Our most popular blog post has been the wonderfully self-affirming post ‘It’s OK to be Single’. This got me thinking. With all of the time we spend thinking about finding a relationship, have we forgotten how to be happy?
When I was young I grew tall fast! And I mean really tall – I’m 2.02m (6 feet 7 inches) and I hit this height at around the age of 15.
So throughout my life the first question everyone would ask was “do you play basketball?” For years I flat out refused to even consider playing basketball (too much pressure, so cliché). Then one day I gave in to the sport coach at school and joined a team. Though in a moment of resistance I refused basketball and chose volleyball, the other tall sport.
Unsurprisingly I did pretty well, and over time I really grew to get a lot out of it. I enjoyed the competition and I loved the changing rooms.
But as I left uni and I started working. I found that it was hard to find people to play with, so I stopped.
After breaking up with my first boyfriend (hi Craig!) when I was 23, I decided that I wanted to put myself out there. So I typed “gay volleyball” into my browser.
Fast forward a week and there I am walking into the sports hall wondering who I was going to find. Would they be sassy? Would they be serious? Would they think I was good enough? Am I hot enough?
Within a few minutes I realised that none of that mattered. Through gay sports I began to build a relationship with myself and found enjoyment, acceptance and a lot of fun. I didn’t need a drink or to get my gear off.
As I moved to Sydney and then onto London I repeated the pattern, typing “gay volleyball” into the browser and joining the local team.
I found it hard to make friends in London. To my surprise, the day I walked into the sports centre to join the London Spikers that all changed. I met three of my closest friends that day. Even though I don’t play any more, most of the people I know today were introduced to me in one way or another through that club.
I also had a few dates from that club too (and not a small amount of casual sex). It felt so natural to meet people in a normal setting without the weird, forced feeling of being on a date. Plus, let’s face it – men look hot when they’re smiling and doing what they love (and they’re dripping with sweat).
Whether I’ve been single or in a relationship, when I needed anything I knew I could turn to the people I met that day and they’d be there.
My lesson is this: my best relationship wasn’t with another man, it was with myself and the things that I loved. My favourite people in the world I met through common interests, common experiences and a common sense of humour. We are all under a lot of pressure to meet someone. It’s easy to forget when we’re doing the things that we love, chances are we’ll bump into someone that we love too.
I’d love to hear from you about other gay social clubs or sports teams that you’ve been part of. And of course, check out our article on WOD Proud, the Gay Crossfit club for some eye candy! If you’re looking for friends, login to Gaydar and tell us a bit about yourself.