My second guest in this blog series is a man, a legend… on Instagram and in real life. The true reason I reached out to Mr. Cobb, was because I was intrigued by what story he had to tell, that I just knew he had hidden behind his somewhat-scandalous story and platform wall. He’s not a many of many words, but what he shares is one of love and self-truth.
Ladies and gents, I’d like to officially reveal Mr. Jason Cobb!
I was supposed to be a high school theatre queen, having been in every musical, touring troupe, and theatre production I could find. So, fast forward past college and logically, I became a lawyer (sarcasm intended). I came out of undergrad the way most people worked their way through – undecided. I knew I wanted an advanced degree, if only because I knew I was capable. What form that took was mostly irrelevant for the longest time.
But several years out of undergrad, I found myself married to the first guy I ever asked out (a guy I met at my telephone customer service job), and he had legal dreams. So, after watching him tackle his first two years of law school, I was very much into “that’ll do.” So, I quickly followed after.
Fast forward through a few houses, a few mortgages, several dogs, and a kid. After fifteen plus years, I decided to get gay-divorced before that got trendy, too. And at forty, I found myself largely unsure of myself and what I had to offer anyone on the dating front. I got a quick education. But first, I got a mustache. Duh.
It sounds silly, but growing a mustache had a LOT to do with me owning my own appearance, and accepting that I didn’t want to try passing for a young man. I looked like what I looked like, and that was fine. My goal was to be genuine. Frankly, my life had gotten really complicated in a short amount of time, and the last thing I had energy for was creating an alter ego.
But, choosing to present yourself in a genuine fashion necessarily requires a large measure of self-acceptance. And part of my journey of self-acceptance was realizing that I was fine just the way I was… that not everyone was going to be into me, and that I didn’t need everyone to be into me. And mostly, that I wasn’t my own type.
Really. I realized that as a gay man sizing up every other gay man, I didn’t need to meet my own standard or checklist of what I was looking for. I wasn’t into me. But solely as a preference, not a judgment as to my worth as a human being. Just because I wouldn’t date someone like me didn’t mean I wasn’t worth dating; it just meant I was looking for someone with a different taste in men. I came to accept it as perfectly normal for someone to see things in me they find impossibly sexy, attractive, and loveable, that I simply didn’t appreciate at all, or that I even found unattractive.
This approach also freed me to feel validated about my own needs and desires. And so, @notgettingyouapony, my Insta handle, was born. I was fine being a daddy, but I already had an actual son who wanted me to buy him things. I wasn’t looking for another bill, or another tax deduction.
Having never really dated before shacking up and getting married the first time, I quickly appreciated that I also lacked any dating skills… as in, I can’t take a hint, I don’t understand when someone makes a pass at me, and making repeated passes usually results only in the same reaction. I’m that dense.
So, I decided to try just being nice… to be honest about my feelings, including with myself, not sleeping with anyone I didn’t actually like at the moment on some level as a human being, and trying not to unnecessarily hurt anyone. I didn’t always succeed, but I feel a lot better about myself thinking I did right by most people. Fight me.
My little midlife dating adventure led me and my boyfriend together a few years ago. He’s everything I could have dreamed for, and surprises me every day. And even though he tells me constantly, I still haven’t the damndest idea what he sees in me. But, I love him for it. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk (said with full appreciation that it sounds like a dad trying to be cool…)
Hi, I’m Jason.
Interested in becoming my next guest blogger? Drop a message to Josephafed@yahoo.com and we’ll get you squared away. Don’t be shy, now.