LGBTQI atheists, nontheists, and friends

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LGBTQI atheists, nontheists, and friends

Nontheist lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people & friends.

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Comment by katchaya on November 20, 2010 at 6:01pm
I have been reading this thread but this is my first post. I too have sort of given up on finding someone. I live in a small city in Mass where there are very limited options in meeting people. I am not a bar person. I am enrolled in college at the moment but at 47 I am almost 30 years older than most of the people I meet there. There does not seem to be an active GSA (I know that at one time there was) and no Atheist org that I can find there either. The local skeptic meetup is in Boston, almost an hour away. I just wish it was easier to meet new people. I do have hobbies and volunteer for a few local organizations. But right now at my house it's just me, 3 dogs, 3 birds and a cat. LOL. My best female friends are all str8. I have alot of gay male friends but almost no lesbian ones.
For a very long period of my adult life I had an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness that I know kept me from having any successful long term relationships. The last LTR which was not that long was in 2001. Now that my illness is under control with medication, I feel like it's time to really work on finding someone. But I agree with what others have said, looking aggressively and being needy is going to get you no where. So I continue to plug along and hope that unexpectedly I will finally meet someone.
The Atheist aspect just makes it that much more difficult. I don't think i could really be with someone that was practicing a religion. I have a hard enough time being friends with some of them! But i think that the idea that someone that compliments you instead of being just like you is what is going to be successful in a relationship. So the odds are stacked against me but maybe one day it will happen. I'll let you all know if it does!
Comment by Marx on November 20, 2010 at 4:50pm
Hey - I got my photo/logo back. It disappeared so I loaded it, but it did not show up for my second message either, so I just added it again and now it seems to be working. Technology can be so challenging some times.
Comment by dr kellie on November 20, 2010 at 2:12pm
I would love to provide a woman's input, but I don't think I have much. At 41, I feel like I know less about relationships and love than I ever have. My long term gf died 2 years ago. She was an atheist and she was going to be the one I could stick it out with. I'm really not the marrying kind, as I love being single and flirting and picking up girls, but I can make it work with the right girl.

I have lived in my little Texas town for 19 years, and I know everyone, so I am the go-to lesbian for women who want to "experiment." I'm the cute little gay vet who isn't threatening, and I play that card constantly. I don't know when or if I will ever be seeking a relationship. My constant companion these days is my darling main fag, Tom. He is an English professor, and since my gf died, we have been joined at the un-hip. I'm taking him home with me for Thanksgiving, which means there will be 4 gays (and 4 atheists) at the table (two of my cousins are gay)!

I hope all of you who are seeking love find it. At this point in my life, I am running from it.
Comment by Sentient Biped on November 20, 2010 at 11:58am
Dominic said: "that one must find someone who compliments you, rather than looking for someone who completes you."

Where were you 20 years ago when I needed you? :-) Time to pack up the U-Haul and move to FLorida. Although that might confuse and alarm my partner. This is a perfect expression of what I should have known. Although, my hormones were in overdrive and I might not have listened.

Would love to have some input from women on this thread too. My impression is that the dynamic can be quite different, but that's a view as someone who isn't exposed much outside of my little suburban silo.
Comment by Marx on November 20, 2010 at 11:40am
Thanks for your comments, Dom. You have a lot of great insights and I certainly understand what you are saying. I have not been an atheist for very long and I was fortunate enough to already be in a loving relationship as my world view evolved. Had I been an atheist when I first met James I am not sure that we would have developed the relationship that we have today. It is certainly helpful in the beginning to have shared interests and a lot of common ground. It is much easier, once you love someone, to accept the directions in which they grow and evolve, even if you do not grow in the same way or at the same speed. Neither James nor I are the same people that we were when we met, but we have been fortunate to be able to share our journeys.
Comment by Richard Healy on November 20, 2010 at 11:37am
My last relationship was with a relatively inoffensive Quaker. Who could possibly quarrel with a Quaker, as Stephen Fry once asked rhetorically .... well...

I tend to get a bit raise my eyebrow sceptical at nonsense, so while Quackerism may be in some respects the least doctrinal and accepting of Christian sects (blessing gay marriages for example) it still irritated the hell out of me when he spoke of "discerning" being a way of knowing (this is being compelled to speak in one of the Quakers meeting of friends, which can pass by in total silence if no-one does not feel the urge to speak... however so it's just like normal conversation then only..magic.

They don't believe in a god - but they do believe the "divine light" is in all of us. I'm sorry but my interior is dark and unilluminated and not in any way divine.

Things hit a nadir when he began complainign about "aggressive atheists and cited an interview Rabbi Sacks had done with Colin Blackmore where it was clear we each thought the other guy lost.

I'm sorry but I struggling to deal with anyone who's perspective is so at variance with reality.
Comment by Dominic Florio on November 20, 2010 at 11:10am
I apologize for the typos in my post. One line especially, should read:
I have not refused to date someone because they believe in a gawd, nor have I rejected someone because they go to church.

I am in a hurry and should have been more careful. There are other small mistakes, but I think everyone gets my point. Thanks.
Comment by Dominic Florio on November 20, 2010 at 11:03am
I know both Marx and James, and they are two very nice people. Marx, I agree with everything you said, but I'll add a some clarifications on my own opinions.
James reminds me of friends and family who I have been close to for years. We get along great. They don't jump down my throat for my opinions or want to convert me. They are comfortable enough and secure enough in their beliefs, to allow my atheism not to be threatening.
Unfortunately, many religious gay people are so insecure about who they are, and in an effort to fit into a world that many times is not very accepting, especially when it comes to organized religion, they cannot accept a partner, let alone a friend, who does not engage in their beliefs. That has been my experience anyway.
I stated in another posting that it is natural for most humans to want to seek a partner, but I also stated, that one must find someone who compliments you, rather than looking for someone who completes you. The mistake that people make is to think that a relationship is going to fulfill the voids in their lives. The neediness gets old quickly, since a relationship could never fulfill those needs.
I have not dated someone because they believed in a gawd, now have I rejected someone becasue they may go to church. I think it a bit much though when someone starts preaching to me about the "love" of Christ in their getting to know each other conversations.
I also agree about judging people on their actions, rather on their beliefs, but many times they go hand and hand. In my work situation, where I never said a negative thing about anyuone's beliefs, believers in a gawd would think nothing of sitting around talking about the "end times" and all the people who were going to be punished. This of course went hand in hand with their gossip about everyone in the workplace. It is amazing how these people can talk about the love of their Jesus, while perpetuating such hate for others.
This is why I say that I would like to find an atheist or someone who, although having spiritual beliefs, is not a church goer. I am not prejudging people, but I know enough and have experienced enough, to know that maybe not all, but many of these people are not as accepting and intellegent as James.
I am facinating by plants, non-human animals, and fellow human beings. Life is filled with such wonder and amazing things and I hunger to learn as much as I can.
So as I go through life and I meet new friends, new lovers, and possibly new partners, I do so with an excitement, a curiosity, and acceptance of their individualism. Unfortunately, based on the history of torture and death, writings of condemnation, magical thinking, living life for death, ignortance of other religions, persecution of others and zero tolerance of their belifs and cultures, conservative political activities, "holy" book fantacies presented as histroy and science, and many of its corrupt leaders and followers, a religionist is the least likely to accept me for who I am, and to judge me by my actions.
I'll continue to go through life being who I am and celebrating those people who do have the ability to celebrate life and all its diversity.
Comment by Marx on November 20, 2010 at 9:16am
Sorry for not getting back here sooner, but it has been a hectic week. Now that I am on vacation I have a bit more time for the things I really enjoy. I would like to clarify and expand on the thoughts that I expressed earlier in the week. When I suggested that no one else can make us happy and no relationship can make us complete, I was not suggesting that we not be in relationships. I have been in a loving relationship with another man for almost 18 years now. The point I was trying to make was about how to be successful in our approach to relationships. As I read some of the posts here, the feeling of longing for love, to be loved, is almost palpable. We all need love and it is healthy to be in loving relationships. The problem that arises is how do we attract people into loving relationships with us?

I imagine that a lot of us have had the experience of meeting someone who was really needy. You could just tell that this person wanted something from you, needed your attention, needed your approval, needed, needed, … What was your reaction to that person? Now think about someone you met who you could tell needed nothing from you, but just enjoyed being with you, making you laugh, making you smile, making you feel good. They felt good about themselves, they felt good about you, and just being in their company made you feel good. Perhaps in a casual moment they put their arm around your shoulder, or patted you on the back. They interacted with you and others in ways that could have resulted in them being rejected, but you could sense that they were not at all concerned about being rejected, because they really did not need anything from you.

I knew someone like this early in my life, in my late teens. He was several years older than me. He was doing an internship in clinical psychology when I met him. He also lived and worked at an orphanage that his grandfather had founded in a small town in Connecticut. I had never met anyone before who enjoyed other people as much as he did. He was so much fun to be around because you could tell that he enjoyed being around you. Like a lot of boys my age, I was struggling with relationship issues and fear of rejection and I shared this with him. I wanted to know how he got to be so good at making friends and interacting with other people. Here is what he told me.

When he was a teenager he had also struggled with issues of making friends, wanting to be liked, wanting to be in a loving relationship, fearing rejection. And then he told me about a decision he made that changed his life. He decided that instead of focusing on wanting to be liked by others, he was going to keep his focus and direct his energy on liking others. He directed all his social energy toward liking other people, no matter what they thought of him. Even if they did not like him, it was not going to stop him from making every effort to like them. No matter what anyone might think of him, he was going to do his best to think well of them.

It is ironic that sometimes in life we do not get what we want until we stop seeking it, and then, when we least expect it, it comes to us. That was how I met my partner of 17 years. When I was in my late twenties and early thirties I was getting desperate to find someone for a relationship, someone to spend the rest of my life with – to grow old with. I was rather bald by then, so I figured I needed to look my best if I was going to be competitive at the bars, so I got a hair piece to hide my baldness and I started seriously looking for the love of my life. Well, needless to say, I got nowhere. In retrospect I realize that I was trying much too hard and I expect that everyone I met could sense it. I was approaching people from a place of my neediness. Finally, after a year or two of this, I just gave up. I resigned myself to the possibility that I would spend the rest of my life living alone.

My focus turned away from finding someone else to fulfill my needs and I began to put my energy into me making me happy. I decided to go back to school so that I could get a better job and improve my life. I began to enjoy other people more because I did not want or expect as much from them. I was having a great time being back in college. I was no longer desperately seeking the love of my life, I was just enjoying my life. And that was when I met James. He was one of my college professors, teaching a course in world religions (this was before I rejected theism). I stayed after class one day to ask the professor a question about one of the finer points of Hinduism. We found ourselves talking and talking and it happened to be lunch time, so he suggested that we continue our conversation over lunch. We began to develop a friendship and over time the friendship blossomed into romance. And here we are 17 years later. I was not desperately looking for love. I was just living my life. That was when love found me.

I would also like to mention that my partner is a devout Christian who goes to church every Sunday and prays every day. I would also like to mention that the clinical psychologist who had such a positive impact on my life also happened to be a Christian minister. My partner and I love each other more than I can say. We have learned over the years that sharing love is so much more important than sharing a belief about god. Our shared values and principles are the bedrock of our relationship and they support our love. We are also learning that if you are going to judge someone, judge them on their actions, not on their beliefs.
Comment by A Former Member on November 19, 2010 at 6:52pm
DG the Stoic!
 

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