Bigger Is Better. Wait...Longer Is Better.
Whenever my partner and I tell people we’ve been together for 20 years, the reaction is usually disbelief. And it’s followed quickly by the joke, “Wow, that’s like 140 in gay years.” This implies that gay couples are never together as long as straight couples, and that simply isn’t true.
Every time a new state legalizes same-sex marriage, watch the news. You’ll see hundreds of people lined up to marry, many of whom are couples who have been together for decades, just hoping to say “I do” before they say “I dead.” The general public isn’t aware of these couples. In fact, neither is most of the gay community. After all, chances are, they don’t hang out at the club. Instead, they stay home, sitting on the couch, thinking about two things: “How have we been together this long?” and “What’s on TV tonight?”
Can you have a relationship that lasts 20-plus years? Yes, but only if you want it to. Truth is, not everyone is cut out for long-term relationships. Some people get bored. They can’t make commitments beyond tattoos. Their eyes wander. They fall out of love/lust. If this is you, then nothing you’re going to read in this article will make you a different kind of person. You lease your car because you want to change every three years, and your boyfriends wear out even faster. If you are a serial monogamist, then that’s who you are. Accept it and enjoy life. Based on your record, you’ll have about 30 “true loves” by the time you die, so get started now.
However, if you do want to commit to one person for the rest of your life, it will take some work. Finding the perfect person is a good start. Not sure how to do that? Well, if I knew how, do you think I’d be writing for this magazine? Hell, no. I wouldn’t be writing for any magazine. I’d be living my life as the househusband of Mr. Ryanning CooperCruisePitt.
Seriously, though, the key is to realize that there is no perfect person. Everyone has flaws (yes, even you), and once you accept the other’s flaws and make yours as tolerable as possible, you’ll be farther down the yellow brick road of happiness. Once you’ve done that, then you’ll be ready to take these next steps: Be honest about what you want. Whether you want monogamy or not, you’d better be clear about it from the start. Some couples make it work one way and others another, but if one of you is thinking one-is-all-I-need and the other is more like one-is-a-good-start, then your relationship is going to last about as long as GCB. And, just like Ms. Chenoweth, you deserve better.
Start early. Settling down with someone is easier when you’re in your 20s and still forming your adult selves than when you’re in your 40s, living your own life and trying to adjust to someone else fitting into it. There’s a lot more of you to somehow mesh with another human being, and that gets more difficult the more established your habits are. No one is saying it’s impossible later in life. It’s just more difficult. Kind of like losing weight.
Don’t force it. You don’t have to find Mr. Right right now. He won’t necessarily be where you’re looking for him, and it won’t necessarily be whom you expect. Put yourself out there, get involved with more hobbies/charities/activities, and see what happens.
Don’t make a list. If you establish that your man has to be a blond 6-foot-1 doctor that loves cats as much as you do, then you’re going to have a tough time finding someone who matches all of your criteria and is willing to put up with your shit. After all, if you have a list, what makes you think he doesn’t? And do you really think you have a chance of matching it perfectly? If you do, then you’re too self-absorbed and this will never work. Just plan on spending a lot of time with your cat. Your cat, by the way, has a list for what a perfect owner should be, and someone who invites over a different guy from Grindr every night probably isn’t at the top of her list.
Don’t look desperate. It’s okay to be desperate. You just can’t let it show. If you want so badly to find a husband that you’ll spend the first date talking about houses, kids and what state you’ll travel to to get married, then you’ll scare off all the sane guys. The only ones left will be the ones as crazy as you, and that never works, because every relationship needs a sane person. Otherwise you’ll be like a male version of the Grey Gardens sisters.
Love yourself. Not like that, perv. Do too much of that and you won’t need another person in your life. But if you’re unhappy with who you are, how is a perfect stranger going to be happy with you? RuPaul says it best: “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” The woman is wise beyond her years, which she confirms to be about 29.
Do something to improve yourself. Lose 10 pounds. Quit smoking. Try a new haircut. The change will not only make you more desirable, it’ll also change how you feel about yourself. A happier person is easier to approach and easier to love. It won’t guarantee that someone will want to spend the next 20 years with you, but it’ll make it more possible.
Ready to get started? Good luck. Reaching 20 years (or more) together isn’t easy. But you have to try. Not trying means you won’t ever find your soul mate, not in a million years (and that’s seven million in gay years).