In the past, and even now, I've bristled when I hear grown men (younger or older) lamenting how torn they are or how awful their plight is, like it's something outside of their control. I've marveled as I've seen guy after guy (I haven't interacted with enough lesbians--sorry, ladies) have a sexual and/or romantic fling, then run off back to church with renewed vigor and zeal in his testimony, then have another fling when the next best thing comes along, then back to ultra-churchiness when they "realize" what they are doing conflicts with their beliefs, etc. If you have a burning testimony of it, why in hell would you act so blatantly against what you believe? Or is the truth that you DON'T, in fact, believe as you claim to or used to, but when the reality of a "relationship" sets in, it frightens you, and you go running back to the folds of mother's dress where nice people will reassure you that you're a good person for having left that dreadful, gay world of sin and licentiousness? That seems more plausible to me. I am not, mind you, criticizing the desire or action of recommitting to the church. If it's true, you'd better commit to it sooner or later, and isn't sooner better than later? But if you're just running back to mommy and the comfort of familiarity, in contrast with the uncertainty and doubt of uncharted territory in what was likely a shallow, lust-driven relationship, own that and admit it for what it is.
I also don't recommend jumping into same-sex relationships or leaving the church just because you're doubtful. If people left things whenever they were doubtful, we'd have only shreds of family and society. It would be a mess. In many cases, you work through your doubt, but you're not likely to work through much by abandoning what you do know. I'm not one to advocate leaving the church to be "genuine" every time you feel a lack of faith or belief. Sometimes, the best thing is to carry on with what is familiar and has worked in the past until you have another plan firmly in mind, if there is to be one. And if there is not, then you'll be glad you stayed committed when you come back around. That applies with most things in life, I think.
Still, despite my irritation at the chorus of whines and cries at our painful plight, even though I think there's value in not whining and instead owning your own decisions, I've found myself, recently, in a really difficult place, emotionally. Having been attracted, in different ways, to both guys and girls, I know that the attraction I've experienced with guys, and the brief stints of romance, have far surpassed the degree and completeness of emotionality and the feeling of fulfillment I've had from the same with girls. I recognize I may have just not met the "right" girl yet, but when I've had 25 years of experience with a small handful of crushes and relationships with girls and 2 years of crushes and relationships with guys which are so much more...eh, I realize how juvenile it sounds, but so much more exhilarating and fulfilling...they've brought so much more out of me, made me feel so much more motivated to just be better and love more and...I don't know how to describe it. You'll just have to trust me when I say it's been different.
So why not then? Why not just try a same-sex relationship and give it a chance to flourish and grow and fulfill me and bring so much joy and love into my life?
1) I still have this nagging suspicion that it just may not be quite right. That maybe God really doesn't want me to, or that God would at least prefer something else, maybe. It's not that he wants me to be lonely. It's not that he takes pleasure from the hardened coating I apply to my heart when I realize this tenderness and affection and trust and love and excitement at having a beautifully unique relationship with someone and then realize it's not supposed to happen this way. But maybe there's something greater than that involved in all of this. And if there is, it's probably worth a temporary sacrifice. I have to figure out how convinced I am that that's true.
2) I don't put much value in experiencing something just to experience it. You don't need to experience something to know whether it's good. At least not fully.
3) When I think it through in a long-term perspective, I'm not sure which I want more: to have kids or to have a male companion. If I had kids, I really would want them to have a mother. A female mother. *grin* There's something so beautiful about mothers that I would hate to automatically deprive my children of that. So I would probably have a childless companionship. Probably. So in a way, even if I weren't LDS, I might still hesitate and might still be torn about what to do. I still have some core beliefs to determine and sort out.
So why not find a girl with whom I can have a committed, quality relationship, even if there's not the same "spark" of romance as there would be with a guy?
1) I first need to know that I'm not selfishly "taking" a girl to fulfill my "duty" of marrying and having a family and that the relationship isn't only about raising kids. That's a beautiful and lofty goal and purpose, but I would HAVE to go into the relationship knowing that I am not acting selfishly.
2) I don't want a girl. Not that way. I want a guy. I used to say that but would simultaneously think it must be just a trick of my own mind: I couldn't possibly want a guy that way. It's not natural. Yet, knowing that it's not "natural", I want one anyway. Physically, yes, but also romantically and emotionally and mentally. Intellectually, I think that in the definite majority of cases (maybe even almost all cases), men and women complement each other and challenge each other more than two members of the same sex would, and yet I think it's possible for two men to complement and challenge each other very well and productively. I think.
Something has been coming to mind more again lately: this really is my choice. If I'm convinced, deep down, that a same-sex relationship isn't "right", then there's only one valid response: turn wholly away from that possibility, realize I'm making a conscious decision, and leave it behind while pursuing the rest of what life has to offer, and refusing to pine away for what might have been, because it isn't. If I'm convinced it's right to be in a same-sex relationship, or at the very least that it's not wrong, then that option is before me, and there's nothing but my own hesitation stopping me from seeking that out.
Well, those are my rambling thoughts for now on that matter. It's one that is taking center stage often lately, as reflected in my blog posts. Maybe I'm approaching a critical decision point. Or maybe I'll just eventually put this on the back burner with other things I can't quite figure out about life. For now, I may be painfully "torn" in certain aspects of my life, or maybe I'm just deliberately and thoughtfully "still". Probably both.