When Age Does Not Equal Emotional Stability
The truth of the matter in the “gay dating world” is simple: young, gay males claim to want such a passionate, enduring romance à la “Brokeback Mountain”, but their actions prove to be extremely opposite.
As a gay male, I have never been the type to go bar hopping or clubbing every week. Instead, I decided in the past that no long-term, monogamous relationship could ever come from such a lifestyle filled with people searching for one-night stands. I lost that hope years earlier. Thus, I turned long ago to the world of Internet Dating because without bars or clubs, as a gay man, I'm left playing an infinite and rather frustrating game of “gay or straight?” Is my perspective of the gay dating world so negatively skewed?
The truth of the matter in the “gay dating world” is simple: young, gay males claim to want such a passionate, enduring romance à la “Brokeback Mountain”, but their actions prove to be extremely opposite. I remember being drawn to older men because I felt they had an air of stability, of less drama. They do not want to go out every night, and they have goals, or at least careers.
My first dating experiences with older men always seemed to be rather pleasant for me. The first dates all seemed to go swimmingly every single time. However, something always happened that has occurred in every instance of my dating older men: their dependency on me become unbearable. Interestingly enough, this dependency seems to grow exponentially the more the age of the person I date increases.
Most recently I dated a man ten years my senior, and I can guarantee it will not happen again. Dating began nicely, as stated prior. We would phone occasionally, with both of us doing the dialing. But something happened after the first month of occasionally seeing or talking to each other: It seemed the more we would go on dates, the clingier the guy got. I did my best to ignore what I considered my “usual feelings” to see if I could allow myself to just enjoy the casual dating, but soon I found myself avoiding phone calls (when we did talk, I noticed my obvious lack of enthusiasm to carry a conversation and his pitiful efforts to sustain one), my Twitter account (he made sure to comment on every single tweet I wrote), and my Facebook, just so I could have some peace away from this person.
I had been honest from the very beginning, as I am with all persons I go on dates with and expect to continue casually dating: I am extremely busy (I was in my last semester of graduate school at the time of this last experience), and I put my schooling before men. The more he stalked my every virtual move, the more distant I would become. The more distant I became, the more he would stalk me. It was a never-ending circle of creeper for me and a valiant effort of desperation on his part.
Avoidance became my main focus instead of school. I watched what I posted online, when I posted it, and to whom I posted. Flash forward two more months: I stop answering phone calls (every time he called he would leave a voicemail, and every time I would delete it without listening) and completely shut off every line of communication. I cannot handle an overload of intense clinginess. I want to fall in love with someone and both be just mad about each other, but that is not going to happen with them breathing down my neck!
Lesson learned: The older the man, the more emotionally dependent they become on you. They're like leeches, waiting to suck out every ounce of energy you can give them, just so they no longer feel lonely. Is this the future I have to look forward to, thriving off any affection shown to me in the least because my pickiness, instead of helping me find the man I need, will have pushed me away from men in general? Would it be too much to ask for a completely stable person my age? Whatever the answers may be, it is my personal decision to give up older for a while and try dating someone closer to my age, give or take a year my junior to see where the next adventure may lead.
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I'm wishing you luck – that in the right time, under the right circumstances – you find Mr. Right ;}
Having been both on the receiving end, and ignorantly (but still guilty) on the giving end of the rather annoying e-stalk.. your post struck a cord. I am the furthest one can get from 'desperate' in the dating arena, my confidence even tip-toes through cocky now & then ..in a Zen-like quiet way of course.
So here's my thinks, for what they're worth: Although I'm a romantic, and prefer things to roll out naturally and spontaneously like you – our private lives are way too exposed these days to assume any dating 'rules' from pre-social-media days will automatically apply. No matter how Up Front we are with each relationship – there seems to be a disconnect shortly thereafter.
We assume our actions & cues say back off or slow down, however theres a heightened level of intimacy, and a relative urgency of response that Twitter, Facebook, IM's etc. lend to all new friendships. Since these personal windows + doors are our own creation – we have to take full responsibility for all who enter – welcome or not.
Your post made me think perhaps we also need to take a little bit more responsibility for the 'live' role we play in dating. Maybe instead of the old avoidance techniques, we need to have the Real Conversations more often. And if you're on the heartbroken-longing-for-more end of the deal.. Ask the Real Questions, and never assume a deeper level of intimacy than the one you get from the horses mouth ;}