More often than not, we wonder about the strength and fidelity of our relationships as time passes. In some cases, this concern wanes over time, and in others it grows – sometimes it simply festers.

When I look at the relationships that I, and others, engage in, I see a frequent action that consistently occurs. The extraction of compliance.

You will be home at seven, you will not cheat, you must always tell me the truth, etc. etc.

Are people able to make the distinction in those cases between when they’ve settled down as opposed to when they’ve settled for? I question whether the majority of us are able to identify and live with the consequences of happiness – especially of those relating to being in a relationship.

How do we separate the problems of others, from being able to identify the problems with ourselves? If the idiosyncrasies of someone else is what keeps me from wanting to be in a relationship with them, how do I identify when I’ve gone too far?

I’ve spoken of my disdain for Grindr because of the curious exposure I see through our community – the open relationship. It’s interesting how I identify this term.

In the gay community I view it as binary – like a gateway drug. You either are in an open relationship or you are not. The degrees of severity or separation mean little or nothing to me. At the same time, however, I constantly feel held back and yearn for ‘freedom’ when I’m in a relationship and see other single men.

In many ways, I always assume that the open relationship is the security blanket. The need for men to sleep around to obtain validation while still having the security of knowing that at least one person at home would still want them should they fail. Whether you’re partnered and discreet, or fully open and play alone or even prefer the group thing – I can’t help but feel the same basis applies.

Perhaps this is the ‘consequence of happiness’ we label as something else. Letting your partner out-to-play while accepting the consolation prize that eventually he’ll come home.

It seems the perception of happiness and survival is easily accepted by the understanding that one never gets to have an equal to call their own.