Monday, June 30, 2008

So, speaking of meeting new people...

I really wish someone would write "Meeting, Talking to, Texting, Calling, Myspacing and Emailing Other Gay Men, While in the Closet, with the Possibility of Hanging Out Again or Even Maybe Dating, FOR DUMMIES" or something.  

So, continuing my experience in the previous post, I met this guy. He asked for my phone number, and I got his as well.  On the way home, I send a quick text basically saying "nice to meet you."  I get a text from him in the morning that asks if I made it home alright, etc. I honestly didn't expect to ever hear from him again and we ended up sending several random messages throughout the day and finding each other on myspace.  Then, I had to leave the country.

On returning, I send another message, he sends another one back, then not much else happened. All of the messages have been light and slightly humorous. In the course of the previous messages, we casually stated that we should hang out again sometime.

It's getting late, and I haven't really done a good job of describing what happened in a linear manner, but here are my questions:

How much is too much texting? I don't want to be the weirdo stalker who won't leave the other person alone. I'm not anywhere close to being that person right now, but I'm itching to keep communicating. But then I get freaked out about communicating too much and I wonder if I'm giving off the perception that I'm not interested at all... AAAAH, it's madness!  Was he saying "yeah, we'll hang out sometime" in the way that really means "ok, I'm going to ignore you now forever" or did he really mean it?  Do I need to instigate or does he? 

I have SO little experience in straight dating, much less gay dating. I resonate with many other bloggers who I have read who described themselves as pre-teens when it comes to their dating maturity.  We just don't get a chance to work those questions out until later in life when we then have to stress out about it like adults!

The inexperience is another thing. I don't want to "use" the right person who comes around and looks interesting to be my guinea pig. But then again, one has to start somewhere.

I'm pretty sure that the person in question is not disgusted by me. He did say complimentary things the night of the first encounter--but then again, everyone had been drinking. 

Hell, I don't know.  This post is so scatterbrained. Does anyone have a clue?


Mikey said...

So, you've texted, there was nice rapport, now you call and say "hey, would you like to get together for dinner or drinks?" Then you'll know how interested he is. And it doesn't have to be a "date." It could be just to get together with someone with mutual interests. And see where it goes. What do you have to lose?

JX said...

Ha! It's amazing how simple it really is when not caught up in the emotional side of it. But there's something about actually *calling* someone.. in our myspace/text message world. Freaky! lol

Adam said...

Let's not look at it as madness. Let's look at it as LIVING!

KJ said...

At the risk of sounding like an old man, and at nearly 50, perhaps I am an old man, but as a fellow journeyman on the reconciliation of spirituality and sexuality, I have a few thoughts you may want to consider. As the Christian glbt demographic is pretty new and "thin", we might as well benefit from each others' experiences, but if you find the comments to "unclish", you know what to do with them.

There are few things as exciting as the possibility of new love, and you are quite correct regarding our lack of experience in that area (For me, it was like being a teenager at 40, which isn't all bad.). That can lead to frustration and missteps, but hey, that's part of the process and shouldn't come as a surprise.

However, some of the least happy and angst-ridden people I know are fellow Christian believers on their way out, or already out, who believe that the most important thing about their same-gendered sexual orientation is the need to find a life partner. However, with that as their primary focus, a far greater blessing is lost. When our heart's desire is a closer relationship with our Creator which in turn results in our being more transparent and authentic, without our trying to "row the boat", we become of more heavenly and earthly use to those whom we encounter, and spiritually and emotionally, we are far more ready to be the "other side" of another, should that gift be given.

Do you feel that you are ready for the pursuit of an intimate relationship that goes beyond friendship (And here I don't necessarily mean sexual.)? You have now accepted yourself as a gay man, but have you established friendships that will allow the new you to change and grow? Should you be "outed" by another, are you ready for the way that would play out in your current faith home, likely leaving you looking like you were ashamed of things regarding which you were not, or should not be? (I do not underestimate the challenge this all brings as you are in, or training for, pastoral leadership in a conservative faith setting. I was in lay leadership in an evangelical church, and can only imagine how much more complicated it all would have been had my career also been affected by this process.)

From what little bit I've learned about you from your blog, I believe your current community is one that would say "bye-bye" should they learn of your sexuality if you do not conform to the community's biases, and once you move beyond that community, and you will, you will have none to fill that void. Of course, I have no idea where you live, but if you live where there are places where fellow glbt believers meet in the pursuit of spiritual growth, I would encourage you to go see what the Spirit is up to in such communities. Fortunately for me, there was a local chapter of Evangelical's Concerned available where I for the first time got to see that I was not the only Christian gay man on the planet.

Don't be afraid to visit places that you may find to be too "liberal" theologically, because it's very likely that you will see, as I did, "liberal" is a very relative welcoming term, and a wide breadth of believers are in that "tent", including evangelical gay boys and girls that migrated their before you (It's true. We are everywhere!). I found it spiritually invigorating to get a glimpse of how much bigger the church actually is as opposed to the little niche of "proper" Christianity (And that includes, of course, unlikely places like he bar mentioned in your previous post. Go figure!).

Of course, in the pursuit of relationship, there is the very real possibility of the "unequally yoked", gay movie cliché, in which one in the relationship is "in", while the other is "out." This places a strain that most relationships cannot withstand for the long haul, as it is impossible for the two to be fully one in each others lives. Complicated! Again, it leaves us in the "driving seat" while God can tag along and bless the mess we create through artifice.

To summarize, should anyone still be reading: Christ first, creating full authenticity, leading to a whole/integrated you able to serve others and ready to be the healthy partner of another.

Oy! I warned you! "Uncle KJ" shall desist and I apologize if my prudishness is too apparent. It's my spiritual gift.