I actually met you at a DC Outwrite a few weeks ago, and was impressed with what you shared about your site. So I visited According to T, and read some really good advice you’ve given out to people. Now I’m hoping you can give me some good advice as well. Lately, my one year relationship has been a bit rocky. My boyfriend is a great guy, but he’s not as comfortable with his sexuality as I am. When we go out to dinner, it’s usually outside the city. He won’t go to gay bars or restaurants. Also, he doesn’t really have an interest in meeting my friends, or me meeting his. I’m all for keeping our private life private, but at what point do I get to be offended because I’m being hidden? I’ve told him I respect his need to want to keep things between us on the low, but I’ve also shared that my ideal relationship is one with someone my family and friends can meet and hangout with when I’m around. I’d appreciate your thoughts.
Let Me Out the Closet
Dear Let Me Out the Closet,
Thanks for writing to me. And I sincerely appreciate you sharing that compliment with me. Like I’ve said before, it always feels nice to hear compliments about any of the projects I’m working on. Whether it be this site or my books (Majoring in Me). So again, thank you. But you wanted some good advice, now let me try to give you some.
The situation you described sounds like one that many in the gay community have experienced at some point in their life. They get with somebody that may not be at the same comfortability level in terms of sexuality. And while that is perceived as a minor issue at first, as time elapses, that minor thing grows into a big stumbling block in the relationship. It’s hard to intertwine lives and perspectives of two people, when one person refuses to step outside of the box he’s created for himself.
Although I’ve been in a “situationship” where me and the other guy weren’t on the same wavelength in terms of comfortability, I’ll admit that I was the one that wasn’t as comfortable in my sexuality. I was newly accepting of my homosexuality and was trying to date this guy who constantly wanted to visit gay clubs, gay bars, and link up with his gay friends. It’s not that I was embarrassed to hang with him. At the time, I was just not prepared to bump into friends of friends that could potentially spill my tea. I may have been fine with me being gay, but wasn’t ready to see if people I knew were fine with that yet. Coming out to loved ones can be a delicate process, so I was trying to control my narrative by controlling who had that information on me. And the more you put yourself out there, the less control you have. So I get where you boyfriend may be coming from.
Now older and more secure in who I am today, I get the other side of this whole thing too. It’s not about trying to drag someone out the closest. It’s about trying to enjoy the benefits of being a part of a couple. A person in a relationship wants to feel like he is in a relationship. Not as if he is the side piece being kept away somewhere. So you want him to meet your friends, and you his friends. You want him to see where you enjoy to hang. Unfortunately, you can’t force someone to be comfortable with embracing his sexuality. That is something that is achieved internally and in an individual’s own time.
Suggestions going forward.
- Take some time to yourself to think about how much you love his guy. If your love for this guy is like nothing you’ve ever known, and other parts of your relationship are good, then ask yourself how much patience you are willing to extend to him for him to mature in his “gayness”?
- If you are going to ride this storm out with your man, talk with him about his fears going out and meeting your friends. You may be able to help him overcome his issues. But don’t be pushy about it. Remember, the key here is patience if you are going to stay in this relationship.
- I’d hate to mention this possibility, really I do, but you may want to keep an eye out for signs of another man or woman in the picture. You may discover that it’s not a comfortability issue, but more so another bae. He could be boo’d up and doesn’t want to get caught. That’s a worst case scenario though, so don’t walk away from reading this thinking I told you your man is cheating. Because I am not. In fact, I’m inclined to believe it really is him being a bit insecure about being gay around others.
- It’s okay if you decide you want to leave your boyfriend because you want what you want out of a relationship now. As I always say, relationships all have problems, you just have to know which problems you can live with.
As always nothing but love,