Having A Perfect Type

I have found that most people in this world have some basis of a “type” they look for in someone they wish to date. While some have told me they don’t have a type, I always find upon further questioning that each of them do. Maybe it’s that they don’t prefer heavier-set people or possibly they don’t prefer a certain ethnic race people or they stay away from people shorter than themselves. But in just about every case, I can find at least some traits that they look for and can be labeled as their “type”.

For most of my life, I’ve been what one may deem a “chubby chaser”. I prefer to date larger people. When I’ve dated women in my life, they are full-figured. And when I’ve dated men in my life, such as my partner currently, they are usually labeled as a “bear” in the gay culture. For as early as I can remember in my life that is what I was attracted to. Even in elementary school I can remember staring at the heavier boys and girls not wanting to look away. Over the years as my spirituality waned, so did my openness to people I would consider going out with. In other words, I became more and more superficial in who I would allow myself to go out with.

There became a quest within me to search for the perfect person that had to fit a certain set of criteria. And if they didn’t meet that set, I just didn’t go out with them and made up some excuse. The internet made this extremely easy to do too. Much of my
free time was spent perusing through the single’s listing and just
looking at pictures. Those that I found were “the hottest” got a personal message from me and those that didn’t have a picture or just seemed average looking in my mind, didn’t.

As the years passed, those who I did date or land in relationships with were always someone that I had approached and asked out. And every one of them failed. Through therapy that came much later, I realized that all of them held the energy of my mother and were just showing me a mirror of what I had become: controlling, addiction based, codependent, and conditionally loving. Eventually as I fell completely off the spiritual path and after many years of dating toxic people, I realized I was the one that was sick and needed help. So I began intense therapy in the summer of 2011 and began working through many issues like an onion being peeled back. Little by little, I no longer found myself being drawn to those same type of toxic people that I had sought out again and again. And the more that I healed and learned to love myself, the more I lost the appeal to even being around any of what I had once labeled as my specific type.

And that’s when my partner showed up. It didn’t happen suddenly. Rather, he came into my life after only several months of me in therapy with a response to my one and only personal ad online. Initially, I kept him at bay and strung him along like I had done to so many others over the years as I continued to date dead-ends. Occasionally I would respond to his repeated attempts to get to know me as something within me kept getting drawn back to him. Some say that people draw into their lives those that are energetically similar to their own energy, and as they grow spiritually, so does those that are drawn in. Looking back, I believe that’s why I continued to respond to someone that didn’t fit my old type. The more I worked on myself spiritually and drew closer to God, the more that I wanted to get to know this guy. And eventually, after an umpteenth trip to meet someone over New Years that I had pursued and proved to be another bust, I gave him my full attention.

As I write this, I’m coming up to a year of being monogamously partnered with him. I love him dearly. And I know he loves me the same. I continue to work on myself and find that my love grows deeper for him every day. I see many people today that fit the bill of what I used to chase after. But now there’s a repulsion that I feel inside towards those people because I’ve realized that they are still doing what I did for so many years and I don’t want to ever go back to living that way.

I have found that there is no perfect type. There is no perfect partner. To seek out perfection in someone to date was simply because of my own flaws and insecurities. Through the process of healing with God at the center of my life, I have been given a wonderful relationship that is so different from anyone I have ever dated before. I’m glad I listened to that small voice within me and gave him a chance. He has continued to teach me that real unconditional love isn’t based upon a type, it’s based upon a feeling…and it’s in the heart and soul, just like it is with us.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Long Distance Relationships

Long distance relationships can be challenging. But I am convinced that if the two people are willing to go the extra mile, it can work. And I’m also convinced that sometimes having a long distance relationship is a good thing and probably God’s will for the time being.

My partner and I met online in 2011. He found my personal ad and responded at first by an e-mail. Initially I kept him at bay and talked solely on the internet through instant messages. My success rate with the people I met online was quite poor so I was hesitant to let him in any further. But in a very short time of communication, I began to notice major differences with him. He was genuine, honest, and open on every level of his life. He wasn’t controlling, demeaning, demanding, or abrasive on any level. He wasn’t angry, bitter, or self-piteous with the world. And he was really interested in me just as I was and not for who he wanted me to be. In other words, he was happy with me just being myself. So I took the next step and began talking face to face on Skype. And then eventually, after several months, we met and spent a few weeks together getting to know one another in person. And that’s when the real challenges began.

At first I asked myself how was this really going to work. I asked myself how often could I really get together in person. I asked myself if talking everyday would really be enough when we weren’t together. I even asked myself how long would I be able to have a long distance relationship before I would want one of us to move in with the other. And what I found is that by placing God first in my life, all of these questions would answer themselves on their own.

I know my partner and I ask God to be at the center of our relationship. I personally don’t believe any relationship can sustain longevity without that. It seems that things just happen as they are supposed to now with us. There’s not a day that goes by where we don’t talk through texting, instant messages, phone calls, or Skype and we make it a point to see each other every 30 to 40 days or so. We split the cost of the travel expenses and we both continue to work on our spiritual growth while we spend time apart.

It will soon be one year that we’ll have been together and although we currently live more than several hundred miles away, our relationship continues to grow closer every single day. I’ve had several previous attempts at long distance relationships. One where the other person lived far enough away that I could only see him on weekends and another that actually lived oversees where I only got to see him a few times during the year. Both of them failed. Neither of them had myself nor my partner asking God to guide the relationship. Instead, self-will and selfishness guided them.

Many gay relationships, especially long distance ones, are not monogamous. I’m sure there are many reasons why people in them allow that to happen. In my case, my partner and I are completely monogamous. Having God at the center of our lives, we are convinced that God wants us to share our love here on Earth with only each other, even while we are apart for so many weeks. Ironically, we find our love grows for each other while we are apart. And, in all honesty, I practice celibacy on all levels during those times as I have found this enhances my love for him even more.

It’s one of my deepest beliefs now that true love can overcome any challenge that may arise. In my case, it’s the mileage that’s the main obstacle. With modern technology, saving money, dedication to the relationship whether we are together or apart, and asking God to guide us every single day, we continue to find our love growing stronger.

On some level, at least for the present moments in my life, I think God wants me to be in a long distance relationship. In every one of my former relationships, I had the feeling that I couldn’t exist without them and they couldn’t exist without me. Life was so depressing when I wasn’t with them . Today I know that’s not real unconditional love. That’s codependent toxicity. It’s possible that if my partner had been in the same region as me, I might have fallen right back into one of those same relationships all over again. Instead I’ve been forced to work on me when we’re not together. I’ve learn how to have a relationship with myself. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to love being with just me.

People say that God always knows what’s best for each of us. Well I am finding that to be true with my current relationship. I love my partner deeply and I love myself just the same. I enjoy my time apart as much as I enjoy my time with him. At some point I’m sure we will be living together. Until that time happens, I know that as long as we both continue to put God first and as long as we both are willing to go that extra mile each and every day, that we’ll be able to continue to sustain whatever hurdles that are put in front of us.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

“Living One Day At A Time, I Know This Too Shall Pass”

There are many slogans in recovery that people choose to hang onto. Two of the most difficult sayings that I have learned to apply from my twelve step recovery meetings were “One Day At A Time” and “This Too Shall Pass”. This has only been able to occur through enduring much pain throughout my life.

Over the seventeen years that I have been clean and sober there has been a lot of tragedy in my life that has come and gone. My father committed suicide in the fall of 1996. I was diagnosed with Fibromyaliga in the spring of 1997. One of my only friends passed away at a very young age due to a sudden brain aneurism in the fall of 2000. My Grandmother who I was very close to died shortly after due to a stroke. A few years beyond that during the winter of 2005 my Mother fell down the stairs and broke her neck dying instantly. Two years later, a seven year relationship I thought I was meant to be in for the rest of my life ended. And then within the next few years, the bed and breakfast that I owned went under and was sold as a short sale with me losing all the capital I had invested into it.

Each of these made my life seem impassable. I thought I would never recover from the trauma I endured in each of them. When I was in the worst pain with each of them I couldn’t see through the clouds or the forest. Being in the middle of any storm in life and living day in and day where the pain never seems to change, a common reaction for me is to want to give up. I realized after enough of these had happened in my life, that combining two of them together helped me to make it through ones that would happen later.

“One Day At A Time”. What does this mean? It means living in the moment. It means not worrying about tomorrow because it’s not here yet. It means focusing on just getting through the day I’m in.

“This Too Shall Pass”. What does this mean? It means that what I’m going through will pass in time. It means that no matter what I am enduring, at some point it will lift. It means that no matter how bad it may feel inside, that I will feel good again.

With each of the tragedies and traumas that I have gone through, I have found greater and greater success and healing by applying the two of these slogans together. If I can live one day at a time, in the moment, telling myself that this too is going to pass, then inevitably at some point, whatever it was I am going through will end and I will feel better again, even more so than before the thing ever started.

For the past few years, since April 27th, 2010, I have been enduring chronic pain that I believe to be coming from my body’s healing process in releasing all the old toxic energy I had stored within me. Where I once found these twelve step recovery slogans to be silly and useless, I now rely upon them greatly and even find myself saying them in my head over and over again.

I know there will be a day soon that I am free from living in the physical pain I have felt for so long. I will keep doing my best to live in the moment each day telling myself that what it is I’m feeling is going to pass and I will keep on praying to God for strength to continue to endure. And so far, thank God, this has helped me sustain almost three years of this. Between my prayers, my faith in God, and living by these slogans, I am getting better. I am healing.

And I know that…

The clouds will part again.

The clearing in the forest is just on the horizon.


The sun will rise again.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson