There was a comment made not so long ago, somewhere that struck a chord with me. For any LGBTQ+ person, you have to come out to people all the time. It’s not because you’re making a fuss about it, although sometimes and in some cases, someone might be, but it’s because when you came out, it wasn’t broadcast to the world. We don’t walk around with Terminator like vision with someone’s stats and in the top right corner of someone’s vision there’s a little rainbow flag emoji to say “hold up, this person is LGBTQ+”
For us, there is the constant need to tell people that, yeah, we’re gay, as if it’s something to apologise for, or something that does actually really define us as human beings. So yeah, the first time you come out, you make a big song and dance about it, but after that, you just have to keep repeating yourself the fact starts to become a boring bit of trivia.
Now, imagine if you will, the finer intricacies of being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Every letter has the potential of being combined with another. You can be a gender-fluid lesbian, a transgender pansexual…the list is fairly endless and a lot of the time, the two realisations don’t come together. So you could have been lesbian first before realising you’re gender-fluid, and so there comes a time that even though you’ve come out as lesbian, you then have to come out as gender-fluid.
Bear with me here, because I am coming to my point…
So, for me, I have always been homosexual. I’ve considered the label ‘queer’ before, but it just doesn’t sit right for me. But, yeah, I’ve always been happy to say to someone, “hey, yeah, I’m gay”. And for a long, long, long time, and for many relationships, that’s all I have ever really said I am. Cut to the last 9 months, and perhaps things have started to change, and there has had to be many conversations for me to understand just exactly what has been changing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have tried combinations of things to see what works, and I have drawn my own conclusions, and whilst some may sit there and say “well this guy it just making excuses for his behaviour”, there is actually something more behind it.
For most of my relationships, the idea of monogamy has been instilled. For many of these monogamous relationships, I’ve probably ended up cheating. For the few relationships I have had that have been open, it’s always been about the sex, and whilst I enjoy it, I find it unfulfilling in the long run, plus those relationships have eventually broken down. And for the last nine months I have been happily not really been monogamous and enjoyed the company of many people either for the connection I have for them, or because the sex is good, or whatever reason fits for that time and person.
For these last nine months I have been very against the idea of monogamy, and it was purely based off the idea that I just didn’t want to commit, but hey, this is me, I am that person that enjoys a relationship no matter how long it’s for. My only problem is, these days, I don’t feel like one relationship is really for me. This is when I had to do a lot of soul searching, and a lot of thinking.
The reason I end up cheating in monogamous relationships is because I can’t just be with one person, it doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel like me. I shut myself off from the world, I focus all my attention on one person, and it becomes problematic because I get bored, or restless. And the reason the open relationships don’t work is because they are founded on the principle that it’s just sex. No. I can do just sex with someone if it’s a one night stand, but if it’s more regular, that just isn’t good enough.
So realistically there’s only two conclusions to make: keep dating people until they get bored and find someone else who will commit to them, or realise that in reality, I can choose my own fate and realise that realistically I believe myself to be someone who would thrive better in a polyamorous set up.
Now, some people may think that this sort of thing is an excuse to cheat, but that is not the case at all. If it was just about the sex, I would just carry on doing what I do. In reality though, it’s about the connections I form with people. I have a lot of connections of various levels with people, and that means that some people are close, others are closer, and some are really close. Do I want to eliminate all possibilities with one person in favour of another? No; and it’s not for the purposes of having an ‘on-hand back up’.
My life is luckily one I can still afford to design myself, and going forward, at least I have the right labels, the right explanations and the right understanding to say to any future potential person “hey, I really like you, but you have to understand I also like this person, and if you’re okay with sitting down and talking about it, we can come to some sort of arrangement that’s good for everyone”
For me, it’s not about taking advantage, or having my cake and eating it. It’s about being true to who I am and who I am is someone who has feelings for more than one person and that I don’t feel like I have to sacrifice one for the other. Of course there will always be a primary relationship, that takes the priority in anything, but it’s finding that balance to have that other person and that other meaningful connection in life.
From my experience though, this conversation is actually harder to have with someone because it goes straight to the place where that person “isn’t enough”, when it’s nothing to do with them, it’s about me. Also, because of a lack of understanding about polyamory, there’s this whole taboo over it being ‘cheating’. I don’t know, it’s hard and it’s like having to come out over and over again. What more can you do though? π