I am having the most marvelous experience amidst these troubling waters simply because I have found someone to weather the times with.
Back in the closet, I thought I was doomed to a loveless but conventional heterosexual marriage, where I became a worka/alcoholic and my wife became ever more bitter and depressed (and perhaps addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol in her own right). Perhaps if I could marry someone I consider a very close friend, it would mitigate the problem, but after 10-20 years of limited physical intimacy and personal repression, who knows what kind of powder keg I'd be.
Then when I came out, admittedly harboring the stereotype that gay relationships are built almost entirely on sex and little else, I was not encouraged. I still wanted picket fences, two children, and a dog.
Then I had a pseudo-boyfriend in my last year school. I was still nervous about being gay and never really opened emotionally, something that has always been difficult for me. Plus the automatic expiration date on our relationship made wonder what the point was.
Then I graduated law school, moved to a new city, and started studying for the bar. I reconnected with someone from last summer. For a while, it was a relationship based on sex, but then it was obvious that he had fallen in love with me well before I had with him (I don't know why but people seem to love me easily, even though I can be cranky, obnoxious and smug. I must be very good in bed.) I was nervous about his feelings, until one night I had realized that inexplicably and without warning my heart opened up and I was in love with him.
If we want to over-analyze, perhaps since I knew that he was already in love with me, I didn't have to risk rejection by opening up emotionally--whatever the reason, I did, and I am so very happy I did.
This boy is always in my mind during the day when we are at work (he has a career, not just a job, of his own--luckily it is well outside of my field so no petty professional jealousies are at risk). He's significantly older than I am, but apparently I have a personal maturity that seems to bridge that gap.
He knows I am a Republican, and respects that; he is a Democrat and I respect that.
I don't mind saying that we are an attractive couple (I rate about an 8.5 and he a 9.5 on a scale of 10) who are poised to become a local gay power couple (he is at the top of his field, and I am starting in a rather lucrative and high profile one).
He practically lives with me. Nothing official, but we spend every night together, and we have to stay at my house because I am the one with the dog. Whenever I am in his arms I feel warmth and comfort throughout my body. Being in love was always such a mysterious abstract thought, now I feel my love for this boy all over. I easily envision our long future together.
Most traumatizing perhaps is, a short time ago, I realized that being with him was the most important thing in the world to me--beyond my goals of wealth building or dreams of public office. I finally, and to my amazement, found someone I care more about than I do myself.
This is a brave new world for The Pink Elephant, and no financial crisis or Obama Presidency is going to be enough to ruin it for me. For the first time ever, I think I would describe myself as truly and deeply happy.
Now don't ask if I have introduced him to anyone in my family....