I’m in a very serious relationship with a woman; lets call her H. The whole experience has been a blur and now we’re living together, with children, and I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in my life.
Unfortunately, I’m incredibly heterosexual; and she is too.
Trust me. I’ve already tried to will myself gay multiple times, but I know this is impossible for two reasons: 1) science and 2) because I have the relationship of the century (it’s that “Brangelina” quality shit) but I can’t change the fact that I like men and I will always like men.
It’s the cross I bear.
My serious relationship with H has conditioned me to be a much better partner because our lives are so intertwined, it’s as if we’re married. We consult each other about bills, major life decisions, and how we should raise the children. We’re the proud parents of two cats-Loki and Thor-and a hedgehog named Harold. In the next 3 years, we might run away to Vietnam together, or maybe we’ll go to Shanghai or Hong Kong instead. Point is: there’s no question about whether or not we’re going together.
Here’s why I know what I’m talking about when it comes to dating. First, I’ve seen so many of my past relationships fail that I know how to work on “stuff” and when to call it quits. Second, H and I have been to hell and back as young ex-pats on our own in China, but we have yet to face a challenge and say, “this is too difficult.” Third, my parents are thick as thieves and have created an excellent foundation for my siblings and I to know what it takes “to make it.”
So please enjoy my unsolicited advice-per usual.
How To Crush Casual Dating
Because there is such a high turnover rate for ex-pats, dating is incredibly difficult. Someone can be here today and gone tomorrow, and for that reason, most wanderers have old flames scattered around the globe. But this also puts fear and fire into our hearts. We love urgently or not at all because we don’t want to sacrifice the potential friendship (or future business contact lol); and I think this is something more people should take into consideration. If you want to be with someone, be with him or her. If you don’t, don’t lead that poor soul on. Don’t waste your energy on people who “just aren’t that into you,” people who are self-loathing, or people who are going to hold you back. It’s really that simple.
Going on A DATE does not mean you are in a relationship. Don’t be afraid to date around, especially as a woman, because experience leads to a better understanding of what you need and what you’re willing to compromise on. I can put up with forgetfulness (i.e. birthdays, feelings, etc), but if you don’t workout, how are we ever going to see each other?
So you had “the talk.” Good for you Glen Coco! You go Glen Coco! Way to be upfront about what you want and how you want it. Around the 3-month mark, the “honey moon” phase will start to wear off and shit starts to get real. Real annoying that is. Does he sweat too much when he sleeps? Does she spend an uncomfortable amount of time with her “best guy friend?” Does he/she even lift?
At the 3-month mark, I like to do a “pulse check” on the relationship and evaluate if it’s challenging or changing me for the better. More often than not, I normally choose to call it quits at this point. If a relationship isn’t making me a better person-for me-there’s just no reason to continue with it. Making me “happy” is easy; all I need is food, travel, and sexy time. I already have plenty of people in my life that can fulfill these basic necessities. For me to agree to a be in an “exclusive” relationship, there needs to be something more.
If you choose to part ways after the “pulse check,” c’est la vie! That is life! Consider it as “practice” for next person that comes around. If it ended on bad terms, buy a bottle of Jose Cuervo and clock your “mourning period” according to the amount of liquor in the bottle. Once you finish the bottle, you are no longer allowed to feel sorry for yourself. However, you are allowed to throw up repeatedly, without shame. C’mon, it’s Jose.
How To Maintain A Relationship:
Here are a few general ways to maintain healthy relationships, romantic or otherwise.
- Stop playing “games.” It’s not funny or seductive; you’re just being a dick (OR a lady-dick).
- Human beings are not mind readers. If you want something, say something. If you don’t want something, make that clear. If you don’t want to be in a relationship anymore, don’t string someone along until you woman/man the eff up.
- Don’t ever fight via the interweb. No passive aggressive tweets, suggestive Facebook statuses, Instagram pictures with winky faces, or other types of aggressive posts on any major social media platforms that I’ve failed to mention. If you can’t express your frustration to your significant other face-to-face, you probably shouldn’t be with this person.
- Remind that person that he/she is a rock star constantly. Being taken for granted is painful and leaves scars for years to come, yet, it’s so easy to fix. Be physical AND vocal about it. It’ll save you money on forgive-me-presents and couples therapy in the future.
Despite what the Internet may blog about me, I am not a man, bitter, spiteful, or any combination of the three when it comes to relationships. I’m just a normal Indian-looking Mexican living in China. I believe in free love and fine liquor, and I hope these tips come in handy next time you’re feeling anxiety about a particular “situation.”
And even if it doesn’t all work out this time, fuck it, at least it doesn’t impact your Visa.
Ye Mao Zi Photography (夜猫子摄影)
Aaron Berkovich is one of my personal friends and long-time supporters. He believed in my dreams before it was cool.
He’s been shooting in Beijing for the later year and by photographing travel, parties, people, and food, his intimate images allow him to share his own journey with like-minded people. Like his page here.