Some advice on finding the love you both want and keeping it safe.
Before I get your Andrew Christian undies in a bundle, I have to say: I don’t believe in irreparable mistakes.
They are tremendous lessons that allow us to find purpose in our lives. That being said, leave your Beyoncé egos at the door, for these are my truths to live a happier, healthier, and more vibrant gay life.
Let us begin…
Not a date spot – no matter how you want to spin it to your partner. It usually consists of shirtless guys, alcohol, and more likely than not…drugs.
And while you say you’re in a committed relationship, all three of those factors tend to make your glossy little eyes wander.
One drink turns into two, then five, and before you know it the lights come on and you’re checking out the hottest new piece of meat with your boyfriend two feet away. So…in fact, it doesn’t matter how long you stay out or the amount of friends you bring along to keep you in check – most regrets happen at the club.
…. Which leads me to my next subject.
An enabler that can break a relationship.
Of course, we as gay men love a drink or two; however, never let it be a crutch to keep you in an unhappy relationship.
So many of us use liquor as an outlet to escape the harsh realities of our lives, we become numb to the fact that we are hurting our loved ones. My advice to you - take a break. Go 30 days dry with your partner.
Learn to love him more than the liquor.
Remember to allow 3 types of relationships in your life
(You + your friends)
(Your partner + his friends)
(You + your partner)
Having your own identity means freedom – which we all need. Allowing time to miss each other is one of the many joys in a relationship.
The bond you share will only grow fonder with a little distance.
Aka “Taking the next step…”
I’m not saying adopt 4 dogs, and reserve a U-Haul, but have that conversation with your significant other when you feel the time is right. Take initiative.
Be vocal and be present, especially with finances. Things should always be divided down the middle to allow a balance of power.
A small tip in the scale can easily shift the dynamic. The whole point of moving in should not be to validate the authenticity of your love, but rather a financial and foreseeing future together. Think of the long-term progression during this new time in your life. Learn to cut back on expenses…with another body present in the home.
Take this as a milestone in your journey.
While some consider this an outlet from the everyday norm. Let me be the first to tell you, it can get dark real quick.
Communication is key in this type of decision-making. If the question comes up and both aren’t on the same page, there is a major flaw in the system.
Personally, I would get out now. Run. Stop that gut-wrenching feeling before things get worse.
By asking the question some are simply filling a void, an emotional insecurity, and most importantly a lack of empathy for their partner.
You are telling them: they are no longer enough (which is absolutely raw and heart breaking all at the same time). Relationships fade.
Gay relationships fade ever faster.
It is absolutely crucial to keep that flame alive; however adding a third may only make the situation worse. Your compatibility must be based on this mutual respect.
To end on a high note I leave you with this...
Learn to accept your partner each and every day. Communicate issues (which you will have) until a solution is present. Embrace their flaws and challenge their ideas. Set goals for each other. Make memories with every touch – and always remember why you fell in love.
Andrew Bidwell is a journalist who lives in San Diego. He is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and has worked for OWN, NBC and E! Entertainment and currently works at TMZ.