The Dynamics of Gay Dating Are Truly Mystifying...

I don't know how two people get together and actually stay together for any length of time.  I really don't.  Ok, slight variation to that statement.  I don't understand how two guys get together and actually stay together for any length of time.  Some do it, it's true.  They meet, they flirt, they text each other, go out to dinner and movies and tumble into bed, and love.  They change their Facebook statuses and these days they go into married bliss, or at least the appearance of married bliss.  And yet, it feels like a lot of us are stumbling around, having the ocassional short term fling (I prefer this term to one-night stand) and often finding themselves alone on a Friday night.

Me?  I have not been very successful at this dating thing so far.  I've met guys and felt that ping of recognition that something chemical is occurring, usually through the prolonged eye contact and the unnecessary arm brushing.  I've been on dates with them, and in many cases these have progressed toward closeness and intimacy.  But making these last?  My record since coming out is six months.  I know it ain't pretty, and believe me, it ain't easy to admit this.  And I'd love to change it, but I'm truly not sure how to go about it.

Part of the problem is that it is difficult to navigate the dynamics between two men. Men like to pursue.  They like to woo.  It's in their mental makeup.  And so how do you decide who is the pursuer and who is the pursued?  Of course balance is best, but balance is beginning to feel like the unicorn in the woods.  You hear about it, you sense it's out there, but you've never seen it.

When I dated women the dynamics were much easier to figure out.  There were established patterns and roles.  Were they generalizations, and steeped in traditionalism?  Yes.  Did they work?  A lot of times, yes.  If I met someone I really liked, I could woo her, nurture her, treat her like the goddess I thought she was, and often it worked for me.  Try doing this with a guy.  He would be out the door in seconds.  Luckily, I met and had some decent relationships with women.  They were strong minded, understanding, thoughtful, great communicators.  And yet, something felt just a little off.

Cut to me at age thirty in L.A. where I met and fell for a six foot two, dark haired intellectual/slam poet who was very out and open with his sexuality and extremely emotionally in touch.  Add to the mix his giant smile and a high pitched voice that I loved.  The fact that we were picking out clothes for each other and choosing possible furniture for our future place by our second date?  This should have been a red flag, but I ignored it, and a couple others.  A month with him and I knew I would never go back to dating women, as I felt so out of control and blissed out in his presence that I couldn't allow myself to settle for anything less.  We lasted six weeks, and then he got scared and called the whole thing off.  When he called back two weeks later saying he'd made a major mistake, it was too late, the balance had been thrown off, and we were done.  I never really understood what happened, as it seemed to come out of no where, and since then I haven't really grown in my maturity about how to deal with men.

In short?  If I like them, really like them, and they like me, there is a part of me that is always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  And once I think it's happened (either because they stopped calling or texting like they used to, or because they cut a date short with no explanation or said something minor and unexceptional that I worried over) I can drive myself insane with wondering what they are thinking.  I've never loved uncertainty, and from that moment on I am living in The Land of Uncertainty.  My conversations with myself are unnerving and ridiculous.  And part of it is because I don't know what my role is supposed to be.  Should I be the pursuer?  Or allow myself to be pursued?  And how coy do I need to be about it?  I know from experience that men like to chase, and all too often it's felt like the minute they catch what they were chasing, they lose interest.  And if I want to keep them around, shouldn't I keep them guessing?

As  result of all this confusion, my behavior is all over the map and I send so many mixed signals that I don't blame the other person for wondering just what the fuck is going on and booking it out of my vicinity.   Don't get me wrong, I don't like playing mind games, especially since they almost  always backfire on me.  However, if I understood the basic etiquette and "rules" of gay dating, I think I would feel just a little bit more secure about this whole enterprise.

Maybe I need a gay dating guru.  A Gayru.  Anybody know of one???