I’m trying to wrap my head around what you’re trying to ask. So some mythical tribe of female dating experts told you “to find guys that love you more” because most men will only put forth 50% of the love they’re capable of? And how does this apply to the gays? Well damn, where do I start?
I think it’s a myth that romantic effort is inherently tied to gender. I’ve met plenty of guys who are more than happy to wait on their lovers hand and foot; likewise, I’ve known frosty, Nastia Liukin-esque ice queens who have broken the hearts of everyone they’ve ever dated. Lack of effort in a relationship isn’t so much a gender trait as it is a mask, one that we’ve all probably worn at one time or another.
Maybe we only put in 50% because we lost interest over time, but are socialized to value others’ feelings over our own. Or maybe we only met someone halfway because other things got in the way and maintaining a relationship wasn’t a priority. Or maybe we stopped trying because the relationship had an expiration date–someone’s going away to school, someone’s moving away, someone’s only passing through town for the week–and things had naturally run their course. There are a plethora of reasons why 100% effort isn’t thrown into every single relationship, and not necessarily to the fault of anyone involved.
It seems like you’re asking–in so many words–how to avoid heartbreak. How do I enter into a relationship without getting hurt? And the truth is: you can’t. There is a certain degree of vulnerability that is required to love someone. Some people love unguarded, embracing the good and the bad that comes with falling so hard. Others love piecemeal, orchestrating and analyzing to minimize risk but still allowing for it. And then there are those who love somewhere in between, with one hand pulling and one hand pushing, with a backwards glance, with one foot on the ground. Gay or straight, male or female, and everywhere in between those spectrums, we are all these lovers at some point in our lives. We are also all their heartbroken exes. But if you feel loved and cared for and safe with someone, then forget about percentage points and perceived effort and two-way streets. If their 50% makes you feel loved, then you can mentally round that up to full credit. But deep down, how a person makes you feel is the only barometer you really need.
Follower Fridays is a series of profiles highlighting members of
Gaysian Third Space to showcase the diversity of gaysians in the
Community. This week’s featured member is @duydecimalsystem.
Who are you?
A Vietnamese American immigrant who’s un-apologetically loud. I scream when I laugh, and I laugh a lot.
The size of my curiosity is only matched by the size of my extreme laziness. I like to learn new things and jumping from one thing to another makes life exciting (while at the same time making me a Master of None).
I like thinking in the abstract. Cast a wide net, if you will. It may not travel very far, but it’ll catch me a lot of fish. Much more than a harpoon will 😀 (yo, don’t try to ruin my metaphor).
Where are you from?
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Immigrated to the Midwest at the turn of the millennium (ok 1999, but didn’t that sound cooler though?)
I go to school in the middle of America. Like literally the middle. Find a map, put your finger on it and shift it a tad to the right. There I am!
What do you do?
I like to say that I do bioinformatics work at a cancer research center. My technical title is a “Research Assistant”. Basically all I do is extract DNA and compare genomes using excel. Thrillinggggggg -_-“
I’m a tutor for Biology, Spanish, and French. That’s a fun time. Until my students report me for being ‘too strict’. That’s when my supervisor evaluates me, tells me nothing’s wrong with the way I teach, then moves on. Otherwise, I love my students.
I do hair too. I do my hair, I do baes hair. I started doing my friends hair. Then they told their friends and their friends asked me to do their hair…
Aaaand now I have a hair business. Cool.
Uhhh, I just realized the prompt was "What do you do?”, not “What do you do for a living”….Oops.
What are you passionate about?
Edumacating, as we midwesterners like to call it. I like to teach people all sorts of things. Sometimes I teach them things I don’t know myself! (don’t ask, they get it in the end)
I like to think of myself as a catalyst for success. If I can help someone achieve their goals and help them feel successful, I myself feel very fulfilled. It’s a fun time.
What is your dream job (real or fantasy)?
My dream job is anything where I get to feel fulfilled on a regular basis. I hate working towards something but not knowing what that something is. I want a clear trajectory.
I would also like to be a sorcerer. Dude, spellcrafting? C’mon. amirite?
If you could change the world with one idea, what would it be?
Poop regularly and drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.
No but seriously, let’s change our education system to one where the end goal isn’t test scores.
I always try to be calm and collected. It’s a matter of control. I accept fault for more than I should because when I do I have the power to change it. I let people take advantage sometimes because correcting their behavior isn’t worth my energy. I don’t get worked up over little things because my time is better spent on whatever the task is at hand.
But sometimes circumstances get the better of me.
The walls of my seemingly tall and mighty castle are penetrated and the facade comes crashing down. With all of my life experience and preparation, it is in these moments that I feel completely lost and vulnerable.
Leave it to a kid show to dole out the most effective advice.
“It’s not easy being in control. I have weaknesses too. But I choose not to let them consume me. I struggle to stay strong because I know the impact I have on everyone. Please understand, Pearl. You have an impact too. There are times when I look up to you for strength. You are your own gem. You control your destiny. Not me, not Rose, not Steven. But you must choose to be strong, so we can move forward. So I can trust you again.” (Friend Ship)
Steven Universe is becoming my favorite animated show of all time. It somehow pulled me back up when I felt I wasn’t strong enough to do so. Now to resolve remaining pieces and hopefully come out stronger than before.
Being strong is a choice.
Scenario: Long story short. A shirtless, muscular Asian guy messages me
on Jack’D. Out of curiosity, I conversed
with him. Sometime in the convo, he said
he likes guys that are ‘slim, obedient, submissive bottoms’. Then asked if I wanted to a party with him
and his friends. I gently told him
no. He gets an attitude, and then blocks
me. *slams on brakes* Oh hell to the
Tbh, I wasn’t surprised. No way was I
going to be ‘submissive and obedient’ for him, so he just moved onto the next. Good luck there, douche.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It’s a real thing. Look it
up. Dudes that think too highly of themselves could actually be a mental
head case. The reason these so-called
buff dudes like guys that are more petite than them? Power.
They wanna dominate and be in control and hear the other guy comment on
just how manly and amazing he is just so his ego can be fed.
A-Gays that constantly work out and are able to achieve that dream body, that’s
nice and all. But when you let your body
speak more about you than your personality or anything else, there’s obviously nothing else for
us to be enamored by. We all know
exactly who these guys are. Just go to
Instagram and you’ll easily find them.
Dudes that are shirtless in EVERY picture they post and have hundreds of Followers. They desperately crave compliments and
hearing what they wanna hear. It’s quite
difficult to take these guys seriously.
Yes, I admire these guys for being so damn attractive looking, but it’s quite
sad that that is all there is to them. Constantly seeking approval or
validation from others to boost their self-esteem. But vanity is not attractive.
Sadly, what these guys lack is a real or strong social support group.
When all your friends are vapid and vain like you are, is there any depth to
the friendship? Is there anyone in your circle who doesn’t
wanna sleep with you nor find you as a piece of meat?
For these guys, a strong, attractive physique is all that they have. But that’ll go away eventually. Pity them.
A sharp critique of physique driven ego on dating apps from @
I think to anyone who spent sometime on dating apps, it’s not news that the hierarchy of desirability is based on appearance rather than substance. It can really skew people’s perception as guys with better pictures capture most of the attention. Why should they worry about offending people if there is always more to choose from? The anonymity of the internet exacerbates this effect as people are not held accountable for their behaviors. There’s the block function if things don’t go well, unlike in real life where there are consequences to how one treats other people. It’s good to be mindful that the apps do not reflect reality and certain behaviors on apps should not be tolerated.
If anyone remembers my resolution last year, it was to “wear my heart on my sleeve.” It was supposed to be the self-sufficient version of “I should date more!” Which I did. And I definitely got my heart broken a couple of times, which was a lot different than 2014′s “explore my sexuality” resolution.
In the past year, I sustained two separate 3-4 month-long relationships, with a couple other shorter, more casual arrangements. Strangely enough, I was the one who broke off most, if not all, of them. Ghosting–as in slowly weaning yourself off before disappearing on someone–was definitely an issue. I hated the idea, but I couldn’t really bring myself to have the courage to simply tell the casual ones: “Hey, this isn’t working out.”
I learned a couple of things:
1. I tend to be active in making plans or dates and I don’t appreciate it when others put in a similar effort. Just “hanging out” wasn’t enough. It makes me feel like an afterthought, rather than a deliberate block in your precious week’s busy schedule.
2. I’m more romantic than I’d like to admit. This year, I bought someone flowers because I wanted to live out that age-old fantasy. It felt good, and it was nice to see his disbelief. I guess I place a lot of value in the little rituals of courtship. I’m so fucking Filipino.
3. Hairy chests and round bellies are great.
4. Saying goodbye is tough. When it came to relationships–as in more than a casual hookup–the emotional labor that I’ve put in was tough to just forget. Even to this day, I think about my times with the people I’ve shared my year with. I’m thankful that I’ve stayed friends with a few.
5. I get a little manipulative when I don’t get what I want. I’ve caught myself withholding affection and shutting down in order to bargain for my desires. I need to work on respecting other people’s boundaries, especially when it comes to sex and modes of affection.
6. The chase is great. I lose a lot of interest after the initial mystery. I’m not sure what to do about this just yet.
And as per tradition, I’ve thought about a new resolution to usher in the new year. In 2016, I want to focus on myself. In the past two years, my resolutions revolved around soft goals that required other people’s participation. This year, I want to get to know what I’m like without an audience, such as social media. It’ll be tough since I journal thru Tumblr but I’ve tried being off Facebook and Instagram and it was quite therapeutic.
This year, I wanna know what it’s like to go to the theater by myself. Or the museum. I want to reimagine the little fantasies I’ve longed for and recreate them to fit my own narrative. I want to construct a self-sustaining identity separate from the image I’ve constructed to appease my audience.
But what does this actually mean in practice?
I guess I’ll be more spontaneous about this. I’ll learn more as I go along. But I know that I want to stop waiting. I want to stop looking at my screen, updating myself with others’ lives and lists of what to do before you’re whatever age. I want to stop fantasizing about life and instead start deliberately living.
[Also, I just shaved my head. Which is a little spontaneous. Okay, very spontaneous. I hate that it doesn’t quite suit my round face. But I love that I just… did it. It was exhilarating.]
Kudos to @thewaynetrain for having these thoughtful resolutions for 2016.
I especially liked the part about focusing on one’s self and construct a self-sustaining identity that is best suited for the individual and not for others. Go Wayne!
After having the most uncomfortable night gay clubbing with a guy I barely knew–emotions heightened by my inebriated state–I deleted most of my gay dating/hook up apps, realizing that I am exhausted of measuring my own value by the number of guys who message me on them. (We’ll see how long this lasts.)
The day after, I ended up meeting up with someone who was visiting New York for the week. He came from Tianjin, goes to school in Ohio, and wants to transfer to New York soon.
I don’t know what it was, but unlike with some other people, I asked him to stay behind a little longer so we could just talk some more. (Perhaps it’s partly due to the fact that he kind of looks like a K-Pop celebrity since he is a quarter Korean as well??? Hm. I’ve definitely been watching too much Running Man.) We sat in the basement and talked for hours about everything I didn’t know about contemporary Chinese/Taiwanese/Korean culture–since my mind’s reservoir of East Asian culture only dates up to the height of Jay Chou’s fame–as well as the films I analyze in my thesis, which led to an interesting conversation on what queer family structures look like in China. And after several conversations I’ve had on other “dates” (if I can even call them that) that really didn’t challenge, enlighten, or stimulate me in any way, hearing him talk was kind of what I was looking for.
Because of my thesis, my being away from home, and my Asian American Literature class that forced me to think deeper about my occasional sense of melancholia and the idea of the “homeland,” I’ve been craving a stronger connection to Chinese culture. Part of that craving is from the heart and mind, but the other part is from my stomach, of course. So, it made me feel some kind of way when he went to Chinatown after my shift at work and came back not only with the spicy lamb noodles I asked for, but also with an order of liang pi for both of us to share and some bubble tea.
As we laid in bed next to each other after dinner, just inches apart from each other’s faces, he said that he “has feelings”–有感情–and that’s what made the few hours we spent with each other worthwhile. And oddly enough, there was this mutual sense of attachment we felt upon this first and only encounter. We held each other close and he lightly interrogated me in Chinese because I asked him to, since Lord knows I need the sparring partner for my Mandarin (What’s your Chinese name? What’s your Zodiac sign? Can I sing you a song about being a Leo? *proceeds to sing 2 lines and then da-da-das the rest of the words he forgot*). Lots of soft giggles, gentle caresses, and… comfort.
A new, different comfort. Not just a physical one, though the warmth from our entangled bodies was quite nice. It was actually the sound of his words that put me and my ears at ease. Hearing him speak in Chinese made me feel at home. And here, home didn’t mean the place where my family lives, but home was a feeling, somehow linked primarily to all those Hong Kong TVB dramas I watched occasionally growing up and the food my parents bought/cooked for me.
He would say something and, after a few sad attempts to use my Chinese, I would respond in English. And suddenly, using English felt like an out-of-body experience. My tongue felt clunky and words felt heavy, certainly not like the way his Chinese flowed effortlessly and seemed to convey so much more passion than my cold English ever could.
Can we take a picture together? What if I miss you when I go back? I will have nothing to look at, he said earlier that evening.
And here I am now, looking at our single photo together.
A beautiful story of romance from @meliorating. I believe there is a profound difference between liking someone and lusting over someone, and this story is a good example of an attachment that transcended physical lust and language differences. It’s that feeling of longing and comfort as opposed to the hormone driven desire. In our community, it’s easy to chase after lust and desire, but perhaps 感情 (roughly translated to feelings but has the connotation of a deeper connection ) is what we really need.