What my friend had to tell me was disconcerting. To say the least.
He told me that he's not in love. Not with his boyfriend of several years, the guy he lives with, the one with whom he's raising two young daughters. He loves him, but he's not in love. His boyfriend simply is not The One. That would be another guy, someone with whom he's been broken up for more than 10 years. He was the love of his life. And now, my friend is more or less going through the motions, feeling nothing.
I listened with undivided attention, sympathizing and empathizing with my friend, understanding exactly where he was coming from. I've been there, done and felt that, though on a smaller scale, with fewer years and without kids being involved. I wondered if I'd someday be unlucky enough to end up with someone who feels the same way about me. I wondered how many people in long-term relationships would say pretty much the same thing about their partner.
What is this crazy little thing called love? Is it even based in reality? I told my friend that I want to feel like the protagonist in the Savage Garden song "Truly Madly Deeply." He wants that, too. Years ago, while having dinner with Darren Hayes, Savage Garden's lead singer, in New York City, I told him the same thing. He was certain that one day I would. I seriously doubted it. He bet me that he'd run into me in a few years, and I'd tell him how in love I was, truly, madly, deeply.
Several years later, when I ran into Darren at a Grammy party, I had to break it to him that I still hadn't fallen in love, truly, madly, or deeply. And I still haven't. I'm not sure if it's them (the boys I generally meet, who are so not worth plunging for), if it's me, or if it's love, which might be merely an illusion we create to get us through the night.
After revealing that he's not in love and that he fools around on his boyfriend from time to time, my friend told me that he doesn't believe humans are built for monogamy. It seems everyone has been saying this to me lately. And I don't think I disagree.
But I do know that a relationship without monogamy is not one that I'd want to be in. I guess you could call me an idealist, a fool holding out for butterflies, hoping to find a guy who has eyes only for me and who will never tell his friends that he loves me, but he's not in love.