We’re scared to love ourselves.
Love is a drug that produces different kinds of highs, and there are many types of love. There’s a love for family, a love for your work, a love of music and art, and then there’s love for another person. All of them trigger different characteristics, which can make you feel valuable.
Why are some gay men scared of love? It’s something many of us claim we want. Our news feeds overflow with pictures of same-sex couples holding hands, and friends always comment, “Relationship goals.” We dream of it, yet when opportunity arises we push it away because we feel like it’s too big, too good or too magical to handle.
Love makes us feel out of control.
It’s kind of like being on a roller coaster and not knowing what to expect. It lifts, drags, and swings us around and all we can do is surrender. But for many queer men, surrendering means we don’t have a choice except to lose ourselves. And, that could be too costly.
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To love is to be raw. You take a gamble — you might get hurt, you might be devastated, you might open your heart to someone only to have them rip it apart. But at the end of the day, loving someone forces you to surrender and to give up overthinking.
Thinking is a scary concept.
Thinking causes use to judge ourselves and each other, and we judge everything except emotional strength. We assess appearances, talents, titles, and finances. We evaluate masculinity and personality, but it’s hard to look at someone — completely vulnerable, honest and painfully genuine — and say, “he’s sexy.”
Because sex is everything to us. If the world thinks we’re sexy, everything else doesn’t seem to matter. In an environment where love is a result of sex, we shape our value based on sex appeal rather than emotional strength.
Are we afraid of love because we feel we aren’t sexy enough? No. We fear it because in order to love, we must self-evaluate our true assets, and society doesn’t allow us to be introspective. Social media pressures us to put on appearances; make the world believe everything is perfect. As a result, we’ve transitioned that construct into our own self-analysis.
We lie to ourselves just as much as we lie on Facebook. It’s hard to be honest about how we feel about ourselves because that means all the work we’ve done in our life meant nothing: The yoga, laughter, joy, therapy, and countless hours of looking in the mirror and saying, “I love you.”