They happen with gay and straight people. They happen with the young and old and those in between. They sometimes involve sex. But not always. Yes, I've had one night stands that weren't sexual at all. Here are a few of them.
- Neighbor friend and I go for a bike ride. Nothing bad happens. I expect we'll go again. But I never ask and neither does the neighbor. We see each other at church. We even chat. But no bike rides are scheduled.
- Different neighbor friend has a cabin. His son and my son are the same age and buddies. My son and I are invited to the cabin. Nothing bad happens. I expect to be invited again sometime. My son and his son go to the cabin mutliple times particularly after they both get their drivers licenses. I see my friend at church. We chat. Eventually I out and out say, "If you ever need any help up at your cabin, just let me know, I'd love to lend a hand." Never again am I invited to the cabin. We continue to see each other at church. We chat. I can't bring myself to ask him, what happened, how come I never got invited back?
- College buddy invites me to go skiing. We have a good time. At least I think so. Nothing bad happens. But I don't ever again invite him to go skiing. He doesn't ever again invite me to go skiing. Eventually we lose track of each other, but sometimes when it snows, I think of him and wonder what happened. The I tell myself, you can't hold on to every friendship and aqauintance.
- Yet another neighbor and I go for yet a different bike ride. Nothing bad happens. We both say we'll go again sometime, but I never invite him and he never invites me. We see each other at church. We even chat. But no bike rides are scheduled.
Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me. Other times I know it's because I'm gay and they're straight and their gaydar goes off and they back away. Then I say, no, that's not it. Just because I'm still kind of homophobic doesn't mean they are. Then I remember that in three of the four cases above, I didn't do anything to try to advance the friendship. Sometimes I'm too judgemental though. I read about guys who have sex or something close to it with other guys, and then when the relationship stalls I can hear myself judgementally saying, "Well if you hadn't had sex, you'd still be friends." But the point is, sometimes there's just not enough energy in a relationship to carry it forward. Maybe it's nobody's fault. Maybe it just is. At least that's what I tell myself on beautiful spring days when I think about bike rides and trips to cabins.