An anniversary

Today is an anniversary. It’s on this date two years ago that Liviu and I moved in together: 28 January 2015.

We’ve known each other longer than that – we met in early 2012.

I surprised him with a bunch of flowers this morning. I crept out to the florist next-door while he was still asleep.

Tonight we’re going for dinner at an Argentinian steak restaurant in Broadway Market.

I’m no expert on relationships, but I’ve had a few in my time. I think that as I’ve got older, and perhaps a bit more comfortable with myself, that I’m actually getting better at being in a relationship.

Doing a quick re-cap, I’m counting eight serious relationships in my life. There’s obviously been a lot more men in my life over the years, but there’s been eight relationships that have left a lasting emotional impact of some kind and warrant ending up on a list of “Meaningful relationships that I’ve had.”

#1: Icilio

I met Icilio in the swimming pool at Melbourne University. It must have been around 1997. He stared at me in the showers. He followed me home. He was the first guy that made me go weak at the knees. I wasn’t emotionally mature enough to know how to navigate my first proper gay relationship. I dumped him for a girl, imagining that I could probably make a go of it as a straight guy. I really messed him around. I lost track of him for a long time, but I eventually found him on Facebook after a bit of searching. He’s married now (to a guy), they live in Italy, and they have three kids. He looks incredibly happy.

#2: Mikey

Mikey moved into my spare room in a flat in Richmond where I was living after moving back to Melbourne. I think it was around 2001. It was only a matter of weeks before he moved into my bedroom. Too quickly we bought a flat together, we had a mortgage and a joint bank account. We moved to London together in 2003 and broke up soon after. I made a promise to myself that I would never move in with or buy a house with another boyfriend. A few years ago I went to his wedding (to a guy) – he’s still living in London and seems to be doing well.

#3: Tom

I met Tom at an event that I was running for work. I think it was around 2005. He was instantly charming. As the event was coming to a close, we seemed to be leaving at the same time and decided to go get something to eat together. We began dating from there. Things were going pretty well, even though we seemed to be at different stages of our lives (he was just starting out as a graduate in his first professional job). We went to New York City on our first mini-break – I thought that the trip had gone fairly well, but he broke things off the day after we got back. I’m not really in touch with him anymore, but I follow him on LinkedIn and he seems to be incredibly successful.

#4: Sam

I met Sam through work — I was running an incentive event in Paris and he was one of the guests. I think it was around 2007. Soon after I moved into his flat, then we bought a house together. Lot’s of things about that relationship worked, but lots of things didn’t. After several years we agreed that we were making each other miserable and went our separate ways. I’m not really in touch with him anymore, but I’ve heard that he’s moved back to Australia.

#5: Stephen

I’d known Stephen for a while through the swimming club where we both swam. We eventually got together on a night out at XXL and began dating straight away. Stephen was perfect boyfriend material but I met him at the wrong time, it was days after Sam and I had separated in 2011. I needed a rebound guy, Stephen needed a boyfriend. I’m still friends with Stephen and we catch up occasionally. He’s a handsome, intelligent, and successful.

#6: Andreas

Andreas was one of the few guys that I’ve ever met who instantly had me head-over-heels (in the emotional sense). He lives in Copenhagen – I met him in 2011 at a gay water polo tournament in Rotterdam where we were both playing. Not long after, there was a tournament in Copenhagen and I spent the night with him then, and after that we were sort of dating (in my head at least) and we met up in Madrid for a mini-break. I was ready to start learning Danish and to move to Copenhagen. It took me a while to realise that I was making a fool of myself. We’re friends now.

#7: Liviu

I was living in Smithfield and Liviu was working at an Italian restaurant nearby. It was early 2012. He gives me the credit for turning him gay. Things got complicated logistically and emotionally when he had to go home to Romania. It was an indefinite move. I broke things off. Luckily that wasn’t the end of it.

#8: Volleyball

His name was Anthony, but I always thought of him as Volleyball — he played volleyball and it was his absolute passion. I met him in February 2013 at a gay sports party in the Shadow Lounge in Soho. We started dating soon after, and I sort of moved in with him without really consulting him. I went to Japan with work at the end of 2013, thinking that we would be able to keep things going while I was away and then pick things up when I got back to London. However at the end of March in 2014 he decided otherwise, and he broke things off over a Skype call. I met up with him when I got back to London, thinking that we might be friends. That meeting seemed to go well, but I haven’t seen him since.

#7: Liviu

When I returned to London at the end of 2014, Liviu was one of the first people that I saw. He was back in London, living in Shoreditch. Our connection was instantly rekindled. I had a few months of living in Forest Hill until my flat in Hoxton became available. On 28th January 2015, I got the keys back to my flat and Liviu came over to stay the night. We’ve hardly been apart since.

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