That Thing We Do
It’s a truth universally acknowledged, that gays are quick to jump into relationships. Short- or long-term aside, romantic entanglements between men tend to escalate at abnormally fast rates. The conventions of courting a potential partner are thrown out the window the minute we find someone that ticks enough boxes and pays attention to us. And if he lingers long enough to cuddle, then you can skip ahead five places and add a baby peg to the backseat of your plastic car. This is our game of life.
We’ve all done a lot of crazy things in hope of being loved back. Headstrong and head-overheals, our optimistic outlook often overrides discretion. The outline of the story is familiar: you gush about him first to your friends, then to your colleagues, and eventually to your mothers. Fully conscious that every word that leaves your mouth is imposing that much more pressure on the success of your newfound relationship than if you had just kept your mouth shut until you’d known him longer than two weeks. At this point, you’ve spent more time talking about the man than you have with him. But you don’t care. What you’re feeling is incredible and everyone who cares about you should know.
And sure enough, the promise of that relationship failed before summer. But you’re fine. “He wasn’t the one for you anyway,” they say. And the potential of this new guy is distracting you from the pain. And when he takes you out for dinner and refuses to let you pay, you forget about last season’s beau altogether. “He’s such a sweet guy,” you tell your friends…and your colleagues, and finally your family. And because they love you, they bite their tongues and tell you how happy they are to see you happy, again. It’s like an electrocardiogram, with peaks that spike at near verticals and dips that seem to hardly last. And just like the beat of your heart, you find the rhythm rather soothing. It frightens you to think about it flatlining, or even more, what happens above the pinnacles. Yet, each time a new line starts, you hope that this will be “the one,” and you tell everyone you know because you know by telling them you’re convincing yourself that it’s worth trying again. It’s like how they say writing it down helps you memorize it, so you speak your feelings in hope that they’ll stick. This time it’s different, you say. I can feel it.