Sunday, September 8, 2013

Females of the Past & Hindsight

It's interesting how I claw for every scrap of silver lining I can get in my struggle to come out of the closet.  Is it weird that I take comfort in how unsuccessful I've been with dating women?  It makes me feel like telling my family and friends that I'm gay will be just that small bit easier because they can't have built up any preconceived notions that I'm a womanizer or that I'm way into women.  In fact, I've said to friends before that I'm a little surprised no one in my family has ever (even jokingly) asked me if I was gay.  I mean, I've never even kissed a girl.  Doesn't that make it that much more obvious that I'm gay?  I just kind of hope that none of my family and friends are completely shocked.  I think it's when people are utterly shocked that they have a harder time accepting it, and that they're more likely to react badly.

The clearest example from my past that should have left them with at least a little doubt about me being heterosexual is a girl we'll call Gretta.  Graham and Gretta?  Wow, I'm great at these pseudonyms!  Anyway, I got a serious crush on Gretta in high school when I heard her sing.  I was so drawn to her talent, intelligence, sense of humor, and our similar approaches to many things in life.  (Like dating... we both said that we didn't want boyfriends/girlfriends in high school.  I probably mostly only said that to have something in common with her.)  We became very very good friends and spent a TON of time together.  We graduated, time passed, and I was home from college and getting ready to go on my Mormon mission.  We spent almost every day together.  We would be alone in her parents' basement on the couch together, watching TV shows and movies galore.  I might have thought about kissing her once.  MIGHT.  I certainly never would have done it though... because "I didn't want to have a girlfriend before my mission."  So a two year mission passed, and I came home with loads of expectations from what our relationship would be.  She wasn't really into me the way I was into her, she said.  So we became just friends.  For years... and years.  We still spent almost every weekend that I came home from college together.  And summers... we were always together.  She was my de facto girlfriend... but without anything physical and without any of the expectations of a real relationship.  Now... along came one day that we were alone together in her apartment.  Sitting together on her couch.  Talking about us.  How we could definitely be married and have a relationship.  "But what about the physical stuff?" she asked.  We both thought for a second about how weird it would be to be physical... oh wait... no... it was probably ONLY me that thought that.  What the hell kind of heterosexual man who's alone with a female that is amazing to him, who he says he's attracted to, and who asks a question that is basically an invite to make out when he's sitting next to her on a couch DOESN'T REACT?  I was filled with so much regret as I drove home reflecting on that moment that passed us by.  That moment I could have just kissed her and gotten years of relationship, pain, and struggle out of the way.  That moment we could have either found out that we could, in fact, have something physical and emotional, or that I was gay and lacked any real sexual attraction to women. I didn't know about the latter part of that potential for discovery at the time... but now I look back and I do know that I could have learned something in that moment.  Maybe the lack of action should have been a huge clue... but it wasn't.  I just assumed that I was protecting our friendship from the possibility of trying and failing to start a relationship.  Oh, Gretta.  Why didn't you tell me to just kiss you?  Oh, Graham... why didn't you just realize and accept that there was an underlying reason you NEVER did anything (or even really thought much about doing) more than hold girls' hands or cuddle?

Gretta's married now, and we don't really talk much.  After giving her an ultimatum of sorts that she refused (wow, poor girl... had to lose her gay friend because he still didn't think he was gay and confused an incredible friendship with love) we drifted apart.  I became bitter that she took up so much of my dating time.  That she'd been so selfish in not letting me go.  Clearly, I see now that I was probably just staying in that impossible relationship because I didn't want to face facts.  I think that's why I never had a real serious relationship.  There was the girl we'll call Heather that I dated for about a month.  That was my most serious relationship ever.  I think I called her my girlfriend a couple times.  She and I had a lot in common.  I think she was pretty much what people call a "beard" though.  Which makes me feel terrible.  I think I only tried to date her because I wanted a girlfriend.  It's like... I would constantly date just to avoid suspicion that I was gay.  But it wasn't just for other people... I would convince myself that I had fallen head over heels about these girls and get devastated when things didn't work out.  This happened over and over and over.  I think I was really just trying to convince myself that I was capable of caring that much about a girl.  If I really cared, at least in the way that a heterosexual man would care... I would have just kissed them.  I would have given them the physical signs that I was as emotionally attached as I really was.  And I was emotionally attached... I just didn't have the physical attraction to back it up.  I wish sex just didn't have to be a part of all of it.  (See why I think I'm asexual sometimes?)

1 comment:

  1. That's a tough story, although I guess there's no use beating yourself up about it now.

    I still get really uncomfortable thinking about my relationship high school girlfriend. It took a while, but we're finally friends again. The funny thing is that I think we were actually awful for one another, attractions aside, but we both really wanted to make it work too much to see it.


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