When I was very young, just barely a freshman in high school, my parents told my two younger siblings and I that they were getting a divorce.
I don't remember feeling very upset about it, as I could tell this was for the best. Even as a young child, I could sense that somehow these two people were not meant to be together. Eventually both my parents found love and remarried and I was able to put that part of my life behind me. Being away at school helped me distance myself from the drama and move on with my own journey in self-discovery.
During my second year of college, just shy of turning 21, I came out to my family and admitted to everyone that I was gay. After dissecting my parents' divorce for many years, it was this new relationship with myself that now needed much examining.
Coming out in my early 20s allowed me to couple most traditional rights of passage with the college experience. I was able to experience my first kiss, sexual experience, heartbreak and relationships at the same pace as my straight counterparts.
But, no matter how up to speed I felt in the life experience department, there was always the looming understanding that as a gay man, relationships had their limit. After all, this was still the early 90s and gay marriage still seemed very much like a pipe dream.
As I got older, I became more in tune with the type of relationship that I wanted. No matter what was happening in the political background, I knew that one day I wanted to get married. The idea of finding one person to spend the rest of my life, buy a house, and have kids always seemed like a fond dream of mine.
I kept wondering if it was normal for a kid from a divorced family to be so infatuated with the idea of "happily ever after," and my obsession with romance and love grew throughout the years. I stayed up many nights watching Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts and I often wished that one day I would live the gay equivalent of a "When Harry Met Sally" or "Notting Hill." When it comes to music, I could easily give you over a thousand love songs to add to your playlist. Valentine's Day is pretty much a national holiday to me.
When it comes to romance, I am the ultimate enthusiast! So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I created a site called Finding Cupid and that I am a Matchmaker.
But being a gay man and believing in love is hard.
Not only am I in a constant battle with the public opinion over rights and equality, but I am also in a constant battle with my own community.
More often than not I am greeted with eye rolls and snide remarks when I tell gay men about my line of work. It's very rare that I meet people that openly embrace me, encourage me, or support me. Sure, there are a few standout couples that love what I do, but most gay men tend to be a bit more cynical.
I have spent many nights trying to understand this. After all, aren't we on the frontlines fighting for marriage equality? I have come up with two big reasons (in my opinion) that gay men are cynical when it comes to believing in love. KEEP READING!
1. We Still Don't Understand "Happily Ever After."
When it comes to our relationships, most gay men have only ever identified with the word "boyfriend". Historically, we have never legally been allowed to marry, so "husband" — and the responsibility and consequence of such title — is a foreign vernacular.
I can understand how one can be cynical after all these years of hitting the metaphorical ceiling on how far you can take your relationship. But with equality on the up and up and gay marriage becoming legal in many states, the idea of "happily ever after" is becoming a greater part of our conversation. A gay man can date with greater intention and with the hopes of fulfilling the all-American dream of a husband, white picket fence and a happy home.
2. We Don't Have As Many Role Models.
It's safe to say that historically there has been a serious lack of relationship role models for gay men. Our lack of "out" actors, public figures, and athletes has made it hard for our community (young and old) to create a blueprint for our own lives. We are left to our own devices to piece together our relationships: What are the rules? What does a gay family unit look like? Who do we turn to for inspiration?
Our straight counterparts had TV families like the Bradys and Cosbys — even Barbie and Ken were influential in telling young boys and girls what a family and wedding dress look like.
The frustration of not knowing how to instinctively create your family, your relationship and your household can certainly make one a bit jaded. We were given the problem, but not all the right tools to solve it.
This generation is lucky enough to be blessed with more and more out couples, including Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi and Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka to name a few. These mainstream archetypes create a foundation for imagination and aspiration.
So with all of this in mind, I take a deep breath and do what I can to convince anyone (straight or gay) of my belief in love. It can be tough at times but I know that eventually everyone, including my own community of amazing gay men, will come around.
If a gay kid from a divorced family can believe in love and all its wonder, then anyone can. Just give me chance to convince you there is such a thing as "happily ever after."
When people talk about their passion in life, "Romance Enthusiast" isn't the first thing that comes to mind — but for David Cruz, that's exactly what his passion is. Whether its love letters, proposals, weddings, cards or romantic comedies, he loves it all. As the founder of Finding Cupid, an online magazine that's dedicated to "Reminding People How to Love Again," David helps guide people in their personal journey to love! David is also a current cast member in the hit Bravo television show, The Millionaire Matchmaker, where he helps matchmaker Patti Stanger find love for her millionaire clients!
More Stories On YourTango:
Lessons In Parenting From A Lesbian Mom
This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: "Why Gay Men Don't Believe In Love"