Society projects an idealized image of a fulfilled life as being straight and married with children. This is viewed as the pinnacle of success in the hierarchy of love. At the very least we should all have a significant other in our lives. With the advent of gay marriage, many gay men are feeling even more pressure to be coupled. It’s true that gays have become increasingly more accepted into mainstream society; however, the expectation of being partnered has also increased as a result. It’s okay to be gay nowadays but it’s not too cool to be gay and single anymore.
Single gay men over thirty or forty are often viewed as the lost souls of the world. People look at them and wonder if they are “afraid of commitment” or just “unlucky in love”. They also tend to feel sorry for them because they don’t fit the mold of what society deems as acceptable. But is a person defective because they are single and living alone? Is anything really lacking in their lives? Admittedly, being single does pose some challenges but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be faced alone. When a person in a relationship encounters a struggle, they can usually rely on their spouse or partner to help them through. Does this mean the single gay man is doomed during a similar crisis? On the contrary – many gay singles have developed intimate and loving relationships with friends and family members. Although these relationships may not be “legitimized” by the larger society, they are no less valid or important. In fact, these relationships can actually provide a much stronger support system to the individual than having just a spouse or partner to rely upon.
It takes a lot of character and ego strength to live life on your own. Many gay singles have a wealth of strengths and capabilities so they don’t always feel the “need” to enter into traditional relationships. In fact, they should be admired for their courage, resiliency and contributions to society.
We all need to take a deeper look at our thoughts, beliefs and social prejudices- especially in the area of relationships. What’s “right” for one person may not always work for another. There are many gay men who remain happily single by choice. Let us recognize and accept this as a valid life option without projecting our own biases or fears about “being alone” upon them.