It’s been a few months since the break-up from my ex-BF. I’m considering re-entering the dating scene, so I’m going through my diaries and journals in the process of listing my mistakes and what I have learned from the past. I’m much older than when I was last single so that will be a major hurdle to jump.
While finding good prospective partners is difficult for most of us older folks, it is particularly so for gay guys. I’m not interested in casual hookups; I prefer meaningful relationships with an eye on becoming full-fledged partners. That means I’ll need to exercise an extra measure of discernment to determine whether or not he will be a good match. Although I’m in no hurry to actually date yet; I’m eager to lay the groundwork so that I can more wisely become acquainted with potential partners.
At the very top of necessary qualities for a mate, is that he must be the real deal. Being an authentic, genuine man is important because I’ve been sidetracked by secretive, deceitful dates in the past. I’m not interested in dating another closeted guy. I don’t want to partner with anyone who is afraid to introduce me to his family and friends circle. Naturally, there should be other virtues, such as honesty, loyalty, curiosity, kindness, and so forth. If he is the real deal, these qualities will be evident as we get to know each other better. Being genuine should be mutual in any close relationship.
A wise co-worker from the past once reminded me that people who put on a false front are basically lying about who they really are. There are aspects of themselves they are ashamed of. There is a degree of self-loathing that carries over into others picking up on that inauthenticity. In my experience, when I was still closeted, I didn’t feel completely free. In my opinion, a genuine, open hearted person is free to affect the world in a more positive manner. This freedom means I don’t have to watch over my shoulder, worrying about what other people think.
That said, one of the better parts of getting to know a prospective candidate for a serious relationship is meeting his family and inner circle. I always reciprocate this gesture because this level of honesty deepens mutual trust. Also, many meaningful friendships have developed among our family members. Quite often, our individual friends become our mutual friends.
Being mutually genuine is of utmost importance because I’ve been burned in the past. I’m naturally cautious about who I allow into my life because it is difficult to determine whether an acquaintance is genuine or not. Inauthenticity eventually becomes a major breaking point in a relationship. Being genuine means living consciously. Genuine friends and partners listen and respond openly. Genuine partners live in the moment and share one another’s joys and sorrows.
By being a genuine person one’s remarkable qualities become more evident to oneself and others. By being genuine, we become more attractive and worth getting to know better. Even if being genuine is presently difficult, it’s good to know that authenticity is a process. If one has not completely figured it out the first few times, one can adjust and keep trying. Shedding our façades is an ongoing proposition and should be done at our own comfortable pace.
The Blue Jay of Happiness likes this observation from George Orwell. “Many people genuinely do not want to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings.”