‘You’ve been together for almost 7 years? That’s like 49 years in Gay Years’
Oh, the wit and banter of the online Gay scene.
Chatting to a fellow 30-something Gay guy before work, mixed in with the flirtations were general probings into each others lives. Getting to know someone online is like a game of Pong. Back and forward. As I share my Relationship Status on any Online Dating app, [I’m in an open relationship, which I will divulge the details of in another post], I find that many guys I speak to are curious about my relationship with my boyfriend. Besides the workings and machinations of us being open, the fact that yes, for a Gay couple, we have been together for what most people equate to an eon.
As it was before work, all I wanted was some simple flirtatious banter, so my mind was relatively sluggish when I read this fellow’s reaction to me having informed him that I had been with my guy for almost 7 years. My first reaction was honestly ‘why is it such a big deal?’.
Why is it such a massively big deal for Gays to be in a long-term relationship indeed? Successful relationships in the Gay world seem either looked at in amazement like discovering the Holy Grail, or thinly veiled derision. Anyone in a long term relationship is deduced to a tittering old married couple who should simply be shut out to the rest of the Gay community due to them taking up valuable time away from single Gay men’s missions of finding a date. Many Gay men feel that relationships in general are simply for the ‘Straights’. I tried to explain my relationship as simple as I could: I love the guy, it was chance we met, we get along well and he’s as handsome as fuck.
‘That’s ok, I’ll find the one eventually, till then I’ll just be a slut’.
…Whoa guy. Whoa. What, did you miss the OPEN part of the term ‘Open Relationship? I retorted. And why do you equate promiscuity with being single? I went on to inform this rather [in my mind] uninformed yet devilishly handsome fellow that alas, we don’t simply shut ourselves in and entertain close friends with lavish dinner parties. I’m not 65, I don’t call myself ‘discreet’ and I don’t own a house to entertain in anyways. We love going out, meeting people and experiencing life just as much as any single guy in this town. Even though we are a couple, we have independent lives from each other, and aren’t in each others pockets constantly. Some of the best nights I have is when I kick the guy out of the house so he can have his own fun and vice versa.
This was just one scenario that I have come across with respect to the perception of being Gay and in a relationship that lasts longer than a few months. There is a definite sentiment from many Gays that Gay men are not built for stable relationships. Like installing an .exe file on a Mac, that shit just ain’t gunna work. For many, that stereotype of the drama-magnet, sex fiend yet conversely always pining for a relationship Gay man appears to be the status quo. Which is obviously beyond untrue. BEYOND. However, I can’t help but get my Carrie Bradshaw on and think:
‘Are Gay men intended as a community to be simply promiscuous and unable to maintain a stable relationship? Are most of us simply hard-wired and destined for singledom? Are expectations for many just too high? Should we be setting our own rules and standards for relationships? Do some of us believe the myth and stereotype of Gay men being randy and salacious creatures who only live for the next fuck?’ Cue me in a well-appointed New York flat with frizzy hair, dark roots showing, a cigarette in hand and clacking my fingers on the keyboard of an old Mac laptop ala Sex And The City c 1998.
Many of us want the Chris Hemworths, Paul Walkers and Zac Efrons of the world with their perfectly chiselled features and bodies, however that ideal for most is unattainable. I’m nowhere as pleasing on the eye as any of them, at best I’m a 7 if I’ve had a good sleep, but for me when I was single the one thing I longed for was affection above anything else. Looks came in second. Yes, a very close second but second none the less. Not saying that my guy is a troll either, he stole my heart with his looks as well as charm.
Yet after years with the boyf, I don’t go around acting like a long term relationship is a badge of honour or something like levelling up in an MMORPG game like World Of Warcraft. Simply put I’m extremely lucky to be with someone who loves me as much as I love him. I know, hard to believe huh. It can feel like I’m an alien or an anomaly when I tell people I have just met about the length of my relationship. I see their eyes widen, the look of amazement as though I have told them that my penis is 15 inches long and shoots rainbow-coloured cum. Is it because Gay men in long-term relationships are viewed as something that happens decades after the heady party-fuelled 20’s are over? Are we meant to party our youth away then couple once we turn 40? At times, I have hesitated informing people of the length of my relationship mainly because I don’t want to go through this whole rigmarole of a scenario. Of course however, many if not most people are genuinely impressed and happy for us, and we unintentionally can come across as the LTR Gay Poster Couple.
We have our ups and downs just like anyone else. We fight and carry on like everyone else. Ie the Great Ham Fight of ’15. The difference is that we both want to work at any problems we have with each other, as I know it’s worth sticking together for. All in all, my life with my boyfriend is all the richer for it. We make our own rules, we defy any sort of compartmentalising of life and relationship status. To those who look down on LGBTIQ couples, I can only say that it saddens me, as my life is just as vibrant and the equal to that of the next guy.