This Sunday I decided to keep my promise and write the follow-up to my previous post – “Forgive me for caring”, which focused on love life in Los Angeles, from my perspective and observations I’ve made talking to other people, single guys or couples. I guess my major concern is not that I won’t meet anyone, because I have, but what does it actually take to survive in this city while dating.
Most of my acquaintances have athlete bodies, they all look like poster boys, and solid 30-40% have great careers and I’d dare to say more than decent earnings. Yet, many of them are asking themselves the same question – what does it take? And more so, what can I expect when I don’t have enough things going for me by LA standards? Am I just going to go rogue and do my own thing, like I always have, and accept the consequences or am I going to fight the system. By system I mean the established rules that people just don’t want to admit openly but are slave to them.
This is not a “poor me” expose, because I technically don’t have anything to pity myself for, but sometimes I feel like what I can offer may be good for normal standards, but pales in comparison to Hollywood normal. And people tend to move to this city to accept that Hollywood normal, by adjusting their looks, social circles, behavior, and more importantly goals.
While I always supported my partners in their careers, as they have supported me in mine, I sometimes think – “Hey, maybe he’s expecting me to introduce him to these Hollywood people, have more money and have a great car”. I wrote about that seemingly picture-perfect Instagram LA life, and I know for a fact I will never be one of those boys hanging out with 30 other great looking guys at the pool party or pose in front of the Eiffel tower when I travel to Paris. First, I’m not intimidated, I simply like smaller crowds where I can actually meet people and have a conversation, and not talk gibberish while being drunk, just in order to have photos to remember. As for Paris, if I come close to Eiffel tower one more time, I think I am going to jump from the top of it.
That all brings my second point – are we as gay guys doomed to live through the most stereotypical, but most accepted models of living, or we can have a successful life filled with love, professional success and money without being afraid that someone will just ditch us for “the next best thing”.
Yes, that next best thing is a thing here. Sometimes a guy can date you for months, make you feel so comfortable, but just vanish the next day because he managed to develop a connection with someone more resourceful and useful, so he can help him get where he wants to be in his life. Los Angeles is practically a city known for break-ups that end up with vanishing and ghosting, after which you find out that there was someone else in the picture entire time, well-hidden until he gave a bait good enough to outshine you.
Whatever happened to us guys who know bunch of things, who can hold a conversation about anything from Kardashians to chemistry? Not that anyone wants to listen about chemical process on a daily basis, but the point is, qualities as education, knowledge, good humor, honesty, and above all vulnerability are not highly appreciated in pretty much any circle here. Nobody will shut you down or avoid you, but you can see how “not LA” all those things are.
Feelings are also something that shouldn’t be shown. If you hug people you like too hard, friends as well, there will be an occasional weird look on their face. Speaking of dating – anything that leads to discussion (even the constructive one) is red flagged as dramatic/problematic. Caring and actually showing that could often be perceived as insane/unstable and awkward. If you try to explain yourself with plenty of details that most of the time comes as a product of craziness, labeled as unnecessary, therefore unwanted. It’s not sexy, it’s not attractive and not desirable. But if you keep swallowing your pride, pushing the problems and emotions under the rug, well, that may work. Because then we’re playing a game that obviously arouses a lot of guys, making the whole dating more entertaining and mysterious. The truth is, those situations lead to drama and hurt feelings, not others in which you open up to someone.
For us who are highly sensitive, and more visibly emotional and spiritual it’s a torture to put us in the cage and label us insane. I for a fact know a lot of people think I am not “normal” because I say what I mean, because I show my emotions and actually care for people without pretending, they’re just some random boys and girls in the crowd.
So, where does that leave me? What does it take for me to get used to this city, show my true colors and stay unaffected by the ones who simply think that being a vulnerable human is too much? What makes me sadder than the answer to this question is the amount of extremely smart and kind people I met who simply chose to be assholes. And let me tell you – their lives are way better than mine, in this system of values. They effortlessly achieve anything they want and don’t take people who may care for them seriously. They will, if you really bring all the goods to the table. At 32, I really though I won’t have to think about how to and how much to satisfy someone’s vanity and superficial needs, but I guess I’ll have to pull “let’s meet halfway” card and find my modus operandi.