Boyfriend Land: Itinerary – By Adam Guerino
Deciding you’re going to be exclusive with someone can be a beautiful experience. It’s a life-changing declaration that you only want to be with them. I mean, “I choose you!”-those three words-that’s huge, right? So then why does it all too often feel like a business transaction?
My boyfriend wanted to be exclusive before I did. Our feelings for each other had grown and the idea that I could still potentially go on a date, kiss or other sexy business with someone else made him uncomfortable. Though I knew he was boyfriend material and it had been a while since I even wanted to date someone else, I was still cautious. I wanted exclusivity to be a decision made upon the desire to only wanting to be with him not because I only wanted him to be with me.
Regardless of how we approached the matter, I had no doubt we felt the same way about each other. It was only how we expressed those feelings that differed. Yeah, I know-that sounds like a bullshit excuse. But it’s the truth! Even so, I felt the pressure. Like my wanting to take it slow might become a deal breaker.
When I felt our relationship was ready, I asked him at dinner at a nice Italian restaurant in New York if he still wanted to be my boyfriend. I even gave him a shirt I knew he wanted that I brought with me covertly from Chicago. A little over the top? Perhaps. But I wanted it to be as much a romantic gesture as it was a matter of simply advancing our relationship. He said yes. And, maybe it was the candlelight, but it looked like he had a tear in his eye.
But when we had the exclusivity talk, it got decidedly less romantic. On our way back to Chicago, we defined our relationship. A term that was so heavily anticipated within our relationship and between my friends that we began to shorten it. “He wants to DTR.” “Have you two DTR’d yet?” and “Just DTR already!”
A parenthesis about monogamy: I’ve seen poly-amorous relationships work, I’ve seen them not work. Much like any relationship, what type of relationship or how many involved doesn’t determine the success-rate. That being said, I’ve only desired monogamy but support all consensual relationship expressions. Cool? Cool.
It was essentially understood, before we had even began dating, that we were only interested in a monogamous relationship. But what that meant to each of us… varied. To sometimes hilarious differences. For me, monogamy means no physical or emotional affairs. In other words, no touchy-touchy, talky-talky or texty-texty in a romantic or sexual nature. I don’t care if their dick stays in their pants, I’d feel our relationship was violated if my boyfriend engaged, or responded, to sexual or romantic exchanges. That seems pretty specific, right? Well, we’d be wrong.
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