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Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Baggage, Baggage Everywhere

08 Feb

What do you do when you’ve been lied to, cheated on, have left the guy and are now dating someone else? (And WHY is it so difficult to take one’s own advice? LOL!!!)

As you may’ve guessed, this subject also came up in another group — and as you may have also guessed, I’ve been there and the advice I gave is precisely the advice I need to remember whenever I’m dating.

So…

What DO you do when you’re in a relationship with somebody new and you’re still dealing with the feelings of distrust brought on by an ex’s actions?

At some point you have to trust that the new boyfriend is being true to his word (unless he’s given you a real reason to think otherwise). What you’re really dealing with is “baggage from your last relationship.” There’s really no polite way of describing it; it is what it is; baggage. Baggage that until it’s dealt with effectively will drive you utterly and completely bat-shit crazy.

You can’t presume to think the current BF is likely to let you down because of what ANOTHER man did to you in the past; they are two different people.

True, the current beau isn’t perfect (none of us are; we all have our flaws) but if you feel the need to judge, judge him on “the flaws that HE may have” — not the ones your ex- painfully revealed toward the end (of that relationship).

If you keep expressing feelings of anxiety and distrust toward the man you’re presently seeing, basing such distrust on what happened in the past with your ex, he will eventually tire of explaining himself over and over and will simply call it a day and leave. (After all, be honest with yourself; isn’t it highly likely you would do the same if the roles were reversed?)

There is nothing you can do about the past other than to “accept that it’s there and learn from it.”

Moving forward, however, you have to remember that your past IS the past and the man you are now dating is an entirely different person. It isn’t fair for you to assign to him, the distrust your ex did (in the end) deserve … all while refusing to give the current boyfriend the “trust you freely gave to your ex- back when you and he first started dating.

In closing I would say, “Don’t ignore any obvious signs of cheating” but at the same time, “don’t go LOOKING for trouble either.”

What we go in search of, we’ll find. (It may not be ‘real’ — but we’ll ‘find’ the evidence to justify the search all the same.) I know that this last bit of advice seems to go against everything else I just said, but it really doesn’t. All I’m saying is, “Don’t ignore what’s REALLY there — but do not assign, to the poor guy, evidence of things he really hasn’t done to date.”

For those reading who have had their trust violated, if it makes you feel ANY better, just know that every one of us who has been cheated on or lied to has been in the same damn place that you are today. LOL. It takes time to deal with the baggage that an undeserving ex-boyfriend leaves us with when we start our lives over without the cheater in tow.

Namaste,
Michael

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Valentines Day Again?

08 Feb

Happy Valentine's DayValentines Day is fast approaching [again] and I’ve seen several comments made within some of the groups I follow on Facebook by single gay men expressing feelings of loneliness. (This isn’t an easy time of year for any single person, gay or straight.) One comment in particular caught my eye as it was made by a guy who has been HIV-positive for a little more than a decade.

Basically, he’s trying to convey the message to other gay men in the group that if they truly want to know what it’s like to be lonely, they should talk to somebody who is single and HIV-positive. That doing so will give them an insight into the narrow-mindedness and prejudice that some within our community are capable of, afraid of the unknown and of even giving somebody who is HIV-positive the time of day. (Sadly, it’s been my experience that he has every good reason to make this kind of an observation.)

Even so, we’ve the power to turn it around. What follows is my response to the young man and the sense of loneliness he’s been experiencing.

I’ve removed all references to his identity for privacy reasons.

[Name removed]

Everything you have described, many if not all of us have experienced firsthand.

Some for being HIV-positive; others for being older (I happen to fall within both categories) and still others for totally unrelated reasons but as a consequence of some prejudice held by those we may have approached all the same.

The key to improving our own situation is no different than it is for anyone else (regardless of their HIV status). We must love ourselves first and foremost; we cannot gauge our own happiness on whether or not we’re in a relationship and have that special someone to cuddle up with at the end of the day. AND IT’S EFFING HARD!

I completely and thoroughly understand how difficult and how lonely it can seem when it appears nobody will ever give us the opportunities we once took for granted back when we were negative, young and had our entire lives in front of us. I don’t hold the short-sightedness of others (who reject me for being HIV-positive) against them. After all, I’ve been (when I was much younger) guilty of having done the same; passing up on the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people better because of my own unfounded fears back then.

Not getting angry for being rejected certainly doesn’t make me any less lonely — but it DOES prevent me from becoming bitter about the present situation. I know I’m a good guy.

Even if I never fall in love again with somebody who will take the time to educate himself and see past my disease, I’ll go to my grave knowing this and loving myself.

Once I accepted this state of mind I truly did reach some peace about being a single gay man with HIV. (Well, that and I had such a terrible relationship for 6.5 years, from 1994 until I left on my birthday in 2001, that being single IS PREFERABLE to the abuse I endured back then. LOL) It’s truly just a matter of perspective and we’re all a product of our own personal set of histories. With that in mind, I’m in no way judging you for feeling the way that you do. Your past is not the past I came to experience — even though we do share “some” very similar aspects within our lives.

One final observation (and this may or may not be applicable to your situation as I don’t know how you feel about yourself personally)… When one comes to respect and love himself fully, it becomes evident to all those around him. The odds DO increase that “mister right” will be attracted and make that added extra effort to get to know you for who you are rather than the disease you were exposed to at some point previously. That person will be more inclined to become an integral part of your life IF you feel comfortable in your own skin and love yourself for the man that you are today.

You are loved and appreciated. The real question is, “Are you yourself among that number?

If not then the best advice anyone can give you is that you find a way to change this; do things that make you proud of the person that you are. I am certain there ARE things you’re already doing that justify the love you should be feeling for yourself and when/if you accept that — others will start to notice the change as well. And those opportunities that once seemed so far out of reach? You may discover they are nearer at hand than you ever thought possible.

And before you say it, you would be right; it isn’t always easy to make that change or come to peace with being single until “mister right” veers near enough to your orbit to make an introduction. I get it (very, very well).

The final three paragraphs are basically the same advice I give to young people who aren’t HIV-positive but haven’t yet found a boyfriend or girlfriend for themselves.

Far too often, people (young and old alike) feel as though they’re “incomplete” if they’re not in a relationship. Relationships do not “complete” people; they’re wonderful and fun and it’s great to be able to cuddle with that special someone at the end of the day — but they don’t magically take away all of the loneliness you might be feeling if you haven’t yet come to love and respect yourself. Furthermore, it’s trying for a partner to always be in love with somebody who doesn’t yet love him- or herself.

Start within.

When you become satisfied with yourself others will likely want to get to know you better.

Namaste
Michael

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About “Open” Relationships

24 Jan

I was reading an exchange (a very respectful exchange, I might add) between two people over on Facebook about open relationships earlier today. In time I realized I’m less open-minded about the subject than I may have previously thought myself to be. I accept that it’s my upraising and my inability to feel “safe and [reasonably] secure” in a relationship that a partner and I might define as “closed.” Just baggage from a past relationship, on my part I imagine. But feeling safe and secure in an OPEN relationship would just be that much MORE difficult for me (and I think for most others as well).

If some [couples] can do it, more power to them. I just feel it’s a situation I can’t handle well since I basically HAD to accept my last relationship, by the definition of such by my [then] partner, was “open.” (Since I didn’t agree to an open relationship with him specifically, I call it “cheating” but what the hell.)

Here is what I personally have to say about the matter in response to the exchange between these two individuals on Facebook. I look upon “open” relationships as those where two (or even three if in a poly- relationship) people are are having sex with one another but are not exclusive; one or more of them are having sex with others OUTSIDE of the relationship, as well. Like Anthony, I find this disturbing and simply say, “If it works for others, fine but it’s NOT for me.” I’m trying hard not to judge others but will admit I hold couples who are capable of being committed and disciplined enough to keep their sexual proclivity between the two (or three, if in a polyamorous or polyandrous relationship) of them within the defined parameters of their “relationship” more admirable.

For me, a committed “relationship” exists when a couple (and again, I suppose even three people if it’s a poly- relationship) are:

  1. Living together within the same structure they call home;
  2. Share responsibilities within the household
  3. Share in the responsibilities for their combined expenses
  4. May or may not merge their incomes (though for me the former is more common when “trust” fully exists); and
  5. Make decisions that “affect the relationship in any way” TOGETHER.

I’m sure I’ve left out something important but you get the idea. The love they would feel for a “partner” is reserved (fully) only for one another and they share in the responsibilities and benefits of everything that affects the running and continued existence of the household.

I’ll readily admit my values, on cursory glance, seem to be more in line with Anthony’s idea of a relationship than with those who would enjoy “open” relationships.

I believe the latter is only an invitation for disaster as it’s only a matter of time before someone meets another person they are infatuated with and attract to. Somebody who, after having met the person, begins to question the value of his own relationship and thinks to himself, “Hmm, I’m having so much more ‘fun’ with this person; perhaps I should be in a relationship with him and not [partner’s name here].”

Let’s face facts; with the passage of time comes also the “the dreaded pattern.”

Life settles in to a pace in most every relationship; it can still be very passionate and enjoyable but EVERY relationship eventually settles into what the participants would define as a “normalcy” for them. The unexpected introduction of everyday spontaneity, though hopefully not absent entirely, occurs less and less often. The “energy” of the relationship may seemingly “boil” less often, replaced instead by an “idle” or a “simmering” of sort. For some, THAT overpowering sense of boiling passion and craving is something they seem to require — and opening a relationship to others increases the odds of their finding just that with “every new encounter.”

NOBODY can tell me this doesn’t present a real threat to the vast majority of relationships; something which increases the risk that the relationship will implode upon itself and end.

It may seem selfish to some but I’d like to think that if I and my partner took the time to commit to one another, to share in the responsibilities of the household and to “build a life together” — that it’s reasonable to make our plans with the expectation the other “will be there in the future.” This of course presumes we remain “in love” with and loving toward one another; are respectful, honest and continue to work to keep an open dialogue with our partner. (I’m not saying you can expect they’ll always be there if you don’t work to respect the relationship and keep your partner engaged. Too many unfairly expect that once they’ve put their best foot forward and “snared a partner” that they no longer have a responsibility to at least try and maintain some degree of being the interesting, engaging person he or she was when they first met. It shouldn’t be a game of, “Now you’re mine so I can quit putting in the effort [to keep you interested].”)

But that’s a challenge all on its own under the best of circumstances. You open the relationship up to others who ARE playing that game and “the risk of the couple’s going their separate ways increases exponentially.”

Personally, I’d like to think I’m more than just an animal and that I’ve some kind of a responsibility, both to myself and to my partner, to lessen those risks. There’s no reason we both can’t still work to keep the relationship with one another lively, somewhat spontaneous, healthy and enticing for each. We shouldn’t need a “new piece of meat” every time we start getting complacent and bored in the bed.

I suppose I am judging in that I value a closed, committed relationship MUCH MORE than any open relationship I’ve ever heard described. I can’t honestly give the kind of respect to an open relationship where, in my opinion, the participants don’t truly want to “settle down and commit” to one another but are instead only doing what feels good to each of them in the moment (with an expectation of being able to leave at a moments notice when either one gets bored with the other and it’s no longer “new and fresh”). In my eyes, it’s just too much to fathom; to think of building a life with someone who strays out into the arms of every new fuck buddy for a night when the normalcy of their own hearth and home settles into something resembling a routine and he gets “bored.”.

You can bet that if one is bored, the other probably is as well. Don’t you owe it to yourself and the man you love to try and spice up your own relationship rather than giving up and going elsewhere to fulfill your own immediate need? I kind of think that is what defines commitment; not acting like an animal with no ability to do anything but give in to what’s perceived as a carnal need.

I’m NOT saying every relationship should be closed but in my eyes, yes, a closed relationship takes more discipline, is less risky and by its inherent definition (to me) holds more value than a “let’s set up house but we’ll continue to fuck anyone and everyone we find attractive” [open] relationship.

As for those relationships where there are three participants, I can see where that might work (though again, I don’t think they’re for me).

Three people “can be” in a closed, committed relationship I’d imagine. I’ve had friends who were in such relationships and it “seems” to work for them. (How am I to really know since, as with every couple, there is only so much any one person is going to openly share about his or her relationship and whether or not he or she is completely comfortable with the established parameters of that [relationship].)

Those are my thoughts on open relationships. I welcome any observations others might have on the subject and encourage you to comment below.

Namaste,
Michael

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Me, Myself and I (Alone with the Gay Community)

09 Dec

Ever felt like you just didn't fit in?The following question was posted to a group I follow on Facebook. “Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in with other gays??? Why?

That is such a loaded question because you have to be very careful in how you phrase a response if it’s being read by our [LGBT] own community. In my own experience, we can be a very judgmental lot.

Perhaps it is because we’ve been subjected to (more so in specific regions and definitely online) so much judgment that many of us have come to feel justified in adopting the same attitude for ourselves. With that in mind, I’m reminded of a phrase I learned early on in life. “Two wrongs do not make a right.” We — and I mean all of us — need to do a better job of trying not to judge and rather, listen to what people are saying around us. I know doing so can be difficult but you can’t grow and evolve if you’re always SHOUTING your own opinion to the point of ignoring and making it impossible to hear the opinions and truths of others.

(By “truths” I simply mean that it’s perfectly possible someone else could have experienced an entirely different set of life’s experiences so why not accept, for him or her, that what he/she is saying ISN’T intended to come across as judgment or that the individual is the slightest bit prejudice. Perhaps they’re simply expressing an opinion contrived from a different background that left them with an entirely different perspective on life than what you are used to or may have grown up around.)


Okay, I’m going to try and answer the question that was posed in the opening paragraph here without offending anyone. I’m certain that doing so will be impossible (somebody will be offended; one just has to open his or her mouth these days and say something for that to happen … LOL) but I’ll give it the good old college try nonetheless.

Yes, I [often] feel that I don’t fit in with what “seems” to best describe the values and interests of many of the gay men around me.


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Are nice guys destined to finish last?

19 Feb

Love yourself first, so that another may love you as well.Certainly not! It is that time of year again when the focus of [most] who are single has been on their relationship-status. There wouldn’t be enough ballrooms in any city across the globe to accommodate all of the pity parties that come along with the arrival of Saint Valentine’s Day. I’m serious.

I don’t mean to come off as sounding callous and uncaring. I totally understand that most, if not all of us want to find a special someone with whom to share our lives. And until we have, I recognize that this holiday serves as a reminder to those who are single that they haven’t succeeded in that search as yet.

(Still, that isn’t a good reason for turning a smile upside-down and giving yourself over to a sense of “doom and gloom.”)

I’ve been following the comments on a friend’s wall on Facebook. It all began when he posted a status that simply stated, “nice guys are sexy.” You know what? He’s right but many of the comments to follow gave way to the general feeling of despair with regard to the “nice guy” generalizations.

I myself have [often] heard the saying, “nice guys finish last” but I refuse to contribute any amount of energy into that kind of a mindset. Just as the old adage goes, “we are what we eat” — I believe it is equally true that our lives are our own to forge.


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Humor: What Kids Think

18 Feb

Isn't it precious when you see a young child deep in thought?

1.  How do you decide who to marry?

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.

No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.

2.  What is the right age to get married?

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.


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Posted in Laughter

 

Pretty much says it all…

29 Nov

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Living with HIV (and the attitudes of others)

08 Jun

40,000,000 affected by HIV/AIDSIn my last blog entry I made the comment, I knew in that instant that my life would never again be the same; that others would see me differently and that my dating prospects had been greatly reduced in the short span of only a few minutes. Thinking about this a bit more carefully, I think it’s fair to say I wasn’t exactly thinking of “dating” when I first found out I’d been exposed to the virus (I thought about this much later on) but I did realize my life would never again be the same.

A Little History…

I’d attended the funerals of quite a few friends during the early years when we had only just begun learning about the virus. Very little was known about HIV/AIDS back then. In the beginning, it was simply referred to by many as “the gay plague.” The heterosexual community had a false sense of security (just as some STILL feel) and many within the religious community cited the disease as “God’s wrath on gays.” Nothing could have been further from the truth, then or today.


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The Journey, not always what you wanted..

15 Apr

Photo of Jeep after accident and upside downLife doesn’t always turn out the way you envisioned it. You make plans from the time you are a young child, growing up in the midst of what one hopes will be a loving family and your only wish is that you’ll find somebody with whom you can spend the rest of your life with.

You dream of somebody who will love you, for all of your eccentricities, your foolishness and your difficult and sundry ways. You hope such a person would see past your darkest moments and remember all of the times you were able to bring a smile to their face and the glow of hope into their heart.

I mean, we all pray that one day our knight will arrive on his white steed and whisk us away, off into the sunset for what is to become everlasting happiness.

But life isn’t a fairy tale…


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Porn, The Pros and the Cons

03 Apr

Cartoon: What atheists cry out during good sex(Note to immediate family; specifically, Mom: This is probably one of the few blog entries of mine that you should consider ‘passing’ on. It’s descriptive and pretty raw.)

I’ll admit I’ve indulged in porn (magazines/videos) ever since I reached puberty and discovered where Dad hid his stash.

I’d sneak a look at my father’s magazines and VCR tapes (which sadly enough, were all straight porn). Then again, what would you really expect from your Dad? LOL!

I’d check out the guys in the mags and imagine what it’d be like for me to be riding their cute asses or taking their long, beautiful lollipops up my own … and more importantly, what it would be like to snuggle up next to them at the end of the day, to fall gently off to sleep with my arms wrapped around one or resting safely and peacefully in the guy’s own [arms].


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