For those of you who have not had the opportunity to read through all the blog pieces I've written, I've had four long term buddies over the last 16 years or so. One of those lasted relationships lasted 10 years and one 5 years. The other lasted a year and my current buddy and I are in the 9th month of our relationship.
So, I'm living proof that long term buddy relationships can take place. The four buddies referred to above have all been younger than I by 6 to 35 years. I didn't set out to find younger guys, in each case we either just sort of found each other or they sort of found me.
Here's the thing, and I don't think I've ever mentioned this in my blog; but it is a very big part of all four relationships - I've never ended a relationship with a buddy. I mean that in two ways. First, I've never ended a sexual relationship with any of my four buddies. All these sexual relationships have ended on my buddies’ initiative. Did I find it upsetting to be dumped by these guys? No, not at all really.
Here is the truth as I've come to know it. Male/male sexual relationships for two married bisexual men or two married homosexual men are complex and difficult to maintain. It takes a lot of work and commitment from each party. It takes each partner being honest about what he can do and what he is willing to do and then sticking to the commitment.
I have also found each of my four long therm buddies came to me at the right time in both their lives and in mine. They came to me with an issue or issues. Sometimes they realized they needed help with their issues. Sometimes they didn't recognize that at all. In each relationship we had a lot of fun. But fun was not the only benefit of the relationship. Over the life of our relationship I helped them to resolve their issues. Many times, I guess really every time, they helped me to resolve issues of my own because each contributed greatly to my understanding and acceptance of whom and what I am. The truth is that when I entered into that first relationship, I thought I had solved all my own issues. I found, much to my surprise, that was not the case. Each man and each relationship brought me experiences which made me a better man and which I am able to share with you. With each there inevitably came a time when they chose to move on.
The first to move on was (I'll call him) Mike. His and my relationship had lasted for 10 years. I'd be lying through my teeth if I told you it didn't hurt when Mike decided to move on. It wasn't that it was a surprise. I had been telling Mike ever since I met him that the time would come when he would no longer need me. In the early years he could not believe such a thing and didn't want to hear it. The thought of not having me at his side scared the shit out of him because his struggles with his sexuality were too great for him to handle on his own. His fears were too profound not to have my reassurance regularly helping him to quash his fears.
But around year seven, I began to see the time he would be able to move on was approaching fast. I actually thought it would be over at that time, but like a fledgling afraid of that first solo flight, Mike was reluctant to leave. Our relationship became a little more confrontational. It was sort of like a teen age son rebelling against his father and trying to stand on his own. Several times he walked away, but he would return. Finally, in the 10th year the real break came and our sexual relationship ended.
Though I mourned it, I knew it was time because though Mike was a married man, he had come to accept that he was a homosexual man who wanted to live openly as a homosexual man. As a bisexual man, this meant he was going where I had no desire to go. I loved my wife and did not want to leave her. So the relationship we had for 10 years ended of necessity to give him the opportunity to find the happiness he had been denied all his life.
The good thing was that a new relationship with Mike took the place of our ten-year-old relationship. I was the one person in the world who knew more about him than anyone else in his life, and he and I became best friends. It was no longer a sexual relationship; it had become a relationship in which I helped him to transition to living as a homosexual man. By chance or destiny, I even introduced him to the man who would eventually become his life partner. It's been almost 20 years now since I met Mike. I see him often. We spend great times together, sometimes he and I, sometimes him his partner and I, sometimes in a group of friends. I value him as much or more as the friend he has become as I did as a lover.
Mike kind of set the tone for the relationships to follow. Each lasted for a season in which I could be of help and be helped. Then each ended. The thing which has amazed me is that there has been no real break between the relationships. One has followed the other in quick succession with little effort on my part to find a new relationship. The new relationship just comes when it is time.
The two guys with whom I formed my second and third relationships are also still my friends. We talk often. We continue to share a common bond. I care about them. We just do not have a sexual relationship any longer. In each, I helped them, they helped me. One is a prominent and successful Texas attorney. He helped me a great deal to see that married bisexual and married homosexual men are normal guys both ordinary and extraordinary in their careers, professional lives and family lives. He is a friend and confidant, whose advice I value and who continues to contribute to my well being.
The other guy works for a company in Houston in which he is involved in data processing and inventory control. In the five years we were together, I think I contributed much to his sense of self-confidence and acceptance of himself. My relationship with each of the four guys has been and still is a win/win situation.
My current buddy is youngest. As with the others it is obvious he came to me at the right time in his life and the right time in my life. I look at him as (and I don't mean this to be egotistical on my part or demeaning at all to him) as sort of a lifetime achievement award for me. He doesn't come to me with the worst struggle or the worst set of issues. Mike will forever hold that place. Mike's struggle was actually a life and death struggle in which it was not at first clear which would win. My current buddy is not in a life and death struggle by any means. His struggle is to understand himself and his sexuality and put it in the proper context of his life. Above all else he wants to preserve and protect his marriage and his family. What makes him unique is that he is dealing with his bisexuality in his late 20's unlike most men who deal with it in their 50's.
He's a brilliant young man who has already accomplished great things in his life. He has a personality that is magnetic, a smile that lights up the world and the body of a young god. He is simply a joy to be around and it is an honor to work with him, to know him and to be his friend. Even tough he is more than three decades younger than I, he controls our relationship. Anyone who knows me knows I am a controller. But I don't want control in our relationship. It is vital that he be in complete control. He sets the schedule by which we meet. He calls me. He decides what we talk about. I simply follow his lead and use the time we have together to help him mold himself into the bisexual man he wants to be, the bisexual married man who is what he needs to be to himself and the bisexual man who is everything he needs to be and wants to be to his wife and family.
Sometimes the transitions were hard, especially with Mike. In the very depths of my heart and soul, I know I could have avoided any pain at all; however, I would have avoided four of the greatest friendships I've ever known. My experience tells me one can never anticipate the twists and turns any relationship will take. Mike and I could truly write a screenplay about our relationship that would be worth millions of dollars. It would top Brokeback Mountain easily at the box office.
The point of my sharing this very personal experience with all of you is - you have a choice! Exist in fear and die in regret, or step out intentionally and advisedly and live the life you were born for.
The second reason I've never ended a relationship is because I'm still a very close friend with each of my former sexual buddies. Friendships, I have found, can be as rewarding as sexual relationships. Let's face it, no matter who you are, you will never have more than a very few significant sexual relationships in your life. As a bisexual man, if you have one with your wife and one with a buddy, you are a very lucky guy.
But a guy can never have too many friends, and significant friendships are a true blessing. They really can be worth a great deal to each of you! In addition to the four guys I have referred to above who became sexual buddies and then significant friends, there are many others whom I met as one bisexual man to another. We never shared a sexual relationship and never will, but we nevertheless became significant and lasting friends. Why not open yourself to what life has in store for you?
I had no idea when I met Mike what life had in store for me. I had no idea I would save his life and he would change mine completely. I had no idea that helping other gay and bisexual men to accept themselves and learn how to live the only life they have would become an almost full time avocation for me. I certainly had no idea that what I would have given anything to get rid of (my bisexuality) would come to define me in my own eyes and in the eyes of thousands of others. I had no idea it would become so much a part of what makes me, Me!
I hope you'll step out into the only life you're ever going to have and make it count. I don't know the purpose for which you were born bisexual. I do know there is one. You have to step into your bisexuality to find it.
Will there be pain? More than likely. Will there be stress? Almost assuredly. Will there be happiness and satisfaction? It's almost guaranteed if you come to know yourself well and act as ethically as you can in your own best interests while maintaining a measure of responsibility for those you love. You can avoid the pain, but then you will have missed the dance. Will you sit it out or will you dance?