If you read this blog, you know I dislike my attraction to men. I always say that I love being gay, I just disdain feeling romantic attraction toward a gender socialized to be uncommunicative, uncaring, and unself-aware. In my day to day life my attraction to men affects me very little because I feel fulfilled by my intimate friendships and more casual friends, I have meaningful ways to contribute to compassion and social justice, and I love myself. This past week though, I reflected on another reason I wish I were not attracted to men: if I were to be with a guy, I would want someone who has and continues to work on himself, which I have no control over.
I feel like this prerequisite frustrates me because I like planning and some level of control. For example, I considered becoming a psychologist at around eight years old, and I solidified psychology as my desired career path at the beginning of undergrad. I then worked super hard so I could enter a PhD program right away at 22, as the youngest person in my cohort by a few years. Now I am on track to graduate and be an actual licensed psychologist by 28. I write this not to glorify accomplishing things at a young age
one of my former crushes won one of the most “prestigious” scholarships in the world in his early 20s and treated me like garbage when he was 29 so accomplishments don’t mean shit but to highlight my personality and work ethic. Most things with some level of control feel easy for me. I figure out what I want (e.g., to make a difference in the lives of others), make a plan to get it, and execute my plan. Then I have it.
What sucks about this planning predisposition when it comes to men is that I have no control whether men will work on themselves or not. I don’t have control about whether a man exists who I’d ever actually be into
beyond a crush who I write one to seven blog posts about who turns out to be mediocre at best.
This past week, I felt some small hope about encountering a man after reading the amazing novel A World Between by Emily Hashimoto. The book follows two queer Asian American women who fall into and out of each other’s lives throughout their 20s and 30s. What I loved most about the book: though these two women engage in an on-and-off romantic relationship, they also grow in distinct and meaningful ways as individuals outside of their relationship with one another.
I still felt a bit hopeless after reading the novel because women are more likely to invest in their self-growth compared to men. But I also thought that maybe, just maybe, my potential future boyfriend
omg I literally said “ew” out loud sitting in my kitchen after I wrote the word “boyfriend” is out there working on himself and growing as a person, just like Eleanor and Leena from A World Between. Maybe he’s an architect who’s learning to accept his sexual orientation after growing up in a religious household where his parents prioritized academic achievements over self-exploration. Perhaps he’s an anti-capitalist growing to love himself after engaging in a codependent relationship with an ex-boyfriend who didn’t appreciate Jeni’s ice cream and therefore isn’t worthy. Maybe he’s an Australian firefighter recognizing that he should pursue a redhead Vietnamese BlackPink stan who discloses heavily about his life on the internet and clearly lost control of this paragraph after he wrote it while listening to the instrumental version of “Lovesick Girls.”
Or maybe this man does not exist and I will never date anyone. If that’s the case I’d be 100% content because I love my life with myself and my closest friends. I often wonder if we lived in a society where friendship was prioritized as much as romance if I’d even want to date at all, regardless if a hot book-loving social-justice-oriented dude showed up. Somewhat tangentially, one of my closest friends and I joked the other night about a guy I find kinda cute, and she said “Thomas [redacted] won’t be good enough for you for another five years, if ever” which I agreed with. Whether it be five years, ten years, or never – I’m ready, because I already know and love myself.
How do you cope with or make meaning from things in your life that you cannot control? If you are attracted to men and feel similarly about it to me, how have you tried to prosper or not despite your attraction to men? General reactions to this post? I am going to go grocery shopping while listening to BlackPink’s “Lovesick Girls” (which has been on constant repeat, lol yay) after I publish this post and then respond to comments from my most recent post after that. Until next time!