Your words are
helpful, and I agree with everything you've said. About being considerate and communicative, about the internalized homophobia, about figuring out whether I can have a healthy relationship with a man, and not carrying the experiment too far if it doesn't seem to be happening.
My gut feeling is, if I find a man I can connect well with emotionally, I'll be able to break through some or all of these barriers, and get a better feel for how important (or not) it really is for me to have a boyfriend in my life.
In my life, the close emotional ties I've made have really only been with women. I know I've been repressed when relating to men, straight or gay, and I think that most straight men at least are similarly repressed.
Anyway, to work through all of this stuff is mainly why I'm interested in dating men exclusively sometime soon. The other part is to help me keep my focus in my interactions with women, to keep it a priority to get to know them thoroughly as friends before letting things turn romantic/sexual. My tendency has been to get hot and heavy quickly, and I get distracted so much by the things I want sexually, that I start losing track of their needs as a person. Not to mention, I often end up having rushed into sex with someone I later find I'm just not that into, or who isn't very into me.
I think it will be a bit easier to keep this from happening with a man, since I don't (currently at least) really get that same strong sexual pull towards men I've just met.
Anyhow, thanks for your comments.
And I'll let you know if I pick up any insight into meeting and finding friendships with gay or bi men as I go.