New Gay in Town: Keep It or Leave It

By Branden Lee


Only one month into 2018 and my love life feels like a mess. Zimbabwe and I called it quits for the millionth time, despite only just getting back together on New Year’s Day.


I’ve spent five months in a toxic cycle. Loving, fighting, breaking up, making up, repeat. I don’t want this to be my love life forever. I don’t want this to be my love life for 2018. It’s hard breaking the cycle when not knowing what happens next.


I love Zimbabwe. I want things to work out between us. I need stability, and he doesn’t seem capable of granting me that since most of our breakups are his choice. He chooses to run away, instead of staying to solve problems. Which is a problem for me.


I’ve always had hope that things would get better. That the problems would end. They just seem to fester, and get worse. On the outside, everyone tells us just to move on. Break up. Get over each other.


It’s easy to say that to someone else about someone else’s relationship. I used to be that friend that got annoyed hearing my friend’s repeated cycles of dysfunctional relationships. Now that I’ve actually had a relationship of my own, I know not to judge others.


Love is hard. I feel like things shouldn’t be this difficult to make a relationship work. I also feel like if I’m not willing to make a relationship work, then I don’t deserve a relationship. I do think many people are guilty of expecting relationships to be easy, no drama, no fighting, no disagreements, and everything is perfect. That’s unrealistic. People that assume that deserve to be alone because they have no idea about relationships.


Logically I can see that the constant cycle of breaking up and then wanting to reconcile is unacceptable. The basics I crave in a relationship are honesty, loyalty, faithfulness, and someone who loves and wants to be with me.


A guy that always breaks up with me at the first sign of trouble isn’t loyal or faithful. A boyfriend that’s hidden he’s secretly Instagram famous for our entire relationship isn’t honest. I do know that Zimbabwe loves me. I just can’t discern how much a guy truly wants to be with me if it’s so easy and frequent for him to run away.

Moving on is even scarier. I thought I found the man I loved and wanted to build a future with him. Things with Zimbabwe weren’t ever perfect, but I had hope we’d get better. There was progress, in the beginning at least. I truly thought I’d found the one, and felt fortunate to do so, but now I don’t know.


I’ve only been in Atlanta for six months, but I think I let the bitterness and jadedness of everyone I’ve met and that’s lived here longer infect me. All the negatives I hear about Atlanta men. The fuckboys, DL guys, liars, cheaters, STDs, HIV, guys that can’t commit, etc. So, do I fix the guy I’m already with, or dive back into the dating pool even though Atlanta seems like a hopeless place?


Granted Atlanta hasn’t even been that hopeless for me. I’m still fairly new here. I don’t have much baggage in the city. I’m still somewhat fresh meat. I did find a guy three days into living here, and after one month someone to date consistently. If I caught one, I can catch another one.


Honestly, I just don’t want to give up on my relationship with Zimbabwe and regret it. I don’t want a one that got away. I want one that I love, want to be with, and knowing I did everything possible to make things work. I don’t feel like we’ve done everything possible, but I’ve already tried a lot, and it’s not succeeding.


Reconciling feels pointless if the cycle is just going to repeat, and we end up breaking up again. The hope that we can finally break the cycle and stay together and be happier than ever still remains. I like to think when I no longer feel that hope or love for Zimbabwe is when I’ll truly know it’s time to give up and walk away.

Branden Lee is a writer and actor living in Atlanta. Follow Branden on Twitter and Instagram @Brandeness.

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