Dating in Vermont

Dealing with the quarantine and not having a semblance of a social life anymore (not that I had much of one to begin with) makes you really contemplate your loneliness at times. Before I moved to Vermont, I had actually begun to date men on a regular basis, some I went out with multiple times. Most of my life has been spent going on one date and never hearing from the person again. However, things had really and truly begun to change. I had a boyfriend that I cared about, and it looked like it would be a long-term thing. Then, I got exiled to Vermont. I have tried to have a dating life up here, but I’ve never been successful.

One of the first dates I went on was with a doctor. When we met, he seemed a bit standoffish, but I went ahead with the date. It was at his home on Lake Champlain. The date was a disaster. First, he fed me leftovers, when he’d originally told me he was taking me out to dinner. Then he dropped the bombshell on me. He told me that he could not date someone who was not skinny and in good shape. He had apparently mistaken me for a picture on my blog. I am pretty straightforward that no picture of me exists on my blog, and that I am not in the best shape. I am always straightforward about things, at least I’ve always thought I was. After he said that, I should have just left, but I guess I am too polite for that. To add insult to injury, he apparently decided that I needed exercise because he took me for a walk on a trail along the lake. Don’t mistake this as a romantic stroll because he lectured me the whole time on proper nutrition and exercise. I finally left and never saw his sorry ass again. He was not very attractive and had no room too judge. He was also much older than he had told me he was.

A lot of the time, the dates I’ve gone on have been much nicer. We seem to get along great and the conversation flows easily. I am a shy person, but once I start talking and get comfortable, I can usually carry on a pretty good conversation. However, it seems that after every date I have been on, whatever chemistry it seemed we had falls apart. He or I might text that we had a great time together and that we should see each other again. The guys almost always seem positive about the first date, but then, I never hear from them again. I did see one guy for a few times, but he was not romantically interested. He just wanted a friend. One time, I went on a date with a drag queen. I had seen her perform a few nights before, and then I saw her online (I think it was Grindr, don’t judge). He and I set up a date and met in Montpelier. The date did not start off well. There was a snowstorm coming in and every restaurant in town apparently closed early that night. We finally found one that was open. It was kind of comical at the time, and I guess still is. We had a nice meal and good conversation, but it was apparent to both of us that this would be a friendship and not a romantic relationship. Before the pandemic, we often saw each other at various events. She was often hosting the events as her drag persona, but she always said hello and if she was available, we usually carried on a conversation.

And speaking of Grindr and those type of apps, I rarely ever use them because it’s always the same 5-10 men, several of which are students at the university where I work (we are not allowed to fraternize with the students). When it seems like I do meet someone on an app or a dating site, they usually just want a hook-up, no surprise there. I’ll admit, I am not always opposed to that, but I don’t like to host for a number of reasons. I don’t want a stranger in my apartment, partly because strangers upset Isabella. Also, they often live far away, and 99 times out of 100, they say they can’t host, which always sends up red flags. Furthermore, my walls are a little thin, and kids have a bedroom below me. I would not want to disturb them with sex noises. I know, I’m practicing a double standard about not hosting, but it’s just something I don’t like to do. I once hooked up with a guy when I was living in Mississippi. He couldn’t host, so I did invite him over only to find out in the middle of sex that he was married and had kids.

When I first moved to Vermont, I checked out Grindr to see what it was like around here, and I met a guy who lived about two blocks away. He had just told his roommate, who apparently was constantly bringing girls over, that he couldn’t host girls anymore. He didn’t want to break the rule he’d just made, so I did let him come over. The sex was freaking amazing. He possessed the most beautiful butt of any man I’ve ever hooked up with, and I was the top this time. By the way, maybe TMI, but I am versatile. Everything seemed to go well, we really seemed to hit it off more than just sex. However, the same old story, he never responded to me again. I did run into him a few times around campus, because he also worked at the university, but for a long time, he seemed to act as if he didn’t see me or know me. The strange thing is, fast-forward four years later, he adds me as a friend on Facebook. Now, every time he sees me, he is very friendly and always says hello and calls me by name. I find it all a bit odd and don’t know what to make of it.

There was one instance of a guy wanting to get together again, but there were a couple of problems I had on this occasion. First, he was a very heavy pot smoker, which is something that triggers my migraines. Second, he lived too far away. It was quite a drive down there because I had to go over the mountains (I also got lost going home because there was no cell signal and my GPS wouldn’t work). We “watched” a movie while I was there, which was fine, but since we were doing things besides paying attention to the movie, I was somewhat undressed when not only his nearly adult son came barging into the house with his girlfriend but also his wife came walking in. I never figured out if he was divorced or just separated, but that’s not the point. So, while they settled in to smoke a little weed with dear old dad, I had a pillow over my lap covering myself up because I didn’t have enough time to get my pants back on correctly. I had pulled my pants up, but not everything was in place nor could I fasten my pants discreetly, so I had to use a pillow to shield myself. He wanted to see more of me, but I decided it would not work out and told him that I didn’t think that would happen because he lived so far away.

So, my dating life in Vermont has sucked. When it seems I have found someone that I want to spend more time with and get to know better, they never respond or if they do respond, which a few have, they are not interested. I don’t know what I do wrong or what is wrong with me. I do wish I was in better shape, but dammit, I am a nice and loveable person who just wants to find someone who loves me back. I’m tired of getting constantly rejected, especially after being told what a great time they had and how they want to get together again. It makes you just want to give up even looking. When rejection like that happens, I just want to scream at them, “Fuck you, you fucking fuck.” I saw that on a t-shirt once, and it pretty much sums up how I feel toward some people. Of course, I am not confrontational, and I try never to be mean, so I would never say it, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to say it. There are a lot of things that scream in my mind that thankfully I never utter. I really hate when people thinks it’s okay to insult someone for no reason, especially when they give the excuse, “Well, I’m just being honest. There’s nothing wrong with that.” There is something wrong with it. You’re fucking being rude, mean, and condescending. It happens online a lot.

I know we all want that handsome man to sweep us off our feet, but I don’t think that I am so unattractive as to never deserve to be given a chance. Honestly, I think the gay community holds people to too high of a standard of appearance, and we won’t even get started on the perception of age. But there are gay couples out there who are not the most perfect looking couple. They love each other just the way they are. I know that I am probably perpetuating the standard of male beauty with the pictures I post on this blog; however, they are fantasies and don’t really represent the average man. Many of them are probably airbrushed to look better than they actually look. It’s like that with porn. Men in porn are more well-endowed than the average man, and they often perform sex that is unrealistic. It may be hot to watch, but it is still a fantasy. Those men are paid professionally to perform entertaining sex on camera, and models are paid to look beautiful in front of a camera. Neither are realistic, and sometimes that standard of beauty isn’t even achievable for some of us.

How many of you have ever been chatting with a guy online and you trade pictures with him, then all of a sudden, the conversation ends? You seemed to be getting along so well, but as soon as he realizes you are not the ideal that he want, it’s all over. I would suspect that most of those instances go like this: you saw his picture and (honestly) thought that he was not the best looking person or maybe he’s not in the best shape, but you seemed to have a connection, so you don’t really care how he looks. That has happened to me. When a guy was very good looking, it was usually a catfish. The truth is, I have met a lot of men who were unrealistically shallow and for no good reason. They want an ideal that they don’t fit themselves. I try to be realistic in my approach to men. I admit that I have not always been that way. At one time, I was young, had a head full of dark brown hair, and was in decent shape, but that was before I spent five years teaching spoiled rich kids in grades 7-12. Now, I am older, I have mostly gray hair which I am losing, and I’m not in the best of shape. I know I could try harder to look better, but I have always found that really difficult if you didn’t have a workout partner to keep you on track.

I just want to find someone to love me for me. I am an intelligent and kind person. I may not look like the perfect specimen of man, but I don’t think I am the ugliest man alive either. I think I have a lot to contribute to a relationship. People love to say that there is someone out there for everyone. If the adage is even true, the problem with it is that the person may live far away from you. I’m honestly afraid I will never find the person that is out there for me. He may just not exist. I just don’t want to be alone the rest of my life.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

5 responses to “Dating in Vermont

  • Rico

    Thanks again for being so honest and so brave. Recently you’ve helped me more than you’ll ever know.

  • Beau

    Sorry to read about your dating experience in Vermont. I had a similar experience in living two years in small town New Hampshire. New England culture can be very “stand offish” for Southern guys like us. How New England Yankees get to know each other well enough to breed is a mystery to me. After leaving New England, I was visiting friends in Atlanta when a really handsome store clerk at an organic grocery noticed my sweatshirt was embossed with the town hall where I had lived in New England. We struck up a conversation and I discovered that he lived two towns over when I was there. He said that it was a pity that didn’t meet then. I knew what he meant. Hang in there, some guy might be the next town over!

  • mcpersonalspace54

    Living in a rural community does indeed have his drawbacks. I hope that you find that special person.

  • Bailoir Smith

    So relevant considering the circumstances at present! ✈️

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