Friday, July 18, 2014

Gay dating in mid-life

As a newly-out gay man, my expectation was that, after several years, I would easily find a compatible man EXACTLY my age for a relationship and eventual marriage.  I'm turning 52 next week!

From my own experience and from talking to many other gay guys in our smallish, very remote city, a consensus has emerged:  there is an extremely slim chance of finding a husband from here who is my age.

In the past four years, I've met countless younger (and fantastic!) men but I haven't met a single early 50s gay guy who would have been remotely suitable as husband material.  The reasons:
  1. When we were coming of age (1980 - 1984), our redneck, blue-collared town was very inhospitable to gays. The vast majority of young gay man escaped to big cities with welcoming gay scenes such as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto or even New York.
  2. Coming of age as a gay man in the early 80s meant that large numbers of my generation contracted and died of HIV / AIDS.
  3. A great many of the other gay / questioning men in my town remained in the closet, married and had kids.  I am messaged constantly by many dozens of these men, still married and in the closet.
  4. ________________ Can you think of any other reasons, Dear Readers?
Here's a follow-up from my last post:  after my enjoyable and unusual 2:00 a.m. walk with Dungeon Dude, I sent him this message.
Hey D _ _ _ _!
I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I'd like to say that I enjoyed our late-night walk enormously. You're a very smart guy; extremely funny and I admire how you are so devoted to your son. I also found you to be a very attractive guy with a face as smooth as a baby's bottom. Most remarkable! lol

I hope the walk wasn't too long for you, with your back issues? Also, I hope the medical procedure which you mentioned went well this week and that you will get good news from that.

I also enjoyed our conversation because I haven't spent enough time talking to really experienced gay guys like you, which I'm not. (really experienced, that is...) I would very much like to have you as a friend.

I have to say that after 18 years of marriage (the last half of those pretty hellish) and having been divorced for only 1.3 years, I cannot imagine a time which I will be want to get serious again with anyone. I'm sure that will happen one day but at this point, I couldn't predict when.

Anyway, I hope you and your son are well. :-)

Dungeon Dude responded with a pages-long, thoughtful e-mail.  A few of his main points:
  1. It was "painfully obvious" that we had very different life experiences but we were more similar than I probably realized.
  2. Our five year age difference didn't matter.
  3. He requires a year or longer to mourn the passing of a relationship.
  4. It normally takes him a very, very long time to find a gay man who has the "emotional maturity" that he is seeking.
  5.  Gay men of our age did not date in high school or even in their early 20s.  They had no "relationship practice" and often reached their 30s before they learned how to share a life.
  6. Other gay men often point out to him that he shouldn't be lonely because he has a son and is heavily involved in his life.
  7. Dungeon Dude admitted that it really was only late at night that it was apparent that being single and alone was difficult for him.  That's why he messaged me at midnight for our walk!
  8. He wrote:  "I found you intelligent also and that has ALWAYS been a huge turn on... it's the imagination that is the most fertile playground."
  9.  And:  "I liked how you are also so happy... that's a bloody rare thing in this city's gay cummunity." He signed off with a virtual hug and kiss, and gave me his cell phone number.

Sweet! I will respond to his thoughtful message in a few days, but after that, I need to decide what is my next move to encourage a friendship but not an LTR. Another walk in the park, perhaps?


  1. Here is an idea for you. Just like you, I came out when I was 54. I found the same kind of difficulties you face...not because of living in a remote town but living in a big city where the men in their fifties, if they were single...there was something or many things terribly wrong with them.
    I also thought that at my age the chances of meeting someone (a soul-mate) at my age would be highly unlikely. I gave up the idea of a lasting relationship and alas, I had my first lover, a delightful Frenchman and it had to come to an end because he was sent to Asia by his employer.
    Then I met my present partner ten years ago...and yes, he's twenty years younger. Perhaps the answer is that you may have to consider somebody younger.
    I enjoy your blog tremendously.

    1. I agree with this comment. Do not restrict to around your age. Let the universe provide a lover for you so you may have to be open to a younger man. Look at our age difference my lover and I have and we are doing well. When I say younger I do not mean young as 20s, but any man over 40 years of age.
      And in a small city? That's another story and I do not pretend to have an answer but agree with this comment about finding a man in a big city. It's difficult no matter where.

    2. Thank you, Raulito, for your kind comments and useful advice! Yes, I will keep my mind open regarding the age of my future boyfriend.

      I too have met single gay men in their 50s with "something or many things terribly wrong with them." ... some of them have been really fucked up!

    3. Hi Rick, my former wife was 7.5 years older than me and that wasn't an issue at the time. I certainly would consider any man in his 40s "fair game" for me; no problem at all about that!

      Thanks for commenting! I actually do not know much of a age difference there is between you and your partner.

  2. Thanks for sharing all that. It is instructive to an even older and still rather closeted gay man.

    1. You're welcome! My main advice to you would be get completely out of the closet. What are you waiting for?

  3. I will just mention that I was 52 when I met THE man. It was at a gay male erotic massage evening that met once a month to keep the experience of The Body Electric School's programs alive in the daily lives of those who had participated in them. He is older than I but has a mind, imagination and creativity much younger than his age (as, I think, do I). We still have a great sex life. The main bond between us is, and always has been, love. It's unconditional or, as I tell people who ask the "secret" of our wonderful relationship: neither of us has ever looked at the other as his home improvement project. In today's world, 52 is not the end of something, it is still very much in the middle with a lot of great years ahead. Good luck, and enjoy the journey!!

    1. Wow! That's where I met my lover too! Amazing! Better than the first two lovers I had where I met at the baths. I'm not saying body electric is the answer, but a possibility. Nice to read others have done the same as me

  4. Rick, we also host Body Electric workshops here and we have a Sweat Lodge gathering once a month which is our way of keeping the experience alive. Body Electric is not necessarily "the answer" but is a great way to meet men and share experiences with the kind of guy one might find interesting and compatible. Several romances and at least one marriage have come out of our Sweat Lodge gatherings, which are capped by a pot luck supper afterwards.

    1. You are talking about NH? Makes me wonder if you know my partner too.

    2. Thanks, Will, for your inspirational story!

  5. Long walks are great! I am finding that just sitting across from each other in the living room talking and laughing is wonderful!

    Peace <3

  6. Jay, when it reaches that stage you know it's great and for keeps. Bless the two of you!

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