Dating Closeted Guys

  • Sakura

    Posts: 188

    Aug 08, 2013 5:58 PM GMT
    For everyone with thoughts on this frustrating topic, how much would you invest yourself in a relationship with a closeted guy? Let's say after nine months of dating you're still the only one who knows he's gay.
  • Fargo

    Posts: 144

    Aug 08, 2013 8:01 PM GMT
    And why is a problem to you?
  • Sakura

    Posts: 188

    Aug 08, 2013 8:16 PM GMT
    Would you want to keep the best part of your life a secret? I think we definitely need to respect another's discretion and allow them to come out when the time is right for them. However, in a relationship you naturally want to share it and life is easier when the details are out in the open. I'm asking openly gay people who've dated closeted guys how far they let the relationship go before something gave, and in those cases what happened. Does anyone have experience with this?
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    Aug 08, 2013 8:41 PM GMT
    Why would anyone waste time on someone who is so obviously screwed up? Talk about your red flags, if a closet case even asked me what time I was I would pull my dick out of his mouth and tell him his wife called while I was shooting down his throat and he should leave, the baby crying in the background made his wife sound anxious.
  • Sakura

    Posts: 188

    Aug 08, 2013 9:04 PM GMT
    @smartmoney

    I know where you're coming from, but we're still pretty young. The guy's 21 and he's not "playing it straight' so much as dragging his feet about coming out.
  • Fargo

    Posts: 144

    Aug 08, 2013 11:32 PM GMT
    I am in fact in this situation right now, my BF is "closeted". None of his friends know he's gay (as it's still a taboo, especially in his age group), while most of my friends do know about our relationship. I am also still not "totally" out, most of my close friends know, but that's pretty much it. It's not even a topic that I discuss with anyone. We've been together for more than 3 years and this was never an issue.
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    Aug 09, 2013 3:06 AM GMT
    You're only as free as that which you're attached to. So it makes sense to date someone who has similar restraints as you or LESS. That way, you can loosen up versus tighten up. If you are out and he is in fear, be a friend and a supporter. Not a lover and certainly not a boyfriend. Because you'll always end up sacrificing more to accommodate them while they are unwilling to acknowledge that there are things more important than their fear. Things like your relationship. Two years ago, I was still in the closet, as an African American in a very religious family with conservative friends, in a very conservative state. I can relate to both sides.
  • ryno

    Posts: 105

    Aug 09, 2013 3:15 AM GMT
    It becomes a problem though when you're playing cover-up; tip-toeing around family/friend/holiday events or making up stories for why you can't go somewhere. Some people are perfectly fine with this set-up, but for me I see it as unnecessary stress.
    I was dating a guy for over year to wear it just wouldn't work anymore. His own paranoia of getting 'caught' by anyone that knew him was actually causing him to become distant and even disrespectful towards me. We quietly ended it one night when he blew off a planned date after receiving a last minute call to hang out with some friends--he didn't want anyone to be suspicious.
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    Aug 09, 2013 3:22 AM GMT
    I've never dated anyone for an extended period, be the out or closeted, but this is something I've considered. I feel that if someone is still closeted but is willing to make some sort of commitment to gradually coming out then I'd be willing to try. But dating would be conditional on his starting to open up about it to people.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Aug 09, 2013 4:04 AM GMT
    It's (obviously) tough for most people. Especially if you're out.

    For what my experience is worth: I did it once. I was out and he wasn't. I don't regret it in the least. He had his reasons. Some were legit (I'm in the minority in believing that legit reasons exist, I know icon_smile.gif ) some were just him still adjusting to his sexuality and what that meant. Didn't negate all the amazing things about him. Part of a relationship (for me) is being able to help someone you care about through tough times and issues.

    Everyone's got issues. Obviously, some issues are "dealbreakers", BUT if you really think the person is otherwise worth your time I would advise you to think twice before labeling anything thus. (um... which you already appear to be doing... so maybe that was redundant advice... but still a good general point ;) )


    [That said: on a number of occasions it did cause friction. Interestingly I blame myself. Namely: while I was intellectually okay with him choosing his own pace and time to come out it was still emotionally difficult not being publicly recognized sometimes. This was especially true in the context of meeting eachother's families and forcing a public mask in 'high risk' areas.
    We both acknowledged that it was difficult from both sides and dealt with it together. It wasn't fun, but not everything is. icon_smile.gif

    Also, unlike your case my bf was out to a sizeable group of people (other gays mostly) even if not to most coworkers/family/many friends(cultural)/etc. Having *any* group that your bf is out to is a huge help, imo -- as you can still be social together and share social experiences. Also, I think most importantly: he was out to himself. I never once felt like he was conflicted about his feelings for me or about his feelings for men. I imagine (no experience) that maintaining an intimate relationship where the other person his internally torn would be much, much, much more difficult and may preclude some levels of intimacy <-- but that part is just a guess (and may not apply to you).]

    EDIT: Oh, and just to add: While we did break up after dating for.. about a year and a half (it felt much longer -- in a good way) it was unrelated to his closetedness and we're still dearly close (for good and ill, but I digress icon_smile.gif ).
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    Aug 09, 2013 4:11 AM GMT
    I'm only out to my most of my friends and half my family. I started seeing someone who was 100% in the closet. Even before we started dating it we had issues. We have a shit tonne of mutual friends so even meeting my friends took him about 3-4 months because they all knew his friends.

    We definitely had our ups and downs as I felt like I was only part of half his life . I knew what it was like for him though as I had been in his shoes, so I didn't expect him to come out. It was pretty much a stale mate.

    But we pushed through and after about 10 months of dating he came out to his friends. We've still dating now, been about a year and a half and because we were able to compromise over that shit, we are going strong.

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    Aug 09, 2013 4:15 AM GMT
    it takes two to tango. if you feel that his being closeted is reflecting badly on you, then its up to you to decide if you can live with it or not. its not up to you to tell him to come out of the close, or else...

    if you can't live with it, then move on and find someone who's life is a better match for yours. no one wants to feel like they are someone else's dirty secret, and if that's how you see it, then its probably not going to work.

    but if you see this as one stage in a long life ahead, then maybe you can help him see his way around a confusing road to travel. this might be better done as platonic friends, than as intimate lovers (where you have a vested interest in the outcome).

    at no point should you be the person who decides when is the best time for him to reconcile his sexuality with his family/peers. that is his door to open and walk through. respect that everyone has different fears and security issues that are deeper than what can be seen on the surface.

    good luck.

  • Sakura

    Posts: 188

    Aug 09, 2013 9:17 AM GMT
    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. icon_biggrin.gif

    @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 icon_wink.gif ). 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. icon_sad.gif
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Aug 09, 2013 6:08 PM GMT
    Taka13 said

    Does anyone have advice as to interacting with his conservative Catholic family? His older brother is actually gay and came out six years ago.


    What advice/thoughts has his older brother shared?
    Families and our relationships with them are so idiosyncratic I think it's very difficult to give good advice to others.

    From what I've seen most of the time families get over it and things are better, eventually. But when they don't it's a knife I haven't seen anyone take out of their heart. Just annecdotes of course and forgive me if I'm being overdramatic. icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2013 6:13 PM GMT
    Run away as fast as you can.. Speaking from experience.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 09, 2013 6:41 PM GMT
    Myol saidYou're only as free as that which you're attached to. So it makes sense to date someone who has similar restraints as you or LESS. That way, you can loosen up versus tighten up. If you are out and he is in fear, be a friend and a supporter. Not a lover and certainly not a boyfriend. Because you'll always end up sacrificing more to accommodate them while they are unwilling to acknowledge that there are things more important than their fear. Things like your relationship. Two years ago, I was still in the closet, as an African American in a very religious family with conservative friends, in a very conservative state. I can relate to both sides.


    I agree for the most part. Ideally you should both be at about the same place.

    I do find it interesting that people who are completely out think it's easy and can't seem to understand why everyone just doesn't do it.

    It's much more difficult for a masculine guy living in a conservative, religious community. Versus a more fem guy living in NYC as an example.

    Perhaps your relationship is better as a friendship rather than a romantic one. It may be another 10 years before this guys is ready to be more open.
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    Aug 09, 2013 7:11 PM GMT
    Dealbreaker. Closeted = Fearful, not a sexy trait, let alone the practical challenges.

    Especially since in most cases it's irrational, no matter how "masc" your social circle may be

  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Aug 09, 2013 7:14 PM GMT
    Congrats to you, man. It is pretty simple. If you love him, you'll understand his fears and aspirations, and it sounds as if you do. Support him and help him get through life as best as he and you can. There is no rush. Neither my partner nor I were out when we met and now we both are. One thing I heard that I hadn't thought of until it happened to me was that you don't come out once. It happens over and over as you meet people and situations change. Not everyone needs to be told and not everyone needs to know at the same time. Just play it by ear and let things unfold. You do have the right to expect to be #1 in his book and by that I mean you will not be ignored or disrespected just for the sake of his cover. His mom sounds like a total fruitcake and you shouldn't worry about her. He loves him mom, though, and is trying to be gentle. Respect that.
  • BloodFlame

    Posts: 1768

    Aug 10, 2013 10:00 PM GMT
    I think it would be somewhat hard for an open gay man to date a heavily closeted man. Me personally... I don't think I could... It's not that I act overly effeminate or anything but I do stick out (I don't care, if someone makes a big deal, that's there hang up). I remember when I was talking to a guy, he asked me that if we were to date hypothetically, would I tone myself down and look more "normal?" Of course I declined it because I am who I am but I had a feeling he asked this because he knew people would automatically think of him as gay if they saw him with me. And it seems to me that a lot of the closet cases have a similar view like the guy I mentioned of repressing someone even if they like them. I'm not saying ALL, just some.

    I don't have time for that. So yeah. I feel that the individual should do what he feels best. If he can handle being with the closet man, then more power to him and I hope it all works out. icon_smile.gif