Dear Papa Bear,
I am a 25 year old full time worker/super part time student (two credits shy of being full time). I work as a Nurse's Assistant and I am in school to become a nurse. People tell me that it would suit me because I am kind and patient. I am inclined to believe them. They also tell me that I would make a good father... Secretly, that would make me the happiest person in the world.
I have not had a date/sexual contact with a guy until I turned 21. I have had the desire to be with another man (I have had multiple "boyfriends" that has lasted at most 3 weeks) but I have never found the one.
The reason I am divulging this info is because I am losing all interest in having a mate... A lot of it has to do with all the times that I have gotten hurt and the VERY short amount of time it happened in. It has almost got to the point where I can play the "How HAVEN'T I Been Dumped" game.
I am at the point were I am focusing on my career, a good thing, and excelling at making my goals come to fruition, a great thing... but I feel like I am losing a part of myself and I am genuinely afraid I am losing interest in sharing my personal life with someone (other than my future child)...
In the time I have looked, I have met men who I wanted... All of them turned out to have mates of their own and wanted me cause I was "kind, unique, and very friend worthy" ...
I guess what I am trying to say is I'm loosing sight of what I did hold dear and I can't see a way of getting it back. I want to be like I use to (when it comes to wanting someone to share my life) but I can no longer see myself in a relationship...
I don't know what to do and if I don't do something then I might just end up as a billionaire that has a lot of microwave burritos and butter in stock (old Simpson's reference). I thank you in advance for your help.
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First of all, kudos to you in your pursuit of a nursing degree and working in a noble profession of helping others. Now, on to the more personal stuff.
If Papabear is reading your letter correctly, it sounds like you are looking for two things: an adult relationship and having a son or daughter in your life. Whether or not you get a husband at some point, it is possible that you can adopt or be a foster parent. Actually, you might even have MORE luck being a single parent than as a gay parent couple, as there is still some prejudice out there about gay parents. From my reading on the subject, it sounds as though being a foster parent is the more viable of the two options for you, especially if you foster a boy (more boys than girls are in foster situations).
Here are some helpful organizations that can assist you on this very wonderful goal of being a parent while still being single:
National Council for Single Adoptive Parents
Single Parent Resource Center
31 E. 28th Street
New York, NY 10016
Adoption Resource Exchange for Single Parents (ARESP)
Still another option for you is Big Brothers Big Sisters. This is a wonderful way to become a very real and important part of a young person’s life, even though you are not a parent per se. Check them out at http://www.bbbs.org.
So now we come to the relationship issue. Many of Papabear’s readers, I am sure, can empathize with your bad luck in finding a mate. There are many lonely people out there, sad to say, most of whom really deserve to have love in their lives. But you are also sending this bear some mixed singles. On the one paw, you say you want to be in a relationship, but on the other you say you are scared you are losing interest and want to feel the way you used to feel. That made me stop and think.
Deric, there is nothing wrong, actually, in NOT wanting to have a relationship and to be single and focus on your career and, perhaps, son or daughter. In fact, singles in America are on the rise and many of them are very happy to be single. I am not saying you have to give up a search for a love in your life, but you shouldn’t feel scared or guilty if you don’t necessarily want to have one.
Papabear understands your fear, though. When I discovered I was gay, I was very scared and wanted very much to return to my old life. But eventually I learned that you shouldn’t try and force yourself back into the past and how you once were. Yes, we can get sad and nostalgic about that, but it is healthier to move on. In your case, it could be perfectly healthy for you to be a single nurse with a child. You can very easily have a happy life that way.
One last thing, though: it might be that you just don’t know how to look for a mate. Sounds to me like you run into a lot of married men who just want you as a friend or maybe a friend with benefits. You might need a few tips to find the right kind of person in your life; that is, a single gay man with no other commitments other than you in his life. The best place to do that is not online but in the real world, doing real activities with people who share your interests.
Deric, you are still very young with most of your life ahead of you. Don’t give up on having a child (or children) and/or a love in your life. It sounds like you have a lot to offer and, believe me, some smart guy out there will eventually see that and want you in his life. Then, you can adopt or foster together, or if not, you can still pursue fostering or adopting on your own (I would wait until you are done with your studies and find a good job, of course).
Good luck! Keep me posted!
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