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"Happily Ever After" Doesn't Just Happen

I think I've been reading too many M/M romance stories. Don't get me wrong. I'm not giving them up. Not by a long shot!

Matt got me addicted to these stories when I turned eighteen. He got me sixteen "small-type" gifts and two "big" ones for my birthday (16 + 2 = 18... so sweet). One of the "big" ones was loosing my virginity that night. The other one is something we've not talked about here yet, so stay tuned.

One of the "smaller" gifts was my own copy of Missy Welch's My Summer of Wes. Since I was now eighteen, nobody was gonna swoop down and drag me away on some charges of reading adult erotic books! Thus my addiction began. Matt was my dealer. Missy's book was my "drug" (and oh, what a high it gave me!!). Matt said recently I needed to find a support group where I'll hear myself say, "Hi. My name is Brad and I'm an M/M Romance bookaholic." Well, believe me it ain't gonna happen. I think you have to want to conquer your addiction (I call it "intense interest," not addiction) and I'm enjoying myself too much -- plus Matt and I have gotten plenty of new ideas about how to express our love, both in bed and in some other pretty interesting settings.

One of the things I love about M/M Romance stories is they usually have a Happily Ever After ending, or at least there's this hope that one of the characters has discovered something exciting and important about himself that you know is going to lead to new possibilities in his life. I haven't come across one yet where there's this major tragic ending and you wind up feeling seriously depressed for a month. If they're out there, please don't tell me about them.

I think there are two reasons I'm addicted intensely interested in these stories. One is that Matt and I have discovered a new genre that is vastly different from the kind of literature we studied in high school (!). I was fortunate to have some English teachers who introduced me to some really great works that deepened my understanding of myself and the world. Shakespeare's Macbeth, The Tempest and King Lear made me think deeper and clearer about human nature. Charles Dickens showed me characters who had to struggle with a world that had a dark side. Homer's Iliad showed me the price one pays for uncontrolled rage. Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath showed me how people survived the onslaught of physical nature and greedy human nature and ultimately love. I think all these stories, and more, have changed me in important ways. I think I'm now trying to balance all that heavy reading with stories that have more innocent entertainment as their goal. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The other reason I'm all into M/M Romance now is that my high school reading never introduced me to gay or bi characters who told their stories from the perspective of how they experienced life as gay or bi people. All I read about were heterosexual characters dealing with their relationships or characters where sexual orientation was irrelevant.

A well written M/M Romance story allows me to enter a world similar to mine where guys discover themselves and meet the man (or men) of their dreams and deal with issues in their lives that involve loving another guy. Oh, and have all kinds of wild and interesting sex. Or how two guys meet unexpectedly in some unlikely setting and find a way to have unbelievably hot sex. Or how they are able to figure out a way to begin creating a real life together.

I especially like the ones that have a Happily Ever After ending. All that excitement and hope for the future gives me excitement and hope for my own future.

But, there's one thing I'm learning about myself and life. In real life, a lot of planning has to go into creating the possibility of a Happily Ever After. Matt and I have been together now for over a year (a year and almost three months, to be exact). We've had to work through some tough issues, but being totally committed to each other and knowing that our love is real has made what we have solid.

Our latest challenge is trying to figure out some things about our future. That's where the planning I'm talking about comes in. Neither of us doubts that we have a future together. Exactly what that looks like is not totally clear at this point.

I was accepted at a college out of state before Matt and I ever knew we were in love. I mean, love with a capital L. Before Matt graduated from high school, he was accepted at a college here in Boston. He decided to take a year off between high school and college to work, earn and save some money. Well, that year he set for himself is up now.

We're still working on how to make all this happen. Do I postpone going to college and stay here in Boston with Matt? Do we both decide to go to the same college? Do we just proceed with our separate plans and have a long distance relationship? I'm sure an M/M Romance book would have an answer and we would live Happily Ever After. Well, there's a lot more involved than making a few simple decisions. The planning that has to go into this whole thing is maddening!

Time, though, is running out. The summer is almost over and Fall term begins soon. If I'm going to postpone moving, I have to get all kinds of approval from the college. And, is postponing things for myself what I really want? If I move away, then, how the hell does a "long distance relationship" work? How does it change things? Sure, we can call each other every day, Skype, e-mail, etc. But, what do we miss out on?

Without a doubt, we're both committed to seeing this through. Right now I'm getting an epic headache thinking about all this. The ending to this unfolding story (if you want to call it that) is so totally unclear. But we're talking and getting advice from lots of people we trust, including family and friends. I know this will work out because I know Matt and I love each other. Like I say, we're totally committed to seeing this through.

There is one thing, however, that is crystal clear. It goes back to the title of this post: "Happily Ever After" Doesn't Just Happen.
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