It was the question I had never been asked before in a relationship: “Are you seeing other guys?”
When I heard it, I think I laughed. When I processed it, I was confused and blurted out something incoherent but it sounded incriminating, or at least insensitive. I thought it was a pretty absurd question at the time (also, one that I answered miserably). I was really caught offguard. Because even though things were bad, I was faithful. I figured because my boyfriend at the time had issues with someone cheating on him before, that was where the question was coming from.
But now, almost a year later, I realize the validity in the question, albeit misguided. I had been feeling suffocated and like there was something saying “just go.” Not so much to get away from my boyfriend, but to find out who I am supposed to be. To a certain point in our history, I was the typical lovelorn guy chasing after the person who didn’t want me but wanted me but didn’t want me but did for a span of 5 years. And then the vigor and energy I had to pursue that relationship (and anything else) died. A very tiny part of me still believed, and so I tried. But trying became the killer of our relationship. Because we were both trying so hard to replicate and restore past feelings, and make up for past sins. And what was worse is that I didn’t know who I was anymore. My identity had become chasing after him. Apart from that, all I had were laundry lists of dreams that I didn’t know how to procure, or if I ever would because I never tried.
As for me and the question: the answer was no. I had not been with another guy(s) — not sexually, emotionally, or otherwise. But I did want to be with someone else. I wanted to be with me and only me. And I didn’t know how to say that. I felt guilty for saying that. I think I tried, but there were tears and arguments, and I caved under the pressure. If I were stronger then, I would’ve fought harder. Above all the emotions flying, I would’ve realized that me leaving to be on my own was the best for the both of us.
I had not cheated on him. But I had cheated myself. And ever since we broke up in November, I have been living out my laundry lists of dreams, making good use of the present time so that the future would not be wasted, at least, in the same way.