Rethinking my friendships/relationship

My Secret Notebook
6 min readJan 22, 2024

Apparently 15% of men don’t have close friendships, yet 61% of adults in the US say “having close friends is extremely or very important for people to live a fulfilling life”.

I’ve been feeling that my previously most trusted and close friends Danid and Wills aren’t really that close or deep with me anymore. At least in person, they don’t seem very interested in me, and they now have partners too.

I’m close to maybe one friend (Louis), but we also have our disconnects here and there. Even my boyfriend Roy has grown distant.

I think it’s time to do a deep rethink of where I am and where I want to be in my relationships. And of course, how to bridge that gap.

FRIENDSHIPS

Where I want to be: I want to have close friends where we are there for each other, show interest in each others’ lives, and enjoy each others’ company.

Problem: My interests, goals, and self-expression have changed a lot. The way I think about money and relationships have changed. I’ve gotten so deep into the FIRE literature and real estate investing that money talks with people seem so unrelatable on both ends. My gay background distances me from straights/church people. And my easily-annoyed personality doesn’t help.

Next steps: I should identify the type of people I want to be friends with, then brainstorm how to find them.

I want to be friends with:

  • INTJs and other N types that I’m compatible with
  • Friends who help me learn (and learn with me), care about understanding/exploring things
  • Friends who can do things I want to do together (improv RPG, gay culture trips, blood on the clocktower, board games)
  • Generally Asians (gaysians), but not opposed to expanding my frame
  • Maybe people who are planning to retire early too? And generally don’t waste too much money or care about if I don’t buy the same things they do.
  • People who have a sense of duty/responsibiltiy and are generous (ie. help clean up a game after we play)
  • People who are considerate and respectful
  • People who enjoy having deeper conversations about how things work, how they feel/how I feel, etc
  • People who appreciate the way I think

Where I can find them:

  • Board game conventions
  • Insta/apps (if I’m single or with a partner who is okay/encouraging of it)
  • Via Youtube (if I make content on this and get views)
  • Through current friends who match this sort of
  • Meetups
  • Other events/hangouts (maybe FIRE meetups, FB events, youtuber meetups)
  • Improv classes? (Groundlings, upright citizens bridgade scholarship?)
  • Discord servers, reddit, forums

What to do from here:

  • Attend some of the in-person stuff above and get out of my comfort zone
  • Express interest to current friends that I’d be interested in hanging more and expanding socially
  • Keep track of people I meet for if I want to go further, reach out more to them

People I can tap into (current):

  • Asaf (interesting food places/music/museums/intellectual)
  • Sam? (gay venues/gay culture exploration?/FIRE?? idk)
  • Louis (board games, be careful of too broad scope, Kevin?)
  • Rob M (blood on the clocktower)
  • Lindsay? Nico? (I’ve sort of lost touch, a bit too “LA”???)

What is my goal with these friends?

  • Have a social life/outings with people I like and things I like
  • Perhaps create something together (ie. improv RPG channel)
  • Build a deep connection for emotional support of each other, celebrating each other together and making things feel more meaningful
  • Health/longevity lol (they say strong social bonds mean less likely to die)

RELATIONSHIP

Where I want to be: I want to happy, stable, and enjoying the relationship. Not feeling like I’m being unreasonably “punished” all the time. I want to be with someone I find attractive who I can explore the mind with together and talk about deep/philosophical things, while enjoying quiet moments without having instability. I want someone who wants a serious partnership, who can be a good parent (perhaps parent together), who plans things for us too, and who is considerate/flexible/understanding. Maybe this isn’t a realistic ask, and I am OK with this.

Problem: I can’t communicate with Roy on serious things — and now, even small things, without him going into a “tantrum” and “punishing” me. It’s too die on the hill. The only workable solution is us meeting for sex, and that’s it. Maybe that could work for me, but would it for him? Exclusive sex doesn’t seem to fit into the “where I want to be”, but it is still better than just having no emotional support. I guess the benefit isn’t even the exclusive sex. It’s the “fallback” emotional support of having someone to message who will probably not cheat and who will probably be there if I really need their emergency help. Honestly, his showing up to be supportive isn’t really guaranteed like some people. It depends on his mood 100%.

Next steps: Break up with him now. OR, wait to see how things go and if we might just passively go into chat/sex relationship, where we don’t really even hang out much. I’m going to be bringing more socializing into my life, and he’s not going to like it. We’ll have to see how he reacts to all that. Jonathan L asked about clubbing last time, and I basically said eh nicely. I’m going to say yes next time. I’m going to grow myself and enrich myself with new activities and new people. And it will be up to him on how he reacts. I’m going to do it right though, even though he’s going to try to find ways to “blame” me. Lol, yeah it’s so BS, but I’m willing to just let go of all those negative mindsets and keep just the mutually good: light chats and sex.

If I become single:

  • In addition to social life expansion plans, I’ll add the IG and maybe youtube. Travel more.
  • I’ve been considering 1–2 weeks in random parts of the US as I work remote. Explore that area. SF, Seattle, NY, Austin, SD, etc. Even LA/Weho lol. Maybe plan some hangouts ahead of time too. Or, go to pride events.
  • Be very picky about who I even consider for serious dating, and just be honest if people want to know. “Oh, I don’t do that”, just stick to your true self. Saves time, avoids wasting time with people/getting stuck with people where it won’t go anywhere. Be less open minded about seriously dating people who aren’t a match after a few weeks (at most?).

LIVING SITUATION

I plan to keep living at home for now. If I become single, I’ll do the few weeks here and there thing. And I’ll only move out if I have kids or if I retire early. It will probably be a bit after I retire, so I can pick up some recipes from my aunt/uncle.

Consideration: If I become single, will I move out to expand my dating opportunities? It doesn’t seem like guys who do this always have better chances (Nate N, Adam H). But some do: Danid, maybe Adam actually, Patty, Danny, etc. I’d rather wait lol, even though it MIGHT be too late. Whatever though.

If I find a partner who wants to move in together, I’m fine with moving in if it feels right. I do need someone accepting of asian culture/non-traditional ways of doing things. And living with my family right now and if they are judgy about it will be a big “test” to this.

KIDS

After Roy said I was irresponsible and can’t take of myself, I did shy away from wanting kids. As much as I’d like to remain undeterred, I’ll be honest, it deterred me. I’ve been thinking about how I won’t be able to do a lot of nice things too — mosty just relaxing and traveling lol. But also exploring new interests/hobbies. Yes, parenting can be rewarding, but maybe I’m okay with reconsidering that when I’m like 38–39? That’s 4–5 years. And maybe I’ll actually retire by then and have kids.

I kind of like that. And I want to ENJOY a lot more in these next 4–5 years. Here’s some more bonus planning

NEXT 4–5 YEARS

  1. Expand social network to niche friends (probably newer, but picking and expanding on the ones I like; and strengthening one with Louis). Events/meets/hangs.
  2. Travel a lot more. 1–2 weeks in diff cities to tour/explore. Get mobile wifi, small mouse/keyboard sets, new luggage bag. Weekend trips. Local hikes/museums/etc.
  3. Be nicer, kinder, and more patient with people (except for work, where I’ll just be “nice” and BS my way to low stress/longer/chiller timelines).
  4. Freeze embryos if ask Dorlis. At the end, start surrogacy journey.

PS. I’m having strong deja vu like I dreamed that I was journaling all this at 12:23am (right now) or some late time, and then in the dream I was like wait.. I’m not in that situation right now though.

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My Secret Notebook

Quirky, curious, and philosophical Asian American gay Ivy League grad living in Southern California.