LTR's and gay they MIX ???

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 14, 2007 5:46 PM GMT
    Hey guys. For those interested in this type of thing I'm curious to hear your opinion whether your in a LTR or not. Both sides is good. I'd like to simply comare your thoughts/experiences to my experience so far.

    My other half and I have been together in a monog. relationship for nearly 10 years in Feb. We both have gay friends, but you can count them with a single hand. I say friends meaning people we actually know in real life and hang out with...not virtual friends.
    He's got two that he's known for years and they come to visit from South America every 3 or 4 years. I have two living in NYC that I havn't seen in about 5 years and another in LA that i havn't seen in about the same time. That said, were both really easy going simple guys....easy to get along with and love good times with good friends.

    The thing is...we have both noticed that since we've been together we've never really connected with other gay men. Have met many but no frienships really come about it. Weve had several guys want to hook up with us but when they realize were not into that-its all interest. Its like they are all busy with busy lives and no time for us. Not all have been this way....some are just not into the things we are into. We don't do theatres, art, or plays...thats just not our thing/with all respect.

    We are blessed to have some AMAZING friends and family in our lives....just incredible people, and life would never be the same without them. They just all happen to be straight. They all know about us although not officialy...but none of them care, its a total non-issue to them. Im not sure if this situation is a good thing or bad simply IS.

    Personally I don't care at all that they are straight...I don't categorize people by their sexual preference but I do categorize by their personality, attitudes, and taste in activities they enjoy. The only downside so far to having mostly all straight friends is that most we've known for many years and we've seen them get married, have kids, and now they have gotten busy raising their kids and our activities together have gotten alot more "disney worldish" if you know what i mean. Dont get me wrong...i'm now Godfather to 4 beautiful kids...and i love them as I someday would love to have my own. But it feels like we are living through the downfall of having kids without actually having them!! In the end it makes little difference to us as long as they are true friends...and thankfully that has always been the case. But the analytical/curious side of me won't look away from this very interesting trend in our nearly 10 years together.

    So my question to you folks is....for those in LTR' you find the same happeneing to you? Hard to make gay friends or not? Is it just bad luck we have not met other gay friends or is it given our circumstances the way things will most likely always be?
    For those single guys out there...what runs through your mind when you come across a pair of men like us...?

    In advance...thanks for all your opinions.icon_wink.gif
  • Squarejaw

    Posts: 1035

    Nov 14, 2007 6:13 PM GMT
    Geez for a while it seemed like ALL my friends were in LTRs (6 years, 8 years, and 16 years).

    These guys are still together and still my friends, but I've added some singletons, too.
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    Nov 14, 2007 6:23 PM GMT
    Ha, I totally understand what you mean about the Disneyland effect of straight friends having kids. Love my friends but definitely noticed time spent together became a lot more...well, boring since kids came into the picture. But it's been good because I've been making more gay friends and spending more time with other people closer to my age.

    Anyhow, the thing that struck me reading your post (as a single guy) is that it seems like people are getting you two as a single unit or nothing at all. I know that I personally would be wary of a situation where I was expected to be equal friends with both parties in a couple and always spend time together as a trio. It would make me feel like a third wheel. And there's a codependent energy about it - I am not saying you are codepenent, I am saying that the scenario of being with a couple as a couple whenever we are together has a codependent vibe to it. One of my best friends was in a 9-year+ long-term relationship and I was good friends with both of them - but I was clearly closer to one. We would do things on our own just as often as we did things involving his boyfriend (if not more). It just feels more balanced that way. It does feel like asking a lot to ask a single person to be really good friend to both of you at the same time - casual friends sure, but really close? Not so much. Just my opinion. I'm sure there are others that would have no problem with it.
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    Nov 14, 2007 6:24 PM GMT
    Maybe you just don't need any gay friends? Maybe you seem like such a complete unit that gay guys are a bit intimidated by your success as a couple.

    I would find life very difficult if I didn't have my gay friends - there would be no visits to the pub, no trips to the cinema and no wild club nights.
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    Nov 14, 2007 6:25 PM GMT
    My partner and I are the only openly gay couple in our town so far. We have a few gay friends, all single, that we see occasionally, but not too much because they want to hang out in the clubs (no gay bars here so apparently trying to pick up straight men, hmmm) more than us. Other couples we know are much, much older than us and deeply closeted, so they don't socialize with us because, ahem, nobody knows. Right...

    Our closest friends are my partners's siblings and straight couples that live nearby. My family is far away and so not a factor in our social life.
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    Nov 14, 2007 6:37 PM GMT
    Very interesting guys.... have a really good point. I see what you mean about the third wheel effect. And although my bro and I are very similar- we are definitely not identical. He's more introverted and I'm alot more social than him. For the most part we do things together and I guess some people straight or gay might see us as a pair inside a bubble...with a thick skin. Too much drilling to reach us maybe?? Thanks for the angle...

    To the other guys...thanks for the input..
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    Nov 14, 2007 7:49 PM GMT
    I have also been in a relationship for ten years this coming February. It took us a long time to get the friends we have (gay or not) but I’m happy to say that we have wonderful friends now and I think it has been very important for our relationship to have other gay couples in our lives… I consider them family.

    Our main group of friends is made of eight gay guys (three couple, two single), a single female friend and a straight couple…those are the ones we see every week, we have dinner at least once a week, they come to our cabin all the time, so that’s our family…must of us live a few blocks away from each other (if not in the same building) so that helps to stay in touch…

    We also have a “secondary” group of friends that we stay in touch but don’t see them as often, they are always together but we are kind of peripherals to their group…it has been like that for over five years but it works perfect, we have gone with them on vacation and they are more into sports so we go to games and stuff like that…we hang out more downtown they are more of an uptown crowd…. they are mainly straight, with a couple of bi girls and three gay guys…. they are super fun.

    We also know a lot of gay guys we usually see at parties or when we go out, we also invite them to our parties and they invite us to theirs but I couldn’t say we are my "friends", they are more acquaintances, although some of them might disagree with this assessment…

    In regard with the gay friends, when we first met some of them (must of them actually) I think it was hard because even though we loved to spend time with them there was some sort of distrust and what I think was a bit of jealousy, maybe…who is better looking? Who gets the attention? Who has better things?…after several years of our friendships I think we realized that there was no reason to be on guard regarding each other and somehow we all quit the stupidity….I also want to think that we have matured!

    Oh! I also have my Latino friends…which my boyfriend would love to hang out more with them but I try to keep them more to myself, it is my own little thing where I get to speak Spanish, eat our unhealthy food and dance some Salsa once in while…I think my boyfriend doesn’t get it! and Sí Papí, these are pretty much all queers!

    In any relationship (including friendships), I think the secret for success is to give, trust, nurture the relationship and know how to receive…relationships take time, commitment and patient and a lot sense of humor….I think a lot of guy gays are too focus on themselves (I used to do this!) that’s why relationships seems to be loosing importance….

    I grew up in a very nurturing environment full of family, friends, neighbors…I think I just spent time and energy re-creating that on my own, it’s working!!!

    Obviously we both are extroverted……
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    Nov 14, 2007 7:59 PM GMT

    I have been lucky in that two my closest friends in Los Angeles are a couple and we have been friends going about 5 years now. We met at bar on the dance floor.

    The reason why it works is because : The hooking up thing has never been an issue and furthermore it has never been discussed. Mainly because they knew that I would NEVER go there because we are friends! The intimate exchanges has never gone further than a platonic kiss or hug.
    I have a hard fast rule that I do not have relations with my friends. I have had friends that I was attracted them towards me , but I would never act on it because it always changes things and I will take a good friend over a romp any day of the week.

    The other reason why our friendship work so well is we would do things with them together like dinners movies. I also hung out with them separately neither of them ever felt threatened.
    I would go out dancing with one and go shopping with other one. We they were having a spat I would be there for each of them so they could vent about the other and I would not bad mouth the other or break confidences . So they knew they could say what ever they wanted to me and I would not be stuck in the middle. I’m sure in the beginning I was put through a confidence test! And I passed.

    We spent several birthdays and holidays together. I’m looking forward to seeing them when I’m back in Los Angeles.

    So, LTR and Gay friends can blend or mix very well… I have lived it.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 14, 2007 10:05 PM GMT
    Halfback...Congrats to you two as well as having a great group of friends. I agree it takes patience to get to know people and endure the phases/challenges that friendships can sometimes be up against and maybe even some trust issues on the new friends since we really don't know someone well by simply chatting with them a few times. And like you said, in any relationship...we need to focus on giving and set the selfishness aside. Very very true....

    I must admit there is a part of me that looks at my existing tight and profound bond with my existing group of friends and I think to myself....why go through the trials of finding this type of deep understanding with random people from the superficial starting point where most friendships begin...sexuality aside. But I realize I shouldn't think this way...So lately i've tried to put some effort into getting to know people...even if it leads to just another aquaintance.

    Ducky44....your an awesome genuine guy and I know whoever has you under their arms of friendship is an incredibly lucky person....too bad we are so far away...but who knows, we might have the opportunity one day to kill the virtual tie! icon_smile.gif

  • Timbales

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    Nov 15, 2007 2:14 AM GMT
    I'm in a LTR - almost 15 years counts, right? - and we have quite a few gay friends that are single and in relationships. I guess no one looks at either of us as sex objects. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 15, 2007 4:44 AM GMT
    I think some of this depends on context. I'm single and I have gay friends in LTRs, but thinking about it I realize that these are friends I met not in relationship to their being gay, but for other reasons like working together or having many friends in common. Most of the guys I meet in person in the context of their being gay are through events and settings which act like mixers, so obviously few of them are in stable relationships. i've had some friends in relationships where jealousy gets to be an issue, but most of those aren't really LTRs, as I think most people with frequent jealous issues never make it to the LTR stage.
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    Nov 15, 2007 7:47 AM GMT
    Long-term relationships, and friendships: The single-most constant, the issue between me and my partner continues to drive a wedge between us. I find that my need to be around a lot of people drives my introverted partner crazy. Actually, he sees no need to widen his social circle at all, including only--family and co-workers.

    For me, I have never distinguished friends on the basis of her or his preference and identity. When my partner wants to work on a special project, I'd rather be socializing and visiting with friends; it never happens.

    What is the solution, if there is one?

    How do you guys go about developing those relationships,especially if your partnered with someone and have not socialized your partner?

    A good discussion topic!

    And, I think age is a factor, too. I may be 37 yrs. old, but so few guys want anything to do with anyone at that age--or, really, over 30.

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    Nov 15, 2007 10:12 AM GMT
    Hi Apex

    Being in LTR and having Gay friends is great, but takes work. Especially if like me, all my Gay friends are single and enjoy doing single guy things.

    I'm lucky to have kept all my Gay friends since I paired up with my partner. And now we have started to actively see other Gay couples and do coupley things, as I am aware that my fab single Gay friends might not be interested in the same things us couples are.

    Overall, like most things I think it takes work to make friends, single or in couples. Being part of a LTR might make you lazy, never having to arrange going out for instance. But having friends outside of your partner is very important for both of you.

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    Nov 15, 2007 11:34 AM GMT
    apex, your original post was beautifully put i thought. there was another thread about friends recently and the vast majority of posters there said their friends were straight. i wonder what's going on?

    i had a gay best friend for a long time until i started an ltr with a guy he also liked and he stopped talking to me for a whole yr! we were working together and it was an impossible situation. was i wrong to go out with this guy, maybe? but these mutual attractions don't grow on trees. we became friends again later but i guess it was never the same.

    my small group of friends now are all straight bar one. i was in an ltr till quite recently and we just seemed to be fine with only eachothers company for most part. maybe that's why we're not together anymoreicon_lol.gif

    i do think even with all the rights we have won over the yrs gay people still often have a hard time of it growing up, is it any wonder we may take longer to develop into rounded human beings capable of sustaining relationships of any kind?
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    Nov 15, 2007 11:46 AM GMT
    It is important to be personally healthy and have healthy relationships with other people regardless of their sexual orientation.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 15, 2007 11:53 AM GMT
    I've brought this up on other forum discussions as well
    ... there's always that does he want me as a friend or a hookup question that arises when a guy is introduced to you
    and 9 times out of 10 when you make it clear that you're not interested in a hookup with them they disappear
    at this point in the game I'm used to it and am happy with the friends that I have
    it also depends on where you meet them
    men you get to know from work and from other friends are better than meeting say in a social setting like at a bar or at a party
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    Nov 15, 2007 2:39 PM GMT

    Thank you for the compliment. With my friends who are coupled and if you are single or in any relationship it’s all about BOUNDRIES and respecting those boundaries.

    I am not a person ruled by my body parts their so much more to life than just that.
    My friends and family and a lover when I get one will know that, there is nothing that I would not do for them. I may not get that in return but that’s okay.

    Friendships are sooo important and yes they take a lot work but given the rewards, it always worth it.icon_smile.gif

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    Nov 15, 2007 3:13 PM GMT
    Congrats Timbertoo...15 yrs is a long time! I think after 5 yrs they do roll in alot faster. Sometimes I look at my bro and can't believe its been 10 yrs...really, the toilet paper effect: The more has rolled out the faster it spins to the end!

    MSUBionerd...good point. I don't think we go as a couple to an event and come back home with take home buddies. Usually if it happens its given a solo context as you mentioned..maybe at work, etc. Looking back both his long time buddies from South America were buddies he met when he was single, not with me. My buddy in NYC...same thing-met him at the Winter Music Festival in South Beach way back in '97 at some blow-your-mind away nightclub. He caught me giving him the eye and he ended up being my first experienceicon_surprised.gif

    S_daedalus2008....I know what you mean to a certain extent. My bro at first was pretty jeleous...even when we went to the gym and a guy asks me to spot him...he gets that intense look....I mean you could feel it without even looking at him. lol But over the years he's gotten much better. Now its more that he's just not as much of a social guy as I am. He's serious and sometimes shy until he opens up...even then he doesn't talk much but just an amazing guy in every way. But we remain a little unbalanced to this day not so much on the jelousy aspect as much as the intro, extrovert issue.

    Thanks for all your opinions guys....icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 15, 2007 3:21 PM GMT
    First, congrats on the LTR. Ten years is quite an accomplishment and a testiment to you and your partner.

    I have been with my other half (monogamously) for a little over 12 years (12 yrs last August) - For many years we were raising his son, who lived with us full time. Talk about gay friends becoming scarce! They all vaporized in a large cloud when the kid appeared on the scene - fair-weathered friends? Nah, just not comfortable around children - some of them have re-entered our life now that the boy is off to college. We had a few guys, mainly other men (and women) in relationships that hung out with us, but between our careers and raising the boy, it wasn't very often we had a chance to meet up.

    Since my partner's son has moved on, we have both gone about cultivating new friends. I know there is always a little bit of tension when new people enter into an existing relationship. But having been together for as long as we have and knowing one another as well as we do, there is nothing to be worried about. Yes, there is some innocent flirting with some of them, but we both have boundaries set and do not let things progress -- and certainly nothing on the physical side beyond hugging and plutonic kisses.

    I believe that friendships (gay or straight) outside of the relationship are crucial and healthy. The trick is to find people that don't have any other motive than friendships -- We've been lucky to have met some terrific people here - some in relationships (with kids even), some intentionally single, and some single and looking. We welcome each of them as they enrich our lives as a couple...we do have our alone time which we both cherish, but it keeps things fresh to have activities with friends that don't necessarily have to include both people in the relationship.

    Living in a rural part of the South has added another dynamic - there really isn't any sense of (gay)community where we live, so seeking out friends has been a chore. But we are both better off for having these people in our lives.

    As for new friends? We are ALWAYS open to adding new people to our ever-growing family of friends. The only real criteria(s) we have is/are: some sense of stability, ability to laugh at one's self and ZERO drama - life is way too short...

    I hope my perspective has helped answer your question. In short, I guess it just depends on the relationship and the people involved.

    Todd in NC
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    Nov 15, 2007 3:55 PM GMT
    Laurence...thats definitely one of my fears...that single guys are going to think we are boring! I don't think we are but maybe they will if their idea of a good time is hittin the clubs every weekend. I can do the bar once in a bit but we prefer outdoor events...kayaking, camping, fishing, boating, roadtrips, theme parks, coasters, etc..

    Finding gay couples!!! Uffff...sounds even more difficult than finding single dudes...but sure- we'd give it a shot if the opportunity arises.

    Dakuk....thanks for that buddy. I agree with you and others that think enclosing yourself with your partner in a bubble is not good. Definitely not good...maybe only for the infatuation stage of a new relationship but thats it...reality needs to set in sooner or later. We have definitely popped our bubble years ago but it just seems we've had no luck finding other gay men interested in us.

    Not to be judgemental but GQJOCK has a point...when you are clear to a guy your not interested in a sexual hook-up your instantly "next-ed" by many of them...and maybe they don't know how hard that can be to swallow because their main objective is Sex, or THEIR Mr. right, since your not the they are oblivous to your feelings. Again...selfishness.

    Overall I think its a little of everything guys have mentioned on here. I will tell you one thing...a good, heart-felt friend is an incredible thing. In many ways just as intense and euphoric as a romantic relationship can be but with less chances of a fall-out or broken heart. Thanks again guys....
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    Dec 03, 2007 6:35 PM GMT
    It's funny, there's a symbiotic relationship between single and coupled gays that would be nice to see more of in the modern gay world.

    I would venture to say that there are two main reasons why the two don't mix well:

    1. When gay guys finally DO couple up, they tend to disappear from the 'scene'. Honestly, there's really not a 'scene' for gay couples in monogamous relationships - not like the straights, who have Disneyland and the Olive Garden. Most of the guys I know who have found partners tend to disappear from the scene because they know that nothing on earth makes either of them hotter to other single guys than unavailability, and they want to protect the relationship that they waited so long to find.

    2. Jealousy. Intentionally or not, a lot of coupled-up gays put out an air of superiority, like the sheer fact that someone is dating them (long-term or otherwise) somehow makes them better. Have you ever noticed that your best single friends become insufferable c*nts after 3 dates with a new guy? They start smacking you in the face with their 'we's and 'us'es like they themselves had never been single? Face it, whether it's intentional or not, as soon as you found your man, your friends became less important, and many single guys aren't willing to invest a lot of time/energy into guys who are coupled up because they're never going to come in first place.

    It's a shame that it often comes to this, because I think that there's a huge divide between the singles and the coupled, and I think that a better balance would/could exist if that divide shrank a bit. I know lots of dateable guys who are dead scared of relationsips because they think that they'll never get the chance to ever have fun again, and I know lots of couples who are scared shitless of ever doing anything remotely associated with gay singles because they're petrified that some homewrecker will try and break things up.

    Long story short - value the relationships you have, with your partners and with your friends, and stop worrying so much about what you might be missing. You're pretty lucky to have what you've had for the last 10 years! icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 03, 2007 8:20 PM GMT
    Interesting question. I think a lot depends on how you view your sexuality. Is it just that, your sexuality? Or is it a "culture" as well? Personally I don't buy the "gay culture" argument. In my mind, there's no such thing. A culture implies a long shared history, a world view, a religion, etc. that binds people together. As gay people, we don't have any of that. We're all from different cultures. The only thing that binds us, truly, is our sexual orientation.

    In this day and age, with much greater acceptance of gay people, comes the benefit of no longer being restricted to the gay ghetto. I have one gay friend. We're friends not because we're gay, but because we like to do the same things. All of my other friends are straight. And, again, our sexuality has nothing to do with our friendships. We're friends because we share common interests.

    I don't worry about having gay friends. Look at the heterosexual world. How often do you find a close friendship between a man and a woman that doesn't involve their spouses, etc? Attraction and friendship don't really mix. So it makes sense that one has a lot of gay friends when one is single, hitting the bars, etc. But, once you find the right guy, it also makes sense to distance yourself. It's no different than the straight guy pulling himself out of the singles scene after he meets the right girl. Because, let's face it, we're at the bars to meet someone, not make friends.

    All of that said, I don't think sexuality should be a criteria for friendship. Who cares if your friends are gay or straight? Isn't this precisely the problem we, as gay people, face in society? Other people separate us because of our sexuality. My sexuality has no bearing on my ability to be a good friend. So, I don't really care one way or another if my friends are gay or straight. It's a non-issue for me.