I’d rather have a difficult conversation than a broken heart

As someone LGBTQI if you leave the safety of everything you’ve known growing up for even a second you will come across theories and ideals about unconventional relationships.

My earliest encounter of open relationships and polyamory was during my experiences in the Queer Collective at university. Socialist, anarchist and radical social circles encouraged you to challenge the norms you were familiar with.

During that time I learned to be less judgemental of minorities. What I did instead was judge those I perceived as conservative. But I had my own conservative beliefs. I believed in monogamy.

I was guilty of cracking jokes about people with multiple partners.

“With my job, studies and trying to attend to the needs of my friends and family, I don’t know where others find the time for more than one boyfriend”

7 years later I met the love of my life. Just under 2 years in, he cheated on me. It was excruciating. It was so troubling to come to terms with the idea that my partner couldn’t resist the smell, touch and taste of a man that wasn’t me. Not to desire that man. But to have that man. Lustfully.

After some rather dramatic outcomes to that situation, we had decided to open the relationship to threesomes. This opened Pandora’s box because once we both had a taste of honey, we wanted more.

After the relationship became completely open we convinced ourselves and each other that our now stale sex life was not as important as the love we had for one another. But something insidious was happening. We were getting comfortable with unresolved pain and taking the other for granted. We had agreed to 10 rules and I watched as he marched through breaking every single one of them. I wasn’t an angel either. Almost in an attempt to fight back, I breached about half of them myself.

Years later I took off my engagement ring when he broke rule number 11. You can probably work out what that was.

A year and a half later I found myself in an unconventional situation. After a threesome with a couple I met in Melbourne, we promptly decided to make ourselves a thruple. A thruple you ask? Well, three + couple makes the word thruple!

To everyone else, the relationship looked every bit as unusual as it sounds, and what most people made of it was that my partners were together and I was their toy. But that wasn’t the way I saw it. I felt close to both of them.

Unfortunately, down the track toxic behaviours crept into the relationship. One cheated, the other manipulated and I walked out.

These relationships and others have made me reflect on what I want my next relationship to be. I don’t want anyone to think they can possess me. I had someone espouse polyamorous values and then scold me for extra-marital sex that he consented to. On one hand he couldn’t bear another man getting close to me, but when I expressed feelings of isolation while he married someone else in front of me, I was labelled abusive and manipulative.

The former long-term relationship also had it’s fair share of drama but love and happiness overpowered it for the most part. Again however, there seemed to be a justification for showing me disrespect, this time with cheating, and often I was encouraged to reflect on what I had done to provoke it.

I’m not Taylor Swift. I’m not going to wear a halo above my head and point my finger at a string of men who’s common denominator is clearly me. I get that it takes two to tango. Three in one of my cases. But I do know the behaviours and traits I don’t want in my life.

Back in 2018 I met this polyamorous guy who started the very initial stages of courting me. One night in a club he decided to mack on with a hot Brazilian guy in front of me and asked me if I could take his bag back to my place. He went home with the Brazilian. The next day he picked up his bag and apologised to me, asking if we could just be friends. A few months later he joked to another friend that it was only in my head that he and I had a thing.

What bothers me about the above stories is that polyamory doesn’t mean selfishly accessing whatever you want, whenever you want it. It doesn’t mean you disrespect someone else in the process, and it certainly doesn’t mean you re-write the script later because it helps you save a reputation.

I have always thought polyamory was the capacity and choice to love many partners. To accept that they will love others, and to treat each of those partners with the same respect you would any partner. Abandoning one love interest to satisfy immediate lust is selfishly disrespectful. Gaslighting someone is a sign of narcissistic personality disorder. And cheating on someone only to blame them for why it happened isn’t polyamory either. It does however demonstrate an unwillingness to take responsibility.

I have several friends in open relationships. It’s fairly common among gay men. A way to flout conventions of the heterosexual world. I have mixed feelings about them. The open relationships around me represent the best and worst in long term relationships. But it is undeniably the openness in both cases which both builds or bends those relationships.

I’ve hooked up with guys who have said things like “if I was single I’d date you.” I then wonder if expressing such a thing to another man was in their agreement. After all, most open relationships predicate their success on the ability to compartmentalise love and sex. So why did that guy (and countless others by the way) cross from one compartment to the other with a phrase like ‘I would date you.’ On the other hand, I know couples who show each other affection and mutually support one another every day but the relationship is open because sexual preferences are incompatible.

As I get older, I struggle more and more to push past feelings of jadedness. I’ve experienced and observed the best and worst in healthy partner behaviour.

I do like feeling special. The hope that I will feel that with someone again keeps my fire burning. Don’t get me wrong. I’m aware that monogamy and marriage is historically about the possession of women. But I like feeling special. It’s that simple.

For me monogamy isn’t at all about wanting to possess another man. It’s about knowing that he adores me with all of his available focus and wants to have life’s adventures with me a part of it. It is also an essential value of mine that I reciprocate that.

Communication will be key for any of my future relationships. My eyes have been opened. I know the desires that betray our human hearts. Cheating happens because people pretend to their partners that they don’t have such desires. That is both foolish and ignorant. I will talk about it. Perhaps even with his permission, I’ll do it. Or without his permission I won’t. One of us might cry or get angry and the other will be right there to listen and to provide comfort. We’ll have gone through some challenging talks but we will not have betrayed one another.

That to me is love.

#gaycouplegoals #instagay #polyamory #monogamy #alternativerelationships #cheating #hitemupstyle #gayrelationships #openrelationships #gayblogger #loveislove #zerotohero #gaybachelor

Published by changeofheart82

The Phoenix is a symbol of strength and renewal. My tattoo is to remind me to shine as bright as flames flying through the air, and to remember that no matter how bad things get, I will rise from the darkness transformed and better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: