Thursday, October 3

Dating Quandaries

don't think I've been on a date in a long time. Almost a year. There have been times people tried to set me up, but they all fell through... we never crossed paths, or the girl actually already had a boyfriend and wasn't interested in a blind date.

Part of the reason is that I don't know how to approach dating anymore. Girls have told me that hearing "I'm really not attracted to you" is a painful, undesirable thing... and I guess I understand their perspective somewhat. 

Some people say that you should only date people you're attracted to. But is that really a set-in-stone requirement? 

I mean, in the past I dated for two reasons - because I wanted to show my faith to God and give Him something to work with (so that eventually He could light a spark of love in my life), and because I wanted to show people that I cared about them. Unlike most guys, though, who I've learned have basic and then complex metrics to determine who to ask out (physical attraction being up there, along with emotional and intellectual), I also have two somewhat unique reasons to ask people out. 1: Because God told me to (I used to pray to figure out who to date all the time). 2: Because I thought a specific girl was interested in me.

Even though sharing my identity here on (Gay) Mormon Guy didn't really change much, it seems to make developing relationships even harder. I think it's because the girls who are interested in me don't know about SSA. I'm scared of hurting people, and I don't relish broaching the topic... but I feel sort of dishonest just asking someone out when I have totally different motivation compared to another guy.

There's a girl in my ward who wants me to ask her out. I don't think she reads (Gay) Mormon Guy. She asked me about North Star because I mentioned it a few times in passing, and I explained what it is - an organization that helps men and women with same-sex attraction live faithful lives in the Church. She didn't really respond in a way that let me know her thoughts, but still asked for a ride home.

I guess I'm just... afraid of the unknown. I've never dated someone and been open about the fact that I have to go about it differently. I don't know what's going to happen, I don't know how to communicate what's in my head effectively, and I don't know how it's going to affect the people on the other side of the relationship.

And yet...

I feel like I should just move forward. You know the inexplicable feeling to do something even when your brain and heart protest? A quiet voice, most definitely the Spirit, just tells me to go.

I guess that answers my question.


  1. I think the questions you're asking yourself about how to decide on dating is something not exclusive to those who are SSA. I've thought the same thing.

    Your worry about hurting feelings is legitimate, but I've found there's no really great method for avoiding it. Ultimately, you can't control how another person chooses to feel toward your actions. If you do everything in your power to by kind and justified, then you can go forward with a clear conscience.

    For instance, I've experienced the whole gamut of reactions to telling women I'm not interested. It's ironic and fascinating to me that I, an obese older single dude, should have people actually angry that I didn't like them. Nevertheless it's happened. I learned that, if I tried to anticipate every potentially hurtful circumstance before it happened, I'd be paralyzed into inaction.

    So, here's what I've developed for my dating criteria. I'm not sure it applies to everyone, but maybe it could help somebody.

    1. Are they, from all accounts, a good, moral LDS girl?
    2. Are they single?
    3. Do there appear to be things about them that are of interest to me, about which I'd like to learn more?

    That's about it, really. Attraction plays absolutely zero part into the decision. I have found that attraction is so vague and changing that it's not a good criteria for asking on dates. I've found that, often, those who I wasn't initially attracted to become immensely more attractive with increasingly appropriate intimacy (deeper conversation and getting to know them better, etc.)

    1. I've been married to a woman and then divorced. I've been in a two long term relationships with men (including my current partner). One thing has been true for me and for every successful married couple I've ever talked must have attraction to keep drawing you back together. If you are in an affectionless marriage you will quickly become lonely roommates.

  2. Isn't dating in the beginning hanging out with someone who you enjoy their company? Maybe give it a try and don't over think it. Just keep her feelings in mind as you make further decisions.

  3. Sometimes you have to act to receive further guidance.

  4. I'm a gay mormon man who is happily married to a woman and has 4.25 kids (yes, pregnant at present). We've been married for 12 years. I have dated precisely one woman in my life and married her. It was nothing short of a miracle.

    A little backstory to explain how it all worked out.

    I moved out of my parents home at age 17 to go to college. I fully realized my homosexuality there though looking back I always knew though I never admitted it. At the time I had a porn and masturbation habit as well and decided to leave the church within months of leaving home. Over the next year, I gave up my virginity and explored the gay sexual world. It was a very dark time in my life with highs and lows. I admit to have contemplated suicide in that period.

    At age 19, through the efforts of family, some sister missionaries, a college ward, and nothing short of the Holy Ghost, I finally gained a testimony of the gospel, cleaned up my life, and started preparing for a mission.

    At 21, I served that mission. It was rough. I fell in love with a companion without knowing it till much later, but being transferred made me miss him very, very much. My mission president thought I was chemically depressive, but in hindsight, being lovesick makes much more sense.

    Regardless, in the final interview I had with my mission president, he told me to scrap the plans I had to go to BYU and move to California instead to live with my brother and start my life there. I didn't understand why, but I prayed, got a confirmation, and followed my mission president's command. I met my wife-to-be a week later.

    When my companions on my mission asked me what I was looking for in a future spouse, all I could say was I wanted someone who took care of themselves, had a great singing voice (I love to sing too), and was strong in the gospel. My wife is all of these.

    Am I attracted to her physically? No. Am I attracted to who she is? Absolutely. I love her with all of my heart and look forward to spending eternity with her. Is life perfect? Heh, life is a journey where the destination is what matters, not the bumps we hit along the way.

    So how does sex work between us? After all, we have kids. Putting it delicately.... Well, I've learned that my body has needs regardless of any kind of physical attraction and knows how to respond when someone trys to fulfill those needs. I just focus on the feelings and sensations I have when it is my turn to have those needs fulfilled, and that is enough to make sure my part of the job gets done...if that makes any sense at all.

  5. I know this is an older blog post but I just discovered this blog from one of your more recent entries that's been circling Facebook. I'm sorry to see from comments that people do the same thing to you that they do to me, assume that because I have SSA I have to live exactly how they would live or I'm lying, have issues with self-loathing, denying my "true self".

    Attraction is so much more then physical and it seems like so many people don't understand that. Sometimes I think my Husband has more issues with connection because of his Asperger's then I've ever had because of my SSA.

    I wish you the best in finding that best friend in whom you can trust and lean on throughout your life because that seems to be the best way to find lasting marriage partners. She's out there somewhere.


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