My current love interest has a girlfriend; which seems ironic, because when a male friend confessed to me that he was in a romantic relationship with a man who has a wife, I was quick to rebuke him. I was quick to point out to him the immorality inherent in the kind of deceitful relationship he was having. I still think it’s immoral to deceive a love partner in pursuit of love found elsewhere. But as my experience has come to teach me (and as portrayed in this previous semi-fictional piece) this thought has become active against a backdrop of understanding that choosing who we love is an ability which resides outside our volition.
When I first met my current love interest, I didn’t know him to be on romantic terms united with anyone – least of all a girl. Words he said were sweet. Words like: “You make me feel like a better man. “You wanna wank?” “I am thinking of your sexy navel.” It was easy to remain blind to the possibility of his interest in women. And I was deep into (and somersaulting within) the warmth of feelings that comes from being not only seen and loved, but desired. It felt burdensome to confront one question which grew in importance the deeper my desire reached, but I found myself ask the question, nonetheless. I had to ask him: do you have a boyfriend? His response was quick: No. I had thought his response would fill me with a sense of peace that comes from knowing a person was yours and yours alone. But It did the opposite of what I thought it would do. It didn’t, as I had imagined, close the gap of curiosity that grew from the uncertainty that a potential a love interest was committed and loyal to you. So I asked the next question that came to my mind: Do you have a girlfriend? He gave another quick response. A response that made me stand up to leave him were we had sat. A yes. The silence between us as I walked away communicated to me that I was supposed to understand. He had to have a girlfriend. Not only because the guardians of social balance required it but also because he felt something for this girl knowing she held potential to help him build a convenient kind of family.
It takes problems like this to learn something I wish are taught early on in schools: Some problems do not have neat answers. Some questions bring up answers which can be layered with complexities that give rise to more questions. How do I to turn off my desire for a person I desire? Why would I want to turn it off? What do we do to dismantle the social fabric that demands a boy be with a girl, so that the combinations nature allows can flourish? It came to me that, perhaps I should call the girlfriend to tell her about the nature of her boyfriend. But this too seemed to me immoral; revealing ones sexuality should always remain within a person ‘s prerogative; no one should take that choice away from another person. And it came to me that I was interested in telling her not because I cared about truth, but because I wanted her to feel the kind of pain only truth had the power to impact.
In the end, only time will tell what will come of this unintended kind of love.