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It quoted a 2014 book by Nancy Kline, in which she had written letters to a young god-daughter on how to find happiness in life. Or then again, maybe it just touched a deeper nerve within me – something that I had known but previously denied: You can live a full and happy life without a significant other but to determinedly turn your back on the option of love is to sell yourself short.
‘Love is the text; all the rest is the footnote.’ Love is an antidote to all the bad stuff that life throws at you. Yes, it sucks that the gay scene places such high value on muscles and youthful beauty and it’s little surprise that those who are older decide they can’t compete.
‘There’s someone out there for everybody’, is an oft-repeated mantra of consolation.
However, if that were true, everyone would eventually wind up in a relationship, right? And it’s that eventual realization that perhaps leads some people – myself included – to simply give up on the whole idea. If one can pass through 30 years of adult life without finding a long-term partner – whilst living in a major metropolis – then there are usually reasons besides simply chance at not finding ‘the one’.
It’s not that I’ve never been in relationships; I’ve been in plenty. And like an X Factor contestant who has just been shot down by Simon Cowell, it’s hard not to wonder sometimes whether one should actually be chasing a different dream.
In fact, there have probably been around a dozen boyfriends over the last 28 years, with periods of singledom between each one. I don’t feel it with a sense of panic, or last-minute desperation, but simply nonchalant resignation that perhaps it won’t happen for me.
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I’m single forever.”’ Norton’s words struck a chord with me, because – at the age of 46 – I too have wondered whether I am resigned to being single forever.
Once you’ve reached a certain age and still seem no nearer to tying the knot, one does begin to wonder.
In his seminal book, The Velvet Rage, writer Alan Downs touches upon how gay men often seek fame, success and recognition to compensate for a lack of self-esteem – having grown-up in a world which tells them a fundamental part of their character is shameful.