I worry about being a good boyfriend, or being a bad boyfriend if you want to look at it that way. I worry in part because good/bad in a relationship isn’t easy to define. If it were, I suppose there’d only be one book in the self-help section and rather fewer blogs too.
I’m really sure about Fella. I mean, really sure. I’m certain he’s the one for me. There’s no down side. Nothing about him that makes me doubt that we should and will be together. I know it involves work and I know neither of us is perfect but all the flaws and challenges exist within the sphere of our relationship, rather than outwith it – trying (if you’ll permit me to stretch a metaphor) to burst our bubble.
Still, the butterfly of mine angst has flutterbutted from time to time to the worry that I am settling for Fella, or staying with him (or making him stay with me) for the wrong reasons.
c.f. Bad Boyfriend: I can’t do better. I don’t want to go out dating again. I’m getting older. I can get x, y, z from him…
The Good Boyfriend sees in Fella exactly what he is. The best lover I’ve ever had; the one who gives all of himself and to whom it is a joy to give myself in return (I got the better part of the dealt to be sure, gentle reader, but nonetheless…). The one I want to be with all day and every day.
But this isn’t black and white. There are many shades of pink [?]. The Good Boyfriend/Bad Boyfriend isn’t a Jekyll and Hyde monster dude. Fella and I have been together constantly since 27 December until today; 9 days in total. We didn’t go to work, We didn’t go out separately (much). Virtually 24 hours in each other’s company. And Bad Boyfriend did not put in much of an appearance at all. But we got on each other’s nerves from time to time about petty things like hogging the bed or juts…being there sometimes!
Yes, we might well say that if Good Boyfriend is loving then Bad Boyfriend is ungrateful. Bad Boyfriend might even be insane, if insanity can be defined as a danger to oneself.
In the world of the Good Bad Boyfriend finds a niche all his own. It may seem a strange thing to write but I kinda need Bad Boyfriend around because he helps define the trust that exists between Fella and I.
If I’m not selfish enough sometimes to demand what I want (and the same true of Fella but of course) then we couldn’t be sure of honesty between each other. A zen like sublimation of our selves into the other isn’t, to me, how a relationship of – equally flawed, equally giving – equals is meant to work. Bad Boyfriend is a part of us all, I think – and evidence that he exists helps in the long term. In small quantities…
Dan Savage is a great columnist in the US; definitely someone who blogs better than me. Not necessarily work safe, but enjoy...