Round two – loving the gay man who hasn’t decided he’s gay. That’s the topic today, and in case you are that person – the one loving a man who hasn’t decided he’s gay – here’s a spoiler for your future - you are so f@c&ed.
Get out! Get out! Take your toothbrush and run for the hills. Run far, far away from this man. Before you introduce him to your parents, before you pick out china patterns together and for everyone’s sake – before you have babies on each hip wondering why your husband plays “squash” so much.
The tricky thing is – if he doesn’t know he’s gay it’s pretty hard for you to know he’s gay when you first meet. After all, is it so impossible to think a straight man might possess some of the positive stereotypes reserved for gay men? Isn’t that why they came up with the whole metrosexual label? I guess that only applies for grooming and fashion, not other qualities I’d love in a boyfriend.
There is a difference between someone who doesn’t know yet – the closet gay, and a man who is on the down low. If he’s playing squash with David because he likes the way he sweats for example and - and still decides to stay in a a “straight” relationship, that’s a whole different level issue. It only gets messier if they’re sweating together at more than just squash. That’s a gay man on the down low. He knows it, he does it, and he comes home to you. The problem is that you’ll never really know his timeline between denial, then knowing, then doing.
Before it sounds like I’m all army-mama about these men trying to find their way and face fear to brave up to their own truth – I get that it’s hard to come out. I get that it changes lives and sometimes destroys families. I get that, I do. I’m not saying it would be easy – not by a long shot.
But for the person who loves and desires that man, but doesn’t understand what’s missing in the relationship – it’s wicked heartbreak. I can attest - as a person who once loved a man who fit that bill - you spend hours, days, weeks, months and maybe even years trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing wrong.
If you haven’t been in one of these relationships before, and you think you know – I’m telling you – you don’t know. The obvious thing would be no sex, right? Sounds reasonable that a gay man wouldn’t want to have sex with you. Of course, logical. But a gay man who doesn’t want to be gay – all he wants to do is have sex with you. And it’s “prove it” kind of sex – which I have to say from experience – is damn great sex. It’s long, it’s detailed, they don’t miss a spot, and it goes on and on and on. In hindsight, I understand the lasting factor was because he just wasn’t that into me so the end probably never felt near to him, but at the time I had no complaints about our sex life. Zero complaints. In fact, it was the best sex I ever had. Ever. “Prove it” sex – it can be very satisfying.
And if only that’s all it ever took to make a happily ever after, closeted gay men and the women that love them could be perfect together. But, as we all know – great sex is great, but when something is missing, it’s missing. And when something is broke, even great sex can’t fix it. Not for long anyhow.
The worst of it is that pain can be contagious. If he’s suffering because he hates that part of himself, if he denies himself and punishes himself every chance he gets – then it won’t be long before that pain is transferred to you. And I’m not talking about the smack-down kind of pain. I’m talking loneliness, confusion, frustration, doubt, and shame – that’s what he’ll give you because that’s all he’s got to give. Then you’ll obsess every minute of every day about why you aren’t good enough. And unlike the out-gay man – who’ll tell you it’s not about you (it’s about your parts), the closeted gay will take the opportunity to be sure you think it is you indeed. Otherwise, he has to admit it’s him, and there’s no way he’s doing that in survival mode. Nope. You’re going down, and it won’t be pretty.
In the end, it will end. And he won’t be able to tell you why, and if he tries - every reason will sound lame and trivial. And it won’t matter how much you beg, and how much counselling you get, and how much you change and bend, and morph into something you’re not.
And what if he never admits he’s gay? What if you’re sure of it, and your gay friends assure you of it when you start to waiver, but he still doesn’t admit it to you – or himself? Well, I’d say revert back to paragraph two and leave anyway. If you aren’t happy, and he isn’t happy, then why are you still there anyway?
So go…but leave an ounce of room in your tattered broken heart for some compassion and empathy – because he’s gonna have a longer road than you in just trying to keep his gay head above water.