Booked a dinner with a new friend mid-30’s, professional, Ph.D, comes from a big family, I’m attracted to him and I think he’s attracted a bit to me, but he’s dating someone and I’m wanting to focus my attention on someone else. I’m feeling good and have been busy just about every night.

My rule is to tell people early on about my marriage and kids. You can’t hide 16 years of your past from someone. Sliding into my seat at the restaurant, he’s starting to ask questions. I’m nervously looking for my drink to arrive. Drink in hand, I drop the bomb, I’ve got the whole story down to under 3 minutes.

Concluding, he slams his hand down on the table. I jump. “I can’t believe this, the guy I’m dating was also married and a previous person I went out was as well, I think I’m attracted to guys who’ve been married”. I must be looking anxious because he shifts the conversation.

“Chris, the fact that you’ve been married and with kids is very attractive. It says you’re long term oriented, have a sense of family obligation and attentiveness. For many gay guys, it’s all about them, totally self centered, they get consumed with themselves and can’t give emotionally to others. You’re likely balanced, caring and empathic – every guy actually wants that.”

It’s a nice compliment and I hadn’t thought of it that way. In fact, I was a bit shameful. “What it took you 15 years to figure out you’re gay?”

It’s getting late now, had a great evening, I’m driving him back to his place. “Chris, don’t let the drama queens bother you, what you’ve done took a lot of courage, maybe you didn’t always execute the way you wanted, but you never lost sight of the goal, I have a lot of new found respect for you.”

Ah shucks, I’m just a country boy from North Carolina is all.