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‘Are gay men programmed to resist the typical monogamous relationship?’

By Samuel McManus

This story starts out like any other: boy sees handsome boy on Grindr, sends him a ‘tongue sticking out’ emoji, handsome boy sends a ‘fist pump’ emoji back, they talk for a month or so, and arrange to go on a date.

They soon discover that they have so much in common, they are in fact soulmates, get it on, get married, have children and live happily ever after. Now I’m probably exaggerating slightly, but isn’t this what everyone wants?

That fairytale romance, where the handsome prince whisks you off your feet, away from the evil witch with her poisonous apple… although in this instance, the evil witch is substituted by an endless barrage of dick pics and “No femmes” profiles on Grindr.

Now, I know most of you will be probably be telling me to fuck off after reading this, but life CAN be a fairytale, and finding a relationship IS possible. However, making it work is 10 times more difficult. Who wants the hassle?

It seems that now, more than ever, people are happy being free and single. What is the point of being in a long-term relationship when you can get most of the perks of being with a guy any night of the week from a simple swipe on Tinder?

This may be a little controversial but I almost feel like I’m the odd one out, being gay AND being in a relationship (see I’m multi-tasking, right?). I’ve been with my partner Matt for almost three years and I’ve never been happier.

The relationship did not start out easy though. After our second meeting, (a typical Yorkshire date consisting of us eating in a particularly unglamorous Harvester and then watching Paranormal Activity 2), the first kiss loomed. Me being me, I went in for a full-on snog and almost suffocated him.

To this day, I still don’t quite know what came over me. He let me down by text the next day, leaving me with yet another false start of a relationship. I didn’t blame him, I would have dumped me.

A year or so passed and I noticed a message from Matt on one of the countless dating apps I was using at the time. Me, in keeping with my typical glass-half-empty outlook on life, wasn’t taking any chances and played it cool, saying I just wanted to be friends. After I tried to keep him waiting for what seemed like for ever (10 days), we decided to meet up, spending most of the evening talking about a straight guy he had fallen for (great first date conversation!). But after he dropped me off home, he sent me a message which I wasn’t expecting: ‘I’m sorry for not kissing you tonight’.

Almost three years down the line he has definitely made up for it. Although, the best thing that came out of this whole experience is I have a good excuse to never again go to Harvester!

But I do sometimes ask myself: am I missing out on the single life? Aren’t gay men automatically programmed to resist the typical heteronormative monogamous relationship?

Recently at work, I was listening to a presentation from an out gay colleague who announced she is getting married this summer, and how good it is to be able to be out and open in the office. It reminded me that some of us do just want to be in a relationship and live life to the fullest with those we hold dearest.

Over the course of my blogs, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on being in a relationship, the pitfalls to look out for, how to avoid being dumped and the secrets to finding your true love (which will probably take a while). So come along for the ride, it’s guaranteed to be a bumpy one.

Words: Craig Barton

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