1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Thoughts as a late bloomer

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by lucas78, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. lucas78

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Oregon
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    (Man in my 40s, recently came out bi to my straight wife who had no idea. Still exploring what this means and how I/we want to explore it.)

    I grew up with terrible anxiety and depression, and was a late bloomer socially and romantically because of that and my crippling fear of rejection. Though I felt attractions to both girls and boys, I couldn't bring myself to ask out girls in high school or college, and I didn't dare admit attraction to guys who as far as I knew were straight and might not react well.

    So I never dated until my mid-20s when I fell into a couple relationships with women and quickly met and fell in love with my wife. (I still love her and want to stay with her, and she's doing her best to stay supportive in my coming out journey as long as I don't move too fast and leave her behind.)

    So I have a couple thoughts about this. The first is that I feel so inexperienced even though I'm in my 40s -- I've never had same-sex interactions before, though I've had the feelings and fantasies and desires all my life. So I'm sometimes insecure in whether I'm "bi enough", do I really know I want this if it's just been fantasy and I've never done it for real? The feelings have never left me in the ~30 years since hitting puberty, so I feel like they're real, and I feel a great sense of excitement for the future and relief having come out to my wife and opened up about the idea of exploring a little.

    The other thought is that I'm *so annoyed* with myself about that lack of experience. My problems were so simple. I could have gone to the student health center and asked for therapy and psychiatric meds for my anxiety and depression, and been better able to handle things like I am now. I could have gone to the campus gay/lesbian/bi alliance and talked to actual bi and gay boys as potential partners instead of crushing on straight boys, and maybe I'd have had some experiences when I was young.

    I don't know if, if I had had those past experiences, whether they would have been enough for me. I might still want to play a bit today even so. But either way I'd know more about myself and it'd be a less scary transition for me and my wife.
     
  2. case121

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Berlin
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Questioning
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    I recognize that 'crippling fear of rejection' when i was in my teens asking the opposite sex out on a date and also 'blame' myself for not taking action years before regarding my gay side. Life MIGHT have taken a different path, maybe not..Would all the questioning be gone? Could be, couldbe not. But as many people at EC say, it's never too late?!
     
    lucas78 likes this.
  3. lucas78

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Oregon
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Thanks -- I'm trying to concentrate not on what could have been or should have been, but on what can be now. :slight_smile:
     
  4. maxx

    Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Hi Lucas - congratulations on starting your journey. Connecting with your authentic self can be challenging but is so worthwhile.

    Your story resonates with me - when I was growing up I had 'feelings' for guys but certainly never identified as gay - and had a couple of girlfriends through high school. When I got to university - in hindsight, like you, I wish I had explored more of my true self back in those days. It would have made a number of things harder back then, but would have been easier overall (I think) than the path I ultimately took.

    I married my wife when I was 23 and occupied myself with my career for the next 20+ years. When I got to my late 40's the feelings that I had always had towards guys kept on getting stronger (I too had no actual experience with guys) - to the point where I eventually came out to my wife (in 2012) at the ripe old age of 50.

    It was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I ever did in my life. She was completely surprised - and was initially supportive. Ultimately she came to the conclusion that she was fine with me being gay as long as "I didn't do anything about it".

    Since I was coming to terms with it myself, that initially seemed acceptable - but then I eventually realized that being gay is who I am and I couldn't suppress that any further. Ultimately I made the painful decision to leave my wife and discover who I really was (also in 2012).

    Shortly thereafter I met "David" on an online dating app and quickly fell in love. Not just lust - but puppy dog "can't stop thinking about him" completely rom-com style romantic love. Feelings I had never experienced before in my life.

    Long-story short, David and I became ever closer and I eventually moved in with him in 2013 - I proposed to him in 2016 (in Paris!) and we were married in 2017 (in an amazing vineyard in Northern California). When I look back on my journey, I know I could never have gone through this without the awesome support from this amazing group of people here at EC.

    I tell you this not to say that your story should or will be like mine - each of us will take our own path - but that much more is possible than what you might imagine (certainly I could have never imagined my life as it is now). It's not too late to embrace your authentic self - and the journey is not easy - but it IS so rewarding. Life just becomes so much easier and more enjoyable when you no longer feel you need to hide who you are - from anyone - or to feel that ever so toxic shame. I'm so grateful for the people here and what they allowed me to accomplish - it truly allowed me to reinvent my life. Good luck with your process.

    Love,
    Maxx
     
    #4 maxx, Jun 21, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
    musiclvr5, Manipular and lucas78 like this.
  5. lucas78

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Oregon
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    Thanks, Maxx! I'm glad you've found yourself, and I'm hoping things go well for me whatever twists and turns they take.

    The potential impact on my wife and I's relationship is indeed my biggest worry right now, and also her biggest worry. She's supportive enough that she's willing to let me plan to explore and have encounters but she worries a lot -- even aside from the sexuality issue -- that non-monogamous arrangements can be fraught with peril in terms of jealousy and problems communicating. She'd seen it with friends into straight swinging when she was younger, and feared the same when I'd expressed interest in adding other people to our sex life before in a straight way.

    So I feel I need to be very careful and not get too hung up on whether it's dudes or ladies I'm looking at, but try to confirm that whatever it is I want, I need to be able to do it through the lens of our marriage. For now this seems like something we can do, but it's going to be work for both of us.
     
  6. Kevins1197

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2019
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    United States
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    Not out at all
    That’s the same way I was too shy to talk to girls and they never liked me much anyway and was too shy to try anything with the boys who were interested. But it wasn’t until around 17/18 that I was some what comfortable at least to myself to admit my same sex attraction.
     
  7. quadratic

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2020
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Gay
    Out Status:
    Family only
    You won't get any advice from me about coming out and managing family relationships, given that I'm making a total dog's breakfast of my own life. But - reading your original post it seems to me that you've made quite momentous strides in your own understanding of yourself - more than many people do, ever - and surely this is to be celebrated?

    Once you start comparing yourself to other people you can easily slide down a bottomless pit: there are always people who are more experienced, more self-confident, who seem to "have it all." (Mind you, often it's a carefully constructed facade, behind which they're as clueless and useless as the rest of us.) I think you should instead be incredibly proud of your strength in getting to where you are now.

    Al
     
    musiclvr5 and lucas78 like this.
  8. lucas78

    Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Oregon
    Gender:
    Male
    Gender Pronoun:
    He
    Sexual Orientation:
    Bisexual
    Out Status:
    A few people
    *awww*

    thanks quadratic, I needed to hear that :slight_smile: