Love and Marriage

December 6, 2011 in General

I turned 50 in October, and I’m really happy about that. Half a century. That sounds old.

It did make me stop and think, re-evaluate my life, think about what I’m doing – after all, I never expected to be alive this long,  every year feels like a bonus to me, so I want to make sure I’m making the most of it all.

And life is pretty good. I could do with more money, but materially my life is ok. I have a lot of people who care for me very much, family and freinds who love me, and I’m lucky in that.

It did strike me though, that I will probably never fall in love again. It’s not impossible, I know, but let’s face it – the odds are getting pretty long that I am going to meet a guy I am going to want to buy flowers for and do all the silly romantic things people in love do. It would be great to have that wonderful feeling in my life again, to meet a man and revel in that sense of joy and silly happiness that being in love brings. But I doubt it’s going to come my way again. I think it’s just the logic of circumstance – a barely employed 50 year-old HIV+ gay man isn’t such a great catch.

And that does make me a little sad – only a little though.

I don’t really share this desire that seems so common now, this desire to be married. I can understand the logic of it, the argument that if we really are equal citizens, we should be treated with exact equality, so from a pure human rights point of view, ok, I get it. But I don’t get the desire to mimic mummy and daddy in the suburbs, to get engaged, and have a big wedding with a gift registry. I understand, it’s validating for a lot of guys, but it still doesn’t grab my heart or mind. I can understand wanting to celebrate your love in front of the most important people in your lives, but marriage, hmm, not for me. And really, expecting your friends to fork out cash because you want a new $500 toaster – that’s just grasping and mean.

Most of the gay men I know who are married/civil unioned or whatever are still fucking around, so monogamy obviously isn’t the driver. And gay men are different from straights, we do build our relationships differently.Celebrating love makes sense – aping straight marriage doesn’t for me.

But back to romance, to falling in love – will I ever meet a guy and have that “swept off my feet” feeling again? Like I said, probably not. Someone somewhere said you never fall in love again after 40 because we’ve lived too long and can’t trust in the same way, and that could be true.

To really fall for someone, you do have to suspend a lot of your hard-edged reality-based life, the world is full of butterflies and rainbows – that’s the fun of it all, and that sweet, mad, intoxicating feeling of tenderness and the delight in getting to know each other – it’s fantastic when it happens. And of course, it wears off over time.

When I look around at my friends, the ones in the successful relationships have been able to move from the “in love” to “love” stage, and that isn’t always guaranteed to happen. Because building a loving relationship isn’t about being in love really – it’s about finding someone you want to be with through all the ordinary stuff in life, paying bills, cleaning the house, all those unromantic things.

I am glad I’m around, and I am lucky to be loved in the ways that I am, but a little part of me mourns that I’ll probably never have that feeling again, that all-encompassing, light-headed, seeing stars when he walks in the room kind of feeling again.

But who knows – life has surprised me before.

Love and Marriage

One Comment

    1. Annij says:

      I totally agree with the moving from “being in-love” to the “love” phase is really what long term relationships are about.
      But one thing I will tell you with absolutely 1000% certainty, is that you will find someone with whom you love and are in-love with, so that you can spend the rest of your life in that companionship. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to look really hard. Some things in life are like that, they just take a lot of “seeking” to lay hold of.
      I’ve been treated pretty shitty by other women because I want to have a kid in my 40s, and doctors only tell me I have a 10% chance of bringing home my own kid–this devastates me. The women who criticize me have had the opportunity to have their kids young, either through luck or wealthy “functional” parents who can support them as they pay off their lofty student loans. For them, the only time to have a kid is before you’re 10–seems like you have to be that age to have a healthy kid as a woman.
      But despite the odds, I want this, I mean I WANT THIS. Thus, I will do what it takes to make it happen. And it will happen–I know this, I just have to be willing to have several miss carriages, and possibly deliver a healthy baby only to have it die three days later (which also happens often with people over 40). Nonetheless, my mind is fixated on this goal.
      Also, your 50 seems young to live the next 30 years not having the connection of a long term relationship. Humans can live as long as 122 years. That’s a long time to be single.
      I am a het, and I am married. I would have lived with my partner and not gotten married because I can’t stand the whole marriage ceremony bla bla bla thing myself–in fact I had my reception at a pub. But because those I love (excluding my partner) wanted that ceremony, I did it for them–I’ll never do it again (it was a right royal pain in the ass). I think I got married either three weeks later, or three months later (no that seems a little long), after I had a ring stuck on my finger in the middle of winter. Anyhow, this is all to say, the commitment of marriage is essential to staying together, not the shitty ceremony or where you live (I live in the hub of down town—I always will)
      Finally I wanted to say when you find your guy, which you will, it will be life changing (even though you have HIV and don’t think you can find someone). When you find that person, be monogamous. Demand it in a partner, have the self-respect and faith to expect it. Faith meaning that you can find someone who values it as much as you do. I don’t believe the bullshite that gay men are less monogamous than hets, or want it less. That’s Narnia talk. Usually it’s the pervos who are terrified of the cost of “true” intimacy (love that stays around when you have to take the HIV cocktails, pay the bills, get really really sick) that get all the floor time. Those dilldos only stick around for the hard bodies, and the “hot sex” whatever that means (ho hum). The thought of having to give a needle to their beloved, so that he stays alive a little longer, is beyond their dishpan deep relationships. I’ve known quite a few couples that have been together for 30 years and aren’t cheaters. They just don’t want that in their lives. Gay men want commitment and stability in their lives just as much as women do, and het men do. Finally, if you choose to pursue a relationship don’t despair I can think of a few people who are in a similar situation to you and have found their partners they just have to be willing to look in unusual places (I don’t mean in back alleys), I mean like in other countries or continents or joining clubs you’d never think to join (like Judo—there’s a lot of gay men who take Judo, betcha didn’t know that. ;) )


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