Okay, I admit it. I'm a confirmed bachelor. It's not just that I'm not looking, but I've actually sworn off looking.
It's complicated, but I was so emotionally beat up by my 15 year long love/hate (mostly the latter) relationship, while I was still in the midst of it, that I stopped even sizing up potential sex partners sometime in the early 80's.
The AIDS crisis contributed to that, of course. It became rather dangerous to entertain thoughts of "flings" along about 1983 or so, so that by 1985 I no longer wondered what handsome guys looked like with their clothes off. Oddly enough, it was about that time that my drinking really started to escalate.
I eventually escaped that relationship (1994) and dove straight into the bottle (1994-1998), started to get sober in 1998 (where you're told NO RELATIONSHIPS FOR A YEAR) and, slowly, began to realize that I wasn't really that interested in repeating past mistakes and especially not interested in taking any more emotional risks with myself.
And these days, every time I find myself thinking, "gee, wouldn't it be nice???..." I always come to the same conclusion. I already have one useless slab of man-meat cluttering up my apartment. Me. Do I really need another one? No.
Then I try to look to my friends and family, and try to see their marriages/relationships at work and I still come to the conclusion "HOLY CRAP. THERE, BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, GO I!!!!"
So that doesn't work.
Then I look around at the available, gay, sober dating pool (and there ain't much) and I think, "THEY'RE ALL SICKER THAN I AM!!!" (we have several cute axioms for this: "dating in recovery is like fishing in polluted waters" or "for every nut there's a screw!"), so that kind of doesn't work.
And that leaves the worst of all possible worlds, looking to date "civilians" or, as we in recovery like to call them, "earthlings."
Problem number one with that is that I'll have to explain absolutely everything ("Yes, honey, I DO have to go to a meeting every single day of the week, including Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and vacations and yes, I DO talk about us there, so get over it already.") which they still won't really understand.
Maybe I really do want a relationship. Maybe what I really want is to not have to go through all that "stuff" that couples go through in the first, oh, 30 years of their relationships.
Maybe what I really want is to still be living with my first boyfriend, Rick.
If I hadn't been a drunk, and so self-serving and naive at the time, in October of this year he and I would've been celebrating our 35th anniversary.
There's not much joy in that particular regret. But I sure hope he's happy, no matter where he is or who he's with. He deserves it.