This past Valentine’s Day, I fell for a guy. Hard. Like, so hard I smacked right into the f**king pavement while still totally numb from warm fuzzy feeling.
I would be the type to fall in love with a guy on Valentine’s Day, and I’ve gotta say, this may have been my favorite February 14th to date—excluding the cute “You’re My Valentine” greeting cards and chocolates I received from darling friends in the 2nd grade, of course.
"Romantic love was in sight on V-Day, so I pursued it full force like a Category 5 hurricane. It was soul-stirring, heart-pumping, and mind-racing for awhile.
That is, until he told me he wanted an open relationship with other guys."
You’re probably wondering about the deets, so I’ll lay them out:
I had actually met this guy through a mutual friend one Saturday night, but we parted ways a few minutes later. It wasn’t until we right-swiped each other on Tinder that real sparks began to fly. After some hot, flirtatious text message banter—coupled with sexually suggestive banana and eggplant emojis—I wound up seeing his theatrical debut with a rose in my coat pocket, for him.
After the show, he strutted towards me, clearly excited. I boldly declared, “Cupid couldn’t be here tonight, so I had to take his place. He wanted me to give this to you. Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Opening Weekend for your show.” Handing him the rose, his face lit up and he touched my arm. Ooooh, the thrills I felt! He left after the show, but we texted each other non-stop. Just like Beyoncé, I was “Drunk In Love” and ready to wake up in the kitchen saying, “How the hell…?” Well, you know how the rest of it goes.
For the next ten days, we had a dizzying, electrifying set of dates and make-out/sex sessions. We shared deep thoughts and funny life moments over Starbucks, discussed our family life while munching on delicious Wegman supermarket sandwiches, and talked creative theatre aspirations over Boston Market. And yes, in case you were wondering, food was a CRITICAL part of our dating process. On our dates, I treasured our physical, semi-PDA moments: pressing our legs together under the table, touching hands and interlocking fingers, crossing our arms as we walked back to his car. It felt liberating to be publically playful and gayful.
I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t mention the kissing. As soon as he blasted “Pretty Hurts” from his stereo, I was all over him like cream cheese frosting on a red velvet cupcake. Tasting him, smashing into his tongue, biting his teeth…it just felt right. Exciting. Sexy. When I got really enthusiastic, I’d peck love bites on his neck. Those just drove him crazy—they drove ME crazy—and he’d moan my name with deep longing.
Out of all my moments with him, the first night we shared together was the most thrilling and tender. I’d never had “pillow talk” with another gay guy, so we made a date to cuddle up at my place after his show. The minute we sat down, I felt easy with him, completely safe and secure. We were laughing and just smiling at each other—and I felt like I was falling deeper in love with him as we laid side-by-side, on the same pillow, staring into each other’s eyes and souls. When we cuddled into my shoulder, I started crying warm tears of gratitude. This physical touch, this emotional intimacy and safety…it had been a deep hunger that I just couldn’t satisfy on my own. His presence was healing, and I was finally starting to feel closer to my own wholeness again.
And that, my friends, is more or less when he told me that he wanted an open relationship.
He was 19 and wanted to “explore,” and he would be transferring to a new school after this semester. He had me right on a string, and I was happy to go along with him. I mean, wouldn’t it be stupid for me to end something that held such promise? For the two days after until we met again, I seriously thought about having an open relationship with him. Personally, I hadn’t dated or hooked up with THAT many guys, and I couldn’t deal with not seeing him anymore. There was a part of me that rationalized that I was “evolving in love” and just needed to “explore” this territory with him.
Honestly, I would have. I would have engaged in this open relationship to its fullest, messiest extent, but THANK GOD I DID NOT! Two red warning flags came up for me. The first was the night I met him. After exchanging numbers, I wanted to meet up with him, but he said he was meeting up with someone else. Much to my chagrin, I saw him drunkenly hooking up with another guy that I had wanted to hook up with! I never told him about this, but that image played through my head every so often when I was with him, and it gave me serious doubt to his ability to commit.
The second warning flag, however, was internalized: he was emotionally unavailable and not supportive of me in the slightest. When it came to a fun flirt or fuck, he was totally game. I was the “Master Wooer” in the relationship, buying him coffee and seeing his show twice to support him. But whenever I really took emotional risks and expressed how I felt, he shut down. He told me that he felt bad that I cared more about him than he did about me. That’s when I said, “Hasta la vista, motherf**ker!”
Despite the tear and anger filled heart-mending over these past few days, I’m grateful for the short-lived romance we did share. People always come into our lives for a reason, and this guy helped me realize what I truly want. I want a man, not a boy.
I want a partner to share my life with, and Mr. Have-His-Cake-And-Eat-It-Too was, alas, only a boy. He didn’t really care about me and was full of sweet, seductive, playful nothings. Emotional reciprocity is the way to my heart in a committed relationship, and I don’t expect anything less. In fact, I expect a hell of a lot more the next time around, and I plan to get it. I know what I’m worth, and the man who’s lucky enough to figure that out will have my heart—and I’ll have his heart, beating warm and strong, against mine. I can already feel him coming closer.
Chris Marsala, Love Blogger
Curious, excited, and passionate about life’s possibilities, writer and blogger Christopher Marsala can think of no better way to share his life experiences than through the (online) written word. When it comes to matters of the heart, he believes that having faith in the Universe, loving oneself, and using his playfully seductive witticisms are a divine trifecta for for attracting romantic succes.