Today I received an email from an old friend and it was not good news. My friend wrote to me to tell me that he may be ending his eight year relationship. I called him and we spoke in the phone for an hour and a half. I felt so bad. Both people in the relationship are friends so that makes it even harder. I am going to refer to them as V. and S. to protect their privacy. I have known both of them for a very long time and in fact I have known "S". for 20 years so we have a long history going back to my early 20's.
Talking to my friend, "V.", made me think about a lot of things. Why do gay relationships seem to fail right around the seventh or eighth year? Is it really the seven year itch? My first relationship fell apart right around my 8th year. It was such a hard thing to go through! It was like a divorce, involving houses and material things and a year of major grief and heartache.
One thing that my friend said was that his partner needed space and that he had learned that if you are going to be in a relationship that you have to learn to accept it for what it is. People are different in their needs and ways of thinking about what being together means."V." is very much the same as me. He told me that he loves all of the affectionate stuff, and the romance, and also loves being with his partner doing things most of the time. I am the same way. When I am with someone it doesn't bother me to always spend time with them. His partner "S" is the opposite. "S" is not the affectionate type and enjoys his private time and space. I think that it is very hard when you are polar opposites when it comes to relationship views. My friend also hit home with a very valid point. He said that "if you are going to be in a relationship you have to learn what you are willing to accept and be prepared to accept the other person for who they are even though you may not always agree with them." He is right, in order to coexist in a relationship it takes compromise and acceptance.
I thought about my relationship with David. David is a very private person and needs his personal time. In the past, I would often mistake that for him not wanting to be with me. I realize that I was wrong. It is because I do not think the same way about things as he does. For David, it doesn't mean that he doesn't care, its because he really does just need his private time. As hard as that may be for me to accept sometimes, I have learned to. V. also said that you have to ask yourself...."better off with or better off without?" I care so much about David that I cant imagine giving up what we have together and I can't imagine my life without him now. I enjoy being with him so much and I love our time together. My vote goes for better off with!
We also talked about dating when you are in your late 30's and early 40's. It sucks! Everyone in this age range and older is either already taken or scared to death of any kind of commitment because of past experiences. I know even with myself, my past comes into play when thinking about things.
V. also said that he isn't going to give up on love. I thought that that was a great thing to hear. I really do believe in love too! It exists and its very powerful when you find it. The biggest advice that I can give anyone is to not bury your heart because you are afraid of getting hurt. There is a famous quote that says "tis better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all." I agree in so many ways!