Are You Forgiving Too Soon And Moving On Too Fast?
- How to move on and own the part.
- How to forgive the right way.
- How to reduce repetitive mistakes in gay dating.
- How to grow with every breakup.
If you are a gay man over 40 who wants to meet his lover and get married, you will need to master two skills: the spiritual practice of forgiveness and the psychological practice of taking responsibility for all your past and present betrayals, conflicts and self-deceptions. You will need to “own” it ALL!
What is responsibility and forgiveness?
Forgiveness and responsibility are the basics of “moving on” and are the foundation for lifelong learning. Together, forgiveness and responsibility are a powerful duo that can heal most wounds and quickly restore control and power in a gay man’s life.
However, as a gay man over 40, when you forgive others too quickly, without assigning accurate responsibility for their and your role in conflicts, you are bound to repeat the same mistakes in the future.
Are you moving on too fast?
Most chronic frustrations and challenges with gay relationships and gay dating start with “moving on” too fast, without clarity about who was responsible for which part of the conflict. Without clarifying the cause of conflicts and the parties responsible, over time, a gay man can become confused about how dating and relationships work.
Forgiveness and spirituality in general are not good strategies for learning about relationships. Serious consideration to relationship roles and behaviors is necessary to make long term improvements.
Clarity about roles
To make gay dating and gay relationships easier, a gay man needs to be clear about what it means to be a friend, lover and a husband. Those roles come with responsibilities and different emotional requirements. They are not just for everyone.
A gay man must be ready to be a husband. Loyalty and responsibility are not a given for just any gay man. Those are character traits that take a long time to develop.
For example, to be a husband, it takes a lot more responsibility and skill than to be a friend.
Often, a gay man lacks proper training to be a lover or a husband in a relationship and he takes for granted that he has them.
He often comes from a dysfunctional family with an absent father or a manipulative mother where parental roles were blurred and invisible.
This is where the problems originate. A gay man may not be aware that his current problems in love are inherited from the confusion created by his parents.
To be a lover, to be a friend, to be a husband comes with unspoken contracts of great responsibility. To assume you can become a friend, lover or a husband without a responsibility to act like a friend, lover or husband will create lots of confusion and lifelong struggles in gay friendships and relationships.
How Denied Responsibility Sabotages Your Current Dating Efforts
Often, a gay man has no strength to assume the role of a friend, lover or a husband because he has been deeply wounded by others and alienated in the process. He is so hurt that instead of taking responsibility for his role during dating, in a relationship or in a marriage, he waits for the other man to contribute 150%.
He comes into the relationship with the hidden agenda of getting sex, companionship, lifestyle, partnership, status and emotional validation without being able to contribute because he has been weakened by previous breakups and disappointments.
Often, denied responsibilities and blank forgiveness prevents his attraction and sexuality to adjust so that his future choices for partners reflect the logical connection between attraction, sexuality and integrity.
Often, he is in denial about his responsibility in the relationship and waits for the other man to always do the “right thing” while he himself is deceptive and manipulative. Such unequal relationship can last a few months, but eventually the truth is revealed and the relationship ends with another conflict and another wound to heal.
When asked, he will say he has forgiven his parents and ex boyfriends for past hurts and he will even admit he is happy and joyful. In reality, inside his mind he is confused, in denial and manipulative.
Psychology Of Responsibility
Past wounds from lack of responsibility are often brought into the present. They pollute good relationships that could develop into commitment and marriage. But without healing the past, those relationships often contribute to further suffering and pain and the gay man ends up where he started, except that another five years of his life have passed.
Without addressing responsibility, logical connections between events, individuals and their roles in the conflict are never made and the insights are hidden behind the clout of forgiveness. Those insights are never learned so that future conflicts can be prevented and the gay man remains a “child” inside his bubble of irresponsibility, denial and pride.
Forgiveness is not a tool of learning
While forgiveness is a beautiful healing process, many professional gay men use it as a tool of self-deception.
Gay men must remember that forgiveness is ONLY a spiritual process and not a tool of learning. To avoid repeating the same mistakes in gay dating and relationships, a gay man must “connect the dots” between situations, people and their roles, assign proper responsibility AND THEN forgive.
To connect “all the dots”, especially after 40, the gay man will need help. Years of “forgiveness” may have prevented him from seeing the reality of his own avoidance and neglect to play the role of a friend, lover and a husband.
He lives inside the bubble of self-righteousness and blames everyone else for his own mistakes and feels entitled to love and happiness.
The price of moving on without forgiveness and responsibility
As you are getting older and say goodbye to old relationships, new people enter your life and new relationships develop. When you hold negative emotions towards people from your past, you often bring those negative emotions back into your discussions during dating. This is how you sabotage the possibilities for a new friend, lover, husband.
This is often seen in expressions of judgments and negative comments about “those gay men out there”, or in general in comments such as “gay community is only about sex”. In reality, those comments are not true, since gay community and the gay men “out there” are also loving, compassionate and understanding.
Those gay men who have healed from past hurts and are looking to get married and settle down will notice this negativity and reject you as a legitimate partner because they recognize that you are not ready for a relationship.
To date a high-quality, professional gay man, you need to become that man first, otherwise you are asking for him to carry on 100% of the weight for the relationship.
A cycle of breakups and disappointments is often what a wounded gay man wants to avoid, but without ownership and forgiveness, wounds from the past come back to the present and create further disappointments and breakups.
This suffering is often necessary, especially for gay men with strong personalities (Scorpios, Leos, Sagittariuses), to bring attention to the need of healing and restoration, instead of pushing through with brute force and pride.
A pattern of holding grudges, not letting go of past hurts also contributes to chronic anxiety and depression. Many men are addicted to the struggle and to carrying negative emotions from the past because it gives them a sense of importance and attention from other wounded gay men.
Addiction to struggle and pain is very common in the gay community because it gives a person a sense of contentedness, yet masking the need for ownership of the betrayals, conflicts and deceptions they were part of.
Carrying on the pain from past betrayals and relationship traumas often leads to dating helplessness and an angry disposition towards love. Gay men who receive no training in spirituality almost always carry old hurts with them for the rest of their lives, hurting other gay men in the process. Many fall victims to addictions and loss of purpose in life.
The Benefits Of Full Responsibility And Forgiveness
Every gay man can become happy, fall in love and get married. Mother Nature does not make love difficult, but Mother Nature will not give love to gay men who are struggling in their hearts and their minds.
We first need to heal our hearts and minds through forgiveness and taking responsibility and then go out and date again with a renewed sense of control and power.
The amazing thing about forgiveness and full responsibility is that afterwards, the gay man feels happy for no reason at all. Reclaiming spiritual energies through forgiveness and reclaiming mental powers from taking full responsibility produces a state of euphoria and happiness found in young children and animals. This natural state of happiness and spontaneity is the place of readiness for new friendships and relationships. This is where the gay man can GIVE to another person without neediness and without rigidity about attraction, sexuality and companionship. He is ready to GIVE himself to the process of intimacy that is based on equal sharing without judgement, without hidden unresolved wounds and agendas. He is ready to give and receive full love.
According to the Mayo Clinic, proper attention to past hurts, grudges and negative emotions can lead to lots of physical and psychological benefits, such as:
- Healthier relationships
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less anxiety, stress, and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- A stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Higher self-esteem
As you forgive and let go, your life will no longer be defined by your pain. Instead, you’ll develop compassion, love and understanding towards other gay men including those you were previously judging. Your perspective about what creates long term relationship will also change because you have changed.
Powerful Gay Life Coaching About Forgiveness and Responsibility
In a gay life coaching practice, an important process for personal transformation starts out by assigning accurate responsibility to the roles in past conflicts, betrayals, and crisis. This is an important step in bringing control and power back to the client. Nothing brings a greater sense of control and power than a realization that the client was in charge at all times but lacked proper education or proper support system. The knowing that with proper education and training most problems can be avoided, creates confidence and a restored belief in love and happiness. This feeling of power and control is very liberating.
Forgiveness and letting go comes second. This step can take a few months and includes journaling exercises, assignments to confront people from the past and letting go of living through the “strengths”. Once the client “owns it all”, he is ready to date again.
When I work with a client who is HIV +, we go through the same process. We identify the dysfunctional patterns in the family that created impulsive and risky behaviors, then we look at all past relationships that fed the irresponsibility and then we look at the avoidance patterns and the denial that weakened self-protection and self-love.
Many HIV + clients have already tried forgiveness as a way to bring back balance and control to a de-regulated life after receiving the diagnosis, but such attempts create more confusion and actually increase the risky and impulsive behaviors. Inside, they feel out of balance and are overwhelmed by the psychology of the diagnosis. Deeper awareness of roles and taking full responsibility is the only way to get the power and control back in his life and start dating again.
The entire process of restoring control, power and belief in love and happiness often takes several months and includes looking at the family dynamic of a gay man to identify dysfunctional family relationships between mom and dad and then looking at every past relationship and identify patterns of avoidance and denial that mask the accuracy of what really happened.
Many gay men are masters of manipulation and self-deception and many coaches and psychologists are not forward enough to break the bubble of denial and self-deception for their clients. I have worked with many clients who have seen therapists for many years, some for decades. Those therapists never even found out that their clients were gay.
This is why I always recommend that a gay professional man, especially after 40 years of age, when he is considering seeking a coaching service that he is not looking for a “feel good coach” but for someone who is forward enough to break through their layers of self-deception and self-manipulation.
After forgiveness and responsibility is addressed, a client usually takes another 3-6 months to integrate the new ideas into his metal concepts and behavioral strategies. The entire process of coaching and improvement can take from 6 months to 2 years depending on the client’s level of commitment and surrender.