I'm sharing this very personal information, NOT because I'm looking for sympathy, because seriously, I'm OK in many ways and have worked through it to the point where I feel comfortable enough to put it out there! This is something that needs to be said.
I'm making some assumptions that you know my story and may have read my book. But in a nutshell, I never had the chance to be in love. Sure, I did fall in love, but I could never act on it. Having a deep romantic relationship with another guy wasn't even an option for me.
I was confined to living a lie and shutting down every bit of attraction to guys that was possible so that I could live as a straight guy, get married and have a family.
But what that did to me at a deep level, was shut down every bit of relational identity and growth at my late 20s. From that point on, I was a fraud. I had shut down, no life, no integrity, a fake!
But now I'm free to live my true self, finally with the integrity I craved for so long. But here's the problem. I still feel like, in terms of what I'd look for in relationships, I'm stuck at that point in my 20s. I love the vibrancy of youth, the sense of so much to learn and grow, the passion and life.
I really feel like my life stopped back then, but now I'm this old guy who's missed out.
Of course, that's just my body getting older. Like many of us older folks, we still feel young inside, lol! But for me it's like I never had the chance to be that romantic youth, finding the joy of intimate love without any shame, guilt or fear.
I know there are many older gay people out there who know this feeling, and I'm simply saying its OK. There are many of us who know what it feels like. I know many older guys in the same place, and there's often a quiet sadness there and a resignation to the inevitable. Some find love where they least expect it of course, and other's just go on, and some... well, it can get really sad.
I'm comfortable with myself these days. I like my own company, and am at peace. I have amazing friends and confidants. Perhaps I'll grow enough to not even think about the issue any more. But even so, I'm content. My identity in myself is whole. I don't need someone else to "complete" me, because that would put unrealistic expectations on any relationship!
So there you go. This isn't a pity party. It's just the way it is, and there can be a beautiful contentment in that!