I met him online. His profile was empty and I was very wary in the beginning but we connected very quickly. He sent me some really interesting pictures – while he was good-looking, he seemed like he’d be comfortable in an office, outdoors or in a psych ward. Very versatile. We finally met up for coffee and spent a couple of hours just talking. As he was leaving, he shook my hand then held on to my shoulder, rubbed for a minute like he couldn’t let me go and looked into my eyes. I froze. I have never been one for public displays of affection and when it comes to PDAs of the gay kind, I shut down entirely. But when he touched me, right in the middle of a train station, I felt like there was no one else there – only the two of us. I looked into his eyes and saw the longing I felt for him being returned. I didn’t want him to let go either. We met up for coffee many times after that and finally started dating. We both liked each other but neither was in a place where a relationship of any kind was possible, he because he’d recently come out of a relationship where his ex moved to a different country, and I because there are so many things going on in my life now that I am unable to settle down.
While I would never admit to it in public, I believe in the power of connections and would commit to something if I felt strongly enough about it. However like Lady Gaga once said: “If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” We saw each other all the time and mutually agreed to keep it casual. This did not stop me from cutting off everyone else. He became more than just a lover: he was my friend, mentor, life coach, confidante yet managed to stay playful and fun. He described himself as a “big kid” and while he really was one deep down, I found him adorable. He always told me no discussion was ever taboo where he was concerned and for the first time I was able to open up to someone in ways I had never done before. He himself was going through many difficult challenges such that once he came over to see me but was too torn up to do or say anything. I ended up holding him in my arms while he cried. Because of him, I began to get in touch with a deeply emotional part of myself which I had actively worked at shutting down. He saw through me and encouraged me always to do better. He also told me that he never wanted to stand in the way of me trying to do better, achieve more. While I know lists do not work, if I had to list the qualities I wanted in a man, he has then in spades. I felt I had met the one.
However these things have a way of unravelling. After a few months, I began to feel distant. Life was getting busier and we spent more and more time apart. Also I realised that I still fancied other men. As we were not in a relationship, I started to play the field again. All through this I still had strong feelings for him but saw that even though he meant a lot to me and I loved him, I was certainly not in love with him. This realisation saddened me. If I could meet such a man, have the feelings I had and yet not want to be with him, what hope did I have of ever being a relationship again? With all this internal turmoil going on, he surprised me one day by buying me a gift – it was something small and relatively inexpensive but it was something I really wanted. I felt like he had reached into my head and taken the first item out of my wish list. It took my breath away. No one (outside my family) has ever been able to read me so well. He couldn’t tell why I was acting strangely and I couldn’t even talk about it for fear of hurting him. I knew I had to tell him how I felt. When we finally had “the conversation”, he told me he knew how I felt all along and had actually started seeing someone and it was getting serious. I felt like a weight had been taken off my shoulders. I was relieved and happy for him but also very sad since I really wished I could have loved him, that I was in a place that I could entertain a committed relationship, especially one which could have been beautiful.
A good friend told me that it isn’t uncommon for gay men to get lost in the dynamics of relationships between two men since there is often a weird blurring of the friendship-romance relationship that is uniquely queer and sometimes difficult to get a handle on. Hopefully this is something I will understand with time. On the other hand, I seem to be getting into stuff like this a bit too often for my comfort. I’ve decided to be alone for a while, go off the market, be single and be happy being single. Do the things I want to do. I don’t ever want to feel that my being happy is conditional on someone else’s happiness.Or feel that being in a relationship is all that’s important. Also I need to focus on my career.