Meeting the family of closeted boyfriend

  • jackthejock

    Posts: 395

    Oct 26, 2011 6:48 AM GMT
    I moved to the west coast earlier this year and six months ago I was lucky enough to meet a wonderful guy. After six months together we have a really solid relationship, get along great, like the same activities and love eachother very much. This is the most serious relationship I've ever been in and he is somebody I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. But my boyfriend is bisexual and is not out to everybody. He is out to his friends from grad school and work, but not his family or friends from back home.

    The holidays are coming up and with work I am not able to go back east to visit my family for Thanksgiving. My boyfriend has invited me to go to Thanksgiving with his family, but I would just be going as a friend not as his boyfriend. I am flattered that he invited me, but I just don't like the idea of meeting my boyfriend's parents and siblings under false pretenses. If we are going to be together for a long time I don't want to meet his family as just his friend and then later have to deal with telling them we are more than just friends

    What do you guys think I should do?
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    Oct 26, 2011 6:54 AM GMT
    stuff his turkey
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    Oct 26, 2011 7:57 AM GMT
    I don't think that it is a good idea to visit your boyfriends family and lie to them.
    What would they think about you when your bf comes out to them later and they find out that the first time they met you all you were doing was lying?

    Plus it's not something a gentleman would do.

    Don't you have other friends you can spend your holidays with? Maybe that would be a good idea, so you're able to get closer to them and you're not alone.
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    Oct 26, 2011 9:17 AM GMT
    I don't think it's that big of a deal. I was in exactly your boyfriend's position. I wasn't totally out to my parents (was out to my friends, colleagues, and brother but not my parents or grandparents) and I invited my boyfriend over to meet my family for Easter. At the time I introduced him as "My friend Eduardo" and he went along with it for the most part.

    And I'm glad he did: not because I was ashamed of him or because I wanted either of us to keep lying to my parents, but because the experience of him with my family, of seeing all of us interact as a family, really helped push me towards coming out to my family. I saw the way my parents treated him and him them, how the man I loved interacted with the family I loved, and it made me want to have that in earnest.

    Going and "lying" to your boyfriend's family, just this once, may be the best thing you ever did for him.
  • nessthing

    Posts: 68

    Oct 26, 2011 9:30 AM GMT
    ^ That.
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    Oct 26, 2011 10:27 AM GMT
    First off, let me tell you that no one can actually force you to say something you don't want to say or be someone you're not...

    With that in mind, you have to look at both scenarios and the consequences that will occur from each choice.

    If you do go to visit his family and you say that you are his friend, there won't be any problems arising b/w him and his parents/friends later on after the dinner is over...

    However, if you chose to state the truth upfront, the parents may react negatively and there may be an awkward atmosphere created... which MAY ruin the night for everyone... including you...
    yes, you don't lie about yourself to them, so they know you're gay.. but what if they don't accept that? Then you will come under attack. Worse, your bf (the man you love), may get degraded...

    I mean, it is ULTIMATELY your decision... b/c you have the right not to lie.

    If you two both have the capability of living on your own without the support of any family members, then actually saying you're his bf upfront may help things down the road better... since there is no "we won't support you anymore.." threat.

    But if you two or he is relying on his parent's support... then it may be necessary to say a white lie.

    Your choice.
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    Oct 26, 2011 11:23 AM GMT
    bad idea is bad.

    Chances are his family has suspicion, and you don't have to say a word for them to pick up that you two are more than friends.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Oct 26, 2011 11:43 AM GMT
    jackthejock saidI moved to the west coast earlier this year and six months ago I was lucky enough to meet a wonderful guy. After six months together we have a really solid relationship, get along great, like the same activities and love eachother very much. This is the most serious relationship I've ever been in and he is somebody I could see myself spending the rest of my life with. But my boyfriend is bisexual and is not out to everybody. He is out to his friends from grad school and work, but not his family or friends from back home.

    The holidays are coming up and with work I am not able to go back east to visit my family for Thanksgiving. My boyfriend has invited me to go to Thanksgiving with his family, but I would just be going as a friend not as his boyfriend. I am flattered that he invited me, but I just don't like the idea of meeting my boyfriend's parents and siblings under false pretenses. If we are going to be together for a long time I don't want to meet his family as just his friend and then later have to deal with telling them we are more than just friends

    What do you guys think I should do?
    listen, you knew he was not out with his family so you have to deal with it. U were willing to deal with the fact that he is bi then you should be able to deal with the fact that he is not out to his parents. In sense he is not lying to his parents you are his friend. If you are truly his friend than you should be able to handle this little snag in your carpet. Listen, you have found someone you can spend your life with at least that is what you have stated to the RJ readers on here.
    Dude, just smile and support him. Who knows he might actually come out to them over the holidays. Give the dude a break and be supportive
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    Oct 26, 2011 12:49 PM GMT
    tuffguyndc saidlisten, you knew he was not out with his family so you have to deal with it. U were willing to deal with the fact that he is bi then you should be able to deal with the fact that he is not out to his parents. In sense he is not lying to his parents you are his friend. If you are truly his friend than you should be able to handle this little snag in your carpet. Listen, you have found someone you can spend your life with at least that is what you have stated to the RJ readers on here.
    Dude, just smile and support him. Who knows he might actually come out to them over the holidays. Give the dude a break and be supportive

    I largely agree with this. To the OP: It's HIS family, and therefore HIS decision, not yours. If concealing your relationship isn't something you can do then you should decline to attend. If he lives his whole life closeted and you find that also too restrictive then maybe he's not the guy for you.

    I've had family dinners and even Christmas with a guy who was otherwise out, but closeted to his family, and I felt right at home, didn't phase me at all. I'm absolutely convinced his mother understood our relationship, she even gave me Christmas gifts, which totally shocked me. He knew his parents best, not my place to question his tactics with them.

    Yet I had another BF who was closeted to everyone but a small circle of gay friends. That was not acceptable to me, having to walk on thin ice wherever we went in public, never really relaxed, always with my guard up, because he demanded it.

    Dating closeted guys is very problematic, every case different. Personally, since I fear very little and like a challenge, even welcoming funny misadventures, I'd attend his family dinner, just to see how it goes. But if that's seriously outside your comfort zone, then don't.
  • fitdude62

    Posts: 294

    Oct 26, 2011 12:57 PM GMT
    It may be his way of coming out to them. Even if nothing is said, it is implied.

    I say go and have a nice time.

    Just no kissing at the dinner table.

    Peace
  • shutoman

    Posts: 505

    Oct 26, 2011 1:23 PM GMT
    So, their son who is not currently with a woman turns up with a 'friend' that he wishes to introduce to his family at thanksgiving.

    They probably know already. If they don't know, then they can at least get to know you. If they like you, it will make things much easier for them to be happy when he comes out to them. And, if you are serious about this guy, then making and keeping them happy is going to be important to you.

    I would ignore the strident voices about the principle, people need to be treated as people.
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    Oct 26, 2011 1:32 PM GMT
    Go with him!! He wants you to meet his family and that is a VERY big deal. The fact that he isn't out yet is just a matter of time. I had been going to my bf's family reunions way before he told everyone and when they found out it was like "oh...really?! well, we love him and he's a great guy so good for you!"

    It isn't a lie. It's just not telling the truth in advance. Go for it! Once you get along with everyone it will all just fall into place. Wait and see. All the best!
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    Oct 26, 2011 1:49 PM GMT
    go with him,, when I came out my mother said "I don't want that man in my house ever again !!,, I said, I love him and he loves me and we spent nine years together and my mother accepted that I was in love with this guy and welcome me and my lover and invited us over all the time.. later she told me,, "I buried one son and did not want to lose another son,,,," let us know what you decide and what how it goes if you do go meet the parents,,,
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    Oct 26, 2011 1:56 PM GMT
    I agree with Lark!
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Oct 26, 2011 2:03 PM GMT
    adam228 saidbad idea is bad.

    Chances are his family has suspicion, and you don't have to say a word for them to pick up that you two are more than friends.


    I think it's a good idea for this reason. My ex wasn't "out" to his family but I started going to his family's holiday functions, no explanation necessary, no crazy questions other than how we met. They were just happy that I was a decent and fun(ish) guy and that their son had a good person in his life.
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    Oct 26, 2011 2:09 PM GMT
    Bill wasn't out to his family when we met. It took a year and that second Christmas together, I did it, after first warming up to his Mom and dropping more hints to her than confetti at a wedding.

    At Christmas, I took his Dad into the dining-room, post family get together, and the two of us got plastered and I invited him to ask me anything he liked....about gay people.

    22 years later, here we are.

    -Doug
  • jackthejock

    Posts: 395

    Oct 26, 2011 7:00 PM GMT
    adam228 saidbad idea is bad.

    Chances are his family has suspicion, and you don't have to say a word for them to pick up that you two are more than friends.



    I think that I will bring that point up to him before agreeing to go. We work in very different fields and I haven't been in this part of the country for long, it is really inexplicable how we would even know one another. Honestly if we hadn't met online we probably would have never met at all. I did attend an engagement party for a friend of my bf's about a month ago and the friend figured it out even though we weren't affectionate or anything like that in front of him, pretty much the only thing I talked about with his friend was hiking and camping and he still figured it out. (for the record my BF said he was going to tell that friend anyways, just figured that his engagement party with his grandparents there wasn't the best time)

    So I think I'll talk it over with him more before making a decision. Let him know if he wants me there that the family will probably suspect even if he doesn't tell them. I guess part of me was hoping that he would go on his own and use the time with his family to come out to his parents on his own. To me it just seems a lot to spring on a family to come out with your boyfriend present. And if he wants to go by himself and not say anything I'm totally fine with that too. I guess I'd just want to make sure we both know what's going on and what to expect before hand.


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    Oct 26, 2011 8:22 PM GMT
    Larkin_PLR saidI don't think it's that big of a deal. I was in exactly your boyfriend's position. I wasn't totally out to my parents (was out to my friends, colleagues, and brother but not my parents or grandparents) and I invited my boyfriend over to meet my family for Easter. At the time I introduced him as "My friend Eduardo" and he went along with it for the most part...


    True that! Technically, it isn't lying because he's your friend++. icon_smile.gif

    People tend to immediately judge someone from a how you introduce them (e.g. a Scientist/Engineer=Nerd, African/American guys=Hung, etc), without really knowing them first. And if that is the first impression you're going to give them (that you are gay), it will be hard to break through their presumptions.

    Good luck!
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    Oct 26, 2011 11:12 PM GMT
    I also don't think it's a big deal to be introduced as just a friend for the time being.

    He'll eventually come around, they all do... so don't worry icon_smile.gif

    And hey it's food that you don't have to cook or pay for! Free food always gets my attention.
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    Oct 26, 2011 11:17 PM GMT
    Back in high school, my secret boyfriend's family was a friend of my family. Hell they introduced us. icon_lol.gif
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    Oct 26, 2011 11:18 PM GMT
    AlexanderB saidstuff his turkey
    And make sure it's not too dry.
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    Oct 26, 2011 11:19 PM GMT
    tuffguyndc said listen, you knew he was not out with his family so you have to deal with it. U were willing to deal with the fact that he is bi then you should be able to deal with the fact that he is not out to his parents. In sense he is not lying to his parents you are his friend. If you are truly his friend than you should be able to handle this little snag in your carpet. Listen, you have found someone you can spend your life with at least that is what you have stated to the RJ readers on here.
    Dude, just smile and support him. Who knows he might actually come out to them over the holidays. Give the dude a break and be supportive


    +++ Points.

    I may one day land up in the same position has your boyfriend btw...... :/

    I'm not a bad person, I'm simply not in the position to disclose anything to my family....

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    Oct 26, 2011 11:57 PM GMT
    Ya know the family unit as a whole knows MORE than your bf thinks. They probably have suspected for awhile but will let him come out when he is ready. Introducing you as his friend is not a lie nor is your friendship. You just like each other a bit more than you think the family is aware.
    Go with him, enjoy the holiday, and what a treat for you he wants you to meet them! Enjoy man and have a great time!!
  • realdeal86

    Posts: 47

    Oct 27, 2011 12:11 AM GMT
    This is something you just need to sit down and discuss with him, he needs to listen to all your concerns and you need to listen to his. The two of you need to come to an agreement as a couple, it might mean you compromise, it might mean he compromises and that's ok. You are never going to agree on everything 100% throughout any relationship and working these things out by being open, honest and understanding with each other will only make your relationship stronger:

    Just make sure you two actually talk about it, dont fight over it. Couples who only "fight" about these things and don't "discuss" them are the ones that don't last.

    Best of luck to you man


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    Oct 27, 2011 12:21 AM GMT
    I think the lie he's living and telling his family he's straight makes the lie about You being just a friend look insignificant. I don't think there will be a problem if in 6 months he comes out and his family finds out you're the bf