Tag Archives: Dating

Like gold…

It can happen to you, they insisted. The multitude of readers, many who read my tales of woe from the dating front-the ones who relieved their memories vicariously through my written words; they all told me that these things do and will happen. They told me to be patient, that someday, one day, that mysterious man would appear and everything would be like gold..
And then he came into the picture. And then he appeared, like vapour, like mist-an apparition. And I could not quite believe it, he didn’t appear solid; it was hard for me, oh, so hard, to believe, to trust that maybe those readers-all of you who steadfastly shared, stood by me and whispered your words of encouragement and solidarity from so far away; to believe that maybe you were right.. 
But you spoke the truth-the wisdom, all of that precious experience. You were right, these things do happen-a man, a good one, one who thinks the world of me would walk into my life-just like that, a momentous instant; just like that and my life would begin to alter. Just like that-a plain black and white world, shades of grey colouring every perspective-it would turn to gold…
My life is now divided; pre and post. My new life now involves him-it is no longer a selfish one-one where only I mattered, one where there was only me in a sphere, in a bubble. I now have to think about another person’s views, another persons’ life and his choices and his hopes. My life’s course is no longer on that same dreary track.. There will be different priorities, different outcomes. Pre and post; what a difference a day, a second, a moment makes…
It has happened; I have met him. It feels completely right-as he said, there is a feeling of familiarity. It is like coming home. The long journey, the arduous trek, it is the feeling, that indescribable joy of returning home after a long absence. I have come home and it feels like gold… 

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No light at the end

It’s a bittersweet moment when one has to relinquish all hopes of something bigger to come. One can either chalk it up to false expectations or to misplaced hopes in the attempt to push past whatever ache this abandonment of intent has caused..
It is a moment tinged with bitterness, that is undeniable. And the sweet? Well that comes from the knowledge and the comfort that life need not be suspended in breathless anticipation of the next move and what comes after. There is no after, no us, no we; there is only me, I, along again naturally. There is no more need to moodily stare at a silent phone wondering when the next text, the next call, the next message will come through; no more wondering about whether I am in his thoughts like he is in mine. There is no more need to rehearse what to say, what kind of nonchalant tone to portray. 
The freedom to not care anymore is back; although I cannot help wondering: if I had that carefree, don’t give a fuck attitude right from the start… What could have been? For if there is one thing I am certain of, it is that men, and gay men especially, hate clinginess. 
It is a giving up, yes, and also a rejection. But at least this time; at the very least, I am disengaging with my dignity intact; at least this time I did not beg for anything. Sometimes that is the best that one can ask for in these situations; to have come out with ones dignity intact.
This is what would have happened anyhow. I should know, really I should, that love is not a path one can force or choose for that matter. As cliched as it is, love does choose the person and not vice versa. I just wish that I could reconcile myself to that fact, stop wishing so much for it and move on. Of course that is easier said than done. With my life being as barren as it is, it is exceptionally difficult. When there is so little to look forward to on a day to day basis, then what can I do but obsess over love? 
I do not yet know what to do, going forward.. Perhaps there is no more ‘forward’ to go.. Perhaps this is it then; the lonely life, the single life…
Where the love life has failed, rightfully this should be counteracted by some kind of success in my career. Shouldn’t it? Isn’t that the way of the world, balance, Tao and all that crap? But it’s not… Life is unfair and cruel, and to expect one aspect of my life to work because the other is in shambles is hoping for too much. Suffice to say, no aspect of my life is going well; it’s a train wreck, it is chaos. Nothing is working at the moment and it’s frustrating and it’s depressing. A life of no’s; that’s my life currently-no love, no career, no life. 

Too late..

You said, we would make it work. You said we’d figure something out…
Were you just saying what you believed I wanted to hear? Was there any conviction in those utterances of yours?
I read too much into your words; just like I did with the man before and the man previously. They all paid lip service to the idea; the concept of the polite thing to say, the words which were in line with the social mores of what to say post sexual encounter.
I was foolish, of course, too naive. I wanted to believe what you said, I wanted to believe that you weren’t just saying it. You were different, I thought. You weren’t like the others, I thought. Turns out you are.
There isn’t much left to say now; the tattered remnants, the weary words which I attempt to squeeze from you in an increasingly desperate, increasingly foolish attempt to keep you interested. Interested in what exactly? What end am I pursuing? 
You were never going to be right for me, despite how many boxes you ticked. And that is my problem; the simple inability to see a man for who he is beyond just a series of boxes to wearily check off. The fault is mine and solely mine alone; for constantly pursuing men who are carbon copies of each other. How was I to know that men like them, men like you, just won’t ever see me as equal to themselves. Truly, I am not equal to you, with them. Not yet. 
By the time I am your equal, it will be too late. By then, I would be just like you, only capable of small, short term affairs-not of the heart, but just the physical. By then, I would be immune, oblivious to the hurt I would cause by acting in such a fashion. By then, I wouldn’t care the damage I would have wrought. 
Simply put, if it didn’t work with you, with all that you said; then it most likely would never have worked with anyone else…

Mysterious ways..

God works in mysterious ways… As mere mortals, we can never comprehend why it is the universe throws up these… co-incidences? Spanner in the works? Whatever term you prefer… 
To see him again, even as a glimpse on tinder..was not something I ever expected to happen; especially since he had claimed that the dating/gay apps were a ‘social experiment’ which he planned to cease. Turns out he never did. Turns out that was just something he said to me without meaning it. Turns out he lied. What else is new?
Seeing him as a frozen tinder profile; my fingers wondering to swipe left or right, brought back the memories I never wanted to keep. Snippets of the things he said, those words now severed from their context, the way he smelt, his hair, his face with that ridiculous shaving accident, the clothes he wore, the warbling wail of Billie Holiday on his iPhone as we had sex on his bed. The cozy conversation prior where we sat holding hands and drinking some of his home made tea. Oh, I’d buried those memories, those frozen friezes so deeply and yet, four months later, they resurface so easily.
Of course I remember how I fucked it up; how he rejected me; what his last words were; ‘I can’t, not for you.’ Those five words, so concise and yet so leaden with meaning. He couldn’t, not because he didn’t want to, but because I just wasn’t good enough for him.
It isn’t with bitter anger that I remember him with; only a deep sadness as how fucked up God was/is. For throwing into my path the most perfect man, one who’d ticked all the boxes except the most important one; that of actually wanting me back. 
To see him again after so long; why? To realise, perhaps that I am nowhere near healed? To be startled by the passage of time and how little it’s done to actually remedy the hurt he caused me? To learn that really, I never quite moved on? 
I cannot deny that a part of me hopes that as part of gods plan, as a part of the universes grand scheme, that this chance reminder is a means of getting us back together. How foolish is that? That I would readily give a man who hurt me so deeply another chance? It’s fucked up but that’s me; a fucked up individual.

The dilemma

The hurdle we face as gay Asian men in a search for a partner is that we will always be seen as lacking essential qualities… Often times, it’s something as superficial as the way we look but sometimes it goes beyond that…
A fellow Asian gay man once said that Asian gay men are seen as the last resort; as pliable men who are so desperate for love/sex that they’ll take anyone. It may not be true for all gay Asian men, but it is enough of a truism that all Asian gay men are tarred by that same brush. And even if some of us do play hard to get, there is still the stereotype of us perpetually rushing to get the relationship heated up, going from zero to a hundred in less than two dates in our haste to ‘lock a man down’; this adds on to the stereotype and perpetuates that myth. 
I do not deny that there are some Asian gay men who act like this, but has anyone ever really wondered why? 
Simply put, it’s due to the lack of opportunities that we get. No matter how good we are; even if we had the muscled, chiselled physique of a male stripper, even if we do look like an Asian Brad Pitt, we will always be seen as lesser than and not equal to a white gay man. It’s just the way the gay world operates; and as much as many will deny it, decrying racism, it is inherent and anyone who denies this fact is sticking their head in the sand.
For all the gay men who say no to racism-would you date an Asian gay man? Could you see Asian gay men as gay men first and not by their race? Would you even consider dating a gay man who was Asian if you didn’t have some kind of exoticism fetish? 
And here lies the sad state of affairs; Asian gay men are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. It seems that there are only two ways for Asian gay men to find partners. Either deny their racial heritage; try to look as Caucasian as possible or play up their Asian heritage by playing to the stereotype and being meek, docile. For those of us who don’t play this game, what options do we have?
What is sad is that Asian gay men don’t defend other Asian gay men… The ones who are overseas born regard immigrant Asian gay men as some kind of enemy; accusing them of bringing down the brotherhood by their desperate antics. These overseas born Asian gay men act Caucasian, emphasising their ‘whiteness’ as though it will shield them from the barbs slung by other gay men. Once, I approached a locally born Asian gay man who decried the prevalent racism on an app only to be rebuffed by a ‘lol, sorry, I don’t do Asians.’ Double standard much? Can one actually point out racism yet participate in it? Does he think that being born in a western country makes him better than the rest of us? By virtue of his country of birth, does he now look less Asian?
Being an Asian immigrant in a western country is never going to be easy. There will always exist a subtle kind of racism in which we will always be seen as lesser. We can improve our accents, speak clear, faultless English, have all the qualifications in the world but still be seen as not as good as a white man. No matter how enlightened people claim to be, no matter how much racism is decried, there will always exist a double standard. And there is nothing I, or any other Asian immigrant can do about it..
So why write this rather confused polemic? Why point out what is already common knowledge? That gay men in Australia are jerks; that there is overt racism against gay men of colour; that we Asian gay men get less opportunities and are then accused of being ‘desperate’ when we try to make use of a chance for a relationship. That we are constantly manipulated and fucked around because of that prevailing stereotype. Why report on what is already known? 
Because if I don’t say anything, then I am contributing to this racism. If I let it go, resign myself to my fate; to quietly go through life with patience and not make waves, then I am basically saying it is ok to treat Asian gay men this way. Because we are dismissed for acting ‘asian’ without anyone actually bothering to ask why we act this way or understand the root cause of it. Because of the double standards; the sick individuals who take advantage of us. Because no white man would take it if this racism was directed against them. 
Why should I remain silent? Why shouldn’t I point out how unfair and how disgusting this is? If it makes just one person uncomfortable enough to question their perceived notions and the way they act, then it would be worth it. 
Basically, I am fed up. I am tired. I am done with dating. There is no way; no way in hell that I will ever find love so I guess right now, I can afford to be militant about this. Perhaps if more of us Asian gay men pushed back against the shabby treatment we get; the rotten love we receive, then there will be change. Not that I am particularly hopeful that change will ever come. For every good gay man, there are 10 who are rotten to the core… 

The ones that got away… A paean to loves lost

Should I rejoice at the fact that lost loves usually mean that these men were not ever going to be right for me? Could I in all honesty stake the claim that I saved myself from heartbreak because these men would have eventually broken my heart? It would seem to be a case of sour grapes, a means of consolation for the denouement of what could have been and never was…
It is perhaps true that these men were never right for me in the first place; that I mistook desperation for the blooming of love and so considered these men to be candidates for love interests when they were never eminently suitable. I was willing to put aside the glaring, major differences betwixt us just so I could be a part of something noble, something bigger; a relationship. Those were the days when I believed I could only find myself in the context of being in the bubble of a blissful relationship. 
So perhaps I should be full of relief that these men, these nascent relationships never took off and remained only as possibilities in my mind. In the midst of relieving the past, I should perhaps recite prayers of thanksgiving that these men saw through me and decided against a relationship. For what would be the alternative? A few months, a year of having to hide the growing dread of a wrong choice? A continually engorged yearning for something different, someone else, before boredom and apathy tear asunder what should never have been? 
There is a trade off; to linger upon the loves that could have been means that there is stagnation-a refusal to acknowledge what is so glaringly wrong about my self that is so repulses other men. For to dwell on the past is to refuse to live in the present. 
Memoirs and memories of the distant past… What do they seek to achieve? I am no longer the person I was; the one so blinded to the glaring imperfections of men that I could choose so easily to ignore them and to think of love and lives intertwined with men who were so glaringly, so obviously jerks. One could say the past is in the past and to dredge the murky memories is akin to sadistic masochistic torture. But I learn from the past.. I learn from love’s labour lost. I learn what I am and I learn what I no longer want. I learn that to settle is to be live with the perpetual fevered daze of asking what could be and to forever keep looking over my shoulder and wondering if I could have done better.
Of course the inverse is true… I could have learnt to live with the glaring imperfections; something akin to love, affection maybe, could have sprouted. I may have even been happy… Any one of those men… Would they have made me happy? 
There are no prospects for love on my horizon… And maybe that is the primary reason I still think about those men; the ones who got away. Not because, as I claimed earlier, I can learn from them and those times, but because they represent a period when I had prospects, when I had men, when I could choose. Currently there is no choice, no avenues open for me. It is the choice between being single and being alone which are available to me.
There are indubitably lessons to learn and lessons which have been learnt. I learnt that my nature makes me ridiculously open to being played by cads. I learnt that I am no different from the stereotype of gay men of my race, despite how much I decry that claim. I learnt that men are never serious about relationships, right from the start. I learnt that men who claim to be are often lying. 
Once upon a time, as the stories go, I was younger and more reckless…. How that sorry vignette flowed if of course well documented in my previous writings-with the rising if hopes and the inevitable crushing of dreams. How it ends, is however another tale. One that is still being written. I know better than to hope for a happy ending…. The loves that are lost can never be reclaimed. What I leave behind with the memories of those haunted loves is the naïveté of youth; the golden expectation for everything to be ok, for the happy ending to ensue. Life, it would seem, is not a tale with a guaranteed happy ending. 

somebody to love.

It’s universal really, the desire to pair up. Seemingly only the strongest people, or the ones who are most delusional can afford to remain single. And even then, they are never alone. Loneliness is a state of mind but isolation is physical.
My problem with finding somebody to love stems from a lot of factors. Some are universal, very much a product of my ethnicity, the way I was brought up, some are entirely a result of my own beliefs. 
To focus on the universal problems is to basically not add anything new to the conversation surrounding race and racism. Everything that needs to be said has been said, and in far more eloquent terms. All I can really add is that my own empirical evidence tells me that it is true what they say; minorities do finish last. 
But my own belief system… Well that’s another story. It’s entirely unique to me, or not really, I am not sure. In a sense, my upbringing, with an emphasis on security and finding a provider has caused me to develop a predilection for only one type of man. 
This man is almost always white. He is always successful, the kind of man who has already reached the pinnacle of his career pathway. He is well to do, and he is stable and secure, a safe haven basically. This man is usually outwardly confident, he’s lived a full life, basically, and he has the fruits of that labour. 
I know that makes me sort of (well let’s not mince words, it DOES) make me a gold digger. It’s not his wealth which attracts me although, yes, that is a part of his allure, but it’s the fact that his life trajectory is the one I want for myself. By seeking men of this calibre, it’s as though I want some of his success to rub off on me. I want the guidance, the mentoring, to have someone who has done it all tell me that I can do it. As though by being with that type of man, I can live vicariously through his experiences.
A lot of this stems from the fact that I am insecure; that I’ve never been able to objectively look at my own life and say that I am a success. I seem to reserve my most harsh judgements for myself. But it is true that I have not lived as much as these men. I never grabbed the opportunities, took a leap of faith. I’ve lived a safe life, a cautious one. It’s no wonder that tales of a life lived to the utmost thrill me. I always think that I will someday do those things, but at the age of 31, I think I can safely say that those days have passed me by. 
And of course, these men I am attracted to.. Obviously they want someone who’s lived as much as they have.. Discount the racial issue, remove the physical, and really, these men reject me because I am not like them. Like attracts like and because I am not like them, how can I ever attract them? 
Of course these men are attracted to me initially because of my body; years of gym work will give you that, but the longer they stay with me, the more they realise how little I’ve lived, how insecure I am. And insecurity breeds desperation and both are decidedly not sexy. 
Whatever intentions I had originally, the intention to stay aloof, keep an arms length away from the beau du jour, melts away as desperation sets in. Each time, I fall for the man I am currently dating, not because he’s perfect, but because he’s there and I may lose my chance forevermore if I don’t resort to, in a sense, whoring myself. Thus, I contribute to the racial stereotype… There is no excuse I can give; my own desperation seems so big at that time that it trumps the bigger picture of societal mores, it dwarves my desire to change that stereotype. 
I know that these men say things they don’t mean just to get what they want. I know the cunning words they use, and yet I keep falling for them. Is that stupidity? Isn’t that being crazy? To repeat the same mistake over and over again. I know that these men are lying when they tell me they want me. All they want from me is my body, for one night. And I allow myself to fall for their meaningless words, all for want of a chance.
I find myself in the midst of the same process with another man. Really, clones of all the previous men. And it disgusts me the way I am throwing myself at him. It disgusts me and yet I cannot stop doing it; my mind keeps flashing to that alternative of being alone, isolated, of never ever being able to find somebody to love, and so I reach for the phone and take another butt selfie to send to him, all to entrance him. What for? He may say that he finds me sexy, that he wants ‘it’ but he doesn’t really mean it; and even if he did, he wants ‘it’ and not me. 
I can be rational at the moment, but how long will this period of cold rationale last? Sooner or later, I will cave in… And it will go on until he cuts the cord and I move on to the next man. Who will treat me the same way. It’s a cycle, one which will never end…