Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Old Friend

I went away for the weekend to attend a family get together. While I was away, I got together with a good friend of mine for a couple of hours. I love this friend like a brother. While traveling, I thought about how to work into a conversation with him some of the reasons I think there are a lot of gays. Specifically, I wanted to discuss the push in society to become disgusted with other male bodies, to not provide any real male bonding experiences other than drinking and sports (which are fine but there's a lot more to having a deep, intimate emotional bond with another guy), and to sexualize any type of intimacy. Then I hoped to use that as a good excuse to tell him I didn't care about those things and that I loved him. I even imagined giving him a chaste kiss on the cheek.
As usual, I spent too much time thinking ahead of time. I want my relationships to come naturally and not planned out as such.
In any event, we did play some tennis. Afterwards, we talked for a little bit. Instead of going deep into those issues, I brought up a new phrase I had just learned while reading a movie review: "dick flick." Evidently, this is the new slang for a guy buddy movie. This mocking, irreverant, and sexualized term is a bit offensive to me. Of course, from the movie the reviewer was discussing--"I Love You Man"-- it was probably an appropriate term.
In any event, when we parted, I gave my friend a big hug and told him I loved him. No kiss. It's great to have such friends. Unfortunately, our paths do not cross often with each of us living in different states.
Part of me wants to be more open and physically affectionate with those around me, but I've never acted that way. It feels awkward. I guess practice makes perfect.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Response to an email

I've been wondering what to post about for awhile. I have thoughts during the day but don't often get a chance to put them down in writing before I've forgotten what it was. I received an email from someone asking for advice about dating and what I experienced while dating. This was my response:

Thanks for the email.

I fell in love with a good friend who I'd known for a long time. That's probably the best path that life could have taken for me. I never really had any real "spark" with other girls. I've never had that feeling where I have to spend every second with a girl, even my wife now. I always loved being with her, but I still wanted guy time, or had no problem leaving for work or school or whatever when I had something planned. It's good, comfortable love--not the instant attraction from seeing someone across the room for the first time.

Looking back would I do things the same? I don't know. I didn't understand that I was sexually attracted to other men. For me, I thought I was a bit insecure and had never had that great friendship that other guys seem to have. The weird thing was I never thought to analyze why I always wanted to see my friends without their shirts on. It took my a few years into my marriage to realize I might be gay or bi.

Anyway, life is tricky. I love my wife and kids. I also find this need inside to be intimate emotionally and physically with other men. I don't know why. It definitely makes life difficult. I don't regret having a wife and kids. In fact, one of my deepest desires from very young has been to be a father.

It's a tough bind we are in. Marriage is a very serious commitment, especially in the church where we are encouraged to commit for eternity. At the same time, a wife isn't necessarily going to satisfy every physical and emotional need. The alternative, at least if you want to stay true to the Church, is to remain celibate. That's hardly something to look forward to.

I can't say that I have any great pearls of wisdom for you. Friendship for me was everything when dating. I do wish I understood my SSA earlier and so could have talked about it before marriage. Now, it's like a blockage in my ability to communicate to my wife. I've chosen not to tell her about it. I don't think it would do any good at this point. I'm committed to her and don't want to hurt her. I'm always willing to reevaluate that choice.

My best to you.