Posts Tagged commitment

Match.com: Singles in America

Continuing with this week’s Valentine’s theme, I want to highlight a study I had the privilege of learning about this weekend while attending Sweets in the City, an event hosted by Single Edition.

107 million Americans are single, and match.com is trying to understand them. Under the guidance of Dr. Helen Fisher for the third year in-a-row, match.com has commissioned a national relationship study, Singles in America. After asking 200 questions to a perfect cross-section of the U.S., they learned fascinating new things you may or may not have heard in the news as of late.

I was shocked to learn both men and women judge each other first by their teeth, followed by grammar. It’s refreshing to know that in this day and age, communication is still important. Still, I’m surprised to see teeth topped the list (as well as proud of my pearly whites).

As a gay man who wants to one day get married, it was also refreshing to hear that commitment is back in style — 90% of those open to marriage believe they can stay married to the same person forever.

As Dr. Fisher reported the results, she was most-surprised by the increased emergence of friends with benefits. As a 28-year-old, I didn’t find this particularly surprising, having had my own FWB relationships.

In related results, virginity is no longer a core value in the dating world — If anything, it’s an obstacle. Gone are the days where the first instance of intercourse between couples occurs on the night marital consummation. I think it’s only natural that people want to test-drive the car before they buy it these days, even though women are less likely to admit it.

Sexting was a particularly interesting territory in the digital age. Although most singles believe sexting could jeopardize their careers or privacy, they still partook in this social taboo, proving love conquers all (including reason).

JustMarriedGayMenMy favorite statistic was that gay men fell in love more often than anyone else. We were more romantic, more experienced in “love at first sight” and more likely to be “deeply in love” with a long-term partner. Lastly, we had sex with the same frequency as other singles, finally proving the stereotypical perception of gay promiscuity is outdated.

I’m curious if this is due to wider acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage, or if this has evolved naturally. Dr. Fisher made a point about not making a point of discussing homosexual responses as a separate entity because there are very few differences from the heterosexual responses. We’re not all that different after all.

The most shocking results were that women desired independence and men sought commitment. Single men fall in love faster and want to “move in” together sooner, while women still want to hold onto their girls’ night out.

Hear Dr. Helen Fisher’s own interpretation of the facts from Saturday’s event below:

This post was sponsored by the fine folks at match.com. Be sure to check out all the fun, fresh video clips at Singles in America.

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High Anxiety

After my amazingly awful date with CK, we went home and went to bed. Waking up the next day with him in my bed was my true heaven. Not a day went by I didn’t appreciate waking up next to him, whether in his bed or my own. We were growing inseparable, however, that night we would spend apart.

When we woke, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. Since we didn’t have sex the night before when we got home, we were both particularly horny. Our sex was becoming so much more than sex. We started making love. We started becoming one. This was something completely new to me. I have had sex with more than a handful of guys, but I never felt the connection CK and I have in the bedroom. We share a strong unbreakable bond as a couple, but when we’re making love, it feels like we could move mountains.

We spent the morning being lazy. That night, I was taking my roommate to J’s wedding. I’d planned to take her before I even met CK. Part of me wanted to pull her aside and ask if she minded if I took CK instead, but another part of me wasn’t sure I was ready for that. I wanted to be ready for that, but it was a big step. Just thinking about it, I could feel the eyes of the people around the room watching us — The two ‘mos dancing up a storm. I know I shouldn’t care about that. I know I need to get used to that, but I wasn’t quite sure I was ready yet.

We watched a few episodes of Game of Thrones while I got ready for the wedding. When the time came for me to head out with my roommate, I had a conversation with CK about his plans for the night. He was planning to hit up a circuit party. I was incredibly uneasy about this. I’d never been, but from the pictures and the stories I’d heard from others, as well as from CK’s own mouth, I was very apprehensive about the whole idea. I trusted CK, but then again, I didn’t. We’d only known each other two short months. Who’s to say he wouldn’t pop X and grind up on some guy all night? Who’s to say he wouldn’t fool around with said guy in the bathroom? Who’s to say he wouldn’t go home with said guy? We were growing very close, but I had no idea how CK would react to the temptations placed in front of him. All these thoughts, and many more, were swarming in my head. But, in spite of all this, I tried to be cool. I had to learn to trust CK. My baggage was not his fault. I would never tell him I didn’t want him to go without me. Hell, I didn’t even want to go myself, even if I was available. It would purely be his decision, however, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be a nervous wreck about the whole thing.

When the time came to say goodbye, I simply gave him some parting words gently expressing my concern. “Behave tonight,” I added. “What does that mean?” he asked. I simply just repeated myself. He knew what it meant, but he wanted me to prescribe for him exactly where the line was drawn. The thought of him in another man’s arms made my heart palpitate and beat uncontrollably. It gave me incredible anxiety to picture him sweaty and shirtless with his tongue in another man’s mouth. I wouldn’t be there to hold him back, and my imagination was running wild to fill in the blanks. Because of this, and because I didn’t want to seem psycho to him, he would have to define behaving. It didn’t instill confidence in my mind when he asked me “Well, what exactly is naughty?” If he had to ask, there was a good chance he’d cross the threshold of my comfort zone. I feared for the life of my relationship with CK. I was jealous of faceless men, and he hadn’t even walked in the door.

When I commit to a relationship, I commit fully to it. There are no other guys for me. That doesn’t go to say I don’t notice/admire a hot guy walking by, but I won’t ever act on my admiration. I won’t smile at him or wink. I’ll simply admire him as a gorgeous specimen of a man. I have had my transgressions in the past, but I have learned from these mistakes. I have committed to my man, and he is who I am with. This is incredibly frustrating because I have a very traditional view of a relationship, and the majority of other gay men have quite the opposite. To many of them, boyfriend just means the guy the spend more of their time with than the other guys they see/have sex with. I digress…

Between my regret of not taking him and his going to what I equate to a rave without me, I was an anxious nervous wreck. I kissed him goodbye as we dropped him off at the PATH to head back into the city. My roommate and I sped off to the wedding location and arrived just in time.

It was a gorgeous ceremony and the reception was a blast! I nearly cried watching J tear up as his gorgeous bride walked up the aisle. I pictured myself in his shoes with CK coming to meet my arm and knew I would be a complete mess. I tear up now just writing about it. There were parallels between this wedding and my relationship with CK as well. It was a marriage between a white bread dude and a Puerto Rican fireball (CK is Cuban). For instance, the ceremony was bilingual, as I imagine a ceremony between CK and I would be.

After one of the toasts, I even sent CK a text saying “Te amo con todo mi corazón.” (I love you with all my heart). I was really missing him and wished he was by my side.

When the time came to head home from the wedding, I said my goodbyes and reveled in the love and joy I witnessed between J and his wife. I hoped I would get to the blissful place they were someday. In the car on the way to the hotel, I called CK. I figured he’d already be at the circuit party or wasted or high, but I needed to try. As the phone rang, all my anxiety rose back to the surface. I certainly was not prepared for what was about to happen next…

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Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday finally arrived. Normally, I don’t celebrate my birthday much. But, this year, I had more to celebrate. I had a loving boyfriend who treated me very well. I’d already received a birthday present more than I ever could have expected. Clark Kent was everything I wanted in a man, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to spend the day with him.

I left him that morning as he went to pick up his mother from the airport. I spent the night before in his bed and got quite a birthday surprise — Trapeze School tickets. He needed to fully utilize the time his mother was visiting to find a new apartment. He’d been dragging his feet, and the time came for some serious looking. I fully understood.

I made my way home early that morning. My old roommate started off the social media messages with a text to wish me a happy birthday. He was shocked I was up so early. I made my way home and began to get ready for my plans. I was heading to the pier for the day for a picnic of sorts. I grabbed my beach chair and packed a blanket, bocce ball, speakers, wine and food into my beach bag and asked my sister if she’d give me a ride so I wouldn’t have to lug everything to the pier in Hoboken.

As the day went on, friends came and went. They’d spend some time with me relaxing in the sun and chowing down on snacks.

At one point, we all got into a political discussion about gay marriage. It was interesting. I’d never really thought about marriage before because it wasn’t a priority. I didn’t even have a boyfriend. Marriage was something far, far away. I assumed by the time I was ready, the rest of the country would accept that choice and allow me to do so. Now that I had a boyfriend, things were different. I was a lot more passionate about the topic.

I had a blast. Many friends showed up and clinked Solo cups with me to celebrate another year on Earth. I was very happy so many showed up for my low-key celebration. There was no big destination. There was no cover. There was no commitment. It was simply a relaxing day doing what I wanted. If others felt inclined to join, they knew where to find me.

When we got bored, we broke out the bocce balls and played a few rounds. As the sun was setting, we decided to pack up. My sister contacted K to see if she would be willing to host a BBQ in her back yard. She was thrilled with the idea and began preparing immediately. I brought over some food to cook and everyone else pitched in. Even my old roommate, who I hadn’t seen in about a year, showed up.

We ate our fill of picnic food and played beer pong. I played with one of my old college teammates. Whenever we played together, we usually cleaned up. We started a little rusty, but we were doing pretty well against my sister and one other girl as well. It was great to finally play again. I have such a competitive streak in me, and it’d been some time since we played.

When it was nearly time to go, we gathered everyone around the table for a few rounds of flip cup. It was getting late, and we decided it was time to hit the bar. The whole group packed up and headed out the door.

I was missing my man. We checked in with each other over text throughout the day, but the search wasn’t going well for him. I was having a great time, but I felt bad for him. I wanted him by my side, but priorities were in order.

Some people split off from the group to head home for the night. On the walk to the bar, I heard a crash right in front of me at one of the cars. All I could think about was, “What drunk a$$hole just slammed into a parked… W!?” “Hey guys,” he said as he popped up from between two cars with his bike. I was laughing hysterically. He was just in a BUI incident. He’s lucky he didn’t cause serious damage to the car or himself, but it was still very humorous.

We continued to McSwiggans, my favorite Hoboken bar, and met up with more of my friends who were already there. We had a blast drinking and dancing all night. I was hanging out with my old roommate reminiscing about the good ol’ times. I stepped outside at one point to call CK to say hi and see how things were going. He was happy to hear I was in good sorts, but sad he couldn’t be there with me. I too was sad he wasn’t there, but I understood. We didn’t talk long cause I was neglecting my friends, and he was neglecting his mother.

I went back inside and joined the fun once again. I was getting drunk quickly. People were constantly buying me drinks, and I can’t drink like I used to. I’m getting old. At 28, you’re no spring chicken anymore.

The time came for me to go home. I said goodbye to the remaining people at the bar and walked home. I didn’t want to be hungover the next day, so I kept things in check. It was going to be a big day for me. I texted my boyfriend while I walked home. I wished he was waiting for me in my bed, but I knew it was quite a different scene. He was in his apartment sharing his with his mother.

Overall, I had a great birthday! They aren’t usually this cheerful — Usually, I’m quite glum on my birthday. I think I purposely downplay my birthday so I’ll never be disappointed. This one was pretty great, starting with waking up next to my Superman. I would end the day a happy man, and looked forward to tomorrow, the next time I’d get to see CK, as well as meet his mother…

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