Some gay men really don’t like the idea of open relationships. I’m not talking about the guys who are like, “It’s not for me, but I don’t care if other people do it.” I don’t think anyone would have a qualm with those folks. They are of the “live and let live” variety. I’m talking about the men who are vehemently opposed to open relationship for both themselves and for others. I reached out to find men like this, because to be honest, it’s very foreign to my way of thinking (I could see how you think it’s not for you, but I don’t quite understand the anger when it comes to other gay couples.) There were four things that came up repeatedly when speaking with these folks, and now, I would like to address each one.
The argument here is that with the growing number of men is open relationships (and the growing societal acceptance of ethical non-monogamous relationships), it is more difficult to find men who want a monogamous relationship. The dating pool is already so small for gay men, and if you’re exclusively a bottom, there’s the issue of trying to find a good top to date, because God only knows the pickings are slim. Of all the arguments I heard, this one has the most merit. It’s also something I can empathize with because gay dating is hard as all hell.
Here’s the deal: If these men are in (or pursuing) open relationships, that means monogamous relationships weren’t right for them. Otherwise they would be in them. There’s a silver lining to this: You’re filtering out the men who don’t want the same things you do. You don’t want to be in a relationship with a guy who’s constantly looking at other men, thinking about screwing guys (or just cheating on you). If monogamy was the norm, these guys would be forced into unhealthy relationships with your monogamous self. You wouldn’t want to date them.
I was pretty surprised by this response to be honest, and think this is a pretty ballsy argument. The gay and queer community should not have to abide by traditional, heteronormative notions of relationships in order to make it easier for straight people to accept us because they’re more “comfortable” by the fact that we’re similar to them.
According to you, but clearly it is for them. Also, what exactly, does this have to do with you? This only reeks of bitterness, pettiness, and jealousy. Why do you feel the need to comment on and publicly judge the status of someone else’s relationship? Of course it’s a real relationship. A relationship can take many forms. Is it a real monogamous relationship? No, it’s not, but they still can love and care for another equally.
Similar to the last argument, my response is again, “Okay, but how does this affect you?” Also, there are plenty of open relationships – both gay and straight – that have worked out long-term. Maybe not many you know of. Also, due to stigma, many couples – especially straight married couples – don’t speak about being in an open relationship even though they’re in one. Also, not to be the bearer of bad news, but the vast majority of relationships don’t work out long-term. Half of marriages end in divorce and think of all the folks who were never married, but still madly in love, that didn’t make it in the long run? Relationship success shouldn’t be married in longevity. You can date someone for three months, a year, or 10 years, and still have a meaningful and incredible relationship. A relationship doesn’t have to end with one of you dying in order to be a success.