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Gay in my 20's and Lonely

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Jguy365, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Jguy365

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    First off, hello! May I welcome myself back? I haven't logged onto this site since 2017. At any rate, I'm excited to be back.

    ANYWHO: I have a boyfriend whom I adore.Our relationship is fine and not in any danger. If there's one BIG problem is is that we are both lonely. Sure, we have each other, but having friends is a huge part of our lives that we are missing out on. Neither of us have really kept in touch with anyone from high school. Our lives are...unique. I never went to college and he went to college out of state for a year, so no college friends either. I work for a small company and he manages a local chocolate shop where most of the staff are teenage girls. In a city with a population of over 250,000, the gay community is, well, tired. Most of the active community here is now 30 years old and over, settled down and not doing much. There is a severe lack of gay people our age. Heck, there is a lack of just PEOPLE our age. Unfortunately, this city struggles to retain its youth. Everyone in their 20's leaves for new experiences and comes back in their 30's to settle down.

    We have each other...yet we are very alone. Has anyone else ever dealt with this?
     
  2. Dionysios

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    You and your bf are blessed to have each other. If there are no LGBT people in your age group in town, perhaps consider taking short trips to a larger community that does sponsor activities. You two might make some friends there.
     
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  3. greatwhale

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    Hi Jguy,

    What you are experiencing is one of the most perplexing and troubling aspects of modern life.

    Loneliness is a phenomenon of the way we think about ourselves and others. I have lived in my apartment complex for the past 6 years now, but I have only gotten to know Mike, our immediate neighbour, and this only because he has been here longer than I have and there was a need for some mutual arrangements, i.e. a relationship born of convenience and necessity.

    This is the kind of apartment building where people come and go on average every two years, I myself would have moved out years ago if I could have afforded it (my partner and I are finally moving at the end of this month!).

    People get into couples because they believe that they have to create this island of emotional safety, where one's emotional needs are met from each other in a harsh world. The problem with this is that no one person can be everything for the other, it is too much to ask of anyone. Healthy couples thrive when they are part of a community, where each member gets their needs met outside of the relationship where such needs are impossible to get from the relationship, a community where they are known and know others.

    Being part of a community could mean, for example, that you know most of the people in your apartment building (this would have been so easy in the building where I still live, with its 16 apartments)...but people come and they go, without a thought about whether they need each other, or better, whether they need to trust each other. Of course, we somehow knew in which apartment the guy lived who accidentally left his car running in our small garage, and we certainly got to greeting the various kids who grew up here (they have not yet discovered the attitude of just walking past someone without acknowledging their existence). But often times we could often hear the distress of family arguments in the apartment directly below us (the floors don't muffle sound very well) and felt powerless to intervene (we would have called the cops if there were signs of violence, however this "would have" has never been tested).

    It is odd to contemplate that people who live in rural Montana, who live miles apart from their closest neighbours, feel closer to them than those of us who live with neighbours, cheek-to-jowl in crowded cities. It's this defense mechanism against closeness, against the fear of vulnerability, and it is destroying the social fabric and our politics. There is a lot to say against religion, but for those who went to church or mosque or synagogue regularly, there was a sense of belonging to a larger community that provided an outlet for help, either given or received, and for celebrating with others the special moments of our lives.

    So we turn to professional counselors to treat our loneliness, and the depression and other negative effects that this has on our lives, but the paradigm is always the same, namely that the problem is only with the sufferer...but in such instances, if it were possible, the entire society ought to undergo some form of treatment...

    We are moving to a neighbourhood that typifies much of what the older buildings in Montreal look like. The building is a beautiful old triplex (likely more than 100 years old) with 6 apartments and a winding outside stairway. We intend to invite our neighbours for a house-warming party right after we are settled in; nothing more elaborate than a little event for getting to know each other. I look forward to being known as part of the "gay couple" who live on the third floor, but more importantly, we want to be known as people who can be counted on to help in any way that we can, and we want to know that we can count on our neighbours if we need something from them...who knows, this might just be the beginning of a revolution on our quiet tree-lined street...and as with all revolutions, these usually start first with the personal.
     
    #3 greatwhale, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  4. Broccoli

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    @greatwhale I also live in an apartment block and what you say resonates with my experience too. One thing I have found interesting is how little it actually takes to make a rewarding connection. There are people who live on the same floor as me, opposite my front door, who I have had no exchange with in the last year except that if we are leaving or arriving home at the same time I'll say 'hi' and they'll grunt 'hi' back. On the other hand, there are people I've broken the barrier with by asking for help, or they've asked me for help - just over tiny things like 'do you know the code to the electricity meter cupboard?' or 'have you seen my black and white cat since yesterday?' - and they are now people I chat to whenever I see them. That kind of thing suggests that your housewarming party just might make all the difference in the world.
     
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  5. smurf

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    This.

    What you are feeling is totally normal. Just because you have a partner doesn't mean that you won't feel lonely. We need a community network and not just one single person in our lives.

    30s is not all that old, but I know it can be daunting if you are in your early 20s.

    Is there a meet up around your area or something for lgbt people? In cities around you?

    Do you all have any hobbies that you can go find people who like that too?
     
  6. smurf

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    Alright people, so here is how you find lbgt people around your town:

    • Goggle the name of your town and lgbt
    • Start going through link until you find contact info from someone
    • Contact the people or organization, tell them your story, and that you want to meet them for coffee
    • During coffee, talk about your needs, get to know the person, and ask for what you need. Do you want to get involved changing your city? More just fun stuff for lgbt people? Ask them who you should be speaking with

    To execute your city:
    • Google brought up this article. While the article itself is kinda sad (but probably no surprise to you) the article does mention Nikki Fultz who is the director for the local pride organization for Fort Wayne. If you look up her name, you can find out that she has been an lgbt leader in the area for 19 years now and has been fighting the good fight in your city. If you sit down with her, I promise you she will be able to connect you with any lgbt organization that might be able to provide some type of friends for you all.

      Its also not rude to do this by the way. Activists like Nikki WANT to be found and they are out there making sure you can find her. So just go for it :slight_smile:

    • It seems there is a fairly established pride organization that has a lot of different events for lbgt in your city. Have you gone before? They have a pride prom coming up which looks is geared towards younger people. If you think you might be too old for the prom itself, I'm sure they need volunteers to make it happen. So at least you can make sure the Prom happens for young lgbt in your city.

    You can replicate that for pretty much any city that you live on. Hope you find a way to connect locally!
     
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  7. Nickw

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    What @smurf and @greatwhale wrote is very true. My wife and I never did this. Our lives have been SO tied together since we moved to a small town where, at the time, there were just no other couples like us. This had nothing to do with my sexuality. Neither of us really found independent friends. And, we had to travel to find other couples we could relate to.

    It is interesting, now, as I start to find an LGBQT community. I am so used to doing everything with my wife that I find myself worrying about what she is doing when I am out with my new friends. And, those new friends require a lot of travel time to get together. But, I think the separate relationships are very important for us. Although my lover and my wife are becoming friends now. I'm not sure how this will all play out but it, so far, feels right.
     
  8. Dionysios

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    The housewarming party is an excellent idea! Good for you! In my current neighborhood, we all host little parties and invite everyone on the street. It was a wonderful to meet people you have perhaps glimpsed but never made. Sometimes in addition we organize a street party. At other times we have a street yard sale. It's great fun and bonds us closer together. Some passerby folks mention that they wish their neighbors did the same. It may just take one household to start the whole process in motion.
     
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  9. brainwashed

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    The first week I moved into my current house I went out and bought a keg of premium beer. I then invited all my new neighbors over for beer and ideas. What are ideas? I asked them what they wanted to see me do with my house. Man a little free beer generated some amazing ideas. The end result was, the neighborhood was very close for 10 plus years.
     
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  10. brainwashed

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    Sounds like you need to roll up your sleeves, do a little homework and find a younger community to live in. Example: I was talking to a young fellow I met on the sidewalk in Amsterdam. (Amsterdam, NL (Netherlands)) He told me he was moving to another "neighborhood" with a younger set. He indicated he wanted to live where the action was.
     
  11. Dionysios

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    Great that you took the lead! It had a positive impact you both you and your neighbors. So wonderful!
     
  12. brainwashed

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    Lol, positive impact, well huuuum. One of the neighbors passed out and had to be helped home.
     
    #12 brainwashed, Mar 12, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  13. Dionysios

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    Oh? Someone passed out? Gee, well that is indeed an example of someone having too much of a good time. *smile* At least the guest had a memorable visit.
     
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