Alright, so we all know about that huge, annoying life commitment that is always hanging over our heads, right? You know, that pesky, itchy, annoying little thing called “marriage”; that whole legally-binding contract between two people who plan to spend the rest of their lives together (or so we believe at the time).
The story starts the same way: boy and girl fall in love. Family mingling ensues. The necessary family holidays. Double dates. Outings with friends. Eventually, boy and girl are one hermaphroditic morphous being; no longer individuals, but a couple. A “them”, not a “him and her”. This is quickly followed by the unavoidable engagement phase, and then of course, a marriage ceremony. But it doesn’t simply end there. Signing that contract is only the beginning to the next phase: Forever. A phase that offers no escape (or so we believe at the time).
But then what? Well, simply put: the phase somewhere between “I do” and “forever” is where you find out who you really are and who your partner truly is.
Sometimes that means you are even better together and sometimes it doesn’t. For me, the latter was true and another story began:
As the girl learned who she was, she fell in love with-WAIT FOR IT- another girl. The most beautiful creature she had ever beheld. A girl who made her feel completely herself for the first time in her life.
And so began the “divorce phase.” Awkward.
So, girl began dating a girl.
Sure, the struggles are still similar. To this day, girl and girl fight to maintain their individual identity, to stay “her and her” and not a “them.” They struggle the same way the boy and girl struggled; they went through the same phases of the relationship as the boy and girl. They just haven’t quite made it to the whole marriage step (yet).
So what do we learn? What is that fact that everyone ought to know about trying to be straight? It’s that you can and will try to fake it. But it will eventually grow old. Very old. Burn-you-out, tear-you-down, exhausting-old. You will stop being able to pretend.
What everyone ought to know about trying to be straight is that you will fake it and live in misery, or choose to live bravely in your own truth. There is no third option.
So don’t rush it. Don’t pretend to be happy as a straight girl/boy to please your mother. Don’t do it because you figure at some point, eventually, you will marry a man/woman. Ask yourself the hard questions. Because if you don’t do it now, it will catch up with you. And the reality is that in that moment, the cost of making the right decision for yourself may be higher.
The simple truth is that only you can decide which type of relationship is right for you: straight, gay, bi, or otherwise. And it’s not about marriage. Marriage is still just as important to me now as it was back then. I made my mistakes. I didn’t find my life partner the first time around. But I have now and that makes all the difference. I was brave. I was strong. I stopped pretending. And love found me. So what do we learn? Love is love, ladies and gents, so be brave first. The good stuff will find you afterwards. Promise.