Call it a mid-life crisis or just finally coming to your senses. Either way, coming out late in life is confusing.
Yes. We could have avoided all this had we walked the line of integrity and said, "I'm gay!" The only problem is that's so much easier said than done. In fact, I'm always amused at the number of people from all walks of life who say to me, "If you knew you were gay, why did you get married to a woman?" And I really get tired of explaining that when I got married, it was a different time and place, and that I wasn't emotionally mature enough to fight the demons. The same holds true for those who have joined me in this boat. There's no magic wand you can wave to make coming out a picnic in the park (at least not yet, but were working on it; it's called acceptance, and that's a completely different article).
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Here's the deal, like it or not, gay or straight, we're all trying to find ourselves; hence why some of us are late bloomers to our gay life. When you are older, the journey out-of-the-closet is even more exciting because we're finally revealing our true selves after hiding for many painful years. On the other hand, there's a high probability of feeling as if you're wandering through a barren wasteland of regret over what you have done and confusion about who you are. What you did was be honest with yourself at a much deeper and more spiritual level than probably any other time in your life. However, before it makes sense, you've got to get through the low moments to find your rainbow.
Some common fears include:
1. What if I'm bad at gay sex? Well you're probably right. But for crying out loud, you weren't good at the hetero sex thing at first either, so what do you have to lose? Until you climb on that pony and ride, you'll never know when you're ready to ride a horse. You can't learn until you try.
2. I'm not the gay guy ideal. Forget the stereotypes about gay men. You'll find some ripped and flawlessly in-shape gay men, while others have girth; some of us hit the bars, others of us hit the RV Clubs. But guess what? We're all gay. You are who you are in your own gay skin, so stop fretting and start finding your gay peeps. You'll likely discover you're really not alone.
3. I've never been alone before. If you've never lived alone, not experienced a quiet house without a spouse breathing next to you or the energy of kids running rampant, then it feels scary to suddenly enter that environment. In fact, a large majority of late bloomers never had a full-blown experience of being alone. Relish it. It's our growth time, and the best opportunity you'll ever have to get to know yourself at a really deep level. Besides, before you know it, you could meet Mr. Right who's ready for marriage and kids, and poof, bye-bye solitude.
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4. And you thought women were fickle. One of the hardest lessons to learn about gay men is that, generally speaking, they are very hard to pin down. Many feel that there could always be someone better around the bend or in the next gym locker room. Even though the phrase "you gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince" is popular among the hetero audience, it certainly applies to gay men, as well. There are princes out there though — don't lose hope
5. It's all so different—but also, so much the same. Society has made us believe that being gay is a different universe than being straight. In reality, most of the same rules that apply to heterosexual couples apply to homosexual ones as well. From the sexual roles we assume, to how we argue with each other, it's all pretty much the same stuff. In fact, the only thing that separates us from heterosexuals is the anatomy between our legs.
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In those moments that you feel as if you're adrift on the sea with no land or man in site, remember it takes one man, and one man only, to make you feel at ease — and that man is you. The sooner you adopt this belief, the sooner you can join the rest of us in the agony and the ecstasy of gay dating and relationships. Come on, you know you want to. So get over the fears and jump headfirst into the lovely, rainbow-colored world of being gay and loving every perfectly fabulous moment.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.