Saturday, June 2

Will You Kiss Me, Mormon Guy?

To the girl I'm dating: If you read this (or one of your girlfriends hears about the conversation, reads the post, and puts two and two together... which would not be ideal in any way)... please don't share it with the world. Please don't let it ruin your life. Hopefully it helps you understand. Either way, I hope you can support me in trying to do what's right.

I just left a heartfelt conversation with the girl I'm dating and feel like... I can't even find a metaphor.

No. Wait. I can find one. But it may not be a metaphor.

I feel like a jerk.

Dating, for me, is hard. I push myself to date because I feel like the Lord wants me to, because it helps me to have faith that someday I'll fall in love and get married, and because I honestly care about people and want to help them feel loved and appreciated... And in the Church, dating is currently the only acceptable way to make friends with girls I don't really know... since hanging out has gotten a bad rap. But I find that dating women, at least in my case, often causes more grief than I could ever imagine.

There are lots of casualties. Some of them I can explain upfront, at the beginning of a relationship, and that at least puts things in perspective. But there's one that rips me apart more than any other, and has probably been the biggest reason I've broken up with girls in the past... and it happens when my lack of physical attraction begins to show through.

I date amazing women. They are smart, beautiful (I'd guess so at least - I'm definitely not a judge in that world), confident, accomplished, caring, and they love the gospel. I have the desire to help them feel loved, and to never do anything to betray their trust. But sometimes those conflict... so there are divergent camps in my mind on how to deal with the physical aspect of dating. One side says to use dating to try new things, and give women the affection they need. Kiss girls I'm not attracted to, and see if I can get anything to work, reverse frog-prince style. I'm not comfortable with that and don't think it matches who I am. Instead, I'm completely honest in my relationships. I try to send clear signals that accurately relate where I stand, and I don't express physical attraction unless it's there. Which means I don't express physical attraction at all. And that's painful.

Today I had a DTR (defining the relationship) talk with the girl I've been dating. It didn't start out as a DTR, but it steadily went in that direction. I could tell that something was on her mind... something important enough that it was keeping her up at night and distracting her from the rest of life... and so I waited for her to ask whatever question she wanted to ask. I think the only question I wouldn't have answered would be about same-sex attraction. We were in a public place, with lots of people... and that's not something I share with anyone anyway... unless the Lord asks me to.

She asked half a dozen questions, and I felt like the questions answers were benign... but there was one at the end... the one that was pressing on her mind:

"Will you kiss me, Mormon Guy?"

Imagine yourself in my shoes. Kissing her would be enough to assuage whatever concerns she had about how much I cared. It would be enough to help her feel okay walking down an incredibly confusing, frustrating path. It would be enough to help her sleep at night and focus on life during the day.

But kissing her, even just once, would betray her trust and make everything far more painful, because of the implication of that kiss.

I'm the kind of guy that feels that kisses shouldn't be given away like pretzels. It has to mean something. That said, I've changed from my pre-mission thoughts that I'd never kiss a girl until she knelt across from me at the altar. As soon as I fall in love, it will definitely happen. But not before.

So I looked at her, felt like a jerk, and told her no. I wouldn't kiss her... at least not at that point in our relationship. It wasn't a shut-down, but it definitely wasn't a kiss. It was a "that's not where I am right now... but if I get there, then it will happen."

As I went home after dropping her off, I found myself wondering. There are few things I hate worse than causing emotional pain through relationships... and dating me does exactly that. So do I just cut off the relationship because I know it will probably not work anyway, to lessen the eventual pain? Do I let her make the decision of how long to keep dating, without showing physical affection beyond courtesy, even though she doesn't really have all the information (like the fact that I live with same-sex attraction)? Do I just keep going until I personally get a feeling that marriage isn't an option and this isn't going to work? Do I try to move the relationship to a "let's be friends?" And if I keep dating her, what are the terms? How often do I ask her out so that I'm not taking all her time or attention...

...and the questions went on and on and on.

The answer I've chosen is a mix of the above. When I feel like asking her out, I'll ask her out. If not, then I won't. And it'll stay that way until I feel strongly about the relationship one way or another.

And as far as her frustration and confusion... there's not a lot I can do right now. If I fall in love, I'll tell her everything I face and let her choose. But that hasn't happened, and, until it does, I care about her too much to betray her with a kiss.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you ever liked the face of a girl...It's a weird question but I find faces are the most similar between the sexes. So I wonder if people with SSA can find faces of women attractive.

Strider228 said...

I know hanging out is somewhere close to "pure evil" but I feel it from reading this post that it may be the best. I know some girls make you feel like that they'll only get to know you if you take them on dates, but it is possible to hang out. Taking girls on multiple dates isn't a requirement to be friends either. I'm a Mormon guy that hates taking strangers on dates, I'm socially awkward and can't take someone I trust on a date so this is how I've coped. Hopefully it'll work out for you. Wish you well. Know I'm amazed and inspired by your journey. I hope for you happiness in life.

Anonymous said...

exactly why you shouldn't be dating.

you are gay, if you want to be gay and follow the gospel, then be celibate.

it's not going to just click "straight" for you one day.

it is unfair to these women to date them, even once.

pml said...

GMG, you are being cruel to these girls. You are being cruel and using God as the excusse. If you go out once and there is no spark and you can't see yourself kissing them do not ask them out again, it is mean and unChristlike. A grown-up relationship requires true and deep affection and you know on the first date or before if that exists for you, but be clear on this matter---good Mormon girls do not say yes to dates unless they know there is some preexisting spark. If you believe God wants you to date girls then you should do that but if you don't want to kiss her after the first date don't ask her out again.

Do you have any idea what it does to a person's spirit and mental well-being to live in a relationship where they know they are not Desired? It is dehumanizing. Don't do that to girls and blame it on God...not a good idea.

Please feel free to respond but speaking from personal experience..I've done that in the past and even 15 years later I still regret what I did to these poor girls.

Mormon Guy said...

Anon: My experience is probably not representative of "people with SSA" in most things... just of my own life. And the answer is that I don't really know. I don't remember much about people's faces very often.

Mormon Guy said...

Anon: I disagree. There are hundreds of circumstances where people date without already having a strong initial attraction. Blind dates. Arranged dates. Spur-of-the-moment-I-need-someone-to-take-out dates. Dates encouraged by a family member or friend. And much of the dating that happens in the heterosexual world (at least in my ward - guys date because they are supposed to date... not because they have an overwhelming desire to take out all the sisters in Relief Society).

Mormon Guy said...

Pml: I can see your point, but I think that part of life is learning to understand how I influence others and mitigating and controlling that effect. With that in mind, I feel it's far more cruel to simply ignore someone without giving her a chance than to ask her out a few times to see if a spark can ignite.

I only date women more than once if they want to date me. And while I don't have the ability to express physical affection, I try as hard as I can to find other ways to connect.

As far as the dehumanizing nature of relationships without mutual desire... all I can really say is that I understand you. From lots of personal experience, I agree that being in environments where you don't feel wanted and appreciated on important levels and facets is frustrating and depressing... but, at least for me, it has also pushed me to have a greater appreciation for God, and a stronger personal sense of self-esteem. I know that most guys may not go into a relationship with the intent of helping women improve their esteem or testimony (I know that in most cases I don't), though... and most women don't have that expectation either.

In addition... I've had the unique ability to ask women I've dated about their experience dating me... in most cases, after we broke up, and after they somehow learned about this blog. The conversations often circled around whether or not I should date others... whether the pain incurred was worth the gain, if any. Without exception to date, they've said it was a wholly positive experience. Painful and confusing and frustrating and stressful and kept them awake at night? Yeah. Except for abusive relationships, dating me was often one of the most painful and confusing. But, taken as a whole, it was worth it in their eyes. They helped me see that, even with the pain, it was positive nonetheless, and in many cases they related that it reinforced who they were, helped them build greater self-esteem, improved their testimony of the gospel, and prepared them for marriage to someone else. And I believe them.

This could be unique to me, as I've never had the opportunity to speak with others in their situation. I know that sometimes dating isn't the right answer for guys with SSA. But, at least in my case and after a whole lot of prayer and honest conversation with those who have been on the other side, I definitely don't think that my actions count as cruelty.

Emily said...

You are very thoughtful and sincere, Mormon Guy...but I think that you are too hard on yourself.
That might not help or make you feel better, but I know from experience what it's like...and I want to see us both keep treating ourselves a lot easier, with a lot more lightness, joy, and deep compassion. The only cruelty I detect here is what you may be inflicting on yourself.

Andrea said...

(G)MG, I want to first say that in my (female) opinion, you are NOT being cruel to these women. The women you date are (hopefully) strong and smart, with a confidence in themselves that come from more than the kiss of a man. Even though you don't currently see yourself marrying any of these women does not mean that either of you have come away from the relationship without important learning experiences, and an experience DOESN'T have to be physical to be worthwhile.

I personally believe that you handled this situation as appropriately as it could have been. You were honest in your feelings and current intentions, without giving false hope for anything more at this point. You also didn't phrase it a way where she should automatically feel that she DID something to cause those feelings; though beware, the nature of some women may lead her to that thought regardless. If I could recommend anything it would be to ask her out to a simple date (ice cream in the park at lunch time or something similarly casual) and reiterate the fact that while you don't feel ready to take that next step (yet?)you do appreciate her, her friendship, and the moments you spend together. Remind her that she is a wonderful person with value, and she shouldn't feel like she is to blame for your hesitance. Then have light fun for the rest of the afternoon to put your words into action.

As for the long term... I think you have the right idea. Please don't walk off the face of the earth and leave her even more confused that she might already be. You don't have to ask her out again just yet, but try to find some way to let her know that you are thinking about her and care about your friendship (phone call, little note and a treat, something) but you also shouldn't be pressured to "amp things up" before you are ready to.

I admit that I don't envy your situation. Dating with the intent to make a real, lasting, emotional connection is hard for anyone. I'm sure it is that much harder for you when the physical desire is lacking. Keep in mind that while physical attraction and affection is great in their own right, they does not a relationship make. I don't agree with some who have suggested that you do not date anyone that you do not have an immediate physical attraction to. It took quite a few months of friendship along with regular but casual dating for me to develop a strong physical attraction towards my husband, and even longer for me to really feel like I could spend eternity with him. I'm grateful that we were both confident with ourselves as well as honest and respectful with each other to know that we didn't have to move faster than either of us felt comfortable with. We did get married after five years of both friendship and dating, and it has been a fantastic marriage thus far. We are now expecting our first baby next month. Don't lose faith, don't lose hope. Our stories may not be the same, but the love that our Heavenly Father has for each of us is.

BUSNINJA said...

I guess I don't see how this is any different than a budding heterosexual relationship in where there is not mutual physical attraction. I hear it from my straight friends all the time -- "He/she's ready to take it to the next level, but I'm just not feeling it." While this is invariably difficult and painful for the other party, I feel (and my experience has borne out) that it is far better to be honest, at every stage of the relationship.

As has been mentioned above, there are many other kinds of attraction besides the physical. My wife is beautiful, but there were about eight hundred other things that attracted me to her--compassion, intelligence, level-headedness, testimony. It took me a long time to be comfortable with the idea of marrying a woman, even after I knew it was the right thing for me to do. I'm slow. But even I got there eventually.

A Latter-day Saint with SGA said...

I think that once a relationship gets to this point (the girl seeking a more serious relationship), it may be time to disclose your SSA. If you trust the girl and her judgement, then I don't see any reason not to.

I feel that sometimes you are a little too afraid to let people know about it. I certainly understand, but after thinking about it a lot, I've concluded that for most people, the only concern I have is that if they know about my SSA, they may begin to define me by it, which I don't like. (I have more important defining characteristics than my attractions.) But for a girl that really likes you and you consider a good friend, I don't think there is much to be afraid of. By this point, she should know that you are a great guy and completely worthy despite your SSA.

As for the lack of physical attraction, I believe that it will only come with time. If you talk to her about your SSA, she will be more patient and understanding, if she truly desires a more serious relationship with you. Don't be afraid to take small steps: hold hands, put your arm around her, etc. I wouldn't suggest kissing until you are comfortable with that, but you won't ever be comfortable with that if you never take steps in that direction. (I've still never kissed a girl, but I've gotten almost to that point once before. She didn't know about my SSA, but understood I was slow because I didn't even hold hands the first week we were "official.")

Mary Campbell said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now and I first want to say that I find your blog to be very inspiring. You inspire me to be a better person and to try and develop a deeper relationship with God.
I've read some of your past blog posts as well and I find your thoughts on dating very interesting - especially the kissing part. From the way you talk about kissing it makes me wonder if you've ever actually kissed someone before. I understand your feelings on wanting to find the right one, but this post makes me think that you need to experience an old fashioned make out session. With a girl of course. I know that you feel you don't want to hurt anyone, but kissing is something that I think most everyone has to learn to enjoy. I've only kissed 4 people in my life(my husband is included in that 4) and I have to say the first kiss with all of them was very awkward. Sometimes the second kiss wasn't much better. I think that kissing only becomes enjoyable once you've practiced together a few times. I am LDS so I'm not trying to lead you astray, but I think it might be a good idea for you to first learn to enjoy kissing and then maybe the physical attraction will come. I dated a guy once who was skinny and not really very good looking - meaning I wasn't physically attracted to him - but he sure could kiss (only after the first or second awkward kiss was endured though) but because I learned to enjoy kissing him, the physical attraction came.

Kiss someone Mormon Guy. The girl isn't going to think that you're ready for marriage just because you kiss her or even make-out with her. Learning to enjoy kissing is all part of the dating experience.

Anonymous said...

(G)MG,
I'd been dating my boyfriend for about two months before he told me he's been battling with SGA since he got home from his mission a couple years ago. For me, knowing made a HUGE difference in our relationship. At that point we'd had one or two awkward kisses (where I felt like he only did it because he felt like he was supposed to) and he'd often jump if I touched him in any way unexpectedly. While yes, it was hard to hear that he wasn't sexually attracted to me, that much was pretty clear to me already. Knowing why helped me understand and support him better and gave me more patience (and a better understanding of what to pray about/for). He told me that although the physical element wasn't there for him yet, there were a lot of other (non-physical) things about me that he found attractive (my confidence, my faith, etc) that made him want to spend time with me. That helped reassure me. It drastically shifted how I saw him but in a completely positive way. He was even more special and even more amazing to me. After he told me all of a sudden he wasn't just some guy who was nervous about kissing who gave me more of a friend vibe--he was a rock solid priesthood holder battling with something I could never fully understand.

Me knowing completely changed the dynamic of our relationship ultimately for the better. After he told me I found myself falling for him a lot harder (which was bittersweet at first--I was sure he wasn't feeling anything that I was). As I was patient and supportive and he was open with me, we grew a lot closer--to the point that we decided to stay together, even though we have a significant amount of time apart via long distance ahead of us. With time, patience, prayer and a slow easing into the physical aspects of our relationship, he says he's grown more physically attracted to me and we've become incredibly close. We're even talking very seriously about marriage and we can both, very comfortably, see a life together. He still has the same struggles, but he says that now that we're together they don't seem quite so hard. And he feels as though he's made very really progress.

Now, I'm not telling you this to convince you to open up to this girl or to imply that things will happen the same way for you as they have in my relationship. I would, however, like to encourage you to not being afraid of opening up when you find a girl you care about who you love spending time with--even if you may not feel physically attracted to her yet. It will undoubtably be hard and she will have a lot of questions but it will help her more fully understand you for the incredible man of God that you are. It will help her better love you. And I think it'll help you better love her. And if she cares about you she'll want to know. Not to protect herself, but to better support you. And to better "get" you. I am incredibly grateful for my boyfriend and our somewhat unique dating experience. I'm even grateful that the physical things took a little longer to happen. I tend to kiss much too soon but because he needed a lot of time to get to that point, it allowed us to build a solid foundation based on friendship and good communication. That has already helped us maintain a strong relationship while we deal with long distance and I know it will be an incredibly important part of our marriage, should we ever decide (for real) to get married.

I thank you for your good example. I've been reading your blog for a year or two now and I am consistently inspired by your faith. You are an incredibly man of faith with so much potential for good. Hang in there, trust the Lord, keep spending time with interesting women and keep writing :) You do so much good through this blog, far more than I think you'll ever know. The Lord loves you. And so do your followers

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

Wow. I really respect how careful you are with others' feelings (i.e. not giving this girl the wrong impression, even though it would be easier), and the fact you keep going (in the Gospel and the dating scene) even though it's so very hard sometimes.

Also, for what it's worth, the first man I kissed was my fiance (now my husband of nearly seven years), and since we were both rookies those first kisses were totally anticlimactic from a physical standpoint. We've gotten much better with practice, but most of the excitement still comes from the fact that I'm sharing something intimate with someone I care deeply about, not because there is something inherently electrifying about lips touching. It's special mainly because HE is special to me, and we're doing something we don't do with anyone else.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend broke up with me last week because of his SGA. We talked about it and he was very open and honest with me (after dating for two months and being friends for the previous four years). I didn't understand why he was not showing physical affection to me and was bothered by it until we talked about why. He explained to me that (in his words): "I'm not physically attracted to you and I know I never will be" and then he broke up with me because he didn't think it was fair for me to be with "someone like him." I am completely heart broken. He is the first guy I have ever loved and it is extremely painful to know that even though we have done everything right and are faithful LDS members, we can't be together because if his SGA.

That being said, I have mixed feelings on this subject. I completely understand how difficult this challenge is, and as te girl who is in love with this wonderful man, I am completely willing to work though it and figure out a way to be with him. He doesn't seem to want that though- another source of my current heartache. however, the part of me that is completely heartbroken wishes that he would not date girls if he is going to teat them so fantastically only to break their hearts when he confesses that he can never love them the way they need.

I think that what you are doing by living faithfully as an LDS member is very respectable and I hope you will be able to find a girl with whom you feel comfortable confiding in. If I were dating you, I would want to know about your SGA so that we could work through it together. I think that when you find the "right girl" she will be understanding and want to support you. That being said, please don't lead girls on if you have no intention of telling them about your SGA. As hurt as I am right now, I am still very thankful that my ex was honest with me rather than breaking up with me for a bogus reason. In my mind, a person'a actions speak much louder than their feelings or thoughts and as long as a guy is not acting on his SGA, and his actions parallels the teachings of the LDS church, I would have no hesitation at trying to make a relationship work.

Kimberly Bluestocking said...

Dear (G)MG,

I keep thinking about this post (and others) where you express the hope of “falling in love” one day. I wonder if you really know what you’re looking for, because I certainly didn’t when I was dating. I did have my share of crushes, and I went on dates (sometimes several consecutive ones) that didn’t pan out, but when I was seriously dating my future husband and he told me he loved me I responded that I would have to think about it because I wanted to give him an accurate answer. I didn’t want to say I was “in love” (or not) unless it was really true.

But what the heck did love feel like anyway? I sure didn’t know, and the more I tried to puzzle it out that night, the more confused I became. Then, amidst all that turmoil, I suddenly realized I wanted a hug and I wanted it from him – from the person I liked, respected, and cared so much about, and who I knew felt the same way about me. I immediately told him that I loved him, too. In retrospect it seems silly that I would feel all those things for him and still wonder if I was in love, but perhaps I was expecting something different – some sort of emotional effervescence instead of the simple richness of deeply caring for a person.

In my experience, love means you really love being around that person, you want to be better when you’re with them, you share values about the things that matter most to both of you, you understand how each other ticks. They’re the friend you want to be with most; the teammate you want to face life with. Physical affection follows that, not the other way around (at least for me). It says, “You’re special to me. We’re here for each other. We respect each other. I love being with you.”

I believe you’ve commented that you feel fine hugging girls who need comfort, especially if they are a friend you know well. I assume that’s because you feel confident that your action will be beneficial to them, and it won’t be misinterpreted. It sounds like comforting a friend is like strolling a familiar path – you know it’s safe and it leads someplace pleasant, so it’s easier for you to enjoy the experience.

Physical affection in dating sounds more like you’re walking through a minefield – constant fear of potential danger (i.e. giving her the wrong idea) makes it nearly impossible for you to relax and consider whether you like the scenery. Perhaps the minefield effect will be minimized or eliminated when you date a girl whose companionship is important enough to you that you lay all your cards on the table. When she knows exactly where you’re coming from, and what expressions of affection do or don’t imply, maybe it will be easier for you to relax and explore where the path leads.

I’m not saying you should lay everything out with every girl on the first date. I’m just saying that if you are dating someone you really like and respect, it’s hard to be physically intimate on any level when you’re not emotionally intimate (e.g. you’re keeping a big secret from them, and you’re scared to death of how the person will react to some things you do).

Good luck, Brother. May the Lord continue to guide and sustain you.

Andy said...

(G)MG, I have to agree with Anon here. Yes there are lots of people who begin without an initial strong attraction and love blossoms, but it is entirely different with someone is normally attracted to the opposite sex than with someone who is not.

Tere Shake said...

I think that you handled the situation awesome. You stuck to your moral values. You didnt kiss her because you didnt feel that attraction, I wish all guys treated women like you did in that way. You were honest with your feelings. It wasnt because your Gay, it was because you didnt want to lead her on, and that you want your first kiss to be over that alter. That is such a great goal. I wish I had it in my teen years.

Dont be too hard on yourself. I think you are awesome in every way.

Julie said...

I've never dated anyone with SGA, but my best friend struggles with same-gender attraction. It made all the difference in our friendship when he finally told me. It really did help me to respect him more and feel like our relationship was closer. We used to joke about getting married someday if we couldn't find anyone else (he's not LDS though, so that's a bit of a drawback). Then I finally got married last year. Anyway, if that girl is anything like most LDS girls I've known, she's probably already considered the idea that you are struggling with SGA, because that's one of the things that single LDS women think about as they agonize over the lack of available, dateable men. I hope you get to the point where you do feel like you can tell her. It probably won't come as too much of a shock to her. And if she already cares about you she'll probably be interested in continuing the relationship in some format. As you already know, for the right one it's not a deal breaker. I admire your strength and faith. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious about what you mean by attraction. I'm married to a man who struggles with SGA. He didn't kiss a lot of girls for the same reason as you. However, once he was emotionally attracted he would kiss a girl. That ended up being a good thing because after becoming emotionally attracted to me, he kissed me and discovered that there was a physical attraction as well. It's probably not for everyone, but that is how he did it.

The Atomic Mom said...

I applaud you for NOT kissing girls. As a girl, I can say that kissing means a WHOLE lot to a Mormon girl, and you are right not to lead anyone along. I don't think you were a jerk to your friend, I think you were honest, and that is more than I can say about a lot of LDS guys, who do go around giving kisses out like pretzels and leaving a lot of broken hearts in their wake. What you have to remember is, that no matter what (SGA or not) hearts will be broken in the dating/socalizing process. It's part of the process, and even, as some of the commenters have mentioned you "don't know what love is", the process builds faith and patience and teaches you to know when the right one does come along. You do what you think is right for you, and let the spriit be your guide, which from reading your blog I think you do. When I was a YSA, I would have loved to have boyfriends with this much courage and honesty.

Anonymous said...

Whether Gay or Straight if you are not attracted to the person to start a physical (i.e. kissing) part of a relationship then you shouldn't. It is not stringing anybody along. It is not using or abusing anybody's trust. I am LDS. I am NOT gay or have SSA. I have been married for almost 13 years. My wife is a very straight forward person. She says her mind and does what she does because she feels it. I am glad that people are trying to live the gospel and not give a pretense that there is no hope for themselves. Heavenly Father (God) loves everyone. We have challenges and we should give up on ourselves because of our challenges. We shouldn't either conform to any one size fits all scenario. We should take things slow and find out what our Heavenly Father has planned for ourselves. I am glad that you are trying to be careful with your relationships. Have Faith. There is somebody for you.

Britt Kelly said...

why do we put so much emphasis on attraction? why not emphasize intimacy? I would let your physical intimacy reflect not your attraction but the emotional , spiritual and mental intimacy you feel with a girl. In marriage you are not constantly attracted to your spouse...but sometimes your spouse needs affection. Recognizing that need and meeting it is love. I've spent a good portion of my marriage pregnant...that messes with my attraction and desire for physical intimacy. Sometimes it completely eliminates any desire and other times it magnifies it. Although I honor real physical conditions I have, I don't let hormones or other things ruin the physical intimacy my husband still wants and needs. wanting to be one is more than attraction. In the gospel we are attracted to each other for more than physical reasons. Any girl would feel it was honest physical affection if it was equal to the intimacy in the relationship.

Elise said...

You don't need my advice. But I feel inclined I give it anyway. [insert evil laugh here.]

First of all, I know this was not your intention, but I have to say that I think this girl sounds a little lame. Asking for a PDA sounds like she's putting pressure on you for evidence of your affection. I don't think that's cool.

Second: I must argue that (I don't know why it has a bad rap among church leadership) sometimes hanging out is the only way. Dating first sometimes creates awkwardness. Okay. Always creates awkwardness. I think hanging out and knowing when to turn to dating is the important key. Dating at the beginning should not be hard (regardless of orientation). You should want to hang out with this person.

Third. You're amazing. You're doing a good job. Stick with your gut. The end.

One Small Flame said...

I deal with SSA (I'm a girl though) and yes, I find faces of guys attractive (like Chris Pine or this kid in my ward) but it's the sexual part I have trouble with. So pretty much I don't get turned on by the idea of sex with a guy or their...erm sexual organs:P But girls I do.

One Small Flame said...

I think it was a great choice you didn't kiss her! But I think you need to hang out with girls, even if it has "a bad rap". Make girl friends, but not a girlfriend. Then you find someone close to you who you and one day tell her. Don't date someone with the intention to break up or with the intention to finally tell her one day you are actually gay and you still dated her without telling her. It'll be like a big lie.

I'm only finally coming to terms with my own SSA, and right in time before my best guy friend comes home from a mission in two months. As of like a week ago I imagined us dating and getting married, but now I can't even see that without telling him the truth before it even got close to any of that. Relationships are built on trust and you can't drop a bomb like that in the MIDDLE of a relationship. I know you read Josh Weed's post, that's what made me look on your page and can you imagine if he had been dating Lolly and she had realized how much she loved him and THEN he finally told her?

Don't date a girl until she knows, our hearts get broken and hurt already easily enough. Don't wait until it's most vulnerable and we're most trusting towards you to finally tell us you've been lying to us.

Mormon Guy said...

One Small Flame:

I want to clarify something. I do not lie to girls. I've never told a girl, explicitly or implicitly, that I was physically attracted to her or to any other girl. Thanks for your thoughts.

One Small Flame said...

No but it's a lie not telling her. When people go into a relationship, that's the understanding, you guys are attracted to each other. But if you're not attracted to her, and she is to you and you enter into this socially accepted, mutually understood relationship, when it's really not mutually understood, then that's the lie. Lies don't only come in the form of words.

Mormon Guy said...

That's why I don't "date" girls that sense - only take them out on dates. I always break things off before we arrive at the point where that social (implicit) understanding would take place.

And as far as it applying to first or second or tenth dates, you don't need to have physical attraction to go on a date with someone - blind dates are an example, or dates where it's obvious the other person is interested but you aren't yet are another.

I don't have the luxury of being able to hang out in my life - dating is one of the few methods I have of meeting girls right now. And since it takes me a while to get close to people, I rarely get close enough to them to have any desire to share my life's story. Take the girl I mentioned in this post as an example. I've known her less than a month. We've gone on a total of 5 dates in that time. It's obvious to me that she is more invested in the relationship than I am, but that's totally normal... and I think it's a bit off-base, at least in my case, to say that I need to tell her I'm gay if I'm ever going to call her again. I don't even know the names of her family members. Why would I share something I haven't even shared with mine?

One Small Flame said...

Maybe I just misunderstood where you were with this gal. For me dating comes after a long time of hanging out and stuff (like months) and I've usually met the parents, we've gotten to know each other super well and become real good friends. Then dating might come up and that's when I'd think it'd be time to say something if I haven't already.

Btw, I seriously hate that thing at the end where you have to type in mushy or blurry looking letters and numbers...it's terrible:P

But I understand more now, no if it's been less than a month I sure wouldn't say a thing either. The world doesn't need to know and she hasn't earned that trust. I'm sorry, I thought you guys were farther into this than you you really are. And also sorry, this has always been a touchy subject for me.

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

(G)MG: My experience has been similar to what "Anonymous june 4, 2012" said. I'm an LDS man who's struggled with SSA all his life. I also didn't kiss a lot of girls for the same reasons. Well, I only had two real girlfriends which were after my mission, before I got married.
I made sure to tell my wife while we were dating, but once we starting thinking seriously about marriage, because I knew that it was something that she would need to know in order to make an informed decision -- just as many women have already commented on how important it is for them to know in general, it certainly is something they should know once things do get serious. (Side note: the girlfriend I had before my wife also knew, but I knew she was not the one. That relationship ended pretty badly because I couldn't stand up for myself enough in knowing that it wasn't right for me and always ended up getting back with her... in the end that wasn't any good for her either. I had to take a break from seroius dating in general and didn't have a serious girlfriend for about three years after that - I did date now and then though for fun.)
Anyway the reason I clicked "reply":
My wife and I did kiss while we dated (after she knew). I was always hesitant which bugged her a bit, but when we did kiss for a bit, I was really surprised and deeply happy that I could have a physical reaction/attraction.
Jason Weed is a good example of how marriage can work with SSA (I got to your blog with the link you posted in your comment on his blog).
Just live the way you know you should (which it seems like you're trying to do - that's all Heavenly Father expects) and things will work out - even if marriage doesn't come quickly (or at all).
The time where I felt like I needed to "take a break" was a great time in my life. I knew that even though I wasn't actively pursuing a serious relationship that I still had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to get married in the temple and establish an eternal family, and was still living the way Heavenly Father wanted and that it just wasn't my time.

JP said...

I think if you feel like you should date then you should. No one else is you, in your shoes, feeling your feelings, thinking your thoughts, saying your prayers, receiving your inspiration. There are so many different aspects of every circumstance and this is not a black and white issue.

When I was single if I had a choice between dating you for 3 months and getting hurt because you ended things or dating a player and getting hurt because he was a jerk who was making out with 6 other girls in those 3 months I would choose you hands down.... if that helps. :) At least in your case you aren't trying to be a jerk, your intentions are genuine.

OneLove said...

Do you agree that in some form you leading on these girls that you date? A girl wants nothing more than affection from the man that she is dating. It is a HUGE reassurance that he cares and feels the same way she does. Even a guy needs that reassurance. I understand why you did not want to kiss this girl, and I understand that a kiss means a lot so it should not be something that is just thrown around but will you ever kiss a girl if you are not attracted to them?

Mormon Guy said...

OneLove: The short answer is no. The long is that I won't ever tell a girl I'm attracted to her if I'm not. For me, and the girls I date, kissing implies a physical attraction - so I won't tell her (through a kiss) that I'm attracted unless it's true.

Sara Rogai said...

I'm italian. I'm married since 2004, happily married, now I'm mother of 3 beautiful girls... Attraction with someone, in my case, arrived always after being very close with the guy, my friendship developed till we found each other in love and we just kissed and hug... only once i felt attracted with a guy just dancing with him and I started writing to him, but he was the son of my father's friend, another branch, another town... people don't understand that attraction sometimes arrives only if your feelings are involved with the other person, not important if of the same sex or the other!
Another thing: here, in the church, we teach not to date till 16 years old, with a group of friends .... the same than in the States... what do you mean when you say "And in the Church, dating is currently the only acceptable way to make friends with girls I don't really know"? Here in Italy we have a lot of friend of the other sex, maybe because we are not so many, we are very close, males and females, it's funny, it's safe, it's innocent. we don't stay apart one man and one girl female, far from the others, but we can just talk during activities, we organize a lot of situations to stay all together, church activities.... maybe the difference is in the number? If you have not the opportunity to know someone you don't feel free to make a new friendship if you don't date?

It's strange to me when I heard about friends that are dating three times and then decide if going on or stopping, and then try with another guy/girl...I think that it's weird! It's true: we need occasion to meet other people, so organize it! i did it! I organized party, activities, trips, pic - nics...not only in the name of the organization of the church, sometimes just only in my name... and a lot of people came, and often my friend took other friends... and walk, going in the library, going shopping, it's not a date if you don't want a date, it's just "to know each other".
I stopped going out with my dearest male friends when I started dating my husband, because I felt it was the right thing to do, and also because my husband was my best friend before I felt in love with him! But if someone of them would ask me to talk I'm helpful... by the phone!
Another way to know someone is chatting by msm, google chat,facebook chat, or talking at the phone, or e-mail or letters... I think that a lot of people underestimate the value of a sms or a letter... you maybe fall in love with the brain and the heart of a person! I did like this with my husband, because he almost 500miles away, and when I found out I was in love(I didn't want it, I just wanted to serve a mission!!!!) I thought it was a platonic love... but the first time he went visiting me as boyfriend, while hugging him I felt a new electricity....
I say: spend time at the phone and try to know another person from her words and thoughts, then date. Maybe is easier, but, I repeat, we do this in Italy, I'm not in the States!

Mitchell said...

David, I admire your desire to do what is right and to treat women with as much fairness and respect as possible. I too am a gay Mormon, and I've struggled with dating as well. The best advice I can give you is to let your date know the situation, tell your date you're gay but that you don't want to live a gay lifestyle. It's something I have done, and has helped me feel so much better about the situation. Don't feel bad, if that girl is really the one for you she will understand and be willing to love you regardless of your current situation. Homosexuality may not be something you struggle with for the rest of your life, Christ has the ability to remove all weaknesses and temptations we face. Though your attractions may not be removed in this life, I know Christ will 'heal' you in the next. Stay strong David. I know God loves you so so much. You are such an amazing example. Never give up hope that you could get married someday to a wonderful woman, and it would not be a lie if she loves you and you love her. Love is not completely sexual, love is so many things all combined to make you and your partners one.