What we perceive to be the future is really a projection of the present, based on the past.
This is a rough paraphrase of the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, of what he calls ‘psychological time’. Often, rather than living in the Now, the mind projects us into the future, or dwells in the past. Of course, this is not the ‘real’ future or the real past, but a story about it based on our experiences, our current emotions, and the way think the world works.
When I was younger, I didn’t really know I was bisexual. Perhaps I did, but I didn’t have a label for it. I had what I used to call ‘gay days’ and ‘straight days’. If I was looking at boys I was having a ‘gay day’ and if I was looking at girls I was having a ‘straight day’. Of course the reality of bisexuality is more complex than this. But I find the general pattern sort of applies.
I have been having a few straight days recently. It is times like these that really make me wonder if I should marry a woman. Of course:
The future is a projection of the present based on the past.
When it is sunny, you never think it will rain tomorrow. When you get an A, you feel like you will never fail again. When your team loses, you feel like they’ll never win another trophy. It’s the same thing. When I’m looking at girls, on my ‘straight days’ I feel like maybe I could live with a woman for the rest of my life. When I’m looking at guys, though, I feel like a heterosexual marriage (as in, two different sexes) would be a terrible idea.
The way that real-life bisexual people work though, is not by first deciding they want a wife/husband and then going and finding one. They follow the same story that everyone else follows: they wait until they fall in love. It just so happens that person could be of either gender. Then they get married and live their lives together. This the story we tell ourselves about how love works.
When I was in the Unification Church, though, there was a different story.
Unificationists still fall in love, get married and have children. They just do it in a different order. – My Dad
The idea of the Unification Church, and the story they follow is: you get matched, you get married, you fall in love (if you are not in love already) and then you have children (and if you still haven’t fallen in love, then you do fall in love somewhere along the line). I grew up with the idea that love was and is a choice, not just for homosexuals but for heterosexuals too.
I can get my head around the idea of being gay and falling in love with a man after marriage (or commitment or whatever). I can get my head around straight couples deciding to marry even if they are not in love and then falling in love later. My parents did it, and several of my Unification Church friends have done it.
What I cannot get my head around is what a bisexual person should do. Perhaps what I mean is: have I rejected the Unification Church model of marriage, based on the assumption that I could not or should not have a relationship with a woman, when that might not be the case?
Another major effect this worldview has had on me is that I can see that our ‘relationship story’ is entirely culturally relative. We think that the ‘right’ way of doing relationships, the way that relationships ‘should be’ is: attraction –> love –> marriage –> kids, with the last two steps somewhat interchangeable. But I don’t think that’s the be-all and end-all of relationships. That’s just what people think should happen.
I guess what I’m saying is, why?
If I decide that Christianity really doesn’t have space for homosexuality – if I decide that the Bible really is against same-sex sex – one of the major reasons I left the Unification Church will be staring me right in the face in my new religious community. But I may decide to become celibate in terms of homosexual relationships. Will I wait to fall in love with a woman? Might that happen? Or should I go ahead and marry a Unificationist by matching?
On straight days, I say yes, that might happen. On gay days, I say no, that won’t happen. What should I do?