And so, in a world with so many people alone and lonely, who don't know if they'll ever find the ones for them, Chris and I celebrate our eighteenth anniversary today. There were times when I didn't think we'd make it this far as a couple. I'm grateful beyond all measure that we did. And I look forward to many more years together with Chris.
Don't ask me why, but for some reason it's extremely important to me that everyone who wants to be in a relationship be in one. More than anything else, I wanted that for myself before Chris and I met, and, now that I know what it's really like to be in a fulfilling and committed and loving relationship, I want the same for everyone else who wants it.
I also want it for everyone else who wants it because it means, at least in my opinion, in the case of gay people, that they love themselves enough to believe they deserve to be in a relationship. See, I think there's a difference between gay people who are single and gay people who are coupled. The difference is that gay people who are coupled learned to love themselves regardless of being gay.
When you truly love yourself, you are open to the possibility of a relationship in your life. When you truly love yourself, you are open to the love someone might offer you. And, more importantly, you believe that you're deserving of it. How many relationships breakup because one or the other doesn't believe in his heart that he deserves the love of someone else? You do deserve it. You just have to believe it. That's one of the toughest challenges for most of us.
And something else I know to be true: Single people, I suspect gay or straight, believe they know who the right type of person is for them. I want someone who's like this, or I want someone who's like that. They believe that if they find someone exactly as they specify, they will be the most happy, the most fulfilled, and their relationship will have the greatest chance of success.
But that's not necessarily true. I could never have imagined that the person I'd be the most happy with, that I'd have the greatest chance to share a successful relationship with, would be Chris. Who knew he'd be almost ten years younger than me? Who knew he'd be so different from me in some respects, and so like me in others? Who knew we could adapt to each other, without compromising who we are in the most important ways, and make a relationship thrive for so many years together?
So the moral of the story? Love yourself so someone else can love you, too, and leave yourself open to the best possible person. Someone or something far greater and far smarter than you knows exactly the type of person you should be with. Accept the possibility of that. Have faith. Turn it over to God or to the Universe or to your Higher Power. Stop standing in your own way. Stop limiting yourself. Believe that you deserve to be loved, and believe the right person out there for you may not look or be anything like what you think. That's when that person will enter your life, and you'll never look back except with the utmost gratitude.