“Looking for an LTR”: You Sure About That?

“Looking for an LTR”: You Sure About That?

Right off, this sermonette is for gay guys. I really think gay girls are wired differently and take relationships seriously from the first peck on the cheek. As a lesbian fellow faculty member at the university where I worked once said to me after we had come out to one another, “When two guys hit the sack, it’s all about sex. When two gals hit the sack, they’re married.”

Yet for all the fancy free, free-as-a-bird frivolity and indiscriminate fucking this lifestyle purports to offer, more guys than may even admit it to themselves are desperately hungry to get off the whirling gay merry-go-round. To settle down for a quiet, boring existence with a life partner, soul mate, or whatever hackneyed phrase popular culture chooses to use at the moment. Not a series of bed-hopping two month flings so you can boast about your string of “ex’s,” I mean something solid.

I can sense that desperation in the countless gay website profiles I scan, some that go on for paragraphs on what the profiler is looking for in another man, way beyond dick size and tits. I see that same desperation in the tired, expressionless faces of guys in the bars on a Saturday night, still hanging in there at 1:15 for more, I think, than just a quick fuck, even if they’ve fooled themselves into thinking that’s the only reason.

But “The Life,” with its non-stop emphasis on physicality and sex, sets the odds against us right from the beginning. How can you expect most guys to buy into another person’s likes and dislikes when they’ve never romped in bed? Straights, though certainly not always, can often make it on personality and socio-economic draws. But when it comes to man-to-man connections, sex, whether we like or not, is almost always the first ingredient. Guys who say they want to “get to know you first” often don’t stand a chance at getting to first base. After all, some would argue, if the lust isn’t there, can a LTR ever take root? (Maybe.)

That’s why, in my mind, guys who may even be ready for a Long Term Relationship, let alone those of us just in it for dick and ass, are intimidated by some of these “walks on the beach” web profiles because the guy’s expectations sound too high. Hell, Manhunt, Bear411, DaddyHunt with their provocative pics and explicit sexual habits rap sheets, are not e.harmony.com’s. For a lark, I checked out match.com which offers gay listings. It was somewhat comical, guys talking about their spiritual side or whether or not they ever wanted to have children. Nice virtues to consider but, come on now, men, do we initially connect discussing world peace?

When we think of an LTR we think of commonality in thinking and interests and style, and commitment to another human being emotionally. But, in the end, the only way any relationship will last is if both parties are ready to let go and compromise. Every LTR is different. Some relationships are as tight as threads on a screw, others as loose as a fist fucked ass, but hey, it’s whatever works that counts, as long as the guys know they’re willing to bend for one another (figuratively speaking). Without that flexibility, LTR’s can’t happen, I don’t care how great the sex is and how much you both like film noir. That’s why I’m convinced that the older we get, the less we’re open to giving in, no matter what we say or even feel.

You also have to be ready to deal with a lot of mental angst. Family, even pets dying, medical crises, economic downturns… the list goes on.

So, ask yourself, when you idealize those “walks on the beach” you have stuck in the fantasy lobe of your brain: are you really ready?

Will you ever be?

More, next time …

3 thoughts on ““Looking for an LTR”: You Sure About That?

  1. Jim

    I have been in a relationship now for 16 years. And, I can say that you just summed up my take on this subject exactly.

    If you aren’t with your best friend in life, a long term relationship is not for you.

    If you aren’t ready to exchange weekends of socializing events filled with parties, bars, beaches and events over quiet, dull, boring periods at home with a settled life, then a long term relationship is not for you.

    If you aren’t ready for great sex to wane, or even end eventually, then a long term relationship isn’t for you.

    If you aren’t ready to compromise in your daily life routine and see your partner’s differences as enhancements versus hindrances, then a long term relationship isn’t for you.

    If you’re unable or unwilling to communicate openly and often, and bewilling to give and take, as well as see both sides to any situation, then a long term relationship isn’t for you.

    If you’re all about yourself in life, and lack the character and value system of respect and empathy for others, then a long term relationship isn’t for you.

    If you can never see yourself reaching a level of trust, comfort, stability and respect for your partner, then a long term relationship isn’t for you.

    If you are unwilling to aborb your partner’s family, friends and idiosyncracies as your own, then a long term relationship isn’t for you.

    From obvervation, the gay men I know and have known who live in urban pockets of gay communities or only expose themselves to closed circuits of like minded friends are rigid, opinionated, often immature and selfish and usually lack the characteristics to make anything long term work, partner or friend alike. Those who aren’t part of the closed circuit community and live out in the burbs, have non-gay friends and have a different take on life tend to be more prepared in terms of maturity and depth to handle the ups and downs of a long term relatiionship. Perhaps this is because the constant stimulation of “the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence” is eliminated or reduced and you have stable friends and family to support and enforce the bond of family and mate.

    It’s essentially like being married. And, as life should teach us all, there are no gaurantees. The sex WILL END or being infrequent and wane. And, for a lot of men, this is a huge factor. So, a lot of men need to decide if it’s more important to build something on a more bonding/spiritual level or keeping it physical. If you keep it physical, be prepared for constant short term relationships. I see my partner as my best friend and soul mate in life. He is my stability, my comfort, my family. However, our vibrant sex life is a thing of the past. So be it.

    A recent friend of mine who became disenfranchised with the daily repetition and dullness of his 8 year relationship decided it was more important to have a fun social life every weekend filled with bars, acquaintences, care free beach romping days and random non-committal hook ups in Rehoboth Beach, DE outside of Washington DC. Frankly, it lowered my opinion of him and told me that life was more about his own selfish and superficial needs than making a commitment that requires sacrifices over time, but comes with a much higher payback in the end.

    Women tend to be the buffering, calming and nesting element in straight relationships. This tends to offset a man’s need to constantly seek a physical mate. Not to say that men do not also want a sense of family and stablility, this is just a generalization.

    However, I will say this, at least with men if it doesn’t work out then the relationship tends to be short in duration, from a few months to maybe a few years. With women, I see more female couples staying together for many years, usually more than 12 and even up to 24 years and then decide to part ways, which blows my mind. I mean, why invest that many years and time to finally say enough is enough? That I don’t understand about females.

    Not to say that men don’t desire relationships that last the test of time. But, I think their attention span and expectations often need to get a reality check.

    In the end, everyone’s looks fade and we become old. Don’t find yourself alone because you traded everything all of your life for excitement and great sex. Sometimes, life’s about what you make of it.

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