Gay men increasingly live in a time where more and more rights are being conferred to gay couples – the right to marry, the right to adopt, the right to leave all to one’s partner in a will, the right to co-insurance – it’s rights and more rights to those who share their lives. Yet there are those of us who look on and think to ourselves: Jesus, am I glad to be single.
Let’s not kid ourselves: in many countries, gays are looking more and more like straights. At least they’re acting more and more ‘straight’. It’s no surprise given how much more mainstream gay men are today. Gay identity used to be so easy to embrace, even if only amongst ourselves, and whatever the ‘gay tribe’: we were the ‘other’, the outsider, the ostracized. Now it’s all become so much more blurry, as gay men want to marry, have kids, get mortgages together, dive into estate planning and blend in as nicely as possible into their suburbs or trendy gentrified urban areas. Which begs the question: what’s the gay equivalent of a white picket fence?
All of which makes me want to puke. Literally. The idea of marriage, kids, a co-mortgage and estate planning in some suburban or urban hell-hole is about as appealing to me as having to endure gangster rap music in an endless, hellish loop. Forget marriage – even relationships are as overrated as Justin Bieber’s talent. There’s just something about being in a relationship that always results in the dreaded ‘c’ word – yes, compromise. Relationships attract compromise like flies to you-know-what. The compromise is never-ending, whereby one is constantly having to be concerned (or at least pretending to be) about the other’s wishes or needs or moods or usual crap like screwing with your best friend. Never mind putting up with their strange habits or bizarre eating rituals or, best of all, their morning breath. Yuck.
Sure, there’s compromise in being single too. It’s more expensive to live alone (never mind travelling as a single man compared to as a couple) and it can sometimes suck to not have someone to share those special moments; even meaningless sex can get stale – well, so I’ve heard. Then again, being single means you can stay in bed the whole weekend without having some whining manchild telling you to get out and ‘do things’, being able to pick one’s nose as if digging for diamonds, with no one except your cat giving you disgusted looks, never mind the sheer joy of guilt-free sex with just about anyone who takes your fancy. And that’s a single man’s guilt free sex, not the ‘open relationship’ kind…ahem…
No, some of us do not need some man to ‘complete’ us. Yes, for some of us compromise is indeed a very dirty word. No, compromise is not something that makes me a ‘better’ person. And, yes, being alone does not mean being lonely. Still not convinced? How about this quote: “I like being single. I’m always there when I need me.” Or, my favourite: “Single bells, single bells, single all the way. Oh what fun it is to see couples fighting all day! Hey!”
Think I’m maybe bitter or just gotten out of a relationship that went seriously sour? Well, that would be fifteen years of bitterness, which is how long this writer has been blissfully single. So, think again. I celebrate being single because I know it well. And let me tell you this: the most unhappy and loneliest times of my life were slap bang in the middle of a relationship going nowhere. Love is great, romance is even better, but my word can the rest get downright shabby, horrible and heart-wrenching! If being married or being in a relationship could perpetually be like those first magical days of falling in love, then I’d be trooping up and down the aisle every other week! But it’s not, is it?
I get how some men need a relationship, who feel more realised when sharing their life with another man. I see compromise, you see sharing. I see shackles, you see commitment. I see boredom, you see happily ever after. All power to you, seriously. Just don’t ask me why I am single or when I plan to get myself a man. The answers would be because I choose to be happy and not on planet Earth. Got that? You can have your white picket fence. I’d rather enjoy my freedom and less compromised life to the hilt, thank you very much.