Yes. Today Ision and I celebrate our 10th anniversary (we got together on 05/06/07 [US date format] which is really easy to remember).
Followers of my blog over the years would know that we met online through the Asia-based Fridae dating site in 2007 and were in a long-distance relationship for a year before I relocated to Sydney in June 2008. Like all cohabiting partners, there would be friction and time is always needed for both parties to find where the boundaries are. Fights are inevitable in the process and that was no different for both of us.
On the eve of our 3rd anniversary, we both made the decision to move into an open relationship which is something I advocate for every couple, gay or otherwise. Many would find that too risky especially only after 3 years but we felt that there was enough trust between us by then to make that change. Like they say, high risk = high return right? The arrangement worked well and to date I cannot recall ever running into any real issues. By the time we decided to move to Melbourne in January 2012, we were already in that warm fuzzy phase where we've both fully embraced each other's faults. 2012 was also our half-decade mark and here's what I wrote on our 5th and 6th anniversaries.
The next elevation in the relationship came in December 2013 when we entered into a civil union under British law (Ision is also a British citizen). The civil union was later converted into a full-fledged marriage exactly 2 years ago today in May 2015. For those who have never said their vows out loud in front of friends, family and loved ones, you've not experienced an act which in my opinion truly activates a switch in a relationship and cements the union. That was what we felt after the civil union ceremony and also our wedding reception held in Singapore in June 2015 a month after the marriage became final.
Since then we grew much closer together with me increasingly yearning to be physically next to Ision (this need can be largely attributed to my nearly 2-year fly-in-fly-out work stint to Papua New Guinea when I had to leave him 4 weeks a time every 4 weeks). Despite the clinginess we give each other lots of independent space to pursue our other interests (e.g. his BDSM side which also rubbed off a little on me). I can confidently say that we've successfully found the right balance that works for both of us. In July 2016 Ision bought an apartment and we finally moved into our permanent home.
So in a nutshell that's our journey together over the decade.
Although I said earlier that I'm proud of myself for this feat that many in the gay (and even straight) world seem to not be able to achieve, I'm fully aware that I can only claim 30% of the credit and 70% goes to luck. To find that someone you'd first have to be in the right place at the right time and then he has to have character traits and long-term goals that match yours. How can you have so many things aligned without the help of luck? One can know all the correct things to do in a relationship but without chancing upon that correct person all is still in vain (I'm sure there are many marriage counsellors who are sorely single right now).
As an extremely frugal hermit I seldom fine-dine but this special occasion calls for it. Alas tonight clashes with "Trough X: Noir", a leather-themed gay party Ision already got tickets for so I had to postpone the dinner for a week. In many relationships this would be a no-no (prioritising a gay party over the anniversary) but this is yet another example why both of us are totally right for each other because we're both fine with that (although it'd have been an awesome night should the dinner not be delayed). Come to think of it if you quarrel over this to a point where the relationship is threatened, perhaps the love and mutual respect weren't there to begin with. At the end of the day I think it's all about seeing things from a long-term perspective every time you find yourself at life's many crossroads - which decision stands the relationship in good stead in the long term?
Now that we've traversed our first 10 years, what's in store for us ahead will be more of the same. At this point we don't see the need to change things and so more of the same is perfect. If you guys manage to stick around for another 10 years I'll give you all another update then. Till then...
Happy 10th anniversary boo!