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Hello Tedd,



My name is John and I am a 20 years old student in Central Europe. I'd like to leave this question open to everyone that might find useful reading it, hence the names I give are not the real ones. I apologize for the length of the question, but this is something that I really cannot explain to myself, that’s why I try to give all the information that might be of importance.

I consider myself a bisexual man, I definitely get attracted to both sexes but in rather different ways. My family and my closest friend know about it and they are perfectly fine with it, as I am. But because I live in rather defined social environment and circles, I keep my personal life for myself.

I have never had sex - strictly speaking - with a woman, but I certainly feel attracted to them  and I am definetely going to be with one sometime in the future. With that said, people   assume the contrary, partly because I have been linked with a couple of my female friends and partly because girls like me (i have been lucky to be asked out a lot of times).

As of men, I have dated two older men in the past (both being 30 yrs old and me around 18, 19 at the time.Both of the times it ended so fast that they don’t even qualify to be called ‘’relationships’’ and left me with a rather bitter taste and disappointment. It had been 9 months since the last of the relationships that I took a break from dating, deciding to commit myself  100% to university and using my studies as an excuse to not get hurt again. I was afraid mainly of myself, since in both cases i became very invested on the relationship, just after a couple of dates and a few nice words. I still can’t explain the reason for me getting so easily and quickly interested, then brokenhearted and disappointed.

All these came to change approximately 3 months ago. One of the friends I made this year (Marco) is openly gay. Together with another friend of mine (straight) we spent a lot of time together. Marco is in a long distance relationship from the very first moment I met him and made clear that he was really committed. With that said, he made a lot of time jokes-comments suggesting that I like guys (which is not false) something that I always denied. He was also picking on me, saying that he likes me a lot physically and that ‘if u were gay, I would be interested’. After months of hanging out with these guys, Marco asked to stay over at my place (he lives outside the city) which I of course accepted. Up to this moment, I never felt romantically involved with him. But for a couple of reasons, around this days I felt pretty lonely (living alone and not in a student residence like everyone else contributed to this feeling). I also felt that I really needed to be close with someone, after 9 months of being single and (trying to be) emotionally unavailable. I can’t explain the reason for it, but from the moment he asked to stayover I was sure I would ‘crack’ and respond to one of his suggestives moves or comments, should he made one. And he did.

Although we never had sex (he is a top, so am I, and after there past ‘relationships’ I wouldn’t let anyone top me without being sure about his feelings) these sleep overs became more and more regular. I never told him – and i dont plan to – that I had been involved with men in the past. In the beginning i also tried to be very ‘tough’ and not expressing any feelings, being afraid of ending up once again disappointed and left behind. On the contrary, he didn’t hesitate to show how much he liked me and said all these words that made me feel special and loved.

Soon, my feelings changed and so did the image of the ‘tough guy’ I showed. I told him, in return to what he said, that feelings were mutual, showed him that I liked him back equally (but I was always careful not to put too much ‘pressure’ on him). He became so surprised and said that i was an entirely different man, wondered from how i transformed from this very ‘arrogant’ (according to him) man to someone in need of affection and very close to him. Eventually,  after a month of doing the sleep overs, I decided to bring up the issue that he had a bf.

He said that he did care for both of us, that he really likes me and that he didnt use me only for sexual pleasure (which should be true, since we never had penetration, but only other sexual acts). He seemed to really care and respected my decision not to have sex despite sleeping together every third day, but the more I opened to him the less comfortable he felt. He tried to decrease the times he came over with me and texting me, said he only opened up to me because I seemed so confident and sure that i didn’t really like him. Ironically, it was me in the beginning telling him that we are only friends and this ‘messing’ with each other wouldnt mean anything. Fast forward to the end of the semester and the stressful exams (where he opted to keep some distance during the exams, not staying much time the two of us). At the end, we went a trip with our friend (three of us). It was really an emotional rollercoaster, he tried to show that he wasnt that into me, but became really jealous when I flirted with some girls we met there in parties etc. He even tried to make me feel jealous back, commenting on random guys and on how much his missed his boyfriend (which he planned to see once the trip was over, after a long time). We ended up with a big fight –without our friend knowing anything – with him telling me that I had no control on him and that i shouldnt feel jealous since i am not his boyfriend. I apologized for my behaviour but explained that I didnt undestand his change of behaviour, he apologized back saying he really tried to make me jealous for revenge.

Before leaving for summer in our countries, i told him that he couldnt have two people, keeping me ‘warm’ and waiting for him. I asked him to choose between me and his boyfriend, which he so far had avoided. He said that he couldnt leave his bf and that he made a move on me and said everything because he never imagined i d like him back this way. He also said that he still couldnt resist to me and that he liked me very much, but wouldnt end his relationship because of all these. Then I wished him a nice summer break and asked him to keep a distance for a moment and not try to reach me.

He spent his summer with his boyfriend and I did spend mine in my hometown. Although in the beginning and after this conversaton i felt really sad and once more left back and disappointed, in a 15 days time i was feeling perfectly ok, over it as long as i didnt have contact with him. We didnt talk almost at all, despite some of his emails trying to start a convestation.

That was until recently. He both came back from our vacation the some time and fell on each other on the flight back. We talked very warmly, just like when we were friends. Then he invited me to his place for a party and asked me to stay over the night, which i accepted. At night, he tried to make a move on me, but initially stopped him. I told him what i felt : that he wasnt honest playing with two people at the same time, that i wasnt mad for chosing to stay with his bf but that he shouldnt let me hope. He explained to me that he trully liked me and missed me during this two-month summer break, but that i was right and apologized. We ended up making out and everything again, then woke up and told me that If this was too much for me we should stop, telling me that i should move on if i dont feel good this way, because he was to remain committed to his relationship. As soon as i opened up to him again, he seemed once again to come back and show less. A final shift of mood happenned when I confessed that another gay friend of ours might like me. Marco tried to show that he wasnt jealous but really felt so and tried to convince me to stay the day with him, which i found the power to reject.

After all these, I don’t know what to do. He shows some clear interest on me and i appreciate our latest discussion, telling me to move on and being hoenst that he planned to remain committed. I get the feeling that since i opened my self he is too afraid of something and closes to himself. When he sees that he risks ‘losing me’, when i dont accept his suggestive moves or when someone else is around me, he never manages to keep himself. I trully feel very nice with him and even depressed when I leave him. Although we dont share a very long relationship, for some reason I can’t stop thinking of him, even a mere mention of his name makes me miss him. With all that, i dont know if I scare him when I open up, if he really doesnt want to get me hurt and thus stops or if he is simply playing with me, while he has a boyfriend.

I know logic says to cut ties with him, but he makes me feel in a way special that no one other than my familly ever has. It’s more than sexual for me, he is an average looking guy i have to stay. I am in the middle of an emotional storm, and i dont blame anoyone for this but myself. It is in deep contrast with my character : i consider myself a realtively mature person, very disciplined, that knows what he wants and is not afraid to work hard to get it. I always try to help my friends with what seems easy to me : being disciplined and dont let hardnships take them down. I have managed to get over very difficult situations of my life (including the death of relatives) but when it comes down to my emotions for Marco, I am a hot mess. I simply freeze and let the time pass just being sad and disappointed.

Is there anyway that i can stop my self from getting in such situations ? Whereas cutting ties with him would be possible, I am afraid that the problem is deeper. The problem I believe is not (only) his debatable behaviour, but it lies on my self, that gets very easily invested emotionally and looses control.

I thus feel that cutting ties with him, appart from hard, wouldnt be facing the problem but rather trying to ignore it. I have seen your previous responses and I would greatly appreciated your opinion and your experience on a such matter, since myself im not able to handle it correclty.

Once again, I thank you in advance for your time and I am looking forward for your response. A third-person view on the matter could really help me, especially since i cant talk to anyone about this given my situation.

Answer
Hi John

I apologize for the delay in responding. Your email certainly contained a whole lot to consider before responding.

So, let's tackle one thing at a time.

First, it's natural to question whether Marco is just playing you... holding onto a boyfriend for the sake of habit, convenience, security, whatever... while also courting you. This seems a bit sleazy, but I really don't get the feeling he's being as malicious as it seems. This is very natural behavior, especially if he's been with the bf for a long time. It's easy to play the "what if" game (that is, what would it be like if John were my bf?) while still holding very strong, genuine feelings for his bf. He very likely has very sincere feelings for you and he probably feels terribly conflicted and is trying to do the right thing, but keeps getting overwhelmed by his emotions and sexual attraction to you. It is surely difficult for both of you, and I don't get the sense that either of you is intentionally being malicious, just very compelled by the very natural and strong human drive of sexuality and attraction.

The bigger issue for you, though, is why you continue to find yourself in a pattern of very quick infatuation with guys, only to have those relationships turn sour very quickly. And that is really two separate issues. 1) Why you become so attached so quickly, and 2) Why these short relationships always seem to remain so short, never maturing into something longer term.

Of these, the first is probably easier to solve. Usually when people find themselves becoming very attached to someone very quickly, that has deep roots into our childhood experiences in relationships. There is a substantial body of knowledge in psychology centered around "adult attachment style" and while theories differ, there is general agreement that our adult attachment style (that is, how we respond to new potential intimate partners) is closely related to our experiences in childhood in developing attachment to our parents or other loved ones. You made reference to having lost some close relatives to death, but didn't mention how close or at what age. I can't help but wonder if your quick attachment may have to do with losing someone you love at an early age. When this happens to people, they can adopt a mindset that they have to get very deeply involved in another person's life very quickly, so as to make the most of every minute, because you never know how long that person will be in your life. I'm not saying for sure that's what is going on, but it's one possible explanation.

This could also contribute to the second issue as well. If the guy you're dating is not of the same mind (that is, wanting to become very attached very quickly), then your attempts to accelerate the attachment will only serve to put him off, and he'll quickly lose interest in continuing the relationship. Again, not for certain that's what is going on, but it seems to fit the pattern. Understanding yourself is one thing. Trying to understand another person's behavior is vastly more complex.

In any case, I would suggest talking with a professional about these patterns. I would suggest a professional psychologist, but it can also be someone like a professional life coach, which is a fairly new profession, but they can help you identify things about yourself and your personality that you may not always be aware of, and offer advice on how to improve those areas of your life.

In the meantime, I found a great article that talks more about adult attachment styles, and this might be enough to help you think through your own style and those of guys you are interested in:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201209/bad-mad-love

Best wishes,

Tedd

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Tedd Adams

Expertise

I can answer questions related to gay life in general, but also specifically questions about gay youth, coming out, dealing with family issues, religion and homosexuality, and workplace issues. I have also visited many of the popular gay travel destinations and can give you advice on what is worth seeing and what is not.

AVISO: También, puedo responder a preguntas en español.

Experience

I have been a volunteer facilitator for a state-sponsored gay youth support group, where we dealt with all of the issues mentioned above. I have also been active in the local chapter of PFLAG.

Organizations
Human Rights Campaign Oklahomans for Equality Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Publications
Tulsa World, Muskogee Phoenix, Tulsa Family News, About Business Magazine, Contributor to the book "I Can't Believe You Asked That!", by Phillip J. Milano

Education/Credentials
Associates degree, Biblical Studies, Kentucky Christian College
Bachelors of Science, John Brown University, Psychology
Masters in Organizational Management, University of Phoenix (Tulsa OK campus).

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