| ADRIAN NEIL, JR
“AN AGREEMENT OR a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions” is the definition of compromise. Lately this is something that I have been struggling with, as it relates to my career and my personal life. I rarely share details about my personal life, but at times I feel it is necessary; this is one of those times. My fiancé and I are having numerous conversations, sometimes arguments, about the balance of time for my career and our relationship.
For those who know me, know that I give 110 percent to whatever I do. I like to work hard and unless I am constantly moving and contributing in some way, shape or form, I am not satisfied. Some may call that a workaholic. But I think it’s being passionate about what you do. When did working hard and being driven become negatives?
Now I can only speak from the perspective of being in a gay male relationship, but I think one of the issues is that we sometime forget that we are two men. And from my experience, men have a natural instinct or desire to provide and to be the bread winners. Too many times we try to either place ourselves or our partners in a certain role, and we forget that with being the same sex, we have a lot of the same drives.
In this case, my fiancé had to be honest with himself and me to acknowledge the fact that he wanted someone who was not career driven. He wanted a partner who would take on the traditional “woman” aspects in the relationship and do all the things that society says a woman should do: cook, clean, watch the kids, etc. As he was talking about this, I started wondering how many other gay men think like that. The more I thought about it, I realized many of my “masculine” gay friends feel and think the same way.
It’s difficult to find compromise as a couple, but at some point the two individuals have to reach a point of balance within the relationship. And they have to learn to do so without resenting the other person. We can’t be naïve to the fact that these concessions will be difficult and that someone may even feel as though they are settling. On the positive side, once they learn to get past the emotions the couple is open to a whole new level of love.