Commitment Issues???

So recently I thought commitment and how I struggle with the whole idea of commitment. Often we think of commitment as in the relationship between two people but there are many other areas in our life that involves commitment. I’ve learned recently that I have an issue with commitment, even with my relationships.

Digging deeper into the subject I have realized I have a strong fear of being abandoned and left behind, which causes me to float around like a butterfly. I have gotten use to things changing and having happiness taken from me, so I have learned to not get use to the good things in my life… because I never know when it will end.

Looking back at my past relationships (or the lack thereof) and my dating experiences its apparent that I go for guys I have no shot with… usually guys who are emotionally unavailable. I have this inherent need to fix these guys. I also find myself in a pattern in finding guys who believe they’re not good enough for me, guys who believe they don’t deserve a guy with a big heart… and so much love. When I fail in saving them and they they abandon me, I am left feeling devastated.

Patterns don’t appear out of thin air, they are repeated over and over. I learned to tolerate being treated less early on. I was also groomed in believing I had to look past the bad behaviors and allow the good to out way the bad, regardless how severe the bad was. Looking at my failed relationships there were many red flags and I ignored everyone of them, even when they smacked me in the face.

I also learned I had to chase after love and convince the person I was good enough. Just like a donkey constantly chasing after the carrot dangling from a string or a dog chasing after his tail. Honestly I think I found a guy who wanted to be with me, who loved me for who I was and gave me attention would scare the hell out me… and I would probably speed away leaving only my dust behind.

I am learning how to overcome feeling like I have to tolerate bad situations. Positive patterns also need to be repeated over and over before they sink in.

Commitment scares even something as little as having a schedule freaks me out. I even struggle with the day to day commitments. My doctor recently asked me to commit to going outside twenty minutes a day seemed impossible to me. I have always been the spur of the moment kind of guy and I am finding it difficult to bring in order to my life. It seems so foreign and strange.

Dieting is another area that I struggle with commitment. Having to count my calories has always been tough. When I start to moderate my food intake I panic when I get near my daily calorie limit because I know that means I can’t eat whatever I want. I’m going on my eighth month of this diet and I struggle with commitment. Learning a new trick takes a lot of practice, time and patience. You must expect to stumble and fall, time and time again… the true key to overcoming an obstacle is to always get up when you fall… learn from your falls. Sometimes it takes taking the same fall over and over for it to sink in. You can only ride that broken record for so long before you get dizzy and fall off. You can only stand dizziness for so long before you must change.

As much as I resist change, sometimes it’s needed. I’m getting too old to keep spinning in chaos. I yearn for stability and consistency. I need to bring balance into my life and with that comes commitment. With balance comes moderation, which is something I never do but I’m learning. As they say practice makes perfect and I will keep practicing until I master the art of commitment.

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Waiting for a Man to Love Me

When I came out of the closet in 1995 I had this idealistic view on relationships and love. I had my life all planned out. Many guys go through a phase of not wanting a relationship but not me. I knew early on that I wanted to spend my life with one person, even before I knew I was gay. It never dawned on me that I would have such a difficult time finding that one person.

When you are gay you’re already start off with a disadvantage in regards to love but add to the mix your weight it makes it even more difficult. I remember when I first started to date I would lie about my weight, as I didn’t feel anyone would want to meet me if they knew the truth. It never occured me as to what would happen when we actually met. It only took one disaster of a date for me to stop lying about my weight.

I can remember early on in the days of gay.com chat rooms others feeling the need to berate me because my size. They would private message me and say horrible things to me, all unprovoked. I was already insecure and that only made things worse.

I’ve gone all my life thinking that there had to be a reason why men didn’t like me or love me. It all started with my father. I grew up believing there was something missing inside of me that made my father treat me the way he did. As an adult guys that I have dated have only mirrored that.

I have attached myself to guys that are emotionally unavailable because I believe that is what I deserve. I haven’t realized that when guys reject me they aren’t really rejecting who I am but it is hard to see that when your heart is breaking. The more a guy is distant, the more I try to get him to like me… like I have to convince him.  I have even looked past red flags that I realize afterwards that I shouldn’t have. All because I didn’t think I was worthy of more.

I didn’t realize I was finding myself around other people who were like me in the sense that they felt they were broken or even worse they didn’t realize it but still lived their life as such. I couldn’t see that they too had their own baggage, all I could see they didn’t want me and it was all my fault. I think the problem was that I’ve lived life thinking I was broken and that is what I showed the world. I grew tolerating bad situations because I had to and it sunk into my conscious. I thought that was what love was.

Being an emotional person I have had my fair share of scaring guys away. I took it all personally. Many times I wished I could be like everyone else and turn off my feelings but I learned quickly that wasn’t an option for me.

Every heart break… Every rejection was like I was setting up a domino, one guy at a time. When one domino falls, they all fall and I relive each past hurt all at once. You have enough dominoes fall and you become very gun shy… to the point where you just give up. Loneliness usually would get me to venture outside my cave but every time I would get hurt and run back into seclusion.

Each time I meet someone I really like, which isn’t that often, I have this little spark in my mind and think is he the one… then I wait… patiently… I’m always so afraid of scaring the guy away I tend to walk on eggshells. I have often wondered when will I ever be enough for someone? When will someone see my gifts as strengths, and not as weaknesses?

I recently found myself being very fond of a guy I was getting to know. He was unlike most other guys I have met. He was charming, sweet and shy. It was the first time (in a very long time) that a guy didn’t make me feel like an object. I knew that he wasn’t ready for a relationship but that didn’t stop me from liking him in that way. I mean how could I not, he is a wonderful guy.

In the past, I haven’t asked for what I wanted… I usually let it slip away, so I let him know how I felt and of course feelings weren’t mutual. It hurt, deeply but I was willing to work through those horribly feelings to keep the friendship. Though it caused him to distance himself, to the point where I barely heard from him. Of course I took it personal. It was one thing to not want to be my boyfriend but another thing to not want to be my friend.

Five months passed and we started talking again. I found out that he was dating someone and again a domino fell. I started to think what about me didn’t he like. I knew I was his physical type because he liked bigger guys but other than that it was unknown… I even asked him about it and he couldn’t give me an answer. He said he hadn’t saw me in that light, which really hurt. It is hard to not think things like I am not good enough. If I was only that and this… and so on.

I catch myself falling into old habits of taking everything personal. I learned early that I can’t make people love me but that certainly doesn’t stop me from trying and waiting… I’m tired of waiting. Tired of feeling that I’m not good enough because I am. When you surround yourself with pain and hurt, that is all you can see. It stops you from looking into another’s world to realize that they have their own issues, baggage and drama.

My biggest fear is that I am going to grow old alone. Why should I expect anyone else to fight for me, when I won’t fight for me? Every man has kept me at a distance not because of something I lacked but something I possessed… and that being a big heart. People have come to question love and have to find a motive for it. Many people feel they don’t deserve such a degree of love.

I’m learning to adapt to a world that doesn’t crumble with the idea of being single. Just watch a few movies on the Hallmark Channel and you will have yourself convinced that you can’t live without someone else but in reality we can… and often it happens. I also have to realize when you date that each person brings their own baggage to the table, whether they want to admit it or not.

I have waited so long for a man to love me and in the process I stopped loving myself. It all chipped away at my heart and ruined my self worth and self esteem. Loving myself is very tough, especially when their are still parts of me that believe I don’t deserve it but I am going to keep at it. The good thing about being treated poorly is you realize what you don’t want or deserve, sometimes it takes breaking that record.

Is That All There is to Gay Online Community?

In therapy this week, I talked about how the internet has been both my friend and enemy. How at times it is an outlet for my feelings and emotions, and other times it doesn’t give me what I need. For as long as I can remember I have used the internet for meeting people. When I got my first computer at the age of 19 in 1995, I can remember the AOL chat rooms. I also can remember easily being able to start up platonic conversations with people. Through those chat rooms I even met a really a good friend.

Now days I struggle with having meaningful interactions with people online. I am not sure if it is because I am older or a bit jaded, or if things really have changed? Maybe it is a little of all three. On various apps like Growlr, Scruff, Grindr, etc I send out friendly platonic message and rarely do I ever get a response back. It is easy to allow it to make you feel less. I still catch myself taking it personal.

Even on Growlr, which is a site for bears, I struggle with getting responses. I have noticed that muscle bears are the most popular, and the ones the site usually features on their facebook page. I guess I have always saw bears as being more on the husky side but with the popularity increase of the community things have changed. Plus you have the whole masculinity label, in which I don’t adhere to. Seeing things like masculine only, no one overweight, no fems or flammers is a common occurrence. I have always struggled with the whole concept of masculinity. It all depends on whose definition of masculinity you go by. I have no issue with masculinity but what I do have an issue with anti-femininity. Some see these two concepts as a gender and I don’t think that is all that healthy. Personally I have both masculine and feminine traits, and I am proud of all of them.

The problem with labels is that many times you don’t fall into that category, you feel left out or less. I have found myself questioning what parts of myself do I include on Growlr and Scruff. Finally I just said fuck with it, you like me for me or not at all but that has taken years and I still fall into that trap.

I find that so many of these sites are centered around sex, especially on websites like Adam4Adam, or even Bear411. These sites have numerous adds for porn with x rated pictures plastered all over the page. I understand sites like A4A that are free to members, have to make money but I still am very turned off by those sites. There are some who argue that websites lie A4A are for hooking up and maybe that is so, but I know there are others on there who are looking for more than just sex.

Thankfully on apps for the iPhone and Android x-rated pictures are not allowed. Though they feel just like a meat market as well. They just have their meat behind the case and not in plain sight.

As much as I struggle with this all, I can see how our community has become this. Socially we aren’t taught to accept ourselves for who we are. Even in the culture and media outside of the LGBT community there is a feminine stigma. Just look how some republicans view Women still to this day. We are not taught to embrace love, so in return we do the same to each other.

I can relate to whole hooking up world. There was a time that I was caught up into it. I didn’t feel like I could get the real connection and the one I yearned for… So I tried to get it anyway I could. So  I started looking for sex online. I thought something was better than nothing. I had convinced myself that I couldn’t ever find the real thing, nor did I deserve it. In the end, it only just reinforced my insecurities and brought up some very deep issues of my past. Not only was it making me feel worse, I wasn’t getting what I really needed.

I guess what it boils down to is I don’t feel like I fit in. I am not masculine (and for some too big) enough for Scruff or Growlr. I am too old and big for Grindr. Plus on top of this I live in a very rural town, and even the bigger city near me has limited options.

It is obvious I need to venture out into the big world and that scares me, which is a separate topic in itself.

My question is why aren’t there alternatives online. I can’t be the only gay man looking for friendship??? Just take a look at the personal section on Craigslist and you will easily feel disheartened. Go to the strictly platonic section and it is a ghost town. The romance section is even worse. Which reminds me of one of my favorite songs by Peggy Lee called “Is That All There Is.”

I am not saying that you can’t make friends on the internet or have decent conversations, they are just appear to be more difficult. What I do find it impossible with the few people I do talk to locally is getting them to want to meet up. It is not like I am saying hey lets go hook up, I usually just say would you like to go out to a movie or dinner… Maybe they are just being polite in talking to me, maybe they think I am looking for more than friends? I am not sure but it is frustrating.

I guess I am realizing I have to turn somewhere else for making in person connections. I am not confident it will be at a bar either. I have always heard doing activities that you enjoy is the best way to meet people. I just have to realize what that is and find activities like that. Living in a small community certainly has it’s challenges but I know that there has to be some kind hearted people out there who care about the world around them.

Is anyone else struggling with the issues and finding alternatives to meet people? I wish there was a friend app.

Does anyone else have thoughts and comments to add? I would love to hear them.