As you might know, I am currently the oldest author on Your Other Brothers and a single man with no expectation of marriage. I once overheard a housemate talking about a guy in my situation. He’d said, “I thought he was supposed to be lonely and depressed!”
I am an older, single guy, but I am thankfully anything but lonely and depressed. I am very happy and full of hope for my future!
How did I get this way? Let me tell you some more of my story.
In the aftermath of my breakup with Sarah, I thought about my same sex attraction (SSA) and realized that I would probably never have enough desire for a woman to be able to marry. I was very committed to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible that I believe clearly prohibit gay sex, and I still am.
I started considering the possibility of remaining single the rest of my life. However, I knew that without a wife, close friendships would not be optional — they are essential! I had found close friendships already, but those guys were all starting to get married, and they would all soon be busy with their families and not be as close as before.
God has been the one I turn to when life is overwhelming, so I cried out to Him. He answered in a surprising way.
After all my housemates had gotten married, I needed to find others to take their place. The guys who wanted to rent these rooms were right out of college and significantly younger than me. They were all Christians from my church, so I agreed to their moving in.
To my surprise, they became my friends! I learned from experience that I can have close friendships with younger guys that are healthy and beneficial to both them and me. I also learned that these friendships work best if I act more like an older brother than a father.
Although I had failed to be a good older brother when my own younger brother needed me, I now had another chance! I used this opportunity to love these guys, help them through difficult times, and rejoice with them in good times. I refused to abandon them as I regretfully did with my biological brother.
Not every housemate became a friend, but many did. I simply showed them that I cared by my actions, building trust. Eventually, some guys reciprocated and the friendship became mutual. Many of those guys are still my friends to this day!
As my life progressed, I changed jobs several times and moved across the country and back again. Every place I lived, God always provided me with friends. Some were housemates, some were from church or whatever other Christian function where I participated.
In all these cases, I approached friendship the same. I wanted to “love my neighbor as myself” as Jesus taught, so I sought out what each guy needed and tried to show him love by meeting that need and not selfishly demanding anything in return. Some responded; some did not.
When someone did respond, he usually became a friend! It has cost me a lot of time, stress, and lost sleep to maintain these friendships, but now they are making me very happy!
I wish the same for others who need love and friendship like I do.
I know older SSA guys out there who are single and lonely and depressed. No one seems to care anymore now that they are no longer as youthful and attractive.
The answer is first to be close to God and seek out His love, then with that love from God go seek out those in need and give yourself to serving them in your own unique way. Not everyone will respond and show you love in return, but some will!
The ones who do show you love are your new friends. Treat them as you’d want a friend to treat you.
How do you find and build new friendships when you need friends? Are same-sex friendships hard for you if you’re an older single guy?