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On being gay, and other things.

JFrinJFrin Registered User new member
edited January 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm in my early twenties, I came out when I was 19 and I honestly regret it. I was happier in the closet, I didn't feel obligated to be anything but happy. I've never been on a date and I'm still a virgin. My friends will sometimes drift off into conversations about boyfriends and sex, I feel incredibly alienated, I feel like a loser, sometimes I'll make an excuse to leave and cry in my car.

I feel ugly all the time, the only thing guys seem to care about is appearances and I don't think I can live up to anyone's standards. When people pull out their cameras I shy away, I don't like looking in the mirror.

A while ago I met a guy through an online dating service, we talked on the phone a lot, and I tried my best to be charming and confident, things seemed to be looking up. I'm not sure how courting really works for gay guys or what's even appropriate, but he eventually sent me some nudes, I sent some back. When it came to the actual meeting he stood me up, it made me feel awful, like I had been used.

One of my friends slipped out the fact that I was a virgin at a party, she didn't mean any harm, but it really hurt and I was in a funk for the rest of the night.

I try to be confident, but I don't have anything to be confident about.

Help?

JFrin on

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    KillgrimageKillgrimage Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Exercise! This builds confidence and will actually make you look better too which equals more confidence!

    Also, you are 19. Honestly, gay or not, this is the same exact stuff that every other teenager has to deal with. It seems like everyone around you is having sex and growing up except you. Don't believe it, there are lots of other don't-wanna-be-virgins out there and (like you) don't exactly want to broadcast this fact, so people lie or just act like they've lost it. This skews the reality of the situation for you (and many others) who believe they are somehow "behind" everyone else. You are not.

    Leave online dating sites alone, go out and meet people. The more people you meet, the more likely you will find someone who is gay and is interesting (and interested in you!).

    Also, exercise!

    Killgrimage on
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    DockenDocken Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Break it down logically; what do you want?

    Ok, now how do you think you can get there? Keep in mind there are no wrong answers - it can be anything from "start weightlifting" to "take some different classes at Uni".

    The point is, be goal oriented, rationally evaluate where you are and where you want to go, then take some guesses about how you get there - anything that improves your knowledge level, fitness level or contact with other people (preferably new people you don't know) is a good start.

    Then, work up some plans on how often and long you will do these things and where you expect to go in what time frame.

    I know, it sounds kinda silly, but sometimes the best medicine is setting goals for yourself that you achieve, and in doing so gain self confidence.

    Docken on
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    Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    You sound a lot like me back in the day. In my teens and early twenties I had no confidence at all. I thought I was ugly, alternately either too skinny or too fat (despite being, objectively, ideal body weight all my life), too much of a nerd, too tall, too shy. I thought my voice sounded horrible, which made me feel awkward talking to pretty much anyone. I couldn't even take compliments at face value: I always suspected people were just trying to cheer me up, or maybe they were making fun of me. And while I didn't have trouble accepting the fact I was gay, I was horribly confused as to what it actually means to be gay. Like, how to meet guys, and what kind of a relationship was I supposed to look for, if any.

    I think this is pretty common. Almost all young people are insecure and confused to begin with, and if you're gay it's worse because there's even more stuff you haven't figured out.

    This is probably not very satisfying advice, but believe me when I say that it gets better with time. Like others have said, set realistic goals, and don't be afraid to make decisions in life. Some of them will be mistakes, but that's how it goes. Experience builds confidence. Also, stop thinking that you need to get rid of your virginity asap, because really, there's no rush.

    Online dating is not the best way to start meeting gay guys, in my opinion. It can be great later when you know what you're doing, but in the beginning you're likely to be disappointed over and over again. Get to know guys in real life. If that's not feasible where you live, consider moving somewhere else. If you do persist with online dating, I'd avoid the dudes who want to exchange dick pics before meeting you.

    If you're concerned about your looks, the fastest way to improve the situation is to dress well (the D&D fashion thread might be useful), find a flattering hairstyle, and learn to maintain good posture. If you manage to look confident, you'll notice you start feeling more confident. This won't magically change your life, but it can make a surprisingly big difference. Almost anyone can look pretty good with a modicum of effort. Exercise helps too, and as an added bonus it improves your mood.

    Bliss 101 on
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    desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    This sounds pretty normal to me, coming from a gay dude who had his first boyfriend at 19. Important note: it was a shitty relationship and made me realise how being single and alone wasn't actually all that bad!

    But it can be depressing if all your friends are coupling up or being gigantic horrible obnoxious sluts who won't stop talking about their sex lives, because it can make you feel like you're missing out. Can you elaborate on why you think you're ugly? You should probably also know that most guys on the internet are huge jerks who bear little resemblance to their pictures in most cases. Don't look to the Internet for love, basically. Meet people through other people!

    desperaterobots on
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    InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    This doesn't sound anything related to being gay.

    You accepted being gay. Grats!

    But you really need to accept being you now. Work on whatever issues you can that strengthen your confidence, and relationships will just fall into place after that.

    Confidence is sexy. Don't worry about being a virgin. It's easy to say these things, but it really comes down to knowing that the things you worry about (eroding at your self-confidence) are not worth worrying about. Find something that you are good at, hobby or such, and try excelling at it. One of those things for me was music, I always had my music and it helped a lot.

    Infidel on
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    mysticjuicermysticjuicer [he/him] I'm a muscle wizard and I cast P U N C HRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    *hugs* When you say you liked being in the closet because you "didn't have to do anything but be happy" it sounds to me like you're struggling to be gay correctly or to fit into the identity that being gay "requires." The sooner you stop trying to turn yourself into a pretzel, the sooner things will get better for you. Coming out of highschool and in my first year of university, I went through the same sorts of things over my bisexuality.

    There aren't any rules on how to be gay properly. And there aren't any rules for how to date guys properly. Heck, if you flip the gendered pronouns, a lot of what you wrote works for everybody. "I don't know what girls expect in courtship. Guys are only interested in one thing. Girls just want a hot looking body."

    My suggestion for you is to be you. If you like sports, get more into sports. If you're into gaming, game more. Seek out communities and groups and people that share your interests and values, be it online or offline. The best cure for low self esteem is to improve yourself: either through exercise to improve your health, strength or looks, or by learning to cook, dance, play, act, skate, etc. Learning something new will improve your self-discipline, give you something to talk about, and introduce you to others who share your interests.

    If you're feeling anxious about dating (in real life or online) check out the internet dating thread in Debate and Discourse and get to know some people there. Cheers!

    mysticjuicer on
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    saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Do you have any gay friends? Maybe that would help.

    saltiness on
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    HorusHorus Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I spent the whole day trying to give you my best advice cause I experienced similar issues coming out and what laid ahead of me. I realized one thing and I thank god for friends who helped me get through the hard times and the rejection by my own family. Love yourself before loving someone else, online dating should be taken with a grain of salt. Your young and need to experience life to learn about yourself, like going to gym helping your self-esteem, working only your goals and knowing the world.

    I was in my mid 20s to accept myself for the person I am. I don't regret how my life has been even with the downfalls because I feel I am accomplishing so much. As everyone else said I went to the gym not to look good or do the vanity workout but for my mental health which was really bad. I lost 40lbs and totally did a 360 in my body and appearance. I got accepted to an awesome masters program and I run a non profit for literacy for kids. I have made so many new and awesome friends. Now people admire what I accomplished in life and those who criticized me being gay will lead me to drugs, HIV and screwed up life are not jealous what I have achieved in my 20s

    I too experienced having gay friends who always talk about the skank-bank and how many partners they had. I realized this is not the friendships I want to have cause of their unhealthy views in life (this is my personal experience). I have my friends and I don't need to make friends who are of X type or clique, I am looking for friends who genuinely care for you.

    I hope this helps for you cause things do get better as long you put faith. Hopefully my long talk made sense since I had to do this in secret on my work computer.

    Take care.

    Horus on
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    colawarscolawars Pittsburgh, PARegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Aside from all the "things get better" stuff, seek out your local GLBT center and talk to someone there. They will honor your confidentiality and are the best resource for you. The internet helped me immensely way back in '96, but nowadays it can be a lot more difficult IMO. Have some talks, maybe do a weekly appointment with someone who has knowledge. Self esteem is a horrible thing to deal with, but it improves with age. Be yourself and realize that everyone that surrounds you is dealing with being "different." Whether it's bad teeth, hair, or posture...straight, gay or whatever...everyone goes through the same shit. Absolutely nobody is staring at you, analyzing you and trying to discern your sexuality, then immediately judging you upon their observances.

    Behave as you always would, be yourself, and the confidence will come naturally. It's bravery that will make you comfortable.

    colawars on
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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2011
    mail@savagelove.net

    I'll bet he writes back.

    Doc on
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    noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'm straight, so I migh be way off base, but I think dating works roughly the same- sending someone you have never met nude pics doesn't strike me as safe the thing you want to be doing if you're looking for a relationship.

    noir_blood on
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    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Doc wrote: »
    mail@savagelove.net

    I'll bet he writes back.
    yes

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
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    JFrinJFrin Registered User new member
    edited January 2011
    noir_blood wrote: »
    I'm straight, so I migh be way off base, but I think dating works roughly the same- sending someone you have never met nude pics doesn't strike me as safe the thing you want to be doing if you're looking for a relationship.

    It wasn't, it was a combination of feeling desired and general stupidity/ignorance.

    JFrin on
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    underground_slackerunderground_slacker Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    From the perspective of a straight guy it sounds like your sexual preference is not the problem, just confidence. You ain't alone in that guy, it's the same for pretty much everyone.
    Next time you are in a situation you would normally withdraw from, don't. ask yourself what is honestly the worst that can happen. maybe you get embarrassed? well in the decades to come we will all be embarrassed many, many times. its life.
    Confidence is not something that comes naturally to pretty much everyone. You need to big yourself up in your mind. Tell yourself you are amazing, invincible and that you only live once, and nobodies stopping you living it to the full but yourself.
    This isn't jumping out a plane with a parachut for fun or bungie jumping its just to give yourself that push. One thing i learnt from my friends, straight or gay is that a relationship is not some secret code. its a scary, intimidating thing but its two people who care for each other and grow to enjoy each others company and miss when they are not around. Thats the same for everybody.
    It takes balls to make a move sure, but the possible reward is worth it. and in the billions of humans on earth do you think there isnt many people out there who will find you attractive for being you? of course there are.

    Like i said, amp yourself up a little, dont 'be confident', generate confidence. or stack it to use a wow term. Everyones potential is literally amazing, you just need to believe that you can be that confident because there is no physical obstacle in your way. There are guys out there who are right for you, some who probably feel exactly the same way you do.
    At the same time don't jump on somebody for a little interest, if you want somebody remotely important to you thats something you need to cultivate over time. Be patient. assure yourself and remember being scared is the normal reaction. for everybody regardless of sexual leaning, you got a life to live, you will find someone if you just look.

    underground_slacker on
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    FireWaterFireWater Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    In my opinion (take it for what its worth, I have 2 degrees in counseling).

    It sounds to me like you are a really nice person, but just self-conscience. I understand that you made a decision to declare you were gay you see as a mistake. Whether that was or was not is something only you can truly understand, or process with a therapist.

    If I had to guess, I don't think the homosexuality is the issue at all. I think you are feeling down on yourself.

    I would recommend the following,

    1) It might not be a bad idea to seek out a therapist, a little bit of mental health counseling goes a long way. There are more than enough treatments to help deal with depression.

    2) A psychiatric evaluation at the very least to rule out any type of biological disorder. Sometimes medications can be the answer. Judging by the way you present, I'm not picking up any bipolar, just depression so medicine can be a short term solution. (usually people will bipolar have to continually take medicine to manage it).

    3) The key to having confidence is to continually engage in activities that you enjoy and/or you are good at. Try to right down a list of things that you enjoy doing and give you a smile on your face. Those are the activities that can build your self-esteem.

    4) I would try to locate a support group if you feel that your depression comes from your "coming out". It is also a place to meet new friends and other men/women that maybe going through the same challenges you are.

    Just remember, things can be better, and it will take some effort on your end, but I think if you follow up with some of the advice I gave you will be just fine.

    FireWater on
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    SeolSeol Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    FireWater wrote: »
    In my opinion (take it for what its worth, I have 2 degrees in counseling).

    It sounds to me like you are a really nice person, but just self-conscience. I understand that you made a decision to declare you were gay you see as a mistake. Whether that was or was not is something only you can truly understand, or process with a therapist.

    If I had to guess, I don't think the homosexuality is the issue at all. I think you are feeling down on yourself.
    I'm also guessing that you were down on yourself prior to coming out, and you expected/hoped that coming out would "fix that", and when it didn't, it's made you even more down as you don't have a singular act you can look to that could get you to where you want to be.

    Seol on
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    brain operatorbrain operator Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    JFrin wrote: »
    I'm in my early twenties, I came out when I was 19 and I honestly regret it. I was happier in the closet, I didn't feel obligated to be anything but happy. I've never been on a date and I'm still a virgin.
    Trust me, you're hardly alone in that situation. I understand you'd prefer the awkwardness to be over and done with by now - who wouldn't? - but there's no reason to tear yourself up over this.
    I try to be confident, but I don't have anything to be confident about.
    You have friends and a social life, even if you feel somewhat disconnected at times. It could be much worse, so hold on to that. As long as you keep relating to others, you'll be giving yourself a chance to meet someone or at least to learn about relationships. It's what we all have to or had to do. Muddle through, try to avoid the pitfalls, dust yourself off and try again if you fail. Yes, you probably have a harder time of it than most. That's too bad, but definitely not insurmountable. You can do this, honest to God.
    Help?
    My suggestion would be to pick a goal for yourself. NOT going on a date and losing your virginity, although that is obviously something you will want to get to as well, but something clearly defined that you can accomplish with some effort and that will make you feel better about yourself. Exercise has been mentioned, but it could be lots of things: learning a new language or skill, renovating part of your home, getting certified in something relating to your job, finding volunteer work to do, possibly even finding a better job or chasing a promotion at your current job (that last one is something you don't have a lot of control over so you might be setting yourself up for some disappointments, but just giving it an honest try could - should - give you a boost). Just pick something that will allow you to feel like you have a goal, that you're working towards having a better life. Knowing that you're taking action will do wonders for your self-esteem. Make yourself proud.

    brain operator on
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    JFrinJFrin Registered User new member
    edited January 2011
    Just wanted to pop in and say thank you, I'll take everyone's advice into consideration.

    JFrin on
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