Written by Kemar
Dating in my 20s is not the Sex and the City romance that I have recently come to romanticize. It is hard, anxiety-inducing, sad, and, at moments when a random hookup turns into an unlocked sexual fantasy or new situation-ship cuddle buddy, amazing. I am nearing the end of my induction to the 20s club. An exclusive affair where only the liveliest are allowed to enter. Weekends are spent partying with friends and getting to know myself sexually with strangers. The weekdays are spent playing catch-up and trying to integrate the highlights of the weekend. Every day consists of trying to solve the mystery of who I am and what I want.
Despite what multitudes of social media platforms are telling me, I can’t help but piece together what exactly I see for my love life. Marriage? Single? Poly? I feel like the search for love is not a norm for the young gay man. It isn’t current to be on a quest for love in the early 20s. In aspects I stand with the noncommittal 20-year-olds, I think it radiates heavy pick-me behavior shaping your fresh years of independence around a partner when there is so much more to life and many others to meet. The formative 20s are especially important for us Queer people. Most of us have been inauthentic our entire lives up until this point, shapeshifting our way through straight and/or white spaces looking for a place where we belong. Searching for a place where we are loved, where it is given and received effortlessly. On the other hand, I don't trust that it will all fall into place without some initiative. Figuring out, What is love? The never-ending (sometimes avoided) question with the always changing answer. Do our relationships always consist of love? I have only had one relationship and I am hesitant to count it, but I have learned even the toxic ones have love.
I am a talker, unabashedly, I can talk and talk and talk and I like to learn from the people I am surrounded by. Most of us pick up our ideas of love from the people around us. There is no right or wrong answer to what love is. Respectfully I cannot begin to imagine a lifelong partnership. It is scary to imagine myself with one person for 50 years as much as it is intoxicating. What if I get bored? What if one dick and ass is just not enough? What if I was wrong? And the question I am scared of most is, What if I get hurt? Can I argue that my generation has it worst with relationships? Or is it a cultural shift to something better?
Where are our Gay Bell Hooks’? Did we lose you to the epidemic? The love guru that will unlock the door to how men coexist with each other. Not a bromance, but an actual romance that transcends the current ideas of love. Does love surpass our man-made gender constructs?
Social media allows us to see what works for so many different relationships and gain perspective but it is almost impossible to differentiate what is actually working unless you are an apprentice of Sigmund Freud. I cannot see inside these relationships. I only see happy faces and cute photos. An ideal couple who are unimaginably beautiful and confident. I want this. I used to be ashamed to admit it, but I do. The right partner, the right time, the right love. Someone who just fits. How do I know when it’s right?
Most things I read say when I am at peace with myself and my partner. A partnership where we can express our genuine selves and emotions. A place where I don't have to prove that I am lovable but in fact I was born that way. It can be hard to feel loved in a culture that sometimes feels like your capital is based on your marketability. Big dick? Gimme some of that. U looking? Always. Fat? No. Positive? Stay away. Femme? Masc only pooky. Online dating is often a massacre waiting to happen: constant ghosting, the noncommittal grinders and jackees, and the lack of actually knowing the vibe.
Can we even socialize as a people anymore? Do we take risks on people we would not meet in our everyday circle? Or are we programmed to date based on social grouping and aesthetics? Is marriage outdated? Where is the direct communication? Has it gotten up and exited this era or are we just all lost queers in our 20s and our 20s expulsion will breed improvement? Is it love or is it lust? Am I too young to know?
To all my young gay men looking for love, you are never to young in your 20s, unless you are trying to run for presidency. I believe we can trust our hearts. Patience is the answer to our love intruder.
Time will tell.
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