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The Complexity Of Making Gay Friends

I have been in Dublin for just over 2 years now, well officially for 22 months. Covid is over, the city has opened and it's time to start making a life for myself alongside Aaron. Part of that new life will hopefully include a class or two starting with one on the history or culture of Ireland, doing a bit of volunteer work and making some new friends with and without Aaron.

Since graduating from college I have lived in 4 places, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and now Dublin. With each new move it always seems harder and harder to make new friends. Put very simply I am the new comer on the block and wherever I have moved, people are somewhat settled in their lives and not necessarily looking for new friends. One of the nicest things about old friends is that there is no explaining to do. Your oldest friends know you like the back of their hand. They know what you're thinking and feeling often before you do. I find it quite understandable that people who have lived in the same place for many years are not looking for new friends actively. Also, they tend to meet new friends from old friends or from their work.

Gay couple, Aaron and Mike.

I think the payoffs are great but making good friends takes effort, especially for someone new to a city who works on their own. I am actually very happy with all of the friends I have and apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp and Instagram make it so easy to stay in touch when you live thousands of miles away from one another, but I know the time will come when I would like to be able to call or text someone and suggest grabbing lunch or going for a drink, especially since Aaron is working at the office 40 hours a week.

In addition to it being difficult to make friends when your older and the, “new guy” in town I find it much harder navigating friendships in the gay world than I did when I was in the “straight world." I have experienced male friendships from the standpoint of being supposedly straight and gay. In my experience I have found it easier to make friends with straight guys. When you are friends with a straight guy it is pretty straight forward you are both there only for the friendship, unless one of you is delusional.

I love having guy friends and would love more gay ones. The problem I find making gay friends is that there always seems to be a dance involved. So many times my overtures for friendship have been misconstrued or the person on the receiving end has something else in mind. I am a pretty straight forward person especially when it comes to forming a friendship so most likely the recipient has something else on their mind.

I have heard this from many people. It makes me wish these people could be more honest and say exactly what they want. It reminds me of the insipid talk I hear sometimes when some gays are together and I hear them talk about how they are going to convert a straight guy. I am not saying it never happens but I don’t believe this type of behaviour helps anyone. I hate the fact that the lines between friendship and sex are so blurred. I don't think it has always been this way. I don't like to think that I am one of those people who have just stopped changing with the times

I can remember vividly so many instances when I have been totally blown away by another guy’s actions. Many years ago I was seeing someone and one of his closest friends who was also seeing someone asked if I wanted to meet for a drink. I figure it's harmless. I was fairly new to town and looking for friends, I said yes. To get the bottom line the guy drops me at my house, asks to come in for a drink and proceeds to pull my pants down and drop his own. Go figure.

These type of incidents have happened so many times over the years that I virtually stopped trying to be friends with gay guys. It gets very tiring always trying to figure out what someone wants. Lets just be honest from the start. I don’t think this will happen in Dublin as everyone knows I am married.

In Los Angeles I found a lesbian bar, The Palms that became one of my favourite bars to go to to dance for the simple reason I never had to worry about being bothered by anyone. In a straight bar I would have to worry about leading women on and in a gay bar most people wanted sex and not to be friends, So it turned out the safest place to be was a lesbian bar where no one had any interest in being friends with me. That is not to say there were not plenty of nice lesbians to chat to.

I have a lot of good women friends. I think one of the reasons for this is I consider the relationship to be straight forward. They know I am gay and our roles are defined and understood. It is a safe friendship where we can both feel wanted and understood. Isn’t that what a friendship is about. It certainly isn’t about wondering when you are going to have to take a guy friends hands off your cock when he pretends to be drunk or finding his tongue halfway down your throat.

I am not saying this does not happen with men and women who are straight but I am saying it happens a lot less. I am not sure why but I have an inkling some of it may have to do with respect. I also feel that many gay guys feel being gay they have broken through some sort of barrier and now anything goes.

Even in New York where I was a lot more seasoned at being gay I was still surprised when I would try and make friends with another gay man. It never ceased to surprise me that even when men knew I had been going out with someone for many years they would still try and make the moves. (I don’t say this thinking I am something great, I think it has more to do with some gay men just not giving a fuck who they fuck or fuck with.) If the shoe were on the other foot though and someone asked me out I would presume it was for friendship and I would never try and fuck with them if they were in a relationship.

Aaron and I were at a party a few weeks ago where I was meeting quite a few people for the first time. I remarked to Aaron how surprised I was that so many of the people there would ask me if my husband and I were monogamous. I thought and still do think that is a pretty personal question to be asked by people you are just meeting. I did not mind answering. I don’t consider myself that private of a person. I just cannot imagine asking a straight couple or even a gay couple that question. Aaron said he thought they were asking so they could find out if one of us would like to fool around.

I am not a great fan of trying to make friends in bars. They are fine if you are going to meet a bunch of friends. I really don’t want to yell and scream to be heard or can’t hear because of all the noise I certainly understand why Aaron likes to go to see his friends. But I am sure most people are like me and if they go to a bar to see all their friends that's what they are there for, not meeting people or making new friends.

So Mike your in Dublin now how you doing on the friend front? Well, I’ve reached out a bit not too successfully but I’m going to keep trying. As I said before being new to Dublin think I have to really be willing to reach out as most of the people already are busy with their lives and already have a social circle of their own.

We actually had a few nice neighbors who initially reached out to Aaron and I. One of the neighbors was actually straight and lived with his brother. ( I was sure he was gay, but I’ve never had gaydar that was any good. Aaron had him spotted right on as straight.) They could have been the perfect friends but unfortunately they have moved. We have another neighbor who we have seen very occasionally but he is moving to another country. I think Aaron and I must have bad breath, everyone moves away from us.

As I said previously a few weeks ago we had been invited to a party where I met quite a few people Aaron is friendly with. They were all very nice guys and many took the time to say hello and try and get to know me I tried to connect with a few. I am not surprised most are pretty busy and so far no connections. I am also not the type of person who has texting friends.

I think I have said in a previous blog how much I hate texting. If it is something as simple as hey I am gonna be late, fine. But it is so much nicer to be able to pickup a phone and say hey thanks for everything, it was nice meeting you would you like to get together sometime. Pick a date and have it be over with. Also than there are always the missed connections you text someone ask them to get together sometime and you never hear back. Do you assume they got the message, lost the message, missed the message. I assume they don’t really care and one rejection is enough,. I don’t care to try again, This is how I felt when I used to ask people out on dates same old dance.

My mother who had literally hundreds of friends loved to give me advice whether it was asked for or not, mostly not. She always said if you want friends get involved in things and activities you are interested in. She had her tennis friends, her exercise friends, her bridge friends, her book club friends, her friends from all the charities she was involved in, her travel friends the list goes on and on. Her alarm would go off at 6:00 AM and she would be on the run all day and she and my father would either be going out or entertaining in the evenings. If you asked her if she was free for lunch or dinner she would take out her calendar and you would be lucky to get a date that was not 6 months out. I think she was an extreme example and it took me a long time to agree with her, but the best way to make friends is to get involved and everything else will follow.

Another bit of advice if any of you are looking for friends get a dog if you like being outside. Not only will he be your best friend, but dogs are people magnets. I know in LA and NY I made so many friends from being out with my dog.

As usual I don’t always know what I am trying to write or say until I am almost through. I thought I wanted to write about trying to new make friends, but instead I wrote about the difficulty I have had making gay friends and why that is. I would be curious know if any of you feel the way I do or am I just crazy?

Most importantly I have realized that I am so happy with my life exactly as it is at this moment I have no desire to change it. Often I get so caught up in what I think I should be doing that I forget to enjoy the moment. Right now I am enjoying every moment I get to spend with Aaron, just being together, working on our Blog, thinking about where to vacation, talking about our plans for the future, etc. Getting married is something I never expected to happen. When the time is right to move forward I will. I just better check and make sure Aaron agrees. If friends come my way or our way nothing would be better, but for now my search engine is off.

Aaron and MIke in Mykonos.


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