems like you’re trying to hard to defend the choices of the single that you are fighting someone who A) has no problem with your choice; B) doesn’t believe in a one-size-fits-all answer; and C) has addressed a majority of his comment to a man who says he wants to be loved.

    Does that guarantee come with a time limit?Is this a real question?

    If I’m reading this conversation correctly, you’ve responded to everything I’ve said with your own personal philosophy, which in my opinion, boils down to making decisions out of fear. The “what ifs” and looking for “guarantees” are all signs, to me, that fear of rejection is the engine driving this train. Maybe that’s me projecting. When I am secure about a decision I’ve made, I don’t really care what anyone else thinks (keep in mind my support network who I run ideas by, and the fact that I’ve repeatedly demonstrated I research things before I make decisions.) I’ve said that in my approach, I had to let go of the fear and accept I was going to be rejected, but, eventually, rejection became something I viewed as a time saver. Then, when Adrian (my someone, my penguin) finally appeared I had developed a teflon like coating to rejection. He never told me “no” or said “leave me alone” or “stop pursuing me you stalker freak.” He just kind of dismissed me. I was focused and persistent. You call it aggressive. I knew someone was out there for me. It’s part of my values and belief system. It’s how I’m hard-wired. That’s how I did it, and that’s all I can tell you. I might speak in more general terms occasionally, but the only thing I can offer is what happened to me. This is the way I approached it. Here are the specific things I did. Here are the results. What you do with it is up to you, but I don’t do guilt or fault. If you’re looking for someone to validate your perspective, I’m sorry. I don’t have a frame of reference from which I could take that leap.

  • KJN said:

    Ed, thank you for clarifying. I admit my questions were leading, but I believe I understand your perspective now. You have faith that if you do all you can to have a partner, you will find one. There is no arguing with faith, I’ve realized.

    You’ve been monogamously coupled for nearly a decade. In that time, by my perceptions, the LGBT community has changed dramatically. Whereas in the past the single and ‘carefree’ lifestyle was extolled, nowadays, in part due to our community’s successes in marriage equality, there is pressure to couple. I’m not saying you personally, Ed, are putting pressure on people to couple. I’m saying that I find this in the ‘gay world’ in general. It is as if on top of our own individual longings for a relationship, we now have this outside pressure of expectations to find a partner and settle down. As if experiencing our own frustrations over loneliness, dating horrors and singleness wasn’t enough. So I feel defensive and protective of all the involuntarily single gays out there because so much of the community looks down on us. We are the new pariahs of LGBT culture. If we’re single, they seem to be saying, it’s because there’s something wrong with us. We’re too damaged or maybe even too wicked to find a partner. (Again, let me reiterate that I’m not ascribing these opinions to you personally.)

    I’m happy gays have won their marriage rights in so many places. I just want those who are still single and looking to be patient with themselves, enjoy their lives as they are, and not internalize the pervasive gay orthodoxy that because they’re single they must be tragically fucked up. Being happy with who I am where I am, and caring for myself is my priority. Fuck what the LGBT community thinks.

  • david said:

    Funny, I found your website when I searched for “I desperately want to be loved” in Google.

    Hey, I’m not even gay.
    Not even a little bit.

    But everything you wrote so fricken totally resonates.

    I also go to sleep at night with that gnawing at at my heart and guts.
    That empty cavernous feeling.

    And sometimes… I do cry.
    Imagine that. Big fellow like myself… crying.

    You pinned it.
    You pinned it so well.

    I can only hope that for you as the America and the world moves toward allowing full rights for gays and all that as things open up people can be more out that it makes it easier for you to connect with someone.

    (Lord knows it must be tough with folks having to be all hiding and stuff about being gay and all).

    I regret that as I am not gay, it means that even with all of the advantages and head starts afforded me by being straight, I have been unable to fill the void. I have not been able to make the gnawing stop.

    I wish you well.

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  • mariam wood said:

    Lord Mazi, I came to this blog to write of your wonders,he came to my house to plead that we should start the relationship all over again, gosh! Just after 3 days of love spell from the love doctor. I will write more when I return.I will forever be grateful to you.I have decided to leave your email on this site for you to help people out in thier relationship. lordmazitemple@yahoo.com

  • craig said:

    Hey don’t be downhearted I can help youm everyone
    has a partner somewhere