I’ve always approached dating as a numbers game. My thoughts are that if I date loads and loads of people I’m gonna connect with one of them eventually. The laws of probability are on my side with this, surely? Well, no. During the past three years I must have been on 50 first dates and you know how many of those have ended in marriage? None of them.
But then, 2020 happened, and being legally required to stay inside my apartment for a couple of months really slowed me down. This turned out to be a very good opportunity to readdress my tactics, and readdress them I did. But not in the way I expected (no surprises there).
At the beginning of 2020, I wrote myself a list of intentions. I do it every year – it’s like resolutions but feels less pressured. Other than travelling to eight new countries (fucking covid) and quitting eating meat (fucking sausages) I didn’t do too badly with my list for last year.
Another intention on my list was to explore my queerness. As a bisexual (or pansexual – tbc) woman who’s solely had serious relationships with cis men so far, I’ve found that my interest and attraction towards not-cis-men has been growing steadily for years. So, I set a 2020 intention to squash down any fears I had about branching out from what had accidentally become my norm and properly lean into my queerness.
However, having completed queer Tinder in about one second, I started to worry that being trapped in Da Nang (a city with a relatively low population of queer folks for me to date) would mean that I’d have to put that intention on the backburner until the world opened back up and I could move somewhere with a larger community.
Recently though, I realised that during the past year I’d secretly been exploring my queerness so quietly that I hadn’t even noticed I was doing it.
I Love Men…
…but not in that way. I mean, I proper like men. They’re fun and sexy and brilliant. I want to be friends with them and, well, I like it when they lie on top of me. But after my last dalliance with a bloke I realised something: I don’t really want to love one of them.
I want to pause here to clarify that this realisation isn’t because my last romance was a shit show. It was fun and he’s excellent (I’m writing this directly after having a lovely platonic lunch with him). However, he unexpectedly became a turning point for me.
See, after a month or so of us dating (aka binge drinking and heavy petting in his apartment on a regular basis), he told me that we had to stop because he’d met someone that he could actually fall in love with.
When he told me this, I was jealous and sad. It stirred up a surprising amount of emotion in me and although I knew that it wasn’t directly related to the end of our non-relationship, I couldn’t quite place why my heart hurt so much.
Haircuts and Binge Drinking
So, while digging into those emotions, I did what any self-respecting woman would do in that situation: I got margarita drunk and impulsively cut all my hair off. Ya know how it goes.
Nursing a hangover and a very sharp bob the day after the declaration of maybe-love for another woman, I considered that my overreaction to being sort-of-dumped might be because I wanted him to love me instead. But then I realised that this wasn’t it at all. I was sad because it had made me realise that I want to love and be loved, and I was jealous that he’d found it and I hadn’t.
This realisation kicked off a chain of very exciting events in my brain. It suddenly dawned on me that I’m in no way open to romantically loving a man. I’ve said for ages that I can’t imagine marrying a man, but I hadn’t actually applied that practically to my here and now. It was just a note for future Sophie and I had continued to date men and then be hurt/disappointed when it didn’t work out. But suddenly, future Sophie has become present Sophie and everything was so bloody clear.
I recently heard the term homoromantic in a book I’m reading (The Pink Line – The World’s Queer Frontiers by Mark Gevisser) and it was a huge WOAH moment for me. It just made sense. Homoromanticism basically means having romantic attraction to people of the same gender, but I’d personally pop all non-cis-male gender identities in there, too. For me, homoromanticism manifests in being physically but not emotionally attracted to cis men. Basically, as much as I’m into snogging men, I’d really rather cuddle a woman.
Knowing that this is how I identify romantically might not make any huge differences to my life. It does, however, make a huge difference to my mind-set. I now know that I’m not actually open to falling in love with a man, and that if I choose to date them, my expectations (and theirs) should be managed properly.
This could all obviously change. I’ve loved men before and maybe I’ll stumble upon this blog in years to come and share it with my husband and we’ll laugh about it over a cheeseboard or something. But for now, I’m excited.