I went on a caribbean cruise last year with a few best friends.
On our drive up to Galveston, one of these friends brought up an article he had recently shared on Facebook and he wanted to know what I thought of it.
“Bring it up on your phone.” He said.
I did so, reluctantly. And I say reluctantly because I had already read it and I hadn’t cared to comment on it because said friend had already expressed on his Facebook how “right” this article was. Whatever that means.
You see, the article was this inane one-size-fits-all piece (but more like a rant) on how gay society is too interspersed in the hook-up culture rather than focused on finding something “meaningful”. But who is this ass-wipe to judge what meaningful is to anybody else?
It took an inordinate amount of self-possessiveness from publicly shaming everyone who shared this article that day. And there were a number of them.
So, I went on and read the article with as little self-loathing as I could muster.
Then I said something that took the air out of the Jeep Liberty we were traveling in:
“This article is a pile of bullshit.”
I just couldn’t help it.
My friend looked at me curiously, “Why? I thought it had some great points.”
I looked at him as if ready to unleash my half-filled 32-ounce cherry slurpee over his head, “Well, would it surprise you to know that not even I am convinced that monogamy is right for me?”
We nearly jack-knifed on Interstate 10 due to that statement.
He looked at me in shock — reminiscent to how he looked at me what I told him Ru Paul’s Drag Race had jumped the shark.
Instead of continuing in quotes, allow me to explain how I feel about monogamy and open-relationships:
I’m not convinced that monogamy is for me.
First of all, I love living alone. I appreciate my solitude. In fact, on most days, I prefer it.
I just don’t know how I would be able to handle living with someone. I enjoy intimacy, but in moderation.
I also fear that if I were to live with someone on a long-term basis, eventually the novelty of the relationship will wane and we’ll only be living with each other for the sake of convenience and habit. And how sexy is that, right?
Moderation, you see, is the key. But not only that.
My last relationship was a huge learning experience for me.
He was a great guy with a good heart, we had tons of chemistry, and genuinely cared for one another. But we only lasted six months. Why? Because he found someone else more befitting of his needs. And for the longest time, I hated him for it. I blamed him relentlessly and it didn’t help that we share the same friends, so avoiding him was always a hassle.
Then, when all the debris settled from our imploded relationship, I realized it wasn’t his fault. It was no one’s fault. Because I could count several occasions within our relationship that I considered straying. There was one occasion early on in our relationship when I was approached by a handsome banker in a bar while out with friends. His group converged with ours and we instantly gravitated toward each other. Yes, I was naturally flirting with him because, hell, I’m in a gay bar, it’s common courtesy. Well, in the frenzy of an overpopulated bar and blaring house music, this banker man pulled me over to him beside the DJ booth and pulled me into a kiss.
Or at least he tried to. I pushed him back and told him I couldn’t.
But I wanted to. I wanted to badly. And if I had, I would have felt terribly.
There was another instance when a guy I had a tiny crush on began to show interest in me.
It all came to a head in another bar when out with my boyfriend and a group of friends. This guy shows up and we strike a polite casual conversation that builds and builds and builds. Before I know it, my best friend is dragging me out to the bar patio with a disapproving look on her face.
“What are you thinking?” She says.
Genuinely confused, I ask, “What? What’s wrong with you?”
“You were flirting with that guy for the past half hour!”
Half-hour? It hadn’t even seemed that long to me. When we returned inside, my boyfriend’s face said it all. He was hurt by it. I didn’t even realize I was doing it. But, I shrugged it off, and assured him that he had nothing to worry about. And that worked for about an hour.
Because when we arrived at another bar for after-hours dancing, this tiny crush of mine approached me again after having consumed one too many coronas. He put his arms around my waist and pulled me into a kiss. I was about to push him back, but my boyfriend intervened and did it for me. The night turned sour after that. But we got past it and moved on.
And then, months later, I was dumped for someone else. I blamed him and myself for my broken heart.
But now, I blame unrealistic expectations.
We have these pre-ordained agreements within ourselves that guide us most of our lives. We go to school, move out, go to college, get married, have kids, die.
As far as relationships go, we’ve mostly conformed to the idea of meeting “the one”, falling in love, getting married, and growing old together. But what if that isn’t enough? What happens when the natural stirrings for something new and exciting begin to takeover? Am I to bury those desires and go about my mundane life because there’s a piece of paper saying I’m committed to someone else?
This is not what I want for myself. In fact, it never has been and it doesn’t have to be. Isn’t this what the gay community is fighting against and has been fighting against for generations? We want same-sex marriage! We shout that conservative america needs to stay out of our bedrooms and become more open-minded. But still, its become clear, that even we ourselves have some evolving to do. Love is love, yes, I agree. But it also comes in all shapes, sizes, and numbers.
I’m not saying I don’t want to get married. I’m just saying that marriage does not have to be so definite. I would like to grow old with someone, but I’m a realist. I know one man for the rest of my life is not going to be enough. And I’m tired of feeling like it has to be.
So when people thumb their noses at others who approach life differently, it gets me angry. There is no one right way to live life. Who sets the rules? Does love need rules?
I don’t think so. And I don’t know what kind of love is meant for me. But I’m open to them all.
And if you’re not, that’s cool too and alright by me. You don’t have to be.
But you should let me be me.
And spare me the hypocrisy.