We grow up, many of us at least, being told that we will meet our one true love and marry them. That’s where things are supposed to lead. You meet, you date, you may move in with each other, then you settle down and get married, possibly having a kid or two. That’s what I had always been told. Even though my parents divorced they still felt this scenario was the right one, and the one my siblings and I would follow.
If you know me at all you will know that I often tend to buck the rules and do things my own way. Why should love be any different? And I don’t know how because it wasn’t anything I ever saw or even heard of in my little world growing up, but I knew there were other ways to be and love and live with that love.
I have mainly had long term monogamous relationships with men. Well, maybe I haven’t. I have been “single” to the world for the better part of the last 20 years so maybe that is no longer the case. While many have seen what looks to be a single woman living her life with no prospects (Thanks Mom!), has really been a woman enjoying a rich and varied love life while maintaining my own independence and living in the way I mostly want to. I say mostly because while I do like the life I have built, it would be nice to have a partner to come home to most days. I just cannot picture the whole marriage thing and sleeping with the same man beside me every fucking night. I can’t. Get your own room. What that means for me is that partners tend to move on after some time to a more permanent gig with a wife or live in partner. Maybe one day I will meet someone who sees things in a similar way as I do who would be happy to live together separately until our dying days.
My son has met some of my partners. It would be odd if he didn’t. And while some have been strictly meet him at the door when they pick me up for a date, others have gotten to know him and spend time with him as well. G has been really good that way. He will check on him if he is acting shy and wanting to be in his own space, and will play video games with him if he’s up for being more social. He’s given us rides to the airport when we’ve gone to visit family and put together his new bike. G also picks him up a treat when he gets our drinks if he knows he is going to be home when he comes over. It’s nice. It’s nice that he cares about my son, what he thinks and how he feels. I hope he can still be there for my son when we are no longer in the relationship we currently are, but that’s a conversation for another time.
I am thankful that my son is growing up with models of love that are different. I don’t need to teach him that any one person can love any other person or that loving someone doesn’t mean you have to get married and live together. He sees it in his everyday life and just excepts it as is. He has gay couples, both men and women, heterosexual couples, single parent families, two parent families, multi parent families. He has seen someone have loving relationships with both men and women. He has seen people transition to being their authentic selves and has carried on with their new names, pronouns, and gender identities without question or issue. These are all people in his everyday world so it doesn’t require learning or explanations beyond “This is Sam. Sam is a boy now.” His reaction is inevitably going to be “Okay, will you play video games with me now?”
Just because we were taught certain things does not mean we cannot grow and learn and evolve in our thinking and expression. Love the way you want to not the way someone tells you you should. Be authentically you and love your own way.