I recently stumbled upon a magazine article posted online from the artist Sam Smith. It in many ways spoke to me and irritated me at the same time. The quotation of particular interest is found below:
“I do feel I’m a bit behind in my relationships,” Sam confessed. “I wish I’d been in a long-term relationship by this age. But then, I didn’t move to London until I was 19. I’d grown up in an area where I was the only gay guy in school, the only gay guy in my village.
– Stroude, Will. “Sam Smith: ‘I’m a bit behind in my relationships’”. Attitude. 6 Oct. 2017.
And so now we reflect upon the words of this artist who was sprung into stardom from his little village and now prances around in his happy gay life. I guess bitterness is a valid way to describe the emotion I have while reading this. It is a bit irritating to hear a guy of his age complain about lack of relationships or experience, and being behind.
I can distinctly remember feeling similarly, and even today feeling similarly, but never it being a complaint. Personally I’ve always just sort of accepted what is, and tried to brush it off without too much reflection because I believe it can be destructive.
Now on to the actual topic, being behind. Despite how I feel about what he says, it is the truth. People of minorities of sexuality often feel behind in their own development, especially when compared with the majority. There is such a common experience or path that is taken by the masses, and when you don’t take the same, then you stand out.
It’s become apparent to me over the years that there is an insanely strong amount of social pressure people feel towards steps in life. People getting married, having children, and so forth can be seen everywhere: in the workplace, in the streets, on social media, everywhere. While people aren’t necessarily telling you that you need to do it, you feel a pressure from the masses that do. It’s indirect and the older I’ve gotten the stronger the pressure I feel.
So what creates this disconnect? When you aren’t following the same timeline or you feel behind because you’re not close the landmarks that everyone else is. Everyone walks their own path, and it’s clear to me that my path has been very unique and my own throughout my life. I even had someone expressly meet me from my family who recognised that I walked a different path, and thanked me for it.
So why is it a problem? I’ve read online that people that are straight go through formative steps of relationships in the upbringing usually in adolescents. This is often offset for homosexuals due to it not being accepted, or perhaps people not coming out until later in life. During this time adolescents getting affirmations, build confidence navigating social situations from parents and peers, so it’s logical to assume that if most people are navigating this the same supports might not exist for an adult later in life that is beginning.
What can be done in this case? How can someone get on the right path, or feel like they are catching up or at least moving rather then being stationary and in a default state? I guess I’m asking because I don’t know and I don’t have any of those normal supports.