- Boyfriend T has been my boyfriend since summer 2009 :-).
- Boyfriend number 1, now known as ex-boyfriend S, was my long term boyfriend from 1989 to 2008. These days I'm happy to say that we're very good friends.
- Boyfriend number 2, now known as ex-boyfriend P, was a boyfriend who might have become my second long term boyfriend after boyfriend number 1. In the end, though, things didn't work out.
- Boyfriend number 3, now known as ex-boyfriend R, was a guy who was almost a boyfriend, and I used to visit him regularly for activities. I think he might still be keen on me, because whenever we see each other, he's always joking about trying to get me into bed again!
- My Thai friend B is a lovely sweet guy who has never been my boyfriend. However, if things don't work out with boyfriend T for any reason, I might try and see whether he's interested in a relationship with me.
- Close Encounters is another gay blogger who I met in 2008 and who's become a good friend.
One of the benefits of blogging is that one can go back and see what one was thinking in the past by reading old posts. Just before I asked boyfriend T to be my boyfriend, I did a post titled An Asian versus a Western perspective, where I describe how we had completely different reactions to a film that we saw together. My view of the film is that the woman played by Kate Winslet ruins her life because she doesn't want to admit her illiteracy to anyone. However, Boyfriend T sees it very differently. His view is that the woman's life is successful, because she achieves her primary life objective which is to hide her illiteracy. I now find that post quite upsetting, because it means that I foresaw what may well end up being be the downfall of my relationship with boyfriend T before it even started. At the end of that post I wrote:
I sometimes get the impression that [boyfriend T] may regard telling [his friends and family] that he's gay as being comparable to Kate Winslet's character admitting her illiteracy.Four years later, I know for sure that boyfriend T's primary objective in life is indeed to hide the fact that he's gay. Absolutely everything else is secondary to that, including his friends and family, including his work, and including me too :-(. Four months ago, I wrote in another post that
… at some point he's going to have to choose between living a more openly gay life as my partner, or ending our relationship and going back even further into the closet.The latest twist in our story is that boyfriend T has taken a temporary assignment outside the UK because he believes that it just might end up giving him an excuse for not returning to live in his home country, and which would seem plausible to his family. He's desperately pursing any option that might allow him to escape the ties he has to his artificial straight life, without admitting that he's gay, even if the chances of success are almost zero. He could simply decide to stay with me in the UK anyway, but he feels that doing that wouldn't make sense to his friends and family who don't know that he's been in gay relationship with me for almost four years now.
"I need a holiday," I say to boyfriend T a couple of months ago, "and if you can't come with me because of your overseas assignment, do you mind if I go with someone else?"
"Of course I don't mind," replies boyfriend T, "and in fact I also think that you need a holiday :-)."
"But what about if I went on holiday with my Thai friend B or ex-boyfriend R?"
"No problem if you want to go with them, or go with ex-boyfriend P if you like :-)."
"But you know that ex-boyfriend P has got another boyfriend now!" I reply, "But what would you think if I ended up being intimate with any holiday companion?"
"Sure, why not," says boyfriend T very casually, "do what you like :-)".
When I originally asked boyfriend T about going on holiday with another friend, I actually had no intention of doing so. However, with deadlines approaching which seem likely to force boyfriend T back to his home country, I have now organised a two week holiday with my Thai friend B. If boyfriend T does go back to his home country, I see no realistic possibility of continuing our relationship. Although I've discussed this with him many times, he seems to be in complete denial about the situation.
At least I've done things differently this time. With ex-boyfriend S, I know that I behaved very badly, by going on holiday with ex-boyfriend P without his knowledge. This time I'm going on holiday with someone else with the full knowledge of my boyfriend.
"I can't believe that you actually went ahead and organised this holiday with B," says boyfriend T to me, with a sense of desperation in his voice.
"But you said it would be OK!"
"Yes, but you should know in your heart that going on holiday with B is completely inappropriate as long as we're together! I know that you've always fancied him."
"It's all been booked on a twin bed basis, rather than with double beds," I reply defensively.
We end up agreeing that even though boyfriend T will be out of the UK for several months, neither of us will engage in any activities with any other guys, so as to try and protect our relationship. I actually find Boyfriend T's reaction to my holiday plan quite comforting. Although he usually pretends that he doesn't care whether our relationship lasts or not, perhaps he really does care after all.
However, when I tell Close Encounters about the situation in an email, I can tell that he's a bit sceptical:
"Two weeks with B", he writes in an email to me, "that will test your powers of monogamy :)."
I manage to write advice for other gay guys in my Dear GB postings, and I know from emails that I get that some of the advice that I've given has helped some people. But when it comes to working out my own life, I feel completely helpless. It's kind of a case of "Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?", which means "Who will guard the guards themselves?". To be more explicit, I think this is a case of "Quis suadebit ipsis consuasoribus". That's my best attempt at translating "Who will advise the advisers themselves?"