I once dated a man who had a boyfriend. I should say he had a best friend, but by all means it felt like he had a boyfriend. Reservations were set for three for seven o’clock on Saturday nights. His buddy knew more about my sex life than I did. We invited him to our dates expecting a polite decline and unexpectedly get a last minute join-in.
I was unofficially dating two men and Todd and Eric were inseparable.
A man doesn’t get a boyfriend overnight. No, this is a long and undoubtedly complicated process. It often starts when a man has had a serious break up, and decides to spend time with his single compadre. Days, maybe weeks, possibly months – ”the two single men journey through the ocean of single-ness together, develop a routine that feels comfortable, and before they know it, plan their Friday night movies and Saturday nights at the local pub. They form a sense of stability to their schedules and lean on each other for support. What seemed like going out to meet girls becomes just another night of drinking with the buddy. And that’s all it ever becomes because the buddy is the boyfriend.
Of course, abandoning your same sex partner is out of the question. A man can’t leave a soldier behind. What kind of friend would that make him?
That’s when Todd met me.
It’s one thing to have a roommate. It’s a completely different situation when you have a live in boyfriend. Ah, yes the live in boyfriend Eric. Todd would email him through out the day at work, call him after work, and catch dinner with him on the nights he was not with me. At first, Eric made less of an appearance during our dates. I’d say hi, be friendly with the best friend, and he’d go on his way. The distance was great. As Eric began feeling more comfortable with me, however, he’d stay on our dates longer–and soon, for the entire time. I was unofficially dating two men and Todd and Eric were inseparable. Whenever Todd and I hung out, my first question would be if Eric was going. I adapted and started enjoying the company of three. Pathetically, this is the closest I have ever gotten to a threesome (but that’s a different story).
While it was fun for a bit, I soon became the outcast. Todd and Eric were more interested in their inside jokes than I was in them. Their secret language and handshake with each other (yes, they actually had one) was the slightest of the annoyances. I felt like the plus one to a gay couple (and that’s not a good sign).
And then came one drunken night at the bar. Todd disappeared to the bathroom. It was just Eric and I. Eric was up to his seventh beer and looked at me with sincerity in his eyes.
“If you break Todd’s heart, I’m going to kill you.”
It took one drunken night to realize as nice as Todd was–he was already taken. I smiled, put on my coat, and left. I was beat.
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