Monday, November 5, 2007

I Don't Trust Myself with Loving You

I’ve been reading several posts on other moho blogs that address the issue of trying to date girls. Until now, I’ve been shy about sharing my own recent relationship experience, but I think it might be of benefit. Before I start storytelling, however, I want to say that I think the decision to try dating girls isn’t inherently right or wrong; I believe it may be appropriate for some of us, and a bad idea for others. And obviously it’s the only way that one can end up getting married in the temple. I only intend to relate the facts about my personal experience.

So, I got to BYU in January and decided that I needed to try dating girls, despite my SSA. I thought that maybe if I dated, then I could somehow purge my feelings toward other guys. I went on lots of dates with lots of girls, but just couldn’t see myself really pursuing things. And then Wendy came along. We actually had met the first day of school back in January, but we didn’t really get to know each other until spring came and we started spending time together. Let me tell you about Wendy so you’ll understand why I decided to date her in the first place. Wendy is pretty much the perfect girl. She is a return missionary, relief society president, musical, talented, beautiful, genuine, compassionate, funny, deep, spiritual titan. I thought that if there ever was a girl to whom I could feel a real emotional and physical attraction, it would definitely be her. So after a month of going on dates and becoming close friends, we started dating officially. I was excited and hoped against all odds that things would work out.

However, as the weeks progressed into months, my lack of attraction toward her became more and more blaringly obvious. We would kiss and hold hands and I hoped that this would change things; but things got worse. I could tell that she was really becoming invested in the relationship- I met her parents and her siblings and we started spending even more time together. And though I genuinely cared for her (and still do), I felt that I was deceiving her- almost living a double life in feigning attraction. But I was stubborn and wanted so badly for everything to be normal, so we continued dating. Finally, four months into the relationship, I couldn’t handle the mask any longer. I took Wendy for a walk and told her my whole gay story. She was devastated and extremely distraught. She felt like I had led her on and almost used her as an experiment. I can’t say that that’s entirely untrue. Isn’t that just what I did? And yet isn’t that also what the Church would want me to do? Try my very best to make things work? Then why do I feel so horrible about what I did? I really hurt her deeply. The whole time that we were dating I felt like I was being unfair to Wendy and to myself; I personally would never want to marry someone who isn’t madly in love with me- and I think that if I had kept running with the farce, Wendy and I could have ended up getting married. But I just don’t think I could have endured.

Wendy and I are still close friends. I love her but I’m not in love with her. And right now the possibility of ever falling in love with any girl is looking pretty impossible for me. I tried so hard- so hard, but even my best efforts led to failure. I find myself once more in the middle of the Dragon’s field, but I can’t say that this time I’m displeased to be there…


Socal said...

I don't know. I don't really see what else you could have done. If she takes it as you using her as some sort of experiment, well then she takes it that way. But, isn't that really what dating is for everyone? You experiment to see who you like and who you don't or who you fall in love with and who you don't. In addition, as with any relationship, disclosure happens over time. You don't disclose everything all at once. If she can't understand that, then that is her issue, not yours.

You ultimately were honest with her and that, to me, shows integrity. I'm sure some of you out there would disagree with me with what I am about to say, but I only see a real issue if you marry her or get engaged without disclosing the big SSA issue. If you and she were to make commitments and covenants (e.g. marriage) where she is entering an eternal relationship under false pretenses, that would be a huge mistake. Prior to any offer of engagement, no commitments or covenants have been formally made and when you disclose the big SSA issue is when the Spirit dictates. However, in my opinion, it should ALWAYS be done before you get near the point of engagement.

In short, I don't think you have any reason to feel guilty. This is the natural process of dating and courtship. If it wasn't SSA, she probably would find some other reason to feel used or devastated because it didn't work out like she had hoped.

Just my two cents!

Brady said...

I think it was unfair of Wendy to say that you were using her just for an experiment. You were genuinely looking for love and trying to develop an attraction for her. There's nothing to be ashamed of in that. In fact, I would argue the exact opposite.

Then why do I feel so horrible about what I did?
Because you are a good person. You love and care about her, and you never wanted to see her hurt. My guess is that eventually you will both realize that dating was a good experience, that you learned and grew from it. That's what dating is all about, even when it doesn't end in 'happily ever after.'

And right now the possibility of ever falling in love with any girl is looking pretty impossible for me.
I empathize 100%. *sigh. I want to say something here about not giving up, but the words just aren't coming...

David said...

I think you learned a good lesson early on that I wish I had learned earlier. You didn't intend to deceive or hurt her, but at the same time it's not fair for her or any other girl to get serious with a guy that can't love her the way another guy could.

Abelard Enigma said...

There are some from my generation who were specifically counciled by their bishops to not disclose their homosexuality to their fiancée. The premise being that, once they entered into a heterosexual relationship, all feelings towards men would vanish; so, it would be water under the bridge and there would be no benefit to bring it up.

I mention this only to illustrate that we, as a people and a church, are still learning what all of this means. There are no clear cut answers as some would like to believe. And, what seems like the best answer today may seem absurd tomorrow. The important thing is to rely on the spirit - and not on what others say.

I think it is also worthwhile pointing out that, sometimes, straight guys enter into serious relationships without there being any real love. Sometimes the chemistry just isn't there. But, they may pretend and try to convince themselves that it is because they are so intent on moving into the next phase of their life - marriage and family.

My advice is to not rule out the possibility of marriage just because it hasn't worked out thus far. Maybe one day you will meet that special girl who will love you in spite of and because of your SSA. Or maybe you won't, maybe she doesn't even exist - who knows? Just keep your options open.

Kengo Biddles said...

I think many have offered good advice. And I will say this, and promise a full on blog about it, but I wasn't attracted to Miki, sexually, at first. But I've worked at it, and I've grown to be thrilled by her physiological responses to my affection, and things have improved over the course of five years.

But it wasn't bang-boom-bonjour! right off the bat, and there were many times that I couldn't be involved in the same way as the normal hetero could have.

But that's enough before I hijack your blog.

If you ever want to talk at length, you know where we live, and feel free to call me, too. :)

Beck said...

I was on the track of non-hetero relationships after my mission, when, "BAM", out of nowhere, I was swept-off-my-feet in love with the girl that became my wife. It only has happened once, but it happened. I fell IN LOVE with a girl. And the amazing thing was, she knew I had "these things for guys" (we didn't call it gay back then) and yet she still fell IN LOVE with me.

I've never felt that way about any other woman. If something happened to her, to think of remarrying is an improbability if not impossibility.

But, it DID happen once. Don't give up on the possibility still being out there. And you won't know unless you're open to the possibility of being swept off your feet!

Romulus said...

Such an interesting story. I'm afraid that girls do feel like being deceived, and that's the danger of pursuing everything. Everything may seem right, but some can't handle our problems. Not saying that Wendy couldn't. We can barely handle our own problems. With my relationship with Mulan, it wasn't working on my side, even though it looked perfect on paper, and even in sight. But inside, I couldn't do it. Maybe later... Who knows.

Pan said...

My sister and I were talking about dating, and she essentially told me to get comfortable with the fact that I would be using people as guinea pigs for my dating development. But, she said, that's essentially what everyone is doing, straight or gay, using the other person as a kind of experiment on their way to marriage. Sometimes the experiment yields negative results. I still don't like the idea of leading a girl on, though, so I shy away from dating. Interesting discussion with my sister though.

skyhawk said...

Well, draco, I bet you never thought you would hear from me!

My opinion on the subject: if a person is struggling with an addiction, or is struggling with a habit, or anything that is viewed as disagreeable in the eyes of their significant, it is NOT a reason to immediately end the relationship, especially in the dating phase where no major commitment is involved. I state this very carefully...your way of viewing things may not be wrong in character, but it is DISAGREEABLE to her. Also, maybe the relationship would not work out in the end, but she should not immediately rule it out.

It makes you wonder how deep the emotional commitment was from the beginning....granted, she probably is scared to be hurt, but nonetheless, at the point of the relationship you were in, that was a very dramatic and quick response.

All the same, it provides a great opportunity for you. I would not try to view this time in your life as a trial, but as a blessing. It gives you the time to truly decide who you are and where you stand. At some point, we all have to make that choice, and you can't have a successful relationship with another individual until you have at least firmed that view up inside of yourself. (I don't know if you remember the analogy I used of the ladder in Segundo Pedro uno, cinco a ocho - tenes que cambiar lo de adentro antes que enfocarte en los demas)

Anyways, just my view on things :)

draco said...

Sorry I'm going to rag on you right now Skyhawk- but you know I love you :)
Just to be clear- SSA is not just an addiction or a habit; I can't make it go away anymore than you can stop being attracted to your wife.
Second, in our case it was necessary to end the relationship. I still haven't figured out exactly what I'm going to do with my life and Wendy deserves more than that. She deserves someone who is sure of the path he is on. Our immediate breakup was a mutual decision, and since then, Wendy has been keeping tabs on me and has been an amazing friend.

And you're right- this is a time to figure out where I stand. I just hope you won't be too disappointed in me if you find me standing on the other side of the fence. Your friendship is so important to me.

btw- I decided that I'm going to talk to my parents again really soon- before Thanksgiving. After that I think I'll talk with your parents- maybe at Christmas. What a great present, huh?

Love you bud!

skyhawk said...

I don't think you are interpreting what I said correctly....I am very much aware that SSA is not an addiction or habit. I was referring to the fact that just as an addiction or a habit can be disagreeable to a future partner, in this case SSA was disagreeable to her. However, knowing you and all the wonderful attributes you possess, I still think she acted dramatically (it may not have worked out in the end, but she still didn't really give it a chance, if you know what I'm saying). Although, I will say I wasn't aware she was still "keeping tabs" on you....last I heard there was no communication....or maybe there was no communication to me! :)

Speaking of wonderful presents, before you openly come out again (once again, opinion from the unwise!), it may be good to firm up in your mind where you stand with everything first. The reason I say this: I am relatively familiar with your situation, and it could really cause some confusion and difficulty on the part of your family and those close to you. But, then again, they also could help you in the decision-making process....I guess I can see an upside and a downside to both. Oh, well - that wasn't a clear recommendation, was it? Sorry.

But, do remember the point of what I was trying to say: you can't focus on others (e.g., relationships, etc.) until you have first decided who YOU are. Make up your mind and stick to your decision (and FYI, you'll always have me there to back you up).

Love ya too, bro!

draco said...

Skyhawk: I really think my parents and your parents will be able to help me think things through. I also think it's a good idea to talk to them because if I decide not to take the "straight" and narrow path (haha), I don't want it to be a huge shock to those I love the most. At least they will have had some warning.

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