So, I have 2 brothers. One older, one younger. Our lives fall on something of a spectrum. My younger brother (YB) is the tallest, my older brother (OB) is the shortest, and I’m in the middle. OB has a mostly full head of luxurious, unruly hair. YB is almost completely bald. I’m in the middle.
OB is a fairly traditional Mormon male. He’s a dentist. He camps, he fishes, he knows about sports of all kinds, was quite popular and ran track in high school, he grills stuff and builds things. He wears polo shirts and cargo shorts. YB is completely opposite. He wants to be a wedding planner. His FB statuses often involve a new pair of shoes he’s found. He knows 6 different ways to tie a bow-tie. His Christmas tree has a color scheme. (Yep, he’s gay too. My poor parents…). I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m a teacher/actor. I love musical theater and RuPaul’s Drag Race. I also installed my kitchen light fixture, and know how to change the oil in my scooter. Though admittedly I lean toward a new pair of shoes more than a new gas grill.
This holds true in terms of marriage and children as well. OB is married to an exceptional woman (seriously, they are the kind of couple that people make movies or write books about) with 5 – 5! – adorable children. YB has resigned himself to singlehood. To the point that he’s planning on spending wedding money instead on a 30th birthday bash in a few years. And I’m somewhere in the middle. I have kissed 3 girls in my life (not counting stage kisses). There’s only been one girl that I’ve ever seriously considered marrying. It didn’t happen for lots of reasons, and she’s now married to an outstanding young man who is going to do great things and change the world. I am not resigned to bachelorhood, but I wouldn’t spiral into depression if it happened.
Here’s the trouble. I’m kind of fickle. And when I say “kind of” I mean “annoyingly”. My affections are fairly capricious and can change on a whim. Often without warning (Often? Let’s try always). It makes me reluctant to enter into any kind of “beyond friendship” relationship. And it’s not just with girls, though the effect is certainly more pronounced in those circumstances. Plus every girl out there is now competing with the former almost Mrs. B. (I like to say that my time with her gave me hope that marriage is possible for me. It might also be accurate to say that my time with her ruined me.)
I also have an uncle who’s gay (argument for genetics anyone?). He is married to a woman. We had a conversation not long ago about these sorts of issues and he said that there have only been 2-3 women in his entire life (he’s now over 50) that he’s been attracted to.
So, here comes my question. What do I do about it? I know what the church encourages one, in a general sense, to do with dating (OB did it, and now has a family. YB feels to avoid it entirely, and that’s okay too.) You date lots of people until you figure out which one you can handle for the next 50 years or so. However in terms of the church’s dating policies, I feel like I’m more of an exception (though we are also encouraged not to see ourselves as exceptions, with the rare exception…). I don’t think that dating formula’s gonna work for me.
So married gay men of the church, what advice do you have for me? I realize every situation is different – especially when you throw homosexual attractions into the mix – but what are some things you found helpful? What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago? 10 years ago? What do you wish you’d known going into it all? Any fun date ideas? Help!