Friday, December 14, 2007

Is Romance Dead?

Is romance dead, did it ever really exist or did I just want it to and imagined it so. I sometimes think I am being too much of a romantic and looking for something that is no longer there, if it was ever there in the first place. Maybe a result of growing up with the Hollywood mush factory, regurgitating out love story after love story, cue Celine Dion singing about lost, forbidden or unrequited love. Especially in the gay community it does seem to be very rare. I am almost hesitant about writing this, for fear of stepping on toes and hurting feelings. I certainly would not want anyone to read this and feel judged, I am actually reallying wondering if I am being unreasonable or too prudish. Maybe I need to lighten up a little, maybe that is why I am finding it hard to connect. I just feel that the relationships and dating within the gay community seem to move so fast paced, that my head spins.

I have been reading (lurking) blogs for a while now, so I often followed along quietly as a person similar to me was unsure about being gay, coming out, dating etc. When I started writing I often connected with people of all ages in the same boat and I really enjoyed the feeling of finally belonging somewhere. I had these visions of us all finally meeting someone, writing about it, first date, forming a crush, first kiss, what that felt like and the progress of this into a loving relationship. However that never seems to be the case, it is more like one day a guy is unsure of his sexuality and then the next he is on the floor with a stranger. Maybe it is a guy thing, I really believe there are almost no real romantic straight guys, most only act that way to get the girl. I even see now that as girls get more comfortable with their sexuality, their relationships often start to resemble gay relationship. Meaning this, I once watched a show on relationships, part of the panel had two gay men on it. They were saying that often with straight relationships vs gay it went as follows. Straight people meet, get to know one another, start dating, then finally have sex, however in the gay culture, gay men have sex, meet, get to know one another and then date if there is some connection. I was offended by this at the time, but I think to a huge degree they were being honest. I think most straight men would do away with the romantic side if the women said one day it was no longer required, maybe that is why it seems easy for gay men to hook-up, there is no woman to say 'where are my flowers?' Was romance just a way of drawing out the dating process so that no sex occurred until after the wedding? With today's methods of preventing pregnancy and partial break down of marriage, is romance no longer required. It would seem that way as more and more girls hook-up on the first date.

I thoroughly enjoy and honestly like all the guys that I interact with (meaning you, yes you) through this blog, whether reading your blogs, you reading mine, comments etc, so again I just want to be clear that I am not judging anyone, or pointing anyone out. More like thinking I could be unrealistic in my expectations. Prince charming is not sitting by his computer waiting for me to put up my profile and he certainly is not sitting in a bar all these years telling good looking guys to back-off as he is watching the door for me to enter. Perhaps I need to get out and slam bodies with a few strangers before realizing that one is my match. The Catholic up bringing may have shaped my view on relationships, however we all know Catholic and gay don't mix, the only time they ever condone male on male sex is when one is a priest and the other is an alt.... okay okay I won't say it, my bad sorry! (Actually to be honest there were some very kind Priests and Nuns that watched out for us while growing up). Gay relationships might just be faster paced and me being too slow about it has caused me to miss them. Still I can't help feeling empty when I read about two guys meeting, having sex and then move on. There is to me a 'gift of self ' when being intimate with someone else, and I feel a stranger who has never proved himself to me, does not deserve that gift. That is just me being me and not thinking my way is better, I guess if you are okay with it, then that is a decision you have to live with. I wonder if the ones who wait for romance are the people that really sell themselves out by not being part of life. At least the others are out there living and trying to form relationships, the truth is also they are the ones most likely to find a partner, so does it matter how they found each other. Is romance dead, does it just get in the way, or did it ever exist in the real world.


Patrick said...

My two cents on the matter: I'm not sure how long you've been out, and what that has meant to/for you specifically, but don't feel like you've already seen the gay community in its entirety. I think there are plenty of guys who want to take things slowly, crave romance, and want to know and like a guy before sleeping with him... they just may not spend a lot of time in bars. Even online dating may not be the best places to find them, though it depends on the site, I think. I think for a lot of guys, bars seem like the ONLY place to find other gay guys, that the bar scene IS the gay community. I guess there is a prevailing opinion that men are hard-wired for sex with lots of people, but I know lots of guys, gay and straight, who clearly want more.
I don't know what kind of resources you have available in your area, but are there gay clubs or organizations you could join? Do you play any sports? Do you pursue any special hobbies? You say you're Catholic, does going to a meeting of Dignity hold any appeal? There may not be a ton of options near you, I understand, but even if you went to one of the gay bars in your area with Lyn, there might be a bulletin board with listings for other groups and such. I'm not saying there won't be guys at those things who are into the quick hook-up, but depending on the organization, you might improve the odds at least. And there might be a group, even just a supper club or book club or something, that will be good for both you and Lyn. I think Prince Charming, or at least some very Charming Knights, are out there.

Anonymous said...

There is romance still out there, but it's rare. I can honestly say if I ever end up single again, I'm through. I had a good run and have no desire to submit myself to all the games and meaningless crap out there. You're observations are pretty accurate and it's a rather sad commentary on just how shallow the gay community really is but people are people and you either accept it and play the game or else blaze your own trail. I opted for the latter and have never looked back. Then again, I've never fit in anywhere and have chosen to celebrate that aspect rather than try to be a part of something I find somewhat unappealing. You will find what you want, it may not seem easy but it will be out there. Just don't compromise yourself on account of what you "think" you're supposed to be.

daveincleveland said...

i think romance is alive and well and am a true believer in it, flowers,violins candy candles walks in the rain the whole nine yards, if we take into account how many people in blog land that we interact with, i think there are many many more couples out there that are just low key, in love and go about their every day lives with out all the fan fare you would expect out of gaydom......its there buddy, you'll find it, i will find it ....then we can all find what love truly is meant to be said...

I get the impression that you felt coming out would make relationships easier for you. It's not. If you think that romance is dead and that you're destined to live a life of solitude, resentful towards your queer peers, it's all you're ever going to know. It is difficult, gay or straight. Divorce rates are sky rocketing and feeling alone is normal. But don't lose hope. Life isn't easy and no one ever said it was supposed to be, no matter how much we long for it. We all face our personal demons and struggle with thoughts and emotions. You have a choice, though, in the type of man you want to be. Make those choices. If they turn out bad, then learn from it. You still have so much more of your life to live, so do it! And keep blogging to let us know how you are doing :)

Matt said...

I don't think that romance is "dead", but I think everyone has their own time and place for it. Meaning that to some, romance is an act of courtship, to others it's a way to continally show someone their feelings, for others it's not important. And I think that this changes for everyone depending on where they are in life.

I don't know that I crave stereotypical romance so much as just attention and affection, although this is 10 years into a relationship. These days, getting a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day doesn't mean as much. Getting a brilliantly-colored leaf from the ground in the fall as he walks from his car after work, just because he knows I love fall, means the world. But then again, I guess that's what romance is. Doing something, no matter how small, for someone because you know it touches them and you like doing that for them.

Of course, having Scott do a load of laundry is more special. :)

Steve said...

Romance is for women!

Just kidding. However: I myself am not very romantic, which is due to the fact that I am very rational person (I think).

So I think that romance does exist, but it's importance is much less these days, because people have become much more rational and much less believing (in many, many things, let me stop there...). This is something I notice especially in the Dutch society, but I know that the US reality is different in that regard.

Romance can be nice, I do admit, but it's not really something for me.

(mind you, this does not mean that I sleep with everyone...I'm in a monogamous relationship and have been for the last 5.5 years)

don said...

Romance is certainly still out there. It's just hard to find in a world obsessed with instant gratification.

Romance to me is a state of mind, go about your life projecting that state of mind and if you are lucky, then someone else will recognize that quality within yourself.

Not that it will be easy, there will always be people out there who will steal your gold and give nothing in return.

Anonymous said...

I love romance, and can be very romantic. But I love sex, too. I don't think it's either/or but both/and (which is much of what gay spirit is about. We are both/and types of folks).

For gay men, well, for this gay man, sex can be a more casual expression of friendship and mutual fun. I have some dear, caring friends, a couple together 30 years!, who have supported me in my journey. And we've also had some great sex together.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Patrick, I only came out last August but I'm not naive, I have been watching the gay culture for years. I have found other groups around here besides bars, but even then it does seen to be more of a hook up scene. Yes I know there are some good guys out there and I am trying to find them, but I also see that some of the hook up guys are nice guys to and they start dating when they feel a spark with someone. I know everyone is not out to use me, I just wonder if my expectations are too high and not in the real world. Your view would be tilted anyway because I feel you are probably a total romantic, it is why I love your blog!

Kevin, or at least I think this is Kevin who knows all! Are you trying to cheer me up by saying things are bad!?! Just kidding, thanks for the brutal honesty. Sometimes I want to hold out but holding out is lonely.

Dave, I sure hope you are right buddy. It just scares me some times to belong to a group that seems to go against what I want out of life.

Nate, I did think things would get easier when I came out, yikes, boy was I wrong! Really I am not bitter, just wondering if I am playing the game wrong. Meaning would most gay men tell me I have to get into the real world. Hey by the way, welcome to my little blog!

Matt, hey buddy don't let work get to you! I love hearing things about couples and people like you give me hope. Does Scott have a gay brother who also does laundry???

Steve, I think maybe a lot of guys have the same attitude now as well. Really though if you are together for years and always support each other then to me that is a type of romantic love also, I never meant it had to be flowers and chocolates all the time.

Don, hard to find is right, but I will keep looking. Maybe if I am lucky it will find me!

Anonymous, I like your honesty. This may shock some of my readers but, if a guy is single and has some close friends and they really care about each other and are mature about it, I have no problem with them having sex. I think I might do the same myself, so not as much of a prude as some might think. However I can't see myself going with a stranger, I can never see being that intimate with someone that I have no feelings for and can't really trust, but that is just me. I would not tell another gay guy he was wrong.

Randy said...

Steven, (I believe I read that is your name) First I want to tell you that I’ve been reading your blog for almost five hours now and I’ve finally reached the conclusion I may never completely catch up. LOL… not reading the comments as well as you entries anyway. Reading your journey has brought back so many memories you just couldn’t imagine. Its stirred feeling and emotions in me instantly zooming me back to when they happened or I originally felt them. So many memories… I’m 40 and I’ve been out to some people for 24 years. I’d give just about anything to sit down face to face with you and tell you all that I’ve experienced… my life has been and interesting one, but this isn’t about me. :-) So many of your post I’ve wanted to comment on, but I think I’ll go with this one. “Is Romance Dead?” In my humble opinion, no… is it rare? Yes, more precious than anything you can imagine and very hard to find in the gay world. You’re old enough to know that a relationship based on sex is doomed to fail and anything worth having is worth waiting for. No truer statements have ever been made. In the same sense, you can’t deprive yourself of the need for sexual companionship in the hope of finding Mr. Right, you just have to be realistic about what it is you are about to enter into and I think everyone knows when they meet someone what it is. Some people are fun and you want to explore their sexual nature and you know that’s all it is and with others, when you meet them you know there’s much more to them than the physical attraction and something inside of you craves to know more about them. There are so many gay men out there that want a lasting romantic relationship; unfortunately, a lot of them have forgotten how to be in one. The lifestyle has become the actual life for them. I am fortunate enough to have found the absolute love of my life, he resonates perfectly with my energy and he loves me more than I have ever been loved by anyone in my entire life. He came when I wasn’t even looking and he is the polar opposite of what I thought it was attracted to. We’ve been together almost five years now. Romance means different things to different people. Jamie romances me everyday, without even knowing he’s doing it just in the simple little ways he is considerate of me. We dated for almost two weeks before we ever had sex with each other and the first weekend we spent together I ended up being terribly sick with strep and he spent four days taking care of me while I was bed bound and running a very high fever. At that point, he had only known me about a week and a half. He never left me alone at my house. My case was so severe it took me almost a year to get over it; we’ve spent every night together for four years and seven months since that weekend. My ramblings is a clumsy attempt to answer you questions. “ Is romance dead, does it just get in the way, or did it ever exist in the real world.” It is not dead, it does not get in the way because it is a way of life, and it is in the real world.