Don't want to regret not taking action...

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    Apr 24, 2011 7:33 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    So a little context at first. I am from Lebanon. I am bisexual. I have been attracted to and dated girls and have been attracted to guys also, though in varying degrees across the past few years.

    Our culture isn't yet open to same-sex relationships, so that's a hurdle in the situation I am describing here.

    So there is this guy I met at the gym, he is 6 years older than me (he is 31). He is very handsome and manly, and we became good friends.

    Although we are good friends, we don't have much in common outside the gym. He works in the security forces (local police), while I am an engineer. We are from two different cultural / religious backgrounds also (I am mentioning this because while I am used to clubbing / drinking, I am not sure his religious background allows him that).

    When we became good acquaintances, he asked me how old I am and told me he thought I was younger. This age issue came up a few other times and made me wonder why is he so interested in my age.

    He also commented a few times on my body and on the progress I have been having.

    This thing has been going on for a few months, but to summarize, I always feel he is looking at me in the gym / locker room / pool. I catch him sometimes looking at me, but that's maybe I am looking at him also some of these times. I don't know.

    Sometimes we are in the lockers and we're talking and I can clearly see him checking my body.

    I haven't been able to determine if he is interested in the way I am to him, mainly because we are both "straight-acting" if you will (or maybe he is straight, who knows).

    What I want to say is that sometimes I think what if something good may come out of this if one of us makes a move. But what if, on the other hand, it's all in my head. If I make a move on him and he's not interested at all, the situation will become really awkward and I will lose his friendship, which is really important to me.

    As a side note, I never see him looking at girls, flirting with them... but that may be because he is at the gym...

    Maybe if we were in a more open culture, we could have settled this issue much earlier. If he was interested, he could have told me directly that he is interested in me, were we in Europe / USA for example. But given his even more conservative background than mine, maybe what I am feeling about him is correct but he isn't in a position to take the first step.

    What if we are both waiting for each other to do that step?

    I tried offering to give him a ride home once, because he comes to the gym on foot, but he had a meeting he needed to get to and it would be easier to get there on foot. I think of telling him to grab a bite together sometime (because I don't think he drinks alcohol, so I can't invite him to a drink) but I am not finding the right opportunity...

    So the conclusion to this long, and maybe disjointed train of thought, is that what I don't want to do is to get to a place and regret not doing anything about what I am feeling, but on the other hand, I need something concrete so I can make my move and not risk losing him as a friend...

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    Apr 24, 2011 7:56 PM GMT
    Don't delude yourself... we can face the same problems in less restrictive societies.
    This isn't the first "This hot guy at the gym... what do I do?" topic.
    Though obviously in your situation there are other differences, too.
    (Does him being a police officer influence things?)

    Can you ask him how come - at the age of 31 - he isn't married?
    (Isn't that very late in "conservative" circles?)
    This might give you an important answer, but it also tips your hand a bit.
    In a way that if he is gay he'll pick up on.

    One common issue in all these cases is not just the fear of rejection, but the assumption that even if he is gay and interested, that he's not yet out and doesn't know what to do. The delicate problem then is that you do have to do a little bit of pushing, but not too much to scare him (back/deeper into the closet).

    Since he doesn't drink, perhaps lighter (and less formal and off-putting) than dinner might be a coffee house grabbing a bite of "fast food" at a falafel stand.

    Just brain-storming, maybe then you can ask if he's been abroad... and what would be different if he lived in, say, Europe or the USA....

    Good luck with him!
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    Apr 24, 2011 8:21 PM GMT
    What exactly would you "regret"?
    You say you have nothing in common other than the gym and he is in security forces; imagining the gays aren't to welcome, so what kind of future would you have?
    If you'll regret not having a hot frack. Que up to the left of me and get used to it.
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    Apr 24, 2011 8:28 PM GMT
    Hey man, it's refreshing for us to be in a non-political thread icon_smile.gif

    Actually, most of what you said are excellent and practical ideas.

    You hit some pretty sensitive issues as well.

    For example, if I ask him how come he isn't married yet, I think it will be too forward from me. If he is still struggling with his sexual identity, this will make him feel bad / mocked and maybe like you said push him further into the closet (assuming he is indeed gay). And if he isn't gay, it will be a bit personal to ask him this question also. Although like you said, this could be a huge pointer on whether he could be interested in me or not.

    The issue of him being a police officer isn't really a factor. I am just worried of losing him as a friend, nothing more icon_smile.gif

    Two other things, the fast food idea is excellent. I will try it. I know I am over-thinking now, but if I invite him and he excuses himself for a reason or the other, is it an answer for me that he isn't interested? Or maybe he has another reason / another thing to do in that time? I am thinking that if he asks me out to grab a bite I won't say no, because I want to spend time with him, so i am trying to project the same logic on him...

    And the stuff about if he lived abroad what would he do, also excellent idea and he already asked me why I am still working in Lebanon and haven't traveled so I think it would give me an extra insight about him...

    Thanks man...
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    Apr 24, 2011 8:34 PM GMT
    dustin_K_tx saidWhat exactly would you "regret"?
    You say you have nothing in common other than the gym and he is in security forces; imagining the gays aren't to welcome, so what kind of future would you have?
    If you'll regret not having a hot frack. Que up to the left of me and get used to it.


    Well, the thing is I am attracted to him and we have become good friends, despite the fact that we have nothing in common.
    And I am picking up on some actions from his part that may hint he is also attracted to me.
    I would regret letting this chance go by... It's a bit complicated because I am not 100% sure he is into me, and our society doesn't give you much opportunity to have a relation with a man / find a man with mutual interest between you two, so easily.

    And nice BattleStar Galactica reference Lt. Starbuck
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    Apr 24, 2011 8:39 PM GMT
    Ok, I know exactly what situation you are in, because hell, I live this situation in Canada under the roof of my family instead (Which is as hardcore egyptian as you can imagine)...

    Complicated situation needs patience.. .and LOTS of it.

    One thing I want to ask you first...

    Are you sure that he is looking at you because he is interested in you or looking at you because he is wondering why you keep looking back at him?

    I know when I am around my middle eastern friends (Who btw, do not know I am gay - as only my non-Middle eastern friends know that)... when we walk in downtown TO they always give open gay people the DIRTIEST looks... which bothers me inside... but w/e.

    So, he may be nice enough to not give you a dirty look, but could be asking himself "why the f*ck is that dude looking at me?"


    -------------

    Of course, there is also the possibility that he DOES in fact like you... in which case, asking him out to go eat at a middle eastern cuisine (and have some 3ats (lentil soup) would be perfect)...

    btw, I make the BEST lentil soup... js ;)


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    Apr 24, 2011 8:48 PM GMT
    _Mohammed_ saidOk, I know exactly what situation you are in, because hell, I live this situation in Canada under the roof of my family instead (Which is as hardcore egyptian as you can imagine)...

    Complicated situation needs patience.. .and LOTS of it.

    One thing I want to ask you first...

    Are you sure that he is looking at you because he is interested in you or looking at you because he is wondering why you keep looking back at him?

    I know when I am around my middle eastern friends (Who btw, do not know I am gay - as only my non-Middle eastern friends know that)... when we walk in downtown TO they always give open gay people the DIRTIEST looks... which bothers me inside... but w/e.

    So, he may be nice enough to not give you a dirty look, but could be asking himself "why the f*ck is that dude looking at me?"


    -------------

    Of course, there is also the possibility that he DOES in fact like you... in which case, asking him out to go eat at a middle eastern cuisine (and have some 3ats (lentil soup) would be perfect)...

    btw, I make the BEST lentil soup... js ;)



    First, I LOVE lentil soup (3adas bi 7amod... u call it lamoon / lemon...) icon_biggrin.gif

    Anyway, the thing is we are good friends, and he is always initiating conversations with me in the lockers and stuff. He is very warm to me. Actually he calls me Habibi when talking to me (but you know it is just a warm greeting word we use).

    I know for sure he isn't bothered by me looking at him. But as I said, I still have some doubt on how this situation will play out. Although we are practically opposites, I feel the attraction, and I am hoping my feelings that it is mutual are correct.

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    Apr 24, 2011 8:54 PM GMT
    samurai111 said
    _Mohammed_ saidOk, I know exactly what situation you are in, because hell, I live this situation in Canada under the roof of my family instead (Which is as hardcore egyptian as you can imagine)...

    Complicated situation needs patience.. .and LOTS of it.

    One thing I want to ask you first...

    Are you sure that he is looking at you because he is interested in you or looking at you because he is wondering why you keep looking back at him?

    I know when I am around my middle eastern friends (Who btw, do not know I am gay - as only my non-Middle eastern friends know that)... when we walk in downtown TO they always give open gay people the DIRTIEST looks... which bothers me inside... but w/e.

    So, he may be nice enough to not give you a dirty look, but could be asking himself "why the f*ck is that dude looking at me?"


    -------------

    Of course, there is also the possibility that he DOES in fact like you... in which case, asking him out to go eat at a middle eastern cuisine (and have some 3ats (lentil soup) would be perfect)...

    btw, I make the BEST lentil soup... js ;)


    First, I LOVE lentil soup (3adas bi 7amod... u call it lamoon / lemon...) icon_biggrin.gif

    Anyway, the thing is we are good friends, and he is always initiating conversations with me in the lockers and stuff. He is very warm to me. Actually he calls me Habibi when talking to me (but you know it is just a warm greeting word we use).

    I know for sure he isn't bothered by me looking at him. But as I said, I still have some doubt on how this situation will play out. Although we are practically opposites, I feel the attraction, and I am hoping my feelings that it is mutual are correct.


    [/quote]

    ok, I would say ask him out for dinner or something first definitely.
    That would be the best way to intiate more in-depth conversations.

    Ask him about what he plans to do with his future.
    Tell him about your goals/dreams etc...
    Ask him if he is planning on getting married anytime soon...

    those questions will definitely remove your doubt of whether he is gay or not.

    now, whether he is into you is a different story... but from what you are telling me... this is what I can deduce:

    a) he is gay and he is into you.
    or
    b) he is straight and he views you as a sincere companion at the gym.
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    Apr 24, 2011 9:06 PM GMT
    [quote]

    a) he is gay and he is into you.
    or
    b) he is straight and he views you as a sincere companion at the gym.[/quote]

    I guess that makes sense. But why would he ask me my age a few times? The way he looks at my body in the lockers / in the pool... it is drivinf me crazy to know if it is a) or b)
    LOL
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    Apr 24, 2011 9:37 PM GMT
    samurai111 said[quote]

    a) he is gay and he is into you.
    or
    b) he is straight and he views you as a sincere companion at the gym.


    I guess that makes sense. But why would he ask me my age a few times? The way he looks at my body in the lockers / in the pool... it is drivinf me crazy to know if it is a) or b)
    LOL[/quote]

    I am going to say if he keeps staring at you, the pointer would lean more towards a).

    Even with my really homophobic arab friends, no one will stare at someone in the pool for too long - a glance maybe for jokes but a stare ... nooo. haha.
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    Apr 27, 2011 5:00 AM GMT
    samurai111 said
    I guess that makes sense. But why would he ask me my age a few times? The way he looks at my body in the lockers / in the pool... it is drivinf me crazy to know if it is a) or b)
    LOL


    Heh! I think you're easily getting suspicious. Asking age is nothing. I have had middle eastern friends who complimented me in very sexual ways, and some even pinched my butt. No joke. Whenever I asked if they are gay, they blatantly refused "OH HELL NOO!"

    It's very possible that some are bicurious to say the least, but they are either afraid or put their religion over everything else.

    Follow the advice from above. No matter what, DON'T ask him directly if he is gay. Try to reach that question in a slow pace. Raise relationship topic questions like why he doesn't have a girlfriend yet. If all signals point to gay direction, then hang out with him more often. Become better friends. So later down the line, you can make the first move and tell him you're bi. If he is really interested, that would make it easier for him to confess in return.

    It will be a win or lose situation, but worth trying instead of doing nothing.

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    Apr 27, 2011 5:09 AM GMT
    nycam86 said

    Heh! I think you're easily getting suspicious. Asking age is nothing. I have had middle eastern friends who complimented me in very sexual ways, and some even pinched my butt. No joke. Whenever I asked if they are gay, they blatantly refused "OH HELL NOO!"

    It's very possible that some are bicurious to say the least, but they are either afraid or put their religion over everything else.

    Follow the advice from above. No matter what, DON'T ask him directly if he is gay. Try to reach that question in a slow pace. Raise relationship topic questions like why he doesn't have a girlfriend yet. If all signals point to gay direction, then hang out with him more often. Become better friends. So later down the line, you can make the first move and tell him you're bi. If he is really interested, that would make it easier for him to confess in return.

    It will be a win or lose situation, but worth trying instead of doing nothing.



    I think I will follow this method... Hoping for the best icon_smile.gif
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    Apr 27, 2011 2:26 PM GMT
    I thing we have the making of a new movie "Brokeback Mt. Lebanon". The first movie could take place in Lebanon and be in Arabic. The second movie would be a Hollywood remake and take place in Mt Lebanon Pa:

    http://www.mtlebanon.org/

    In the Middle east version you two fall in love. You end up running for office and he becomes your body guard. Together you spread peace and love throughout the middle east. Turning all the corrupt leaders into big old bottoms. Kind of like the opposite of Alexander the Great.

    I think he is clearly interested in a friendship with you but if he is feeling sexual feelings it is confusing him. If he is conservative he may find you to be the forbidden fruit he is unable to taste. Even though he is older it doesn't mean he is in the position to make the first move to take the friendship outside the gym. For that reason you have to play detective and find out how realistic a friendship with someone of such a different background is. You need to get to know him well enough to understand whether he would be comfortable with getting to know you better.

    In my late 30s, I was skiing in the Italian alps (picture in profile). I pulled my back out the first day and decided I would have to get a message everyday to salvage my vacation. The masseuse was a hot young Italian who spoke no English. I had just spent a month in Italy and was happy to practice my new language. During one of the messages he is rubbing my abs asking be why I never got married. This was a perfect opportunity for me to tell him I was gay but I'm afraid to say I chickened out. I told him that I've never managed to make a relationship last long enough which is even more the truth but if he wanted to know if I was gay my answer didn't help. So I asked him the same question and his answer was "I'm only 28!".

    I had been out for more than 15 years at this time and yet I didn't tell him I as gay. I think it has something to do with the macho paradox. I hate to admit it but I think if the masseuse were not so masculine it would have been easier to open up. When a hot guy is particularly masculine it can be both an aphrodisiac and a source of an instinctive desire to compete. As men we have been raised not to show any emotional vulnerability to other men who are not our trusted friends. We compete with one another at an early age in sports, and later in business, and if two men are straight they compete for women. I think instinctively we have a terrible time admitting any type of weakness and having sexual or emotional feelings towards the competition is the biggest source of vulnerability imaginable. I think it is very different for a more submissive gay man looking for a lover to take care of him. But what I see in your case are two men who have both been trained to be the providers not being provided for. So you instinctively want to take care of each other but in order to show what a great provider you are, you can't let on that you feel vulnerable.

    Even if both of you were openly gay/bi Americans the same macho paradox could occur if neither of you had the courage to make the first move. I dated an Ecuadorian, I'll call him H, in my 20s. When I told my Nicaraguan friend (E) I was dating H he told me he always found him hot. When I mentioned E to H, H told me he always liked E. When I told H, E said the same thing about him he was pissed. "Why didn't he make a move, he knew I liked him." Well obviously neither had made that point clear enough to the other. Both of these guys were borderline macho and I feel they didn't want to show any vulnerability around the other. In the end, it was that dynamic that made our relationship difficult as well so it only last 6 months.

    As long as you remain gym buddies you will both be acting on your primal instincts. When you have developed a trusted friendship both of you will find it easier to open up. You do this by baby steps. Like any friend you need to know what makes him click. What was his family life like? You are assuming he is conservative but he may be assuming the same about you. I could see a great conversation developing in which you compare and contrast each others backgrounds. Oh and don't be afraid to offer him another ride home when you are leaving the gym together. That is just a polite move. With that in mind, do you think that perhaps he may refuse your rides because he lives in "le quartier popular"? If his background is significantly poorer than yours, until he trusts that this is not important to you, he may not want you to see this first hand.



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    Apr 27, 2011 5:02 PM GMT
    friendormate saidI thing we have the making of a new movie "Brokeback Mt. Lebanon". The first movie could take place in Lebanon and be in Arabic. The second movie would be a Hollywood remake and take place in Mt Lebanon Pa:

    http://www.mtlebanon.org/

    In the Middle east version you two fall in love. You end up running for office and he becomes your body guard. Together you spread peace and love throughout the middle east. Turning all the corrupt leaders into big old bottoms. Kind of like the opposite of Alexander the Great.

    I think he is clearly interested in a friendship with you but if he is feeling sexual feelings it is confusing him. If he is conservative he may find you to be the forbidden fruit he is unable to taste. Even though he is older it doesn't mean he is in the position to make the first move to take the friendship outside the gym. For that reason you have to play detective and find out how realistic a friendship with someone of such a different background is. You need to get to know him well enough to understand whether he would be comfortable with getting to know you better.

    In my late 30s, I was skiing in the Italian alps (picture in profile). I pulled my back out the first day and decided I would have to get a message everyday to salvage my vacation. The masseuse was a hot young Italian who spoke no English. I had just spent a month in Italy and was happy to practice my new language. During one of the messages he is rubbing my abs asking be why I never got married. This was a perfect opportunity for me to tell him I was gay but I'm afraid to say I chickened out. I told him that I've never managed to make a relationship last long enough which is even more the truth but if he wanted to know if I was gay my answer didn't help. So I asked him the same question and his answer was "I'm only 28!".

    I had been out for more than 15 years at this time and yet I didn't tell him I as gay. I think it has something to do with the macho paradox. I hate to admit it but I think if the masseuse were not so masculine it would have been easier to open up. When a hot guy is particularly masculine it can be both an aphrodisiac and a source of an instinctive desire to compete. As men we have been raised not to show any emotional vulnerability to other men who are not our trusted friends. We compete with one another at an early age in sports, and later in business, and if two men are straight they compete for women. I think instinctively we have a terrible time admitting any type of weakness and having sexual or emotional feelings towards the competition is the biggest source of vulnerability imaginable. I think it is very different for a more submissive gay man looking for a lover to take care of him. But what I see in your case are two men who have both been trained to be the providers not being provided for. So you instinctively want to take care of each other but in order to show what a great provider you are, you can't let on that you feel vulnerable.

    Even if both of you were openly gay/bi Americans the same macho paradox could occur if neither of you had the courage to make the first move. I dated an Ecuadorian, I'll call him H, in my 20s. When I told my Nicaraguan friend (E) I was dating H he told me he always found him hot. When I mentioned E to H, H told me he always liked E. When I told H, E said the same thing about him he was pissed. "Why didn't he make a move, he knew I liked him." Well obviously neither had made that point clear enough to the other. Both of these guys were borderline macho and I feel they didn't want to show any vulnerability around the other. In the end, it was that dynamic that made our relationship difficult as well so it only last 6 months.

    As long as you remain gym buddies you will both be acting on your primal instincts. When you have developed a trusted friendship both of you will find it easier to open up. You do this by baby steps. Like any friend you need to know what makes him click. What was his family life like? You are assuming he is conservative but he may be assuming the same about you. I could see a great conversation developing in which you compare and contrast each others backgrounds. Oh and don't be afraid to offer him another ride home when you are leaving the gym together. That is just a polite move. With that in mind, do you think that perhaps he may refuse your rides because he lives in "le quartier popular"? If his background is significantly poorer than yours, until he trusts that this is not important to you, he may not want you to see this first hand.






    Brian, your posts always make me think in new directions icon_smile.gif
    To the inbox!! I have lots to say icon_smile.gif
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    Apr 27, 2011 5:37 PM GMT
    I say enjoy what ur having, the staring and so...

    U never mentioned anything about u complimenting him, have u ever told him masalan that he has a rocking body or that he did a great job shaping it? maybe sometime u tell him that u love the way he swims?? such questions open ways and will make him think a lot abt u! He will be like why did he ask me such questions? why did he say all these compliments?? Is he interested me?? and that's what u want, to always be in his mind! I dunno what might happen next but he may turn the compliments and it will be great...

    I dunno, what do u think???
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    Apr 30, 2011 7:03 PM GMT
    friendormate said When a hot guy is particularly masculine it can be both an aphrodisiac and a source of an instinctive desire to compete. As men we have been raised not to show any emotional vulnerability to other men who are not our trusted friends. We compete with one another at an early age in sports, and later in business, and if two men are straight they compete for women. I think instinctively we have a terrible time admitting any type of weakness and having sexual or emotional feelings towards the competition is the biggest source of vulnerability imaginable. I think it is very different for a more submissive gay man looking for a lover to take care of him. But what I see in your case are two men who have both been trained to be the providers not being provided for. So you instinctively want to take care of each other but in order to show what a great provider you are, you can't let on that you feel vulnerable.

    Even if both of you were openly gay/bi Americans the same macho paradox could occur if neither of you had the courage to make the first move. I dated an Ecuadorian, I'll call him H, in my 20s. When I told my Nicaraguan friend (E) I was dating H he told me he always found him hot. When I mentioned E to H, H told me he always liked E. When I told H, E said the same thing about him he was pissed. "Why didn't he make a move, he knew I liked him." Well obviously neither had made that point clear enough to the other. Both of these guys were borderline macho and I feel they didn't want to show any vulnerability around the other. In the end, it was that dynamic that made our relationship difficult as well so it only last 6 months.



    What you said about the competitive instinct is definitely present. Every time we are alone in the lockers, he begins talking about his body and what he wants to improve, or the fact that he swims, plays squash and weight trains in the same session. He is adorable in that way icon_smile.gif

    Yesterday, he told me that he felt his body wasn't good enough. I made sure he knew that this was not my opinion AT ALL. I hope he got the message. He tends also to SHOW me his body and tell me what he needs to improve.

    Another adorable thing he does (although he is 6 years older than me) is, during a conversation, he tends to to speak a lot, sometimes even going off-subject. I think he wants to show that he has the sufficient intellectual capability, although I never doubted it.

    It's just that he is so adorable. He makes me smile when I think about these things, for a manly macho dude like him to be vulnerable like this. ADORABLE icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 30, 2011 7:14 PM GMT
    _Mohammed_ said
    btw, I make the BEST lentil soup... js ;)




    No way... "I" make the best lentil soup!! Grandma's recipe ;)