When I read Helen Fisher's sweet book Why We Love about love and neurochemistry, I remember musing that people don't do a lot of that "falling in love" thing that she talks about much any more. When I was in my twenties and thirties, I fell in love with guys (still do), and guys fell in love with me. And I heard stories all the time about friends and friends of friends falling in love. And of course, in 1991 or so, I had a life changing experience one night at the Altar, a short-lived but great leatherbar in NYC, when I saw two middle aged leathermen meet, chat, and over the course of the evening fall head over heels in love with each other. It was amazing to watch, and as I remember, I wasn't the only one to see it. When they headed out the door, holding hands and stars in their eyes, there was very nearly applause.
But, as I've discussed before on SingleTails, it just doesn't seem to happen a lot any more. So why don't fools--or anyone else for that matter--seem to do much falling in love anymore?
Well, the same Helen Fisher proposes an answer: maybe it's all those Special Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (aka anti-depressants) that are so commonly prescribed these days. It seems that in addition to interfering with levels of serotonin, they also inhibit dopamine, and dopamine is critical to that giddy wonderful feeling you had when you first knew he cared for you the way you cared for him. You can read all about it here.
On the one hand, I'm relieved. This doesn't necessarily mean I have bad breath or stinky feet or that I Just. Don't. Measure. Up. in some junior high school way or other.
But on the other hand, does this mean that I'm condemned to live in a world where all I ever get is lackluster coffee dates or all but anonymous hookups? Never more that whole, "Gosh but I think you're a really special guy and I'd like to see you again sometime and soon" thing. After all, is there anywhere in the world a gay man closer to fifty in age than thirty who isn't on some kind of anti-depressant medication? Not likely, right? Even I have about half a bottle of Welbutrin in my medicine cabinet from my last attempt to quit smoking.
And remembering that, it briefly crosses my mind to drink the Kool-Aid. To start back in on the Welbutrin and just forgo these vain hopes. I was an awfully pleasant and productive person on Welbutrin.
I'll soldier on.
Even though I'm sort of feeling the sting of Bruiser not seeming to have much in the way of time for me, I'm not willing to count myself out just yet.
Not just yet.
And hopefully not ever.