“If you can’t have a happy home….wreck one.”
This is one of my favorite sayings, which is attributed to Elizabeth Taylor. I’m not quite certain where I heard it first or if she even said it but I’ve used it frequently over the past several years. I always say it in jest. Or at least, most of the time I say it in jest.
Some time ago – a year or so maybe – I started chatting with someone on one of those bear social network sites. He lives relatively close to me, we had a couple of things in common, and there was a mutual attraction. Lots of heavy cyber-flirting ensued and eventually we met in person. Needless to say, we’ve seen each other off and on a few times and we somehow always end up naked.
This guy has a boyfriend. Perhaps I was deluding myself but I thought things weren’t that great between them and that the boyfriend was a temporary thing. Evidently I was wrong. I recently found out that they’re planning on moving in together. They had decided to wait before making such a commitment; they waited three years.
Although I’m happy for my friend, I’m a little disappointed. I have been wondering how I can get him to stop by after work again. I truly enjoy his company, both in and out of the bedroom. In fact, I’ve enjoyed his company in the living room, the kitchen, and briefly in the back yard! I don’t necessarily want him as a boyfriend but more for a friend with benefits. I doubt the boyfriend is amenable to an open relationship since theirs isn’t an open relationship. It never was. After the last time I saw my friend some time passed. When we finally chatted again I mentioned I hadn’t seen him and he admitted to feeling guilty.
So yeah…that makes me the “other man.” I’m not necessarily proud of that fact but I rationalize it that I’m single and he was the one who actually cheated. I know this sort of thing happens in many gay relationships. I know many gay relationships are open. And while I don’t believe that man was necessarily meant to be monogamous - we are animals after all - I do believe that there should be some sanctity in relationships, especially if we are going to demand our equal rights. Never mind that this sort of thing happens in straight relationships; they are not our concern. We need to rise above our straight counterparts and be better at our relationships. For every long-term monogamous gay couple I know, I can name five open relationship gay couples. And it’s that sort of sexual abandon that will defeat us time and time again in the equal rights battle.
Well that and the whole religious and political vitriol being preached hither and yon.
I used to think that one of the best things about being gay was that we didn’t have to mimic our straight counterparts. We could be as wild and unbounded in our sexual adventures as we liked. But as I creep closer and closer to the half-century mark, it’s not so fun – or available – as when I was younger. I sometimes long for that special someone to whom I will come home and with whom I will grow old. And I don’t want to be “the other man” for the rest of my life.
So rather than try to intervene and seduce my friend back to my boudoir, I will just remain his friend. Because it’s time that I, as a single gay man, take the high road and stop interfering with established relationships and work at building one for myself.
"If you can’t have a happy home…make one."
Maybe that should be my new motto.