Friends With Benefits, His Lush Behind!
Last night, I ended up in an argument with a male lover. Over what? Over the fact he became enraged when he heard that I was seeing other people behind his back. Let me explain how the conversation started and how it ended up with him asking me if I was saying these lies or acting this way to get him to officially say he was my 'boyfriend'.
For the past few months, I have been seeing this male lover whom I will call ML. ML and I met through mutual friends and we started to see one another despite our busy schedules. We will hang out at his place or meet somewhere away from the apartment (I rather not have the roommates become accustomed to seeing him around unless something were to happen). After a few months, it started to feel more like we were in the 'friends with benefits' sort of stage where we hung out, had sex and then we went our separate ways. He would call me to come over and I would make sure it was not too late or I had enough gas in the car to visit him. Usually, the roommates never knew of such a thing because of our different schedules so there were times when he came over most of the time. Now one would think I was worried about exclusivity or needing him to say I was his girlfriend to his friends to feel that I am not slutting around. Wrong.
Myself, I have no problem being 'friends with benefits' type of thing with ML. I was completely fine with it because while we are hanging out and not really doing things as a couple unless it was going to the movies or snuggling up on the couch, I saw other people. Yes, I went out on dates and hung out with other individuals because to me, since ML was not stating that we were exclusive or wanted to bring up the subject of becoming exclusive, I took it upon myself to date and mingle with various men, women and trans-individuals. If ML was seeing other people as well, I was going to let him have away at it since I was not going to be a hypocrite and I thought he would feel at ease with the decision. What male does not want the satisfaction of being able to date other women with the seal of approval from one he has been seeing for a few months? I assumed he would not feel guilty or even thank me for not pushing him to an ultimatum.
In fact, I brought up the conversation online (which I now find to be the wrong way to go about asking these sort of questions) since I was not in the city to do this face to face. How did the conversation come up? ML asked me if I wanted to get together when I got back into town to see Alan Cumming's film at the Castro. Now, the problem was not the time or the movie but the fact I planned to go out with one of the people I was seeing for the last three months. I had to let him know that I was going to be busy on that night. Then he asked if he wanted me to cover over to the apartment after or if he wanted me to be picked up to head back to his place. I found it to be the right moment to ask him where he thought this was between us and if there was anything that should be discussed.
He did not hesitate to let me know that we are 'two people having fun in the city' and that he was not in the market to 'settle down'. That was a huge relief because I hated to think he thought we were a couple and if he or any of his buddies saw me out and about with another person kissing and hugging that a dramatic confrontation might ensue. After being a witness and even in a few of these arguments in public, I am always on the look out to find a way to keep the peace and not end up having to call the police to break up a fight. ML asked me if I was fine with his answer and if there were wires being crossed between us. Maybe he thought I was nervous and wanted to know where I stood in his life and whether we were going to get the happily ever after going. No way, Jose.
To hear ML was not looking to become my primary boyfriend made it much easier to tell him I was seeing other people. What was the harm since if we are not exclusive and he did not see us settling into a relationship, then I should be upfront with him about the other people. Better he hear it from me than from his buddies if they saw me canoodling with another person. That is where things went to hell in a beautiful hand made basket.
ML accused me that I was trying to pressure him into putting a stamp on our relationship as exclusive by trying to make him jealous in going out with other individuals. He want on to say I was trying to twist his arm to either be with with or lose me to some other person who is willing to be only with me. Now, hold on, wait just a whipping minute. I kept repeating to him that I am not looking for him to change his ways for me. I want him to go out and meet other people. I want him to feel as if we can hang out without the pressure of whether we need to put a label on our relationship. Then the thought came to me. Is he seeing other people? If so, I wanted to explain I was comfortable with him seeing other females.
I asked him if he was seeing other women. He did not reply for a while and I had to repeat the question. Finally, he did answer that he was seeing someone on/off for a while now. A high school girlfriend of his who came up every once in a while and the two hooked up. He did not have to tell me the whole story but I did stop him by asking him how he can tell me that he felt uncomfortable I saw other people while he has been hooking up with his high school girlfriend. Really, that is the pot calling the kettle black. How can he feel I am pressuring him when I really could not care less about this other woman in his life. As long as he is practicing safe sex, I am fine with him picking up other women. He should be over the moon I am comfortable and not going to feel the bite of jealousy if he wants to hang out with someone else while I am with one of my other lovelies.
The conversation ended up with him calling me on my cell phone. By this point, it was almost midnight and I was not about to wake up the house with screams, shouting or telling him that I was not going to end things with my other lovers because he felt 'pressured' or I was doing it out of spite. What do you readers think? Should he be angry at me? Am I in right? Would you have done things differently? I plan to talk to him later on in the week and even as I retell this spectacle, he has left me three voice mails, two text messages and a few IM's to let me know that he wanted to sit down and talk.