Hey guys, thanks to all of you for the advice, it helps so much just to know that other guys have been in the same situation.
@Fargo: Sorry to hear that your BFs friends see being gay as taboo. Our situation is a little different in that my BFs friends are accepting (though his parents aren't). Congrats on your 3 yrs!
@Myol: I could learn a lot from you, being from a southern, conservative, and religious family/state. Fortunately, I am his BF; unfortunately, I do sacrifice a lot in holding that status. I think he does fear coming out but I also feel that he'll do it eventually.
@ryno: I know exactly what you mean! His mom is super Catholic, so he and I have basically earned blackbelts in tip-toe tactics (something I despise, but do out of love). Like you I see it as an unnecessary stress, but also as an insult to the gay community at large. Sorry to hear about that last straw with your guy, my heart really goes out to you. My guy has canceled plans on me a few times to cover things up, but mostly for his mom/family. I feel he might tell his friends within the next six months.
@Astrogeek: Good plan. He has committed, at least in words, his intention to coming out eventually.
@airforcelungs: Thanks for your perspective! I'm definitely mute on social media about our relationship, and in front of our friends, though it pains me.
@neosyllogy: You really have great things to say, thank you! I haven't labeled any deal breakers. I readily see the intellectual and emotional divide in allowing him space and time to work through it and selfishly seeking that public commitment. I think the reason I've been able to stick around this long is that I actually do love him and he has said he'll come out at some point. Your point about having him be out to at least one group of people is so critical! He currently isn't but I know his friends would be accepting. I think if he were to start with his friends (and I've told him this) that he would realize the world isn't going to fall apart around him, that some people will offer him love and a safe environment. Since we started dating in November he has made a lot of progress in coming out to himself. In my own journey that was the crucial step before I was able to tell anyone.
@melbourne92: Inspirational man, thanks! Glad to hear y'all are still going and strengthened by those early struggles. I think my BF and I'll be stronger for these tough times too, granted we make it to the other side of his closet door.
@kingmo: Great advice man! I do see this part of our life together as a tough start to a long beautiful future. Thus, I have been able to put up with the secrecy. We're already lovers (I think that has been helping to pull him closer to coming out
). Your last bit is very important. It's tough to prioritize at times, especially when I take backseat to the charade, but I know it's best for him to come out at his own pace.
@sunjbill: KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid, haha. Good advice. I do like him so I'll continue to deal with it as I have been. I definitely am guilty of complicating things at times, I'll keep an eye on it.
Does anyone have advice as to interacting with his conservative Catholic family? His older brother is actually gay and came out six years ago. The BFs convinced his mother is also unstable from that episode, prone to over-reacting and other negative behaviors. She has stopped speaking to her eldest son and my BF thinks she'll lose it when she finds out he's gay too, though his younger brother is most definitely straight. I've only spent a few days with them last Christmas. Since then his mother is hell-bent that we're a couple and that I'm turning her son gay, which has caused everyone a lot of stress. His dad is really macho but still talks to the older brother and would mostly only be upset because of his wife's reaction. So far I've just laid low when it comes to his family. I've seen them once since Christmas and our meeting was cordial, if a little frosty from his mom.