I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong! This isn’t another jaded blog article spewing how awful gay men are in this community. I mean, do we really need more content on that topic? Anyone with a pulse is well aware of the fact that gay men suck. And yes, that double entendre was used on purpose. You’re welcome.
I stand by what I previously wrote in “Bye, Bitter Bitch.” I don’t want to be angry or sad or pessimistic anymore, specifically when it comes to men and dating. Keeping a positive mindset has definitely been challenging, to say the least, but I’m someone who tried to rock Billy Idol’s hairstyle outside of the 80s. I enjoy a good challenge.
Instead of sharing with you—again—how selfish, disappointing, and contradictory gay men can be, I’ll state this: The more experience I gain with men and dating, the more I come to understand that Glenn Close wasn’t the villain in Fatal Attraction. She was the victim. Fuck you, Michael Douglas.
Though, it turns out that in real life, there doesn’t have to be a villain and a victim. When a relationship ends, any type of relationship, it’s not necessary to have a good guy and a bad guy. It’s not healthy, either. Sometimes, things just end. People aren’t always compatible—that cut and dried. Or perhaps they are compatible for a while, until there’s a shift, causing that compatibility to crumble.
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention that obstacles can and do get in the way, creating a problem that should have never arisen in the first place. Of course, I’m talking about Grindr, which I will screech for the hundredth time, is a hookup app. Full stop. Have monogamous relationships transpired from Grindr? Sure. Have friendships been formed? Absolutely! Is it even possible for an individual to use Grindr as nothing more than a tool to collect pictures from strangers? I suppose. Regardless, Grindr is a hookup app, and when a person downloads it, they (usually) have one desire: dick.
What are you going to do? Grindr isn’t going anywhere. Still, I’d love to punch Joel Simkhai, the founder of Grindr, in his face. (For legal purposes, that wasn’t a threat but more of a feisty hello.) Further, cheaters, liars, and manipulators aren’t going anywhere. Obstacles. One more time: Obstacles aren’t going anywhere. I guess if you can’t handle them, then get out of the game.
Or, better yet, learn how to play the game to your advantage. That’s what dating is, isn’t it? A big, emotional game in which those who play by the rules usually get hurt the most.
I’m certain it comes as no great surprise that I was recently (and slightly) hurt, but I was quickly reminded of something in my 12-step Codependents Anonymous group: I may have been hurt but that doesn’t mean I’m a victim. The only one who can victimize me is, well, me. And I’ve decided that I’m way too strong to be a victim ever again. Life is too damn short.
On reflection, I believe I’ve been coming at this dating situation all wrong. I’ve been trying desperately to find Mr. Right, or in my case, Mr. Big, when, truthfully, I’ve already found him. It’s me. I’m my own Mr. Big.
Screw dating other men; I need to worry about dating myself. I can’t help but wonder . . . If I’d used half the energy I’ve put into obtaining the perfect man into myself (my writing, my fitness, my self-care), what I would have already accomplished by now. Hell, I might have been named President of the United States. I’m kidding! I barely reach the age requirement as it is, but I’m solid on all of the others. Still kidding!
Dating myself isn’t a new concept for me, but it’s clearly one that warrants a refresher course.
I hate to say this, but I blame Pretty Woman. Maybe the rom-com isn’t my favorite movie but my least favorite. I’m starting to accept that this film should be categorized as “science fiction” because there’s no way it’s realistic. I fear that the film has set me up for failure. All romantic comedies have set me up for failure. Like, hypothetically, where’s the storyline of the extremely nice dude you’ve been casually dating for a month downloading a hookup app behind your back? Yeah, it probably wouldn’t have big box office numbers. However, there’d be less expectations for meeting Prince Charming and living happily ever after. On that note, we might as well blame Disney, too.
Except, I’ve decided to quit playing the blame game. There are no winners at that one. As an alternative, I’m going to accept what I cannot change and focus on what I can: me. Besides, at the end of the day, the relationship that ultimately matters is the one you have with yourself. Good, bad, ugly . . . As long as you can stand to look at yourself in the mirror each night, then you’re doing something right.
So, if gay dating is so whack, then why am I continuing to participate in it? I don’t have an answer, which, quite frankly, is an answer. I can’t change men or dating, but I can change me. Or, simply put, I can hit the pause button on dating and concentrate on myself.
Now, if Pedro Pascal knocked on my door tomorrow and asked me out, would I accept the offer? Duh! Especially if he was carrying a large pizza in one hand and an entire cheesecake in the other.
Yet, until Pedro or any man worth my time comes into my lane, I feel like the best thing I can do for myself is to learn to be happy living alone. More so, I must not be afraid of living alone. The idea of that currently terrifies me, and that’s how I know it’s essential to master.
After all, it’s outside of my comfort zone where life truly begins and becomes exciting . . . and I’m ready for the adventure.