One night, not long after my ex who I thought I would someday marry (if it ever becomes legal in the Philippines), left me unexpectedly, after having dinner with a gorgeous but dull older guy, I booked an Uber car to my favorite gay bar in Ortigas. It was a rainy Saturday night, which made traffic worse in all of the major roads in the city.
Once there, I paid for my entrance fee and took my first bottle of flavored beer (yes, I’m ~that~ kind of gay). It was the usual crowd of gay guys in their best outfits—tank tops or tight-fitted shirts for the chiseled guys, sleeves or sweaters for the slimmer ones, plain tees for the “already attractive so it doesn’t matter what they wear” gentlemen, sparkly LBD for the transitioning or cross-dressers, and then there’s me, in a grey jacket over my bare scrawny body because I wanted to stay in between reserved and slutty—I am both, when needed.
I scanned the entire room, looking for familiar or gorgeous new faces to meet. That night I only saw few of both. (Sad.) But the former had me realized how small the gay community really is because all the familiar faces I saw there were my former dates and some I had casual sex with at least once (because I can be slutty too, as I’ve mentioned already).
I realized I date a lot. Maybe something is wrong with me. Or I’m just that slutty.
I went on a date with a guy I met on Hornet who left me on the hallways of Nectar (another gay bar in Manila) for most of the evening while he mingled and took shots from different tables and booths, which I took as rude so I went on a date with a fashion vlogger I met at an Italian restaurant who showed me where he edits his videos, but I was afraid to get involved with another social butterfly, and then I went on a Facebook date with a financial advisor who took me to a dinner so fancy it felt like a brag, and I imagined what it would be like to be with him every weekend, going to fancy restaurants where a plate of French fries costs my monthly Netflix subscription, but then I decided I was too young for all that. I also went on another Facebook date with a fresh grad who told me he couldn’t afford IMAX so we had our first date at his apartment and watched Kapuso Mo, Jessica Sojo, and for a moment I felt older than I had ever been before, though in fact I’m not even in my late 20’s yet. I went on dates with both older and younger guys.
When I went on dates with successful guys, I always knew what to say, but later I would complain to my friends about their privilege and the high likelihood that they have secret ecstasy or methamphetamine habits, because rich guys so often do. When I went on dates with guys who were less successful, I related to them too, that disturbing anxiety of never having enough in a city where everyone is struggling to have so much, but I would rule them out, telling my friends that I need someone more “accomplished.”
So, yeah. I date a lot.
I go on dates when I’m happy and when I am less happy. I go on dates to feel complete when I feel empty, and when I feel complete on my own, I go on dates, too. I go on dates even when I don’t want to, when I would have preferred to stay in and watch tv series on my phone or go out with my friends, because if I do not go on dates I might never find love, and I know that love is the highest calling if I want to be truly happy and contented with my life.
Maybe I date a lot because I don’t want to be alone in my new life as a single man, free from the shackles of a 5-year relationship. I know most people would say that after a break-up, the best thing to do is to focus on yourself and not date, which I find curious and interesting, because I don’t feel completely okay with not seeing anyone romantically or sexually.
Sometimes though, I must admit, that going on dates becomes exhausting and I feel tired and sick of it, especially after a bad one. But my internal monologue circles on the fact that I never like myself more than when I’m with a guy who likes me.
So if you ask me why I enjoy dating? I honestly don’t have a logical answer. I just do. I can only say though that a part of me knows that if I do it often and enough, then eventually I won’t have to do it anymore. But I can’t seem to get anyone to stick around, that is the problem. Or maybe I’m the one who never sticks around.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell.