I have my interests and hobbies. I’ve been told I’m good looking for my age. I’m employed, financially stable, fit and healthy. I’m close with my parents. I have three nieces, but I’m not close with them. I don’t have many close friends. I have acquaintances. I’ve had girlfriends in the past. My longest relationship was a year. I always seem to get bored after three to six months.
At one time, I thought I wanted to get married, and then I realized I didn’t. Now at 50, marriage interests me less and less. If I did have a girlfriend, my ideal arrangement would be to live separately, see each other two or three times a week, and travel together. The issue is that women don’t like this arrangement. They want to live with a man and even get married. My parents have warned me that if I remain on my own, I will be very lonely and I will have no one to take care of me in my old age. I’m not that worried about potential loneliness. I’m not lonely now, so why would I be lonely later? Loneliness is a state of mind. You can be in a room full of people and be lonely. But there is a possibility, as I age, that I would be very lonely.
You know what concerns me the most? I’m concerned what people think of me. Yep, that’s right. Not loneliness, but how I’m perceived. If I don’t ever marry or have a serious girlfriend, I’m concerned people may think I’m gay, bisexual, or strange. They’ll be thinking, “What’s wrong with that dude”? Let me just say to all the readers that there is nothing wrong with being gay or bisexual. If you’re a single man in your 50s and have never married, people think you’re gay or bisexual, and that is false in my case. I’m 100 percent heterosexual. I’m more of a selfish, immature individual who likes to be free.
Do you think I should push myself to form a romantic relationship because of the many benefits? In other words, should I force myself to do something I don’t really want to do for my own good? And what do you think of people thinking I could be gay or bisexual or strange because I’m a perpetually single man? — Single and Straight
You ask if you should push yourself to form a romantic relationship that you have no interest in for the “many benefits” it would bring you when only one that seems remotely appealing to you is that maybe people won’t assume you’re gay, bi, or strange, and, no, that is not a good reason to get into a relationship!! You seem happy enough with your lifestyle – you enjoy your freedom, and though you don’t seem to have many people in your life you feel close with, you claim not to feel lonely. Your own company is enough for you, and when it’s not, you apparently don’t have trouble finding a date or someone to have sex with. But… you’re afraid that people think you might be gay or strange? Good lord, that’s the kind of stuff my EIGHT-YEAR-OLD says people on the playground talk about! And even then I’m outraged because, come the fuck on, it’s 2020 and my family lives in the liberal bubble of central Brooklyn, so why are kids taunting each other about being gay?!
I mean, why on earth is the idea of “being gay” even an issue anymore? Who is fostering the fear? People like you, that’s who, and it needs to fucking stop. It is not enough for you to say “there is nothing wrong with being gay or bisexual” if you would go so far as to marry someone you don’t really want to marry — you said yourself that marriage interests you less and less — to somehow prove you aren’t gay. If there’s nothing wrong with being gay, you shouldn’t worry if people think you are! I don’t worry if people think I’m left-handed even though I’m not. I don’t go out of my way to wave my right hand around when I’m holding a pencil and to say in a loud voice, “Look at me using my RIGHT hand to write and to wave at you all, I am definitely NOT left-handed, nope, not I!” in an effort to prove which of my hands is the dominant one because it’s a total non-issue, just like my sexuality and your sexuality and EVERYONE’S SEXUALITY. It is a non-issue!! Or, at least it would be if people would stop making it one, and I’m looking at YOU. STOP MAKING PEOPLE’S SEXUALITY AN ISSUE BECAUSE WHO CARES?!?!
So, no, don’t get married. Don’t get married unless you meet someone who changes the way you feel about marriage, which, who knows – might happen! Don’t get married to have someone to take care of you in old age because there’s no guarantee your partner will be able to. YOU might have to take care of her, and I don’t know if you have that in you, frankly. And don’t get married so people won’t think you’re gay or bi or strange. Marrying someone of the opposite sex won’t stop people from thinking you’re gay anyway. Look at Lindsay Graham or Mike Pence. And, as for being strange, something tells me that it would take a lot more than a conventional marriage for you to appear typical, and you know what? As with being gay or bi or straight, there’s nothing wrong with being a little strange either! Own that shit. Own who you are! At 50, it is beyond time to be ok with yourself, and if you need some help getting there, take advantage of your financial stability and your lack of expensive dependents and get yourself to therapy. Even totally “normal” people do that.