The last judgment

Joey Garcia

I’m a single, middle-aged gay man who wants a committed, loving relationship. My social skills are good, but I carry some ill-defined fear of others that causes me to feel judged or inadequate. My astrologer acknowledged that I feel like an outsider, that my partner might be foreign-born, and there could be a business aspect to our relationship. With the legalization of gay marriage, there are probably foreign guys looking to marry an American to gain citizenship. I don’t want to be used. Please help.

The ticket to freedom is to stop applying your fear of people to your search for a life partner. Squash the fears that every foreigner covets American citizenship. Nix the thought that a foreign-born man is just yearning to scam you into a sham marriage. After all, the opposite prospect could be true—you might be attracted to another country and opt to live, work and socialize with its citizens. Or you might take a holiday and meet someone who is visiting his birthplace, but who is actually a naturalized citizen of the United States. Invite your thoughts to play in the realm of all possibilities; don’t allow your brain to imprison your heart.

Let’s be clear: I am not telling you to ignore common sense or your intuition. Dating demands discernment. If you meet someone and feel as if he is pushing the relationship faster than its natural evolution, take inventory of your concerns. Manage any feelings or fears related to your tendency to feel inadequate or judged. Then, have an honest conversation with your dating partner about your remaining concerns. Consciously slow the relationship down until you feel loved for you and not for your status.

All of this requires that you immerse yourself in a new experience: trust. Open your heart to the possibility that love will find you. In the meantime, get into therapy and work to shed your fears. Begin by accepting that everyone judges others, including you. From a spiritual perspective, our responsibility is to not harm anyone with our judgments. And, when you feel inadequate, explore your commitment to judging yourself through the eyes of others. Yes, that means you are using other people to condemn yourself. Please stop. Focus your energy on becoming the best you can be.

One last thing: gay marriage. That label isn’t about love, so why use it? What activists are demanding is marriage equality. But doesn’t it make more sense to say, “Civil unions for all”? Let’s keep the word “marriage” in the realm of religion and associated with a sacrament. Religions should not be required to recognize civil unions, unless they choose to do so. Religious institutions should have the freedom to restrict who can marry in their faith, just as they restrict who can be ordained. But the government should be in the business of civil unions. Our government can choose not to recognize a couple as joined unless that couple has celebrated a civil union. After all, a government is in the business of equal rights for their citizens, or should be. Everything else, we can give to God.

I met a cute guy on an online dating site. He said he would make reservations somewhere nice for dinner on Friday night and get back to me. He didn’t. I left him a message Friday and asked if we were still on. He sent me a text on Saturday, offering to pick up a pizza and come to my place. I texted back that I already made plans. I like this guy but don’t understand what happened.

He showed you who he really is. If you want to date a man who is undependable, he’s your guy.

Meditation of the week
“The family assigns unfair roles, and never forgives the one who does not fulfill them,” said novelist Elizabeth Spencer in The Paris Review. Are you liberated enough to define yourself, your values and your destiny?

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