Before I open my mouth and insert my foot, before I get all you gay guys worked into a tizzy, I have to say: I don’t think there is any such thing as an irreparable mistake. I also believe that everything happens for a purpose. From the perspective of my own designer gay bifocals, mistakes are actually fabulous lessons we’ve been given so that we can better see the purpose in our lives! Too much? OK, well, if you’re not into personal development, leave us cool kids here to talk about…
Open Relationships. Define “open”! How you and your guy define having an “open gay relationship,” determines whether you and your guy screw it up royally or masterfully make things work. It’s all about boundaries and agreements, both of which need to be checked and discussed about every 3-6 months. The mistake? No boundaries, no agreements, no relationship… period! Next!
To cling or not to cling. Nothing’s more embarrassing than having a trail of toilet paper clinging to your sneaker as you walk out of the men’s locker room into the free weights area at the gym. No, that’s not true. It’s actually more embarrassing to be too clingy or not clingy enough in your gay relationship. Admittedly, getting a gay guy to commit is tough, or so they say. What’s harder than that is the “cling on” effect. The mistake? Not finding balance between “to cling, or not to cling.”
Saying something, meaning nothing. If you’re confused by this concept, then you’re a victim of this syndrome. Your gay relationship is on thin ice if you’re communicating by assuming you said something clearly and later finding that what you said actually meant nothing! Hello, it’s time for “Gay Relationship Rescue Plan Numero Uno”: speak to communicate, listen to learn, and validate what you think you heard. The mistake? Assuming what you said is what your guy heard. And no, earwax removal isn’t going to help the matter.
Remaining in your gay relationship because it’s comfortable. Here’s a little secret that we’ll keep just between us boys! No matter how much money he has, available party favors, “to die for sex,” or the size of his loft apartment on 5th Avenue…if the relationship sucks, it sucks. It’s a false sense of comfort to believe “If I leave, I’ll be single and that’s bad.” Yes, you’ll end up single and without his money, or the party favors, or the great sex. But you might actually be happier, and isn’t that what you’re really after? The mistake? Creating a false sense of comfort; believing you need others to feel “worthy” when all you need is love… self-love, to be exact.
No hall passes allowed. Remember how you feared ahem, “having an accident” because Ms. Applebaum wouldn’t give you the hall pass until you calculated the square root of 64 or recited the Gettysburg Address? Well, you just might find yourself with the bathroom all to yourself if you and your partner give each other hall passes. You should both feel free to do your own thing with your own group of friends, but don’t make things more complicated than they have to be. The mistake? Sucking the life out of your gay relationship with a one-way train ticket to “Distrustville.” Distrust me once, shame on you. Distrust me twice, see ya!
Separate lives. I’ve never quite understood gay relationships in which the partners are in a serious, committed relationship but don’t live together. I’m not advocating first date, U-Haul truck, move-in immediately, white picket fence warp-speed relationships, and I also understand that sometimes, things get in the way, like the question of “How would I hook up with other people if we’re living together?” If that’s your priority, maybe it’s time to rethink this whole “relationship” thing. The mistake? If you can’t live with your man, what other relationships in your life aren’t you able to live with? How you do anything is how you do everything!
It’s just to make friends. Apps have overtaken all of our lives. I personally can’t live without the app that warns me there are only four squares of toilet paper left on the roll; it sure saves me from some awkward moments. I also hear of more and more gay men, me included, who use gay-specific apps like Grindr, Scruff, and the likes, for making friends and networking. Honestly. The mistake? Not calling a spade a spade. If you can’t be fully honest in your gay relationship about your app fetish, then your gay relationship won’t be honest with you!
Regular testing. Trust me, as someone who’s been in my gay relationship for over 12 years, I know the value of being tested regularly — and so does my man. Every healthy gay relationship gets tested… otherwise it wouldn’t be a healthy gay relationship. We push buttons, ignore needs, and think we’re the only one not getting the attention we desire. The mistake? Assuming your gay relationship is above being tested. Test, test, test or the relationship could go to rest. Of course, test out of love for yourself, for him, and for the good of the relationship.
Avoiding money talks. Just because we’re gay, it doesn’t mean we’re immune from having “money talks”. If you can’t talk about the big stuff, then the rest of the talks are just kinda fluff. Not that money is everything, but when you start analyzing the water bill based on who was home more on which days of the month, it might be time to have a real conversation. The mistake? Nickel and diming each other’s spending habits in our heads, rather than banking on the fact that a real conversation about the state of the finances could lead to more cash in the love bank!
Zipping it about sex! Shhh; let’s not talk about sex. Really? Gay men are supposed to be the kings of sex. Talking about sex seems to be everyone’s hangup, even in a gay relationship. The mistake? What doesn’t get talked about doesn’t get done… how much fun is that? (Answer: not very).
I’m quite sure you have your own list of “mistakes” made, anticipate making, or refuse to admit you’ve made, in your trail of gay relationships. But remember that there are no mistakes: only purposeful lessons we all learn as we live, learn and grow. Now go find your man, give him a big, old smooch, slap him on his adorable butt, and tell him you love him. He may wonder what’s gotten into you, but he’ll also definitely feel good to know that he still turns your crank. Hop to it!