Category Archives: Dating

Going Solo

Now that the gay scene is opening up again in Vermont, I have begun thinking about leaving the house again for some gay socializing. The date the other week is a first step. Like many gay men in America, I have found myself growing somewhat more isolated and embracing my inner lone wolf side during this pandemic. Being a lone wolf can be great when you’re just working from home, jerking off, and watching Netflix for many months on end, and it often feels daunting to go out and about in the world and enjoy quality gay excursions by myself. But maybe it’s time to abandon those fears as gay events begin to get into full swing again. We are just four weeks away from Vermont Pride. For a variety of reasons, Vermont celebrates Pride the first week in September, not June like the rest of the world. I recently read that it is becoming not only more and more socially acceptable but also hip and cool to go at things solo. Who knew?

There are a lot of things I have gotten used to doing on my own: going to see a movie, eating out at a fancy restaurant, going to a drag show at a gay bar, etc. I am not an extroverted individual, and I am trying to be less of an extreme introvert. Therefore, these activities can be more anxiety inducing than they’d be with friends, but I am doing my best to get over that. In most of my trips to Montreal, I have gotten over my fear of going to bars alone, and usually I have a great time. I am working on doing the same at the gay events in Burlington. Many times, when I go alone, I think everyone will notice that I am alone and are judging me. However, I usually find that if someone does notice I am alone, they will more likely come up and chat with me. Although, there are times when no one even notices I am there by myself. At times, I guess I can just blend in and be unnoticeable. Maybe as I continue to lose weight, that will start to change.

Exploring the world solo is said to be a great way to find a new lover, arguably a lot better than endlessly swiping thru torsos on dating apps. It hasn’t been that long ago when gay men did go to bars to meet other men instead of just signing on to Grindr, Tinder, or any number of dating apps out there. One thing I must remember when I go out to bars on my own is to make sure that I don’t erect walls of solitude around me that appear impregnable, because then I may be unable to seize the opportunity for a love connection when it happens. Some advice I have read is that we should treat every day like an adventure, if we do, we’re bound to attract likeminded and independent men like ourselves. Plus, when we’re just always hanging out with our usual friends, for me they are usually women, you have a harder time reinventing yourself. Sometimes ourselves and our social orbit needs a bit of a makeover. A bit of independent excursions into the gay world can do that.

Ultimately, going out with friends rather than solo will always have some benefits, especially for an introvert as it makes us more comfortable in public. But for someone who’s always been too scared to try an excursion alone, then we owe it to ourselew to give it a shot. What better time than the present, just when the world is opening back up? Besides, if I end up getting a new job, I will be without my current social network and will need to get out there on my own. How exciting, and anxiety inducing, will it be to explore Chicago’s Northalsted (formerly known as Boystown), if I get the job there? I just have to realize that excitement awaits no matter where I am.


The Dinner Date

My date Saturday cooked me dinner. It was originally supposed to be an early dinner, which I thought meant 5 pm or 6 pm at the latest. However, we did a lot of talking over coffee first, and he started cooking dinner around 7 pm. The had decided he wanted to grill and air- or dry-steak. Dry-aged beef is apparently known for its richer flavor and more tender texture than its fresh-cut counterparts. We went to a butcher shop near his house to get the steak cut fresh. Apparently, it is best to have a thick cut of meat, in this case about 1.5”, instead of two thinner steaks. I’ll be honest here, when I saw it, the steak did not look that appetizing. In fact, it looked like it had gone bad, but that’s because a lot of the moisture is taken out of it, similar to the curing process for prosciutto. I do love a good steak, so I kept an open mind.

He also roasted some root vegetables—carrots and parsnips—and sautéed some greens, which included collard and Swiss chard. He finished the greens with a balsamic sesame reduction. There was also a cucumber and tomato salad in a tasty yogurt (I think anyway) dill dressing. Everything was perfectly prepared, and while the steak was more rare than I normally prefer, the taste was divine. It was only seasoned with a little salt and pepper before it was grilled, but the taste was pure steak. Unless you’ve had dry-aged beef, I cannot describe just how good this was. The roasted root vegetables and the greens were also very good.

The whole meal was fantastic. My cooking is usually more on the simple southern cooking side, though I can make a few high end dishes. This was more on the gourmet side, and he obviously enjoyed cooking for someone else. I felt honored that he made me such a meal. We ended the night with a simple blueberry cherry parfait with layers of whipped cream and Mascarpone mixture. 

As I was leaving, I told him how much I’d enjoyed the museum, the conversation and company, the the delicious meal. I also told him I hoped I’d see him again. He said that we’d definitely see each other again and that he had a wonderful times as well. Now, the question is do I text him and if so, when? Or do I wait and let him make the next move? I have never been good at this part of a first date. I have tried both approaches and I’ve rarely gotten a second date. Only three or four times in my life have I gotten multiple dates. I just don’t know.

Also, because I was there until nearly midnight, I fear that I overstayed my welcome, but one friend told me that you don’t talk for ten solid hours if you didn’t like the person. I really enjoyed talking to him and spending time with him. He’s a very nice man, so I guess time will tell if this will be a friendship, a romantic relationship, or if it will just fizzle away. I do hope it’s friendship or romance, but time will tell.