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I have so many conversations about gay people not having the capacity to be monogamous, the majority of relationships being open, and the frustration many people feel when searching for that elusive partner for a primary relationship.

Some out there feel all the “good ones” are already in relationships, or the only people who hit on them are just looking for some extra curricular fun without the hope or ability to commit further. At times, it seems those interested in monogamous relationships are becoming more of a rarity in our community.

In some ways, coming out as monogamous is like coming out about our sexuality. You get questions about why you want to be monogamous or what would make you “switch teams” to pursue an open relationship. You’re told it’s most likely “just a phase” or that you’ll have a much harder life because of your choice. In these ways, monogamy can make you feel abnormal when compared to others around you. I know many people personally, professionally, and socially who look for that same mysterious “needle in a haystack, monogamous guy.” (I wonder what’s keeping them from meeting each other.)

I’m not confident that successful monogamy doesn’t exist in our culture or that it’s really all that rare. Historically, gays have been perceived to be on the cutting edge of many forms of sexual expression. We’ve embraced kink and open relationships, and fought valiantly for acceptance on a variety of fronts. I think it’s amazing and beautiful to know we have the potential for fantastic relationships and the ability to form them in any way we see fit.

There are many reasons to pursue a monogamous relationship, but you have to be honest with yourself about what your reasons are. Some people feel that “wuv, twoo wuv” means never being sexual with anyone else. Some get jealous at the thought of seeing their partner being intimate with someone else, or become fearful that their partner will find someone more emotionally, socially, financially, sexually, or physically compatible. Of course, others feel that when they find that right person, intimacy with others is not only not desired, but also inappropriate. Regardless, our relationships, like our lives, are completely ours to define.