D- D- D- Dating
I have decided that it is time.
My church hunt is over, and I have settled not for the MCC, Quakers or liberal High Church, but for my local Evangelical church. It is fairly conservative, without an LGBT ministry. My hopes that I might find a boyfriend through my Church (yeah, that was a real hope) have been deferred. I’m not disappointed, but my last window on meeting a nice, single gay guy has been closed. This moment had been approaching for a while, and my head and my heart have been guiding me towards one conclusion. I need to meet gay guys. I need to start d- I need to start d-d-d-dating..!
Now this is unusual for me. The Unification Church has a tradition of arranged marriages. Up until the year 2000 about Rev. Moon used to match all the couples himself. That is, everyone in the Unification Church, worldwide – unless they joined the Church already married – was matched personally by Moon. When I was a young adolescent he announced that parents had the authority to match their children, although he also continued to play the part of matchmaker.
So I was not brought up to think that finding a partner was my responsibility. In fact, dating was a part of ‘the fallen world’ and being matched was ‘the heavenly tradition’. I find impressing people, trying to make them like me, dressing and being attractive, odd. Out of character. Slightly absurd. But if I am going to find and keep someone, maybe this is what I have to do.
Of course, the number one piece of advice for all dating is ‘be yourself’. I don’t want to go out of character, and end up making someone falling in love with anyone but my true self. But then I have to question how likely I am, if I continue being myself and doing the things I do, to meet a single gay guy and ask him out. It is unlikely. So what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to meet gay people!? (If you have advice, please do comment!)
What’s more, I want to date in way that pleases God. That means dating for the sake of finding a long-term partner. To be honest I’m not sure about not having sex until we’re married (roll on 2015!), or at least fully committed… I feel like that should be my standard, but writing it down makes me doubt if that’s what I believe. Either way, the point is that sex should be meaningful. This makes me incredibly wary of the gay community.
By the gay community, I pretty much mean the bar, club, sauna scene. I don’t know what the gay community is, I only know that I am not part of it. Perhaps it makes more sense to think in terms of gay communities. But either way, I’m starting to think that if I want to engage with gay people, I have to be on that scene, somewhere, somehow. I know there must be guys like me who want the same: a committed relationship, taken one step at a time, no sleaze. But to be honest, I see that scene as one big source of temptation. Would I compromise, just to combat my loneliness? Would I compromise, just to fit in?
I have contemplated getting a smart phone, partly because they’re handy in so many ways, but partly because of Grindr. Grindr is an app that allows other gay men to chat to, identify and locate you at your discretion. (See this blog and this post for some Grindr-related escapades.) Maybe it’s a way into finding gay friendships – which I do want so badly! But can I trust it, and can I trust myself with it? I want friends without benefits. But I would also have the potential for friends with benefits, and a whole lot of other crazy shit with no strings attached. Would my naivity get the better of me? And would my libido get the better of me?
It might be time to start dating. But as a gay Christian I feel I have to find the right way of doing it. I might just end up not doing it at all. I’m scared – yes I am, I’m scared. I don’t want to look back and see this as the point I started doing it all wrong. But I have a sacred duty to Jesus Christ to live my life for his glory. I want a relationship that will speak of his goodness, not my desperation. I want a relationship that speaks of the humanity of gays, not their depravity. And let’s face it, some gay people are exactly that (and many straight people too!). For this I have to trust first in His guidance and the goodness of His Will. I have to be patient, but not passive. And I have much to look forward to if I do it right 🙂