Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Love and heartbreak

[I started this post on Wednesday, April 17, just after the events herein. For various and sundry reasons, I haven't posted it till today, so it will sound disjointed.]

I don't know how to start this post. It's a difficult one for me to write for lots of reasons. Even so, I feel that I need to get it outside me, so I'm going to write it.

I fell in love this year. I made a friend, there was a mutual attraction, that attraction turned to infatuation, which turned to deep respect, which turned to love, which turned to falling in love.  I fell hard.  I wanted this man to be mine so much. Many of my waking hours were spent thinking of him, dreaming of the life we'd have together. We kissed, there was a connection, there was attraction, it all seemed like it was going to be okay.

He wasn't someone I'd have picked for myself; he had lots of negative qualities and wasn't my type physically. And yet, through all that, I saw myself with him someday.

Then the day came when it began to end.  He wanted to move forward with our relationship, but I wasn't ready.  I hadn't found a cathartic way to end my fellowship with the church and moving forward with this love made me feel like I was giving up on that search for answers. In spite of my deep attraction and connection with this man, I told him no, and he began to move on and date other people.

I told myself it was completely his prerogative to do so; he couldn't spend his life waiting around for me, so I told him I'd need some time apart to come to grips with it, but that we could still be friends.  And then, about a week later, when he called me in tears explaining how things had gone so horribly wrong, I was his friend.  It made me feel good that he still trusted me with that information. It made me feel like maybe our story wasn't over.  For the next few weeks, we remained in contact with each other, sharing short, happy stories and confiding little events to the other.

Well, the other night, I found myself in a position to visit him on my way to school.  I stopped by, heart in my throat. I expected all of those feelings to be in the same place they were the last time we met, the night we hugged and kissed and cuddled. Within the first second of seeing him, I could tell it wouldn't be like that at all.

Then he brought up the guy he'd been dating and I had my answer. It took me completely by surprise that he was still dating the person he told me about initially. He had moved on; he wasn't waiting for me anymore. I suffered through an hour of polite conversation about school, dating, the church, etc. I tried to move past my feelings for him and find the friendship that was there before. But when he brought up this guy again, I stopped him short.

With all of the energy I could muster, which was very little, I gasped out, "I can't be your friend anymore."

He was a little blindsided, but then again, so was I.

I struggled for breath as I explained to him that I had fallen in love with him and that every mention of his exploits with other men was killing me.  I started getting more and more upset as I went into detail about how I felt as though I'd missed my chance, that I'd wished I'd understood better how he'd moved on. I was bitterly disappointed; I had assumed (with no evidence to suggest it) that he was still attracted to me, but the fact was that wasn't true.  It hurt like hell.

We returned to his house. I could barely speak to him for some of the drive because I was so depressed about our friendship ending. He pulled into his garage, I walked towards him, there was an awkward moment of tension, and then I hugged him as close as I'd ever hugged him before, knowing it might be the last time. I gave him a small kiss on the cheek and staggered to my car.

I slowly made it home. I called my brother and spun the tale to him. He knew I was gay, but I'd never told him such details as I had that night. His response was a pleasant surprise because he didn't dwell on the gender of my first love and heartbreak, he merely expressed empathy and compassion, knowing full well how much love can hurt.  He offered some advice, but said that nothing would heal me as well as time and grief, that I might feel the pain for awhile yet. I had the same reaction when I told my mom the next day.  That made me feel good that even in spite of a love they may not understand, they can still share the burden and acknowledge how pain is pain, gay or straight.

It's been a week, but it still hurts. Every time I think about him with someone else, my heart starts burning in my chest and my stomach does a little backflip. For the first day or two, I was miserable nearly all the time, but now it's starting to fade into the background. It seems as though everything triggers me though: a song on the radio (literally, any song), driving past the offramp towards the city where he lives, our mutual friends, inside jokes, just about anything. That's been the worst part of all this, that I lost a friend as well as a love.

The other part that sucks is that the daydreaming hasn't ended. I still find myself compulsively planning our life together for a split second, his Jeep, my Abarth, our house somewhere near the mountains, before I remember that such thoughts are now borderline delusional and certainly unhealthy. They only add to my heartbreak.

I don't know what will happen. I want to be his friend again, but I know that can't be my goal. My goal needs to be self-sufficiency and independent emotional health. I need to accept that he will probably never be my boyfriend, that there will be other people in his life and in mine, and that our story may very well have ended last week. That hurts, but if I want to move forward, then I have to be okay with that and just trust in God, fate and my own self-respect to know that life will turn out okay in the end.

But still, I'm somehow grateful that all this happened. When he and I were more of a thing, I wasn't sure I loved him, but as our friendship deepened, I became more convinced that I was in love. To know that I am capable of loving someone and being in love with someone makes me feel more human; before him, I'd never been in love. And before him, I'd never had my heart broken.  I am grateful for that experience too.  As much as it hurts and as much as I want it to just go away, I understand others' pain better now. I understand why heartbreak temporarily turns sensible, sane people into basketcases, because I have spent more than my fair share of time under the covers praying for relief and talking myself out of checking his Facebook page even though I removed him from mine.

The mere fact that I've been in love now makes me feel like more of an adult and the heartbreak that comes along with it has been simultaneously confusing and clarifying. I'm not going to go so far as to say I'm glad it happened or that I want it to happen again, but even so, it's an experience that has definitely taught me something. Hope I learn this lesson right so I don't have to repeat it.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. Hang in there!

    I've noticed when my straight friends get their hearts broken, they have a quick "mourning" period and return to normal fairly quickly. But when my gay friends get their hearts broken, it's different. We're fewer in numbers, and we don't know if we'll find someone again. And if you only hope to date gay Mormons, that number goes down even more. It takes longer to recover and move on. I feel your pain and only hope for the best. :)

  2. Awwwww, buddy, I'm so sorry for your loss. Know that you're an amazingly strong guy and in time you'll pull through! Perhaps a nice, long spin around the block will help make things better =)

  3. I am sooooo sorry. Heartbreak hurts like hell. It is debilitating. I have been catching up on your posts tonight, and some of the others I've commented on haven't been that recent--but this one is, so I am just so sorry for what you are going through right now.

  4. I've gone through something recently with my first true crazy deep whirlwind love. I feel your pain and hope for your quick recovery.

  5. This takes me back a few years. Feeling like you are missing out on someone special ids difficult. As its trying to fall out of love for the first time. My first left for a mission so there was no closure until he came back and I realized what we had wasn't as great as I'd thought after all. I'll leave it at that other than to say what seemed gut wrenching and terrible for several months was a stepping stone to greater things that I also didn't realize without the gift of hindsight. If you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here.


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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