Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Love 1.0.2: Redefining the Relationship

It is hard to write about this idea without falling into stereotypes, ideologies, Truths (capital T), gender/sexuality identities. It's a fuck cluster of contradictions and reifications. Tradition seems to be a hold fast, and as a gay man/community, we try to define ourselves as normal or to the normal. After all, we are all striving for the same, so better to leave gender/sexuality out, right? But, by all means, we live in a label socialized world. Even within our own community we push our own propaganda/agenda. Be it, gender, sex, physical ability, beauty, money, the list goes on. Exactly how does relationship and the idea of what it is play in this? Explore the idea with me...

As a gay man, I have the ability to decorate the idea of traditional relationship in my own terms. We can create the rules, we can create our own normalcy, in whatever terms we so desire. The open relationship, polyamory, 3somes, NSA.... Yes these are the extremes of the idea. In essence they are relationships. Relationships that are formed by two consenting people. But exactly why do we/they do it? Are we/they searching or trying to satisfy the other person in the relationship? Sometimes I feel like people do it to save their relationship or their need to not fully commit to something. Of course this is all inference.

A few weeks back I was discussing this with my friend (because he casually meets up with someone who has an open relationship). Insert pun here, what gay man isn't in an open relationship or open to the idea of it. We explored the idea that maybe because gay men in general aren't allowed, by popular idea, to have a normal relationship, we/they tend to do whatever they so desire. It is a shocker, even to some gay men, when they find out someone has been in a relationship for more than 2 years, monogamously. We search for the flaw, the rules, or exceptions. So it never comes as a shocker if they do choose those ideas, because it has become the default answer in mind.

The other side point is that these two people decided this is what works best for them and their relationship. After all, who are we to say what a relationship is. The only relationship that is every really right is the one that we and the other person are comfortable with. You decide the rules and if they are right for you. You decide to take the relationship where you want to go. Just remember that honesty must and should always be present. Don't allow yourself to do something you would never do. Don't cut off all your ideas of what a relationship is to you. You should be happy in it too!

Some other topics are, when is the right time to have sex? Should we kiss on the first date? How much should we compromise to make a relationship work? Is it alright for me to have my own set of friends and go out with them, alone? Can he? Can I text while we are out together? When is it alright to say I love you? When is the should-we-become-boyfriends talk appropriate? Is it ever?

Fuck, so many questions, so many ideas. I can give you advice, you can ask your friends, truth is, only YOU know what is right for you. Only you know what rules and how you want to define a relationship is. You have to make your own mistakes to figure that out....

Fuck! How did people do it before the Internet?


  1. Oh god I was wondering how long it would take before you mentioned that. Not everything is ok for you to publish on here! But since you brought it up.... You didn't mention the fact that you scolded me for screwing around with someone who was in a relationship, and that you were sure he was lying about the fact that it was an open one at all. And it isn't really a relationship at all in my opinion. To me that would be something way more involved that what I have going on with him. I've never met him for coffee, hung out at the mall or a bar with him, gone to the movies, gone spelunking, or played backgammon with him. Besides meeting up for sex (Which I quite enjoy, he makes me think I'm good at it!), the only time I've met up with him for anything other than sex was because his car battery died and he couldn't get ahold of anyone else to help him out. Just because you aren't really friends with someone doesn't mean you cant be a nice guy! You homos out there just aren't that nice most of the time! Don't add to the over labeling of our life, live in the moment, and take it for what it is. Don't we have enough shit to worry about without over analyzing things to death. And stop saying "As a gay man"! People are working hard to integrate homosexuals into society, yet we keep re-segregating ourselves when we create special conditions. What I do with that guy isn't really something that is socially acceptable regardless of sexual orientation. I wouldn't tell my parents I was doing it, would you? My sexuality is only one piece of me. It doesn't define everything about who I am. There is more to me than that. I imagine that goes for the others reading this blog too.

  2. Relationships are hard in general. We have pressures from society and our own family. There are no rules. The only rules are the ones made by the two people in the relationship. I think we're living in one of the most important times in history that will define a generation and influence a millenia to come because in they way we communicate now. The internet and social media brought relationships to another level of insecurity and jealousy. "Taken" "Single" "Complicated" I mean do we really need to blast our private life like that? Danni you brought up a lot of good points, great article! The reality is there are no rules to dating or relationships the rules will be unique to each couple.

  3. Thank you so much. I think it's learning to find respect in our own community that will also help us reach a better sense of "community." Relationships are different for everyone. The only rule I have figured is true, is be you. Once again thank you.