I’m a 28-year-old man who just came out two years ago. I was NOT obvious and it was somewhat of a shock to everyone, but so far everyone has been really supportive. Now I’ve always been attracted to older men—cuddly bears over 50—and when I entered the dating scene 2.5 years ago that’s exactly what I wanted and found. I met a 59-year-old guy on OKCupid. He is the first and only man I have ever been with, we connected immediately on so many levels and it just works. We've been together for the past two years, I love him, and I know he is madly in love with me. My family and friends also really like him. Everything was going great until I started to have these anxiety bouts, for about the past month. I guess I ignored them in the beginning of the relationship, but lately I've become really uncomfortable when out in public. I can’t help but feel that I may never be comfortable with a man who is 30+ year older than me.

I know I shouldn't care what people think, but I'm pretty sure, “Look at that father and son,” comes to other people's minds before, “Oh, look at that cute couple!” I just want a normal gay relationship. Is that too much to ask? I think I will have regrets not date around or at least trying to date someone closer my own age. My mother and three sisters—two older married with kids, one younger—have also started to weigh in their concerns that he is too old for me. They say I am making a mistake and I am limiting myself. They ask me questions like, “Don't you want to have kids?”, and “Don't you want to grow old with someone?”, and my answers have always been, "Yes!"

Now I can’t stop thinking about it, and I have begun to look around and I am now finding men in their thirties attractive. Was this just a phase? Can a 28yo and 61yo have a child together and make it work? Is my lack of gay dating experience a problem? What do you think I should do?

Gay Novice

My response after the jump...


Love is hard to find, GN, and you found it the first time you jumped in bed with a dude. Good for you.

And if your current boyfriend makes you happy—and he seems to (you love him, he loves you, your friends like him, your family claims to like him while actively undermining your relationship with him)—why not stick with him?

For the time being.

Very few gay men wind up spending their lives with their first boyfriend, GN, and it's not as if your reproductive "window" is closing. So the odds that you two will be together for the rest of your lives are and always were slim and you'll have plenty of time after you're out of this relationship to find someone with whom you could see yourself having children. It sounds as if you're judging (or being encouraged to judge) a solid, perfectly serviceable "for now" relationship by "forever" standards—meaning, you're buying into that great relationship destroyer: "If this isn't a relationship you could see yourself in forever, you must end it immediately." Not true. You can relax and enjoy the time you have with someone, learn and grow while you're with that person, and part ways—hopefully as friends—when the relationship has run its course.

Which it most likely will, GN, just as most first loves do.

I suppose it's possible that this relationship has already run its course. Your eye is wandering, after all, and you're having anxiety attacks. But the reasons you cite for having to end it now—baby fever and what strangers think when they see you together—don't seem like particularly good ones to me. Again, you're young and you have plenty of time to have children. And if you're sincerely worried about what other people think, GN, then you shouldn't have come out at all. Because for every person who looks at you and a closer-in-age boyfriend and thinks, "Look at that cute couple! Aren't they adorably normal!", there's going to be at least one person—perhaps many more—who'll look at you and a closer-in-age boyfriend and think, "Why can't those abnormal fucking fags stay in the closet where they belong!"

But in answer to your question...

Maybe your daddy/grandaddy thing was just a phase. Or maybe your taste in men isn't as limited or limiting as you once thought. It's not uncommon for people—gay, straight, bi, whatever—to realize that they're attracted to a broader array of types, ages, races, body sizes, genders, etc., after they get out there and live a little. And with time and experience some people realize that "new partner" and "current partner" doesn't always have to be an either/or proposition. Just as different types of men appeal to you now, GN, different relationship models may eventually appeal to you. One day you could have a younger partner, a couple of kids, and your current partner too.

Finally, GN...

I think it's on NetFlix.