Dear Readers – Following are two leftover questions from my online chat on same-sex relationships (June 25):
I’m a gay male whose longtime partner passed away over 18 months ago. I’m just now emerging from my isolation and sadness, and would like to start dating someone who’s near my age (60s).
I’ve gone on several gay dating websites but found they all seem more directed toward having hookups, rather than relationships. Also, most men my age are seeking younger men.
Is there any chance for an older gay man to have a committed, serious relationship, or do I just give up and stay alone?
Put the word out to friends in the community, and to straight friends who may have acquaintanceship with gay men in other circles than your own. You’re not the only person in your age group with interest in a committed relationship.
Also, if you attend or did attend a bereavement group, you may find you’re also not the only gay male getting over a loss.
Lots of couples have met and started dating through such groups, as there’s a commonality experienced through loss. Compassion and a sense of priorities are often deepened through the grief process.
If you again try one of the many gay dating websites, be very clear about your age preference and the desire to date seriously if there’s mutual feeling.
Don’t waver if someone tries to convince you to meet someone who wants to play the field. You’re not in an emotional place to handle that.
Many gay men are easily bored with one partner, but my experience of being raped by an older man when I was 18 has made me need deep trust and a feeling of security in order to stay with someone.
I’m not bored at all, just seeking safety and comfort with my partner and I feel lucky to have found him.
Happy at Last
It’s a great feeling to have trust and comfort with a partner. Nurture and reciprocate these gifts, and never take them for granted.
The so-called “gay lifestyle” is only one scene in the widely diverse LGBT community.
While some people will, for a while, seek the freestyle options of not conforming to “traditional” heterosexual relationships, many people of all ages and types still want to love and be loved. And they want the continuity and commitment, which you have.
FEEDBACK Regarding the bride-to-be worried about job seeking because her fiancé had to relocate (June 26):
Reader – “There’s no guarantee that her Ph.D. will get her any job.
“If she quits and looks elsewhere, it’ll be career suicide. There's no reason a woman needs to follow a man's job anymore. It’d be a red flag to employers that she takes her career less seriously than his.
“It’s completely unfair to suggest that quitting her job she loves to follow a man is a good career (or life) move.”
Ellie – I understand your passion regarding the unpredictable aspect of “following” a man. But, specifically, this woman didn’t say she “loved” her job.
She said, clearly, that she’d like to find a new job and live in their new home with her “wonderful fiancé.”
Having heard over years from thousands of couples having problems because they live apart – e.g. emotional distancing, loneliness, mistrust, etc. – plus her statement that they can afford to live on his good salary while she job-hunts, I stand by my advice to her.
FEEDBACK #2 Regarding the man wondering why a woman has fallen asleep on their three dates (June 26):
Reader – “Encourage the snoozer to speak to her doctor. The sleepiness could be a symptom of one of several serious sleep disorders (or other health problems).
“These include sleep apnea, in which breathing stops many times a night, and can have very serious health consequences.
“My relative was tipped off to this possibility by a former girlfriend, who’d previously dated a man with the same problem. He sought medical advice and got a diagnosis and treatment.”
Reader #2 – “She may have a condition called narcolepsy which is very dangerous if driving or operating equipment.”
Ellie – She may also be working two jobs, have kids at home, or needy parents. He hardly knows her, so needs to ask. But a medical check is always wise to suggest, if someone has new and repeated symptoms.
Tip of the day:
If you wish to read the full content of the hour-long chat which took place during World Pride Week, here’s a bitly url of it: http://on.thestar.com/1iGcDww