Boyfriend Hunt – Emotional Availability


My recent layover in Vienna allowed me to meet up with two of my old buddies. Re-connecting with those guys is always a genuine pleasure. Well, mostly so.


Both of them have ended their short-lived winter-to-early-spring romances, and are now desperately seeking for ‘a serious relationship’ i.e. at least someone to spend the summer vacation with. Those two dudes are now in their ‘early’ mid-30s, and the pains of growing up are showing. Once ‘invincible and irresistible’ hunks and studs have recently booked their first serious and painful rejections. The looks are not fading that much, though. Both of them are still very eminently shaggable dudes and their scoreboards are still the envy of their respective gay cliques. Nonetheless, the few preppie divas though, bent on mating and dating their own kind only, turned them down cold-heartedly. Sympathy sex has never been in vogue around here.


A quick relationship fix is meant to restore the slightly dented sense of self-esteem, as we all readily agreed. Besides, with passing of the time, the joy of playing the field has subsided considerably.


Although many things have changed over the past fifteen years of our geographically-challenged friendships, that cool sense of mutually self-depreciative humor remained fully intact. Taking yourself too seriously is still that one capital and unforgivable crime among us.


“Phil” has reportedly tried absolutely everything. , , local bars, LGBT meetings, gay volleyball club and even a ‘gay cappuccino group’. I hate shattering other people’s daydreams, but, the ‘gay cappuccino group’ was reportedly the worst waste of time and money since the Windows 3.0. .


Phil kept on describing his ex-dates as ‘candidates’. On the surface, this was an obvious joke. Yet, while listening to his story of desperate search for a relationship oriented boyfriend, I realized that there was very little humor in that joke.


Phil’s ‘Candidate #1’ was a great guy. A great catch, too. An amazing sexual athlete and a confirmed gym rat. Socially, he did not quite measure up; a low-income job, no designer items to shine around in, light overdraft on his checking account. He even drove around in an old and somewhat unreliable car which smelled of an occasional cigarette.


‘Candidate #2’ was another great guy. He had it all. Body, sex, gainful to very gainful employment, all the right polo shirts with matching wristwatches and a list of other equally essential and desirable virtues, too. Sadly, he lived and worked some 150 miles away from Vienna, in the depth of the province, as the saying goes.


‘Candidate #3’ was an amazing guy. He had all the right aces up his sleeve. A Rebel With and Without A  Cause  type of dude. A guy whom you would take to your Mum for a Sunday lunch, only to end up the day with, in the sleaziest leather club there is. A great catch, if there has ever been one on the face of this sad earth groveling under the simultaneous attack of the swine flu coupled with a complete global financial meltdown. Try as both of them had been, their iPhone calendars iSynched between themselves that their next date should be in three months or thereabouts. Talk about the rat race and its victims…


I phased out before Phil started unrolling the story of the ill-fated ‘Candidate #4’. No doubt, yet another most perfect dude with a crucial, inadmissible and completely intolerable fault. Yet another guy to crash against the solid wall of Phil’s utmost emotional unavailability. Who on earth cares about his polo shirts, if you cannot admit to anyone, least of all, to yourself, that you like the guy?


I know Phil well. If anything, he has been a decent, honest dude. He wants the best for both himself and his prospective boyfriend. He is also working overtime to weed out all the undesirable, ahm, ‘candidates’, sell himself above the market and buy much under the market; and he is doing a damned good job at it.


After few compulsory drinks, Phil calmed down, and asked me for my take on things.


First off, calling prospective boyfriends ‘candidates’, is well, funny. For as long as you remember that this is an old, internal, slightly overused joke. Fooling yourself that you call the shots at this stage is just that: fooling yourself. From the ‘candidate’s’ prospective, you, too, are just another ‘candidate’. Assume the mantle of an HR manager and you’ll be employing your boyfriends or firing them but you won’t be having them in any other sense.


Second off, everyone has his criteria and his preferences. And a few ‘musts’, too. We all can live happily ever after with that. Make your list, if you have to, but keep it both reasonable and short. A good approach would be to offer at least couple of variables for every ‘must’ on your wish list. If you are into significantly younger dudes than yourself as Phil is, that’s fine. But be prepared to compromise on other things, like education, income, life style, career achievement, his friends vs. your friends, musical and movies’ taste, etc.


A muscle god most likely, did not get his big pecs by studiously perusing books in the library of the Ashmolean Museum. Yet his other qualities may be vital for your personal and very specific sense of ‘joie de vivre’; but you’ll have to compromise somewhere else. Inevitably so. Perfect matches in human relationships are as likely as snow in July or a hot rain in December. But the weather happens anyway.


Third off, all the lists, criteria, preferences and musts are perfectly useless, unless you really like the guy in front of you, and unless he responds in kind. Your boyfriend is NOT a tool, a utensil purely meant and created for you to achieve your own personal bliss. More likely than not, this guy nervously fidgeting in his chair at the other end of the slightly worn off Starbucks table, clutching on his Latte, as if his life depended on it, has his wishes, criteria, musts and preferences, too. (He is blogging and/or reading other people’s blogs, too.) He also knows that there are thousands of other guys out there he could try it out with. But, here and now, he is trying to connect with you.


Both of you must choose to put your money where your heart is. Agreeing that you like each other means that both of you must be willing to get out of your individual ways to make your relationship happen. At times, you’ll have to drive at night and sleep less. And at other times, he’ll have to study at night and forgo a party with friends that he wanted to attend.


At other times, you’ll have to dish out some cash for his tuition and books, and save him from flippin’ the burgers; and he’ll have to agree that most of the housework will be his, since you are out there making that extra bit of cash needed for both of you to make your ends meet.


But above all, Phil and his kind must stop being emotionally unavailable. Unless they agree that they can fall in love and develop a strong and lasting sense of emotional commitment, no boyfriend will ever be good enough and every human shortcoming will be insurmountable. Life will turn into a never ending loop of rejections and bitterness.


Wanting a boyfriend really means having the guts to say aloud or in deeds only, “Dude, I like you and I can live with pretty much everything about you. I am willing to go a mile or two on my part for the two of us to get steady. How about you?” 


~ by silverrrcloud on April 30, 2009.

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