By Branden Lee
Branden Lee is a writer and actor living in Atlanta. Follow Branden on Instagram and Twitter @Brandeness. Watch Branden on his YouTube channel SexxxPerTease.
When I was a fresh-out-of-the-closet, 15-year-old, gay boy, I always imagined I’d find a boyfriend. We’d fall in love and be faithful and monogamous with each other. Maybe even get married and possibly have kids. Then we’d live happily ever after.
So young. So naive. I never would’ve imagined that I’d never experience my first relationship until I was nearly 27. I never imagined that my first and only relationship would be so tumultuous and toxic. I never imagined that I’d be in a relationship with someone that couldn’t even last a month without breaking up whenever he was upset about something. I never believed that I’d be the one to cheat in any of my relationships. I thought I’d be faithful.
Relationships are a lot harder than I ever could’ve predicted. Every day feels like a constant struggle to stay afloat and keep the connection alive. I’d feel envious of other gay couples. Seeing two happy boyfriends seemingly being my relationship goals. I want that. Then I realized the truth. No one’s relationship is perfect.
Even the rare gay couples that I’ve encountered that have been together for years, I’ve learned that infidelity is more common than not. I’m always a bit disappointed to hear that cheating is going on in their relationships since I so desperately want to believe that there are healthy, faithful, monogamous gay couples out there.
Then I tried being exclusive with the guy I was seeing. I lasted two days before I drunkenly made out with another guy at a pool party. I regretted it and knew it was wrong. I didn’t really get any pleasure out of it.
I want to be monogamous. I want to still hold on to that dream that I’ll find the man of my dreams, get married, maybe have kids, and never cheat or be cheated on. As I get older, that seems more and more implausible.
Monogamy is overrated. Loyalty, faithfulness, and dedication are necessities in a relationship. Just the whole ‘we’re never allowed to hook-up with anyone else again’ seems like it’s not necessary to guarantee those other necessities. You can have a loyal, dedicated, and faithful partner but still enjoy making out with other guys, sucking dicks that don’t belong to your partner, and even having threesomes together.
I did read a study years ago that said open relationships were going to be more common in the gay world than monogamous ones. So many of my friends and people I ask say they would never do an open relationship, yet I’m not sure if any of them have even been in a relationship where cheating didn’t happen. It’s only cheating if it’s against the rules, and we all have the power to define the rules of our relationships.
I love my freedom more than anything. I can’t stand a man trying to tell me what I can and can’t do. I understand wanting a faithful and monogamous partner, but you can’t force someone to do what you want. They have to be willing. I think I’m capable of monogamy with the right guy, but I am also young and enjoying my sexuality. I shouldn’t need to feel like I’m being imprisoned by another man’s expectations for him to feel like I’m his.
I never imagined that I’d be open or interested in an open relationship when I was younger. Every year I do grow and discover new things about myself and become more open-minded about how my future could be. I can still find a loyal, dedicated, and faithful partner. I can find the man of my dreams, get married, start a family, and live happily ever after. Just monogamy doesn’t have to be a part of the equation.