I’m gay, lonely, and anxious about my future

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male company employee in my late 20s. I’m gay and I feel lonely.

I’m not interested in women at all. My love interests have always been men, and I don’t think this will change in the future.

I haven’t gone out with anyone before. I’ve attended events for gay people to look for a partner. However, I was shy at those events because I have no confidence in my appearance. Therefore, I’ve never found anyone, and now I’ve almost given up.

I usually spend my days off on my own because I have very few friends. I’m unhappy whenever I see people having a good time with their partners or friends on the streets, or when I’m told by acquaintances or colleagues that they’ve married.

When I wonder if I’ll be alone for the rest of my life, I feel so uneasy about my future that I can’t sleep well. This feeling makes it hard for me to concentrate at work, causing me to make more and more mistakes. I find myself caught up in a vicious cycle.

Recently, I’ve been constantly worrying about things like who will take care of me when I need to be cared for in my old age. Please advise me.

K, Fukuoka Prefecture

Dear Mr. K:

I feel as if I’m hearing your sorrowful cry for help as you endure loneliness. My heart is aching for you. You are gay, but this in itself doesn’t seem to be a problem for you. Here, I will sort your hardships, as follows.

“I can’t find a partner.” “I have very few friends.” “I spend my days off alone.” “I’m unhappy just seeing couples having a good time together.” “I’m caught in a vicious circle in which I find it hard to focus on my work and therefore make many mistakes.” And, to my surprise, you’re already worrying about who will take care of you when you become old, even though you are still in your 20s.

I understand quite well how this matter has got to you and made you feel so sad and isolated. I’m also aware that you are always struggling over your well-being and future.

However, let me tell you one thing: You seem to unduly focus on yourself, always saying, “I’m lonely, I’m lonely.” Don’t you think you should make an effort to improve yourself?

“Working for others or society” sounds like a cliche, but have you ever thought of what you can do to make someone else happy, even if you might not be acknowledged for it?

This advice may seem beside the point in helping to ease your loneliness, but I suggest you take a wider look around your world to broaden your perspective. I believe such people can attract others without realizing.

Soichiro Nomura, psychiatrist

(from Feb. 27, 2018, issue)Speech

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