Last year I turned 34. If I was straight I would probably be married by now, have a child or two, live in a two bedroom house with a couple dogs and maybe a cat. Instead, here I am single and vacationing in Hawaii even though I got laid off my day job 2 months ago. I don’t have a sense of when or even if I am going to get married to a man someday. I think I want to have kids but I’m not even sure if I REALLY want them or even if it’s financially possible. It just feels like I’m going through life without any real plan and I wonder if this is the fate of most of us gay men.
I had a couple long term relationships. The longest one lasted seven and a half years and ended three years ago. In these three years, I’ve only dated one person for a few months and the rest have been single. My relationship pattern is actually quite an anomaly within my gay circle of friends. I know friends in their 30’s whose longest relationships only lasted a few months. There are also those who have never had any real relationships at all and their lives are just one hookup after another. On the other end of the spectrum I know a few couples that have lasted beyond the ten year mark. They’re very few in numbers and finding them feels like finding a white elephant in the wild. Compare these statistics to my straight friends and the ratio changes. Most in their 30’s are married by now and may even have a child or two. Although this is the case, I am noticing more single straights in my generation and I wonder whether this is just a feature of Generation X/Y. Maybe we will some day grow out of this phase and settle down?
Social pressure may play a large role in getting married and settling down. While we gays are still fighting for the right to get married, it has been the norm and expectation for straights to get married. Maybe our lack of expectations is the reason why so many of us are still single and not rushing to find our lifelong partners. What of the increasing number of single straights then? Maybe this is their way to rebel against social norms… or maybe they’re just trying to copy us because we are more fabulous. Whatever the reason, I think most of us (gay or straight) do want to find a special someone to share our lives with. Be it tomorrow, or ten years from now, most of us will probably find that person and eventually settle down and live out the rest of our lives with that special someone. In the meantime, we’ll just continue along that aimless path, defying conventional norms….