Relationships are a private affair. I get that. But what do you when you really do think someone is not right for someone else? Or you think they really can do better? Do you say nothing?
I meet a couple of guys whilst walking back to the hostel, and I decide to join them for a drink. Both are flight attendants. One of them, Roman, says his boyfriend is joining us later.
We’re chatting (in English) – Roman is from France, and the other is Dutch. They tell me of what they like or don’t like about Montreal vs Paris vs Vanuatu (the Dutch guy is moving there later), and about their respective partners. Roman is a genuinely nice guy – inquisitive, relaxed (he was wearing flip flops) and smart. The Dutch guy is slightly drunk, even though he will be meeting Roman’s boyfriend for the first time that night, but all in all, conversation (and alcohol) is flowing, and we’re having a great time.
Enter Roman’s boyfriend Alexandre. Immediately Roman is infatuated – the two are constantly touching and Roman is constantly looking into his eyes. It’s very cute. But the dynamic changes.
I shake Alexandre’s hand and introduce myself, but the couple start just talking to each other in French. The Dutch guy is off for a smoke somewhere, so there I am, sitting awkwardly as the two engage in their own conversation. In a lull, I start to ask Alexandre some questions – what he does, where he’s from, what he likes about Montreal and how it compares to home…
“I like it,” he says.
“How does it compare to home?” I ask.
“It’s different – I like it more here.”
“What do you like more here in Montreal?”
His eyes go into the top of his head. He lets out a sigh of frustration. “It’s just different,” he says.
I commend him on his ability to speak many languages – French, Spanish and English. Roman mentions he can speak English well.
“But I don’t like to speak English,” he says.
“Why don’t you like to speak English?”
“I just don’t.”
I ask more questions. He gives more short answers. He doesn’t smile. He doesn’t ask me any questions. He engages in more French conversation with Roman.
But I look at Roman – he’s beaming. His eyes almost always fixed on Alexandre. His hands always making some contact with his boyfriend.
“They look happy,” the Dutch friend says.
I…agree. But I also just don’t think Alexandre is a good guy. I really want to get Roman’s number and tell him privately. But I reason with myself – is it my place to say anything?
I decide to part ways as they head off for food – at least they all speak French comfortably, so they don’t have to cater for my inability in that department. I ask for Roman’s Facebook, but he doesn’t use it.
“Too bad,” Alexandre says, turning away from me. I hug the Dutch guy and Roman goodbye, but Alexandre? Doesn’t even look in my direction or say bye.
Now I’m in regret – I should’ve gotten Roman’s number earlier. I should’ve been more pushy after he didn’t have Facebook.
But to what end?
Is he really going to listen to a warning from a stranger he’s just met? Isn’t love blind anyway – will any warning from anyone get through to him? Or am I just being a busybody – it’s their relationship, and they do seem happy, so who am I to say they shouldn’t be together?
But I can’t help but feel anxious inside. I can’t help but feel that they’re not right for each other. I can’t help but feel that Roman deserves better.
And probably the worst part? I’ll never know what happens to them. I’ll never know if they skip into the sunset in bliss, or if he ends up in a controlling abusive relationship.