This article was published on October 12th, 2015
There is probably no other topic that has been written about so much over the last few thousand years as love has. Still, songs, TV shows, movies, and books all relate back to love and relationships. Yet love and relationships are still very confusing. What is love anyway?
It’s a difficult and personal question with many different kinds of complex layers. Can you really love chocolate ice cream? Maybe this is not love, but just a way of expressing great enjoyment of the delicious frozen dessert. You may love your family, but likely the feelings are different than loving your boyfriend.
Love and relationships are very confusing. How do you know if you are in a boyfriend or buddy relationship? For some guys, their buddy is their boyfriend. There is a difference in the feelings between two guys who are buddies compared to the relationship between two guys who are in love. Gay guys know that having sex doesn’t mean you’re automatically boyfriends. Buddies can have sex together but still just be buddies, just as equally as two boyfriends could also be buddies. It is important to understand these differences of being buddies and loving boyfriends when it comes to relationships.
Guys who spend years in a loving relationship at some point become best friends. They are no longer boyfriends, but they spend a great deal of time together, talking about very personal issues, sharing intimate thoughts and feelings. But they are just buddies now. Something has changed. It’s not that their caring for each other and how important they are for one another. Heteronormative society does not recognize these types of caring relationships.
What is the difference between buddies and boyfriends? Both buddies and loving boyfriends care about each other, are supportive, and will do almost anything for them. There would be a tremendous loss if the relationship ended, with pain and suffering.
But guys who are in love have something special, that is different from buddies. They give themselves to their boyfriend. There is vulnerability and not being in control. They respect and trust each other, and value that special gift. Vulnerability and trust means that they are equal, without one or the other in more control, and that they are living with constant risk of loss, as well as the joy of being accepted, valued, and respected each and every day.
Being vulnerable is scary and freeing. Feeling important enough to your boyfriend, and to be trusted with him opening up in your hands is a natural kind of endorphin or high that comes with love.
It’s not uncommon for one guy to be looking for a buddy and his boyfriend is looking for a relationship where they are both vulnerable. This ends up being a frustrating situation for both guys, especially the one who is looking for more than just being buddies.
Some guys cannot live with being in a vulnerable, loving relationship. These kinds of guys do better with finding a buddy who they can share their lives with. Many guys will try, but when they get scared of getting hurt or are rejected, they react badly and make it difficult to have that loving relationship with.
There is no one right way to structure a boyfriend relationship. Buddies work. Being in a relationship works. Or a combination of buddies and being in a loving relationship with a few guys. They are all possibilities. They key is that relationships must work for everyone involved and be supportive of growth. Guys need to know that if they can accept being themselves and freely trust each other, then they will have a long, strong, enjoyable relationship together.