Friends Make Good Partners

Together 15 Years

Doug and Tim

Toronto, Ontario

Doug and Tim met on the Internet through a website called Man Line which doesn’t exist anymore.  Doug had been combing the internet for months and power dating. He had a list of men and their phone numbers that he had met and then scratched their numbers off and Tim’s number was the last number on the list. Doug still has the list with Tim’s name on the bottom. 

After a number of emails back and forth, they had their first phone chat which initially didn’t go great as Doug said, “So you’re the nurse, right?” At this point he had dated so many people that he couldn’t keep everyone straight in his head.  They still joke about this because Doug wasn’t completely sure who Tim was on the list. 

On the other hand, Tim had no list and in fact Doug was Tim’s very first steady boyfriend.  Tim had gone on a few dates—Doug quips that they were mostly with girls and nothing to write home about. 

They finally met at a Starbucks to speak in person. Tim had picked up the magazine that Doug worked for at the time.  He started flipping through the magazine and there was Doug’s kitchen reno in one article and in another he shared his best gluten free chicken recipe.  They had a nice chat and realized they were both from Manitoba and Tim had even been to Doug’s tiny little home town of Pilot Mound.  One of Tim’s friends was injured at a nearby ski resort and they ended up having to stay overnight in the Pilot Mound Hotel.  They chose to splurge on the room and paid $15 because they wanted their own bathroom—a shared bathroom was $10.00 per night. Tim and his friend didn’t have any money so they took the girl’s wallet who was injured and went down to the hotel bar and had a great time drinking beer with the locals. 

The coffee conversation led to their first official date—a dinner date. Doug was typsy because he had been having pints with someone beforehand.  Tim made an entrance walking up to the second-floor restaurant wearing Prada boots and a Prada shirt only to walk over and say that he had to leave and have a nervous pee which meant walking all the way down to the basement. At the end of the meal Tim came over and sat beside Doug on his side of the banquette. When they left, Doug walked Tim to his corner, they kissed goodnight and as Tim walked away, Doug heard him yelling, “You better call me!”  and Doug did.

Their second date was similar—another restaurant nearby.  Afterward they got caught making out in the bike room of Tim’s condo as someone saw that the bike room light was on and stuck their head in. Tim told Doug several months later that he didn’t wash his face from kissing that night because he wanted to prolong the feeling–a very sweet gesture.  

Enjoying the spa!

Doug claims he had to teach him Tim how to be a boyfriend and he was a quick study.  Doug threw a big party at his new home and Tim came with an ice bucket full of tequilla, ice and limes.  That was very intuitive. Tim knew how to vie Doug with tequilla. He came to the party with a friend/wingman and over the course of the evening he ended up meeting two of Doug’s old boyfriends.  By the end of the evening the only people left at the party were Tim and Doug’s two former boyfriends all sitting on the couch.  Awkward!  For some reason they just stuck around. When Tim went to the bathroom, Doug had to tell them, “You guys have to go.” 

Doug went on a big trip with a bunch of arts-industry people and he called Tim from China.  Doug realized he was calling this guy he hardly knew from a foreign country and that was his first inkling that he really liked Tim. Tim said he knew pretty quickly after very few dates that Doug was the one for him.  They agreed that having both come from a similar background in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba made a difference in their relationship. 

Marriage has been “discussed” regularly and Doug has been a bit of a hold out.  However, Tim says come back and see if there’s a ring on his finger next year. 

Doug says, not so much now as they are older and tougher. “The world has changed and now there are gay people running for President of the US.”  The 80’s and 90’s were hard and Doug says he missed out on jobs because, “I was trying to get into boys’ clubs and no one was going to hire the gay kid at the TV station or the record company. I found a nice home in publishing.” On occasion Doug will experience discrimination abroad as he is a travel writer and travels extensively.  Tim has not experienced discrimination as a nurse.

Doug says, they work together well because they are very good friends and they have the same sense of humour.  We joke around and don’t take anything too seriously.  Although Tim says, “Doug can hold a grudge like nobody else.”

They push each other’s buttons for sure and Doug says, “I fight with Tim more than I’ve fought with any other partner but our fights don’t last very long.  We sort of know when to back off or shut up or both.” An important skill in a relationship—know when to fold them.

Looks fade but someone who makes you laugh is the prize.

Doug and Tim on One of Their Many Trips Together

They like the same pasttimes—eating, drinking, and travel with the exception of their choice of television shows. Tim likes murder mysteries and action and Doug likes Turner Classics and ghost stories.

Doug’s advice for younger couples is to put away the phone and talk more about their feelings rather than letting it fester. “All this phone stuff keeps people from talking about how they feel–people keep things bottled up and don’t say what’s on their mind.”

Broadcast Love wishes Doug and Tim a lifetime of laughs, good food and some great travelling stories . 

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