the horse and carriage
Interesting article here on those who never found “the One,” defined (of course) as someone a person both loved and ended up marrying:
Gay people may well find that marriage will prove a double-edged sword for their community:
I’ve never been in a long-term relationship. I don’t scare horses in the street, but I don’t think other gay people get me. I came to London when I was 30, thinking I’d have a better chance of meeting someone. I’ve been here ever since.
I think it’s harder at my age, as a gay man, to find love. At 47, you basically don’t exist. Gay culture is so youth-oriented. It’s like you’re fighting a competition with foetuses in tight little T-shirts and you don’t stand a chance.
So you think, “OK, that’s it then – I’m just going to have to be the slightly eccentric outsider who everyone loves and who sits in his flat eating tinned salmon. I can deal with that.”
Then, all of a sudden, the goalposts move. I had no choice when I was growing up – we wouldn’t have dreamed of getting married or having children. That’s why our parents were so sad when we came out as gay, because it wasn’t an option. Now gay people are having it all. They have the joint mortgage, the going out to antique shops and buying lovely things, dinner parties and the biggest, campest wedding you ever dreamed of, and you think, “I really have missed the boat here. I’m not even at the dock!”
So it is awful, really, on some level. It does compound the feeling of loneliness.
And the other side of the coin:
In my 20s, I lived for several years with a girl who wanted to settle down, but I hadn’t got the wild streak out of my system. After that, I went berserk and I’ve not settled down since. I have days when I’d like someone to be around, but about 90% of the time it doesn’t even occur. I’ve always got some project on the go. I think this is just my life card; I’ve never had to consider anyone else and I don’t think I’d be capable of it now.
There are times when I wonder if I’ve made the right decision – Christmas is painful on your own – but you’re not telling me that people in relationships don’t feel the same thing. They may lie and say they’re happy, but I’m a therapist: I see people who have been in loveless marriages for 25 years and they are riddled with stress and disease because they’re constantly unhappy. This concept of love that we’re exposed to by the media is all fake. It’s the stuff of Hollywood.
The one thing I do not like about being single is that you’re always viewed with suspicion. Did you watch The Killing on BBC4? It turns out that the killer was the fortysomething single bloke. And you think, great, thanks for that.