Growing Beyond False Expectations

Our first love and/or relationship often define who we become in the future. My first relationship actually turned out to be quite awful and in many ways set me back socially for many years to come. A product of being born in the 60’s and reaching my maturity in the 70’s in small town Montana, I had different expectations of what I thought a relationship should be. Through American television, we had all bought into the idealism of a perfect family unit where there were no major issues, and the ones that arose on the surface were solved at the dinner table like in shows like Leave it to Beaver or The Brady Bunch. Everything was always portrayed as happy and normal. This creates a false sense of normalcy and really led to a really fucked up way of looking at reality. There were no role models with good examples how of we really should interact with each other and how to deal with situations that were beyond the norm. Not all families where as healthy as those portrayed on the small screens in our houses we where becoming addicted to as our evening programming. During this era my mother and father were perfect in my eyes. They were the epitome of what we had seen portrayed by these television families. My mother stayed at home, tended us kids, took care of the house duties, and kept us fed. When I left home this was also my expectation. So when I hit my first relationship, and it turns out to be with a man, I had no idea of what to do, but follow what I had been taught. I lived in a fantasy world that I would soon learn was far from perfect. When I slept with someone for the first time, it somehow meant something more and I felt an obligation to hold on. I expected to be loved in return and that somehow we would live in a perfect world and be happy until the end together. But my sexual awakening was happening at the beginning of the 80’s in the height of the sexual revolution where most of the world was finally finding a freedom of sexual expression they had never known before. As you now know I picked up my first partner in a porn world of anonymous casual sex and this should have been my first indication where the relationship would end up. I now look back at my journals from that time and see that though I was having fun and, though I thought I was falling in love with this man, I really was not satisfied with the actual relationship because there are lots of notations of fighting early on, breaking it off, and then coming back together again. Looking back I don’t think I was in love at all but became obsessed with fitting into that idealistic world I thought I belonged. Perhaps I tried too hard to fit into that mode and this is what became the destruction of the relationship. I believed in a monogamous world where we where true to each other. What I didn’t realize or was blinded by my rose colored glasses and refused to see was that he did not. I did not discover this until it was too late. I quit a great job and followed him first to Illinois and eventually ending up in Texas, where once we began to live together, it become quite apparent. That year was probably the hardest and most painful year of my life. Once ended took me years to get over and I think has impacted me ever since.

I learned early not to put to much expectation in others. What people say is what they rarely do or are doing. I have learned over the years to not put trust in a false expectation. As a gay man those expectations are harder then ever to be bound to and in the end can only lead to hardship. We cannot possess or possibly own another person; you have to learn to accept them for who and what they are. You are also not going to change them. These have been lessons learned through much hardship. Since those early days I have actually found love and been loved. I have had some really great relationships that are healthy and strong. I am a no non-sense sort of guy who says what he feels and communicates directly without innuendo. I have learned to love myself first and live my life with as much dignity and pride as possible and have found this is what leads to a healthy relationship with mutual respect and adoration for others. After all we are all human.