The further I go in my journey, the more I realize that life is all about relationships. Being lonely sucks. Loving and being loved by lots of people is much better. Who knew?
I was thinking about this because of a recent post by Samantha Stevens, as well as conjecture about the status of David and Jonathan's relationship in the Bible, as well as the discussion of Lincoln's relationship with other men. I still hold to the idea that social influences have affected my sexuality and I wonder if difficulties in relationships have been central to the whole issue.
I can think of lots of great and fulfilling relationships I've had in my life. My relations with both parents have always been above average, I think. And I've never been at a loss for friends of some sort or another. However, I think I just have a particularly needy personality... the kind that needs more than just a few casual friends and an above average connection with family members. And I haven't always gotten what I need emotionally.
I suppose there are two ways to address an unmet need. You can reduce the need itself or you can satisfy it. I think over the last several years I've done a little of both, but it's not yet quite enough. Getting married was a risky way to accomplish both at once, I suppose. Loneliness is much less of a factor than it has been, but it's by no means gone.
I find myself trying to gratify my hunger for connections in some indirect ways. I think it may be one of the reasons I'm always looking for approval of some sort--awards, recognition, good evaluations... favorable comments. ;-) And more relevantly, I think it's part of why my brain now thinks it needs to own another man in some physical way.
Now I have enough life experience under my belt to see how my relationships have played out. The exposition is done, so to speak. I make lots of quick friends and then have trouble staying in touch or "letting them in" more than a little... which leaves me pretty lonely. On the relatively rare occasions I have really let some man in and become emotionally tied to them in a more significant way, things have become sexual (short of sex, but still sexual). How this has happened, considering the men in question have nearly all been straight is really baffling. It's been more than once, and even if they're gay, it's been a pattern of me being unable to have fulfilling and intimate relationships with men without sexualizing them (and them reciprocating to some degree).
Lincoln, I think, was able to be intimate with men without being sexual. David of the Bible was too. But, the difference between them and me is that I'm gay... and what I mean by that is that I tend to flounder in that circumstance where they thrive. Not that I support the culpable connotation of it, but I am without natural affection. I either defensively disengage from deeper friendships, or I make them sexual in my mind where it is unnecessary for them to be so.