Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Ang Pagdadalaga Ni McVie, Part 3

Part 3: All You Need Is Love (or On Relationships & Love)

So far my biggest, longest-lasting hang-up was: “Why am I single since birth?” From the time I was attracted to the same sex until I was 44 years old, I was enjoying what is euphemistically called “single blessedness.” I thought the euphemism was cloying, annoying, and condescending, until I had a boyfriend. Now I still think there’s a tinge of consuelo-de-bobo shade in the term, but now that I can compare being single versus having a partner, I can now say with conviction that, indeed, the former has its blessings.

But that will fall on deaf ears of the desperate and the delusional. Desperate because they want a partner above all else; delusional because they think that love is the answer. All they need is love, love is all there is.

Actually this need to be coupled is a universal need. But among gays, it becomes especially significant because we’ve been accused of being incapable of having long term relationships of the monogamous kind. Makati at malandi are easily attributed to homosexuals. Not surprising; as I said in Part 2, sex is seen in a narrow context (I blame this on imposed Catholic guilt regarding sex). Thus I think this spurs a lot of gay guys to want to prove that gays are capable of achieving the Holy Grail that straight couples aim for: a long-term monogamous relationship.

This need to be coupled is reinforced by pop culture. Literature, popular music, and the movies all have their share of love stories. That these soap operas, melodramas, and romantic comedies aren’t limited to one culture indicates that this is very much a universal theme. And there is a good reason behind it. Man is a social creature; he is built to socialize with his fellow men.

Nature also made falling in love desirable. The joyful rush, the increased heart rate and blood flow, and the dilation of the eyes--the physical manifestations of falling in love are akin to being high on drugs. And there’s a natural logic to it all; Man needs to copulate so as to ensure the species survives. But Man is unlike animals. In the animal kingdom, when females are in heat they and the males respond instinctively. But Nature has kicked Man out of that instinctual habit. If we want to have sex, we don’t release pheromones; instead, we negotiate. We flirt. We even bamboozle.

Since birth, we are bombarded with all of these Love! Love! Love! messages from both Nature and Nurture. No wonder we’re always looking for love.

Back in high school when I started getting interested in guys, I was attracted to only straight men. That led me to a series of unrequited love, and it took me a while to snap out of that vicious cycle. When I was in my late 20s, I was desperately seeking love on weekends, first in Malate, then in Makati. When I was still single when I hit mid-30s, I told myself, “Career na lang nga muna. Love will happen when it will happen.” And yet still I secretly wished, “Lord, give me a lover!”

It was only when I was into my 40s that I finally found some peace in the idea that I may be single for the rest of my life. It was the fear of “OMG, I’ll still be single when I get old!” that fueled my need for a partner. And when I turned 41, 42, and so forth, I still didn’t find someone. More and more I got comfortable with the idea of being single. My only regret was that I could never really know what it was like to have a boyfriend. But that’s something I have no control over. The one indisputable fact of love is that it takes two to tango.

At 44 I finally met a tango partner.

So now that I can compare, I can safely say that having someone in your life gives you a chance to know yourself even more. Most of these lessons you can actually learn from family and friends. However, it’s so easy to take family and friends for granted. With a partner, the lessons are a lot harder to avoid and evade. And I’m so thankful that it’s D who’s with me on this.

What I also realized is that Love doesn’t favor straight or gay. We actually share in the same fears and go through the same problems (well, except for the sex problems, of course).

Some people, when they hear my story, would react with, “Oh wow, it took you so long. Poor unfortunate you.” But I don’t feel unfortunate; in fact, I count myself lucky. Knowing how emotional I was when I was younger, I am glad that I met D when I was more stable and less emotionally volatile. (D may want to disagree with me on the last statement though, hahaha!)

At least Fate spared me and you many an emo post.

(Up next, Part 4: That’s What Friends Are For)

1 comment:

Marcus: Bading Down Under said...

I love posts like this... :-)

I'm super happy for you and D, McV!