Yes I’m having a long term, long distance cyber affair and I have to say it is the most satisfying relationship I have had in a long time. We message each other daily on msn or Gaydar, we send txts and sometimes we eat dinner together, him in his room and me in mine. We’ve never met and are really not ever likely to, but it did get me thinking -“ how do you define a relationship in these modern times?

Apparently everyone wants one, at least that’s what they say and yet so few seem to admit to having one. Lesbians of course are the natural exception to this rule. I have never yet met an unattached Lesbian.

If relationships are so important to us why do we continue to define them by the paradigms of the past? The traditional Anglo monogamous role play version we see on TV. Do any of us need to have our union sanctified by George, (Pell) or Peter (Jensen)?

We spend hectares of old growth forest proclaiming our individuality and yet the one thing we want it seems, is to conform to society’s snapshot of a happily coupled couple. We march for miles, in all weather, in tight fitting, chafing, sequinned thongs with chiffon capes and for what? To be like George and Mildred!

The wind created by the rush to be married could power a large Reception Centre. And what’s so great about being like everyone else anyway it seems a little grey and mundane. A very wise individualist said, we are all unique – just like everyone else.

Most of my friends are in committed relationships, just not the type of relationship that we’ve been told by Leo Burnett or Val Morgan that they should be. One couple I know, much older, so naturally much wiser, had been partnered for over 30 years, (one now sadly deceased), both had younger boyfriends and the boyfriends had boyfriends as well. That’s one hell of a table come Valentines. It worked perfectly, for them.

We’re all in relationships, just look around. It may not look like the Doris Day / Rock Hudson version or the Tom Cruise; Mimi, Nicole, Katie variety. So its not what you imagined it to be when you were in high school secretly fingering your dog eared copy of The Front Runner or proudly proclaiming your outedness reading Tales of the City on the 380 bus.

For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, (mostly poorer at the moment) I seem to have fallen into a relationship, (this is different to the cyber one), with a man 10 years older than me. If you knew how old I am then that would frighten you. Let me stress this though, right here and right now, we never have and never ever will have sex -“ I think we would both rather set our hair on fire. But we go away on holidays together; we eat dinner in together 5 nights out of 7. We watch House together and we are furious, together, that So You Think You Can Dance has finished.

We get invited out too most things together, I’m still Anne Guest ,(yes I mean Anne), at the STC. We have shared a house together now for over 15 years. He has sat by my bed, in hospital -“ twice. Although the second time he did demand my Qantas FF number before he would let the doctors put the tube down my throat. I woke up, a week later, 25 kilos and a 100,000 points lighter. However you cut that flan, that’s a relationship, it may not be healthy, but it’s mine.

Our best friends have been partnered for over 20 years. True they don’t sleep together or in fact live in the same house. They live next door with connecting passageways and five bathrooms. But it works and works very well, for them. They are the happiest couple I’ve ever seen. Two other gay men I know are foster parents to two, count them, two, children. Another couple flew off to Canada for a commitment ceremony then a honeymoon in Tasmania.

As far as I can tell we are swimming in relationships. Whatever works and does no harm should be encouraged, celebrated and respected. Just because your relationship doesn’t look like Lucy and Malcolm’s, or George and Laura’s, doesn’t make it any less real. Ultimately it shouldn’t matter what the boys in the back room are whispering it’s your life and you are the one living it.

So what if it’s not like the fairy tales, who wants to live with three bears or seven small miners or a cow and a beanstalk anyway. Then again maybe you do and maybe you are, that’s fine as well.

Oh, and allow it to happen for heavens sake. There is no set time or age when you should buy that summer share in Port Douglas or get those matching Celtic tattoo. It isn’t instant coffee after all. It happens when it happens; in the big scheme of things it’s all perfect.

Go stand in the middle of Taylor Sq. or where ever you like to stand, take off that beret, throw it in the air and you’ll see that love is all you’re gonna make it after all.

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