I am nearly 54 years old and I have been out and dating since 1986. In that time, I've had what I would consider to be four great relationships. Yes, I've dated and "dated" a lot more than 4 men, but these four men were the ones that I loved back and thought were 'it'.
The first one I met in autumn 1986 when I just discovered that I was gay. I was studying in London at the time and we met at the London Lesbian and Gay Center. He was amazing and we spent two months together. It was kind of a little storybook romance and included one of the best moments of my life - riding on the back of his motorcycle, my arms around his waist, both of us in leather jackets, riding around the West End in the early evening.
When we broke up, I was devastated - I'll tell the story another day, but it took me an unfortunately long time to get over him. It wasn't until many years later that I discovered that he and I shared a connection that he didn't share with the man who he dated after me and who he'd be with for 25 years. That was kind of all I needed to allow me to finally let go.
The second guy, I met at a bar in LA in 1997 while I was hosting a beer bust for Aid for AIDS. We had a great two and a half years together. He was a very solid/normal guy and I was having the time of my life producing fundraising events, writing columns for mags, touring around the country, and emceeing a weekly show in WeHo. I'm extremely glad that I had him in my life to provide some sort of foundation. I am the better for having been with him, no doubt.
The third guy, I met at a funeral in 2007 and we had three firsts - the day we met at the funeral, the sex date we had a few days later, and the real date that we had a few days after that. We were together for four years but eventually we realized that we were more brothers than lovers. And, since my actual brother is kind of a dbag, having a real brother has been better than having a boyfriend. Those of you who are in a similar situation might understand why this is so important. We have been best friends now for eleven years.
In summer 2014, I met a guy in Chicago after judging at IML that I thought would be 'it'... and when it wasn't, I fell into a very deep depression. It didn't help that the day job was pretty stressful, I had stopped going to the gym, I had just ended bingo (the first time, not the second time), and I was feeling pretty awful about myself and my life. But then, after having what I thought was a heart attack at Christmastime, I decided that I'd had enough wallowing and that it was time to get back in shape in every sense.
So for all of 2015, I spent time at the gym, and towards the end of the year, once I got some of my mojo back, I started dating again. At one point, I sorta kinda was dating five different guys.
Bingo had just ended for the second time, my corporate job had been eliminated after a merger, and I was at a literal turning point in my life.
I realized that I had spent decades going through the same cycle again and again - I would meet a guy (online, at a party, out and about in life, etc) and would think "maybe this is the one". Every. Damn. Time. I had fun but there was always (ALWAYS) the veneer of "he's it!" on top of whatever it was.
But rather than be sad about that, I decided to find strength. The five guys turned into seven guys for a very brief moment in time and I thought that I was just going to enjoy the ride for once rather than having to make any of it something it wasn't. I think I decided to... have fun.
And, as part of that, I installed the Scruff app onto my phone and started checking guys out. I don't have any problem with online hookups, but I have found through experiences on various other sites that it's a tedious and ultimately unsatisfying way to meet anyone. Everyone's always looking for someone better and I find that exhausting. But, I had a new "couldn't give a fuck" attitude and went from there.
I went to Palm Springs at Christmas 2015 with this attitude but I didn't have a great time (sorry SoCal!) so I came back early, had a GREAT New Years. And although I'd hooked up in the wee hours of the new year, by Jan 3rd, I was rarin and ready for more. Someone pinged me on Scruff, I was mildly interested. A friend stopped by to hang out and a few hours went by. i finally got back to the pinger and he was at my doorstep in less than 20 minutes.
And when he walked through my door, I had this "oh, there you are, I've been waiting for you". And he's not left since.
Every day I learn new things about him and our history has interesting overlaps and we have a common background.
I post this not to brag - but to illustrate that I was sure I would never ever be with anyone again. I was in agony, I was so lonely. i would be jealous of people I knew who were in relationship with multiples as I was like "hey.. share! you don't get seconds til everyone gets firsts!" lol
So, tomorrow is Valentine's Day.
So, you're single and middle age. Big whoop. I'm nearly 54 and it took until I was nearly 52 to find this very special guy.
So, have a single friends night. Or if there's someone you like, ask them out even if you're never the one who asks someone out... in fact, esp if youre not someone who usually asks someone out, do it. The worst that they can say is 'no'. OR spend the evening concentrating on some self care/love. Or call a friend who is also single and do something fun with them.
But it's not over for you if you're reading this.
Recently, boyfriend number 3 broke up with his boyfriend of a couple years .... he lamented, "I'm 50 and out of shape, who will want me!!" and my answer is - you'll never know until you put yourself out there... because unless you're looking to date the Dominoes pizza guy, it's unlikely that they'll come to you.
Unless you're on Scruff... then apparently they will deliver themselves!
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!