Comment: Why do so many gay guys not ‘do’ relationships?

Ethan Bourne April 8, 2012
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20-year-old Ethan Bourne wonders why it is that he finds so many gay guys just don’t want to be in conventional relationship.

“It’s just not quite right”, “I’m just not in the right place for a relationship”, “In all honesty, I don’t actually ‘do’ relationships”. I’m sure you’ve heard all the excuses under the sun, just as I have, but after having a conversation with a guy this week, it’s genuinely got me thinking whether we’re just pre-disposed not to want a relationship and whether gays are actually capable of one.

As I said, this comes off the back of a chat I had this week and I actually wondered if I know any gay guy in a genuinely happy relationship…. And erm…. I don’t. I’m going to have to define what I mean by a happy relationship first, I’m on about an honest and loyal relationship with someone because I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate but there are plenty of other Erm… ‘options’ for a “relationship”. So what’s the issue? Do we just prefer to play the field, is it a lifestyle influence of the gay culture or are we too idealistic?

I’d like to think it’s the last option, I describe myself as a hopeless romantic and an absolute sucker for a sweet, thoughtful guy but perhaps this isn’t the full story. I know others who are just as idealistic as I am, and as I lay with a guy in the sun in St James’ Park the other week, I could see other gay guys on a similarly innocent date smiling just as much as they just enjoyed chatting and laughing with their date. However, I genuinely think the gay lifestyle has an unequivocal influence. We’re stereotyped in a lot of ways; as well dressed, self obsessed and perhaps partial to slightly more promiscuous activities and although I believe some of these are absurd, I actually think the gay social life affects our ability to be in a relationship. I honestly think the struggle to be happy as homosexual, perhaps facing obstacles straight people wouldn’t makes us more rounded as people. I think in general we can be more empathetic to people who have also struggled to find who they are and I think this is a reason for us being particularly picky about a relationship. We want to be happy, as everyone does, but I think there’s a little bit more in it when considering gay people. To add to the idea of the grass being greener on the other side, we’re also constantly surrounded by pressure in the gay world. Everyone seems to spend every day in a gym (don’t worry, I don’t even have a gym membership) and I think this superficial nature of the gay scene hinders a genuine relationship. Is this what makes us perhaps more promiscuous? Our superficiality? No of course not, that’s a generalisation that obviously can’t be applied to the whole gay population but similarly, I don’t think the predominance of apps like Grindr and ManHunt help. Not that I think they’re bad or they dictate our ‘extra curricular activities’, I just think they perpetuate this idea of pressure, an emphasis on the exterior and this for me brings me to a conclusion.

Do I genuinely think gays aren’t capable of a relationship? No, of course I don’t, I certainly hope not, that’s for sure. But what I do think is that if you’re immersed in the gay lifestyle, it’s definitely not going to help. I find the ‘scene’ to be quite ‘false’, when was the last time someone came up to you in a bar because they’re interested in your ambitions and goals in life? For me, the gay culture can be a little too intoxicating, I think it’s good to escape it, escape what I perceive to be a constant competition with others, I don’t think it’s healthy. I think we’re just as capable as anyone else of a happy relationship but the stereotype gay lifestyle, for me, isn’t helpful. Most gay bars show pictures of beautifully toned guys, underwear models and generally stunning people and this is only supports my idea of the scene being prohibitive of the mentality it takes to find someone. I’m intrigued to know what your experiences are let me know by tweeting me, perhaps I’m tainted by the microcosm of the London scene but for me, the gay culture perpetuates an idea that means those engulfed in it find it harder to find a partner.

Ethan Tweets @ethanbourneuk and is on Facebook at EthanBourneUK

More: England, London

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