2017 has been a bumpy roller coaster … for me at least because a majority of the pain that I had to go through were breakups.
How and why did I have to deal with two gay breakups in one year?
Well, to give you more context on how I put myself into the situation of being heart broken twice within 6 months, here is a TLDR (too long, didn’t read):
My first ex, who I dated for two years, broke up with me before the start of my last semester in undergrad which was mid-January. My second ex/freshman crush and I dated four days after my first breakup. My second ex and I broke up mid-June.
I bet you are thinking, “Why the hell did I choose to date right before a breakup?”
Well, I am still learning from mistakes because I should have definitely taken some time to be single before settling with any other guys. But I won’t deny that my heart and mind was naive and fixated to the fantasies and dreams I wanted.
In this growth and healing that I am experiencing, I had to ask myself:
“Why do I want to be in a relationship? What was the goal?”
Pondering on those questions in relation to my identity as a gay man, I thought my desire for having a boyfriend came from feeling lonely.
Growing up, there were a lot of factors that pushed me into “gay isolation” and into the “closet.” One, I didn’t have the capital to be going out and meet other gay guys. Two, I probably didn’t have the guts because I was so afraid of meeting strangers. And three, I was fixated and comfortable to communicate with other gay guys online and through apps.
Oh god … the culture of online apps. Having to succumb to the culture felt like another battle in itself. In having to dodge my way from awkward moments and microaggressions in conversation with other guys, it became tiring to deal with guys who were in the same struggle that I am experiencing. Even knowing people out there and being able to chat with them, there was always this void-like feeling. An emptiness that is shadowed by looks and characteristics rather than personality and dignity.
Then the online app culture captured me and left me falling into a trap of desperately trying to find some “companionship.” Unfortunately, a lot of that “companionship” developed into hook-ups. At first, it was being human to fulfill human needs. But over time, the whole process became exhausting and unfulfilling. From that realization, I guess that was when I wanted a boyfriend but still for the sake of not being lonely. The fact that I came into relationships with an internalized mentality of not wanting to be lonely was probably not the best move for myself.
So … why couldn’t I feel contend with myself and the loneliness that is out there?
I would argue, particularly in the gay community, that there is definitely a lingering toxicity and ongoing trauma from “being in the closet” that continues to rave havoc. Probably starting off with the issue of being lonely …
Why did I feel lonely? What led me to be in my own bubble? Was it because I was gay?
Then it dawned on me that maybe it was because I was gay and I didn’t take the time to fully accept that. Understanding the social pressures and stress that coincide with the identity, I closed myself off with a shell. Yet, that protection came with a price as I was also hiding my true authentic self. It was self-deprecating being stuck into my own way of living. It was numbing to know that I don’t feel good as I should with the accomplishments I made or the struggles I overcame.
So I guess now I have a new goal: to love myself more. To be with myself of who I am to the most full extent. To love myself as much as I love my mom. I hope to work towards inner peace with myself and my sexuality and to say that it is ok to be single. And hopefully, my process can transcend into helping other gay guys to love themselves rather than getting stuck in the cycle of hookups and loneliness. Yet, this is all easier said than done. There will definitely be bumps in the road. But at least now, I am feeling nourish in focusing on myself and doing what needs to be done to love myself more and more each day.
I want to take the moment to recognize my exes for the painful growth you have led me to experience. Also, the article “The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness” by Michael Hobbes for shining light on the issue. I would highly recommend reading it because it does a better job of addressing the issue of “gay loneliness.”