Monday, January 25, 2010

Pieces of the Past: College, Post-mission

By Mister Curie

It was only after my disaffection that I was able to see a pattern in my life indicating that I was not strictly heterosexual. This is part of a series of posts as I try to account for all the pieces to the puzzle of my sexual orientation. By documenting the pieces of the puzzle, I hope to be able to put the picture together. Only by being as completely honest with myself as I can will I be able to understand who I am. This seventh post in the series will deal with college post-mission.

I went back to BYU shortly after returning home from my mission and lived off-campus, rather than in the dorms. I figured it would only be a short matter of time until I was married. I figured the process would be relatively straight-forward: (1) Guy likes girl and they start dating, (2) Girl also likes guy, (3) marriage. The problem begins when one of the people in that equation are gay and they don't start liking the other person.

I found that I just wasn't interested in dating. It just didn't hold any appeal to me. I was introverted, studious, and unenthusiastic about the women around me. A girl in my Russian-for-returned-missionaries class (who had also served in my mission, although we had never been in the same district together) asked me if I'd like to form a study group. We had a very enjoyable time studying together. It turns out that she had served in all of the same cities as me, just several months after me. We swapped mission stories and found we had a lot in common. I also thought she was quite attractive, but somehow it just wasn't enough to get me to ask her on a date. Finally, my mom was worried about my non-dating, so for Christmas she purchased me two tickets to "Les Miserables" with the promise that I would go on a date. I asked this girl to go and we had an enjoyable time. The date ended with a hug, and it was apparently still not enough to entice me to ask her on another date.

At this same time, I had (what I now realize were) crushes on several different guys. I thought that two of my roommates were quite cute and I'd try to be home when they were so that we could hang out. Once they moved out and I wasn't attracted to my new roommates, I started hanging out with the guys in the apartment next to mine, a couple of which I also developed crushes on. We spent a lot of evenings together, watching movies, and just hanging out. I suppose that was fulfilling my "dating" needs.

Then the apartment of guys decided they were all going to move due to rent increases, and simultaneously a cute guy who was in a couple of my classes, asked me if I wanted to move in with him and 4 other guys as a roommate, which I agreed to. The next-door neighbor (whom I had a crush on) and I helped each other move to our new apartments. I described my feelings toward this neighbor as an "affinity", but I now call it a crush. We parted ways with a magnificent hug that reminded me of the hugs I received from my high school friend when I left for college, or the hugs I'd gotten from companions on my mission. I think I spent much of the following afternoon relishing that hug.

Unfortunately my new roommate (the cute guy from my classes) was rarely around, and when he was around he was surrounded by girls. He moved out of the apartment after spring/summer terms and I felt a little ripped-off, although I continued to see him often in my classes. The new stake I had moved into placed a huge emphasis on marriage. Our stake goal was for every man in the stake to go on at least 1 date a week (where a date is defined as a preplanned activity with an even number of guys and girls, and the guy spends money). I vocally rebelled and refused to date, not that I planned on dating anyways.

Several of my new roommates invited me along to hang out with them at some girls' apartment and I would frequently go, but mostly to hang out with my roommates rather than with the girls. The girls, however, boosted my OGTs. I did not inherit the gay trait of fashion sense, but for my birthday, they gave me a make-over. They took me shopping and gave me advice on clothes to purchase. They also introduced me to Pride and Prejudice and I watched the entire 6-hour mini-series with them, and actually enjoyed it. I started cooking with one of the girls in particular every Sunday morning, and we would make increasingly elaborate Russian cakes. I never felt anything for her. One of the other girls developed a crush on me, but I felt nothing in return.

Eventually, I heard that one of the other girls had a crush on me. She seemed to fit the list of ideal traits I wanted in a wife. She fit the stereotypical ideal standards of feminine beauty and was in BYU's Marriage, Family, and Human Development major (colloquially known as the MRS degree). I felt a little something in return, or at least I wanted to. We went on a couple of group dates, but I found that we did not connect intellectually or emotionally. Still, I tried to make it work. We went on several more dates and I even managed to hold her hand (I was a notoriously slow mover in the physical department, so this was a big step for me, of course now I realize its because, duh - I'm gay!). I started hanging out at her apartment every day. After a couple of months later she dumped me. Her excuse was that things were moving too fast toward marriage. I was stunned. I knew that I was the slow mover, and we had only held hands after many dates, and had never kissed. I didn't see how things were moving toward marriage at any quick pace. Perhaps she actually saw the signs that I was gay (since I hadn't kissed her after many dates? )and decided to move on. Maybe the marriage excuse was the only one she'd ever had to use previously because guys had a hard time controlling themselves around her, I don't know. I returned to my non-dating ways and didn't worry about it.

I decided I was going to apply for medical school and resigned myself to the probability that I was not going to be married for a long time. I hadn't found a girl in my several years at BYU, wasn't interested in dating, and knew that once in medical school I would bury myself in my studies and continue to avoid pursuing a relationship with girls. It didn't bother me, it just was.

1 comment:

  1. In a similar way, I should have realized more from my own reluctance to date and get involved in the first couple years post mission. But I didn't. I didn't overcome it until I met my wife, and I guess at that point, enough of what "worked" was present to create a multi-faceted relationship which included the physical. Great times, real slow coming.