I feel the word trapped in my throat— when I talk about someone in my life, but leave off the exact nature of our relationship. Feels like I’m hiding, lying. I’ve seen this frustration expressed a million times, someone wishing they didn’t have to hide their partners. Doesn’t feel good, perhaps unethical. It’s wrong to hide a relationship.
…but the truth is a great deal of this is our egos.
It’s an ego boost to introduce the person as our husband, our wife, our girlfriend. “Oh, yes, this is Julia. She’s my fiancée, have you met yet?” We subtly show off our rings in the form of manicures, pretending that we didn’t even remember that sparkly glint on our finger. “Oh, yes, Thomas got me this ring last week, I just love it!”
We love to do this, and why shouldn’t we? Partners are hard work. If we can show off a house remodel or a job promotion, why shouldn’t we celebrate the most valuable piece of of our lives– our relationships?
I can’t do that with my “hidden” partners.
I don’t necessarily hide them well. I freely admit the association. But I let other people think what they want to, because they know I have a romantic partner already. Surely this other person could only be “just” a friend.
Oh, sure, I can still speak of how amazing my “friend” is, the one who gets me the best birthday gifts. Took me out to this fantastic new Thai place. We can brag about our lives. We just can’t admit what happens afterwards, when we go back to my place. I can say I went to a fantastic party, met this amazing woman, chatted all night— but not that she ate my ass like she was sucking down a margarita.
I know, deep down, that isn’t what is important about any of my relationships. While most know my master as my partner/boyfriend, I don’t actually care about that. I value our shared labels the least of any aspect of our partnership. I know that those I call my partners are my friends first.
Because, really, what are we truly hiding?
It’s hardly a lie to introduce them as “Jaime, my friend from [insert location here].” It’s just as valid a role as any other they have with me. Why not introduce them as friend? Are we saying they are less valuable as a friend? Of course we don’t mean that!
Yet– a silly, perhaps selfish part of me craves the public acknowledgement of the fact that this is someone with whom I share insane, sexy adventures! Maybe it’s the fact that I bristle inside whenever I hear someone say what I have (what I literally have!) isn’t possible. Maybe it’s that when they talk about their romantic other, I want the same courtesy for myself. Just like I wanted my girlfriends recognized as romantic, I now want all my partners recognized as such. But, yeah, maybe it’s that I do want you to know this man shakes my world and my bed! And so does she!
I want the pure, unadulterated joy of just going on and on about my master, my playmate, my…whatever it is that is in my life then. Because it’s fucking awesome. Yes, fucking in the literal sense.
Yes, I know it doesn’t matter to anyone else.
I know, deep down, that nobody really cares about whether the person I’m talking about is my lover, playmate, girlfriend, or friend. They usually only want to hear about my romantic partner(s), because they want to talk about their own. Beyond that, they’d rather either talk about their own lives or hear something else about mine. Same as how I feel about their lives. No judgement.
Of course they’re not really interested to know about my love life. I don’t particularly care to hear about their exploits or what they do in bed. What specific interest would they have in mine (unless they’re interested in me or them in a romantic sense)?
Still. I kinda want it, you know?