While I hear a lot of people on slightly more conservative media burbling about “hook-up culture” (as if this has not been a thing since ALWAYS) and while I do have the privilege of occasionally chatting with folks about their flings and their brief loves, I think something more pervasive is going on. The availability, or perceived availability of sexual encounters do not necessarily increase people’s sense that they are meeting people that they can or want to fall in love with. There remains a scarcity of this sense of connection, of the presence of multiple others that can be present for their wholeness.
Statistically, you will have more than one great love. You may be dating someone who you love deeply but you don’t think will be one for the history books — and that’s fine. Culturally, we are very focused on building relationships and making choices that “last.” We fail to recognize that all of our choices become part of a larger arc — that all choices are cumulative.
Most of us engage in relationships with a strong degree of pattern-making in the kinds of people we choose.
Maybe we seek out people that are inconsistently available because this is how we know how to be loved.
Maybe we find relationships where the conflict runs really hot, and we find ourselves screaming or running away, again, and we find ourselves ashamed and bewildered as to how we found ourselves here again.
These are changes that people can make slowly, through very intentional choices, but it requires a lot of intentional choice-making with eyes open and a lot of honesty.
But these choices are cumulative, and it accumulates over time if you are choosing people and relationships that grow your life or shrink it. If you are reading this with a sinking feeling about which way your life has been growing smaller — don’t worry!
You are not too old, and you are not too weird/fat/funny-shaped/kinky to learn new things and relate to people in new ways, and you are not too old for somebody to want you.
You are not too much to find people that will want you for all your too-muchness.
You have the infinite capacity for many great loves, but suffice to say, you will have another. You are not all dried up, and even if there isn’t a raging river, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t quiet underground systems that are drawing water toward you quietly, persistently.
Something that I see queer folks do sometimes is believe in the hugeness of love, but also in it’s temporality. This is a complicated thing — because for some folks, rejecting the idea of one very long-term relationship that begins sometime in your 20s/30s and ends in death is a really liberating prospect. Non-monogamy is a powerful option for folks that want it! For other folks with a stronger bent toward long-term relationships, this feels really disappointing.
You cannot predict the future by looking only toward your past. You can only change your future prospects through being curious about your beliefs and strategies in trying to find love. While you can’t invent an ideal lover by believing in it, but you can conscientiously grow in the direction of connecting with people who love you for who you are.