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Dating A Guy Who's In The Closet
#1
I've been out since I first realized I was gay as a young teenager. I've never been in the closet, so I'm used to living my life openly.

I ran into this guy who is just a very casual acquaintance at a gay bar in a large city about half an hour from the small town where we both live. He seemed really nervous to see me and told me that he isn't out to anyone. I reassured him that I wasn't about to start spreading the word, we chatted for a while and that was that.

He called me about a week later and asked me out. I told him the truth, that I don't date guys who aren't out. I said that I wouldn't even get into an FWB thing with a guy who wasn't out because there's just too much potential for complications. I'm not used to even thinking about hiding my orientation, and I'd probably manage to screw up and embarrass him despite my best intentions. And, if I'm being honest, I think I would eventually get frustrated and maybe resentful about having to hide a relationship.

He got very defensive and said people have reasons why they can't come out and it's not fair to judge them. I told him I'm not judging anyone and it's fine for each of us to live the way we choose. But the 2 of us have made different choices and he wouldn't be anymore comfortable with my choice than I was with his. So we were best off not to get involved at all.

So I'm wondering what you guys think. Do you think a relationship between a guy who's out and a guy who's closeted could work? Essentially, wouldn't it mean the the out guy had to pretty much go into the closet to accommodate his partner? IDK, it's confusing to me, I know I couldn't do it.
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#2
When I was 18, I was dating this guy a couple years older who was closeted...we were around some of his friends one night, and a girl I knew asked me out loud if he was my new BF. And he said, "Boyfriend? What do you think, we're a couple queers?" and him and all his friends started laughing and saying shit about queers and fags...he walked away and pretty much ignored me the rest of the night.

So he calls me the next day and he was like, "That was close, we have to be more careful." I just hung him up, and I dumped him, of course. I mean...seriously?

So to answer your question...No, I would never again date a closeted guy.
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#3
Hello, [MENTION=24419]Matt608[/MENTION], I think this might be an age-related thing as much as it's a personal choice thing.

Today in certain societies, there will be less point in young people hiding their sexual orientation because, I hope, they don't have to, people of their generation and of their parents' generation understand that being gay is one of the orientations that exist. Let's say that for people of my generation, these things were less of a choice and the default would have been to try and hide it or live your life in the closet, or at least be quite discreet about it. This informs the way I and people of my generation behave about our orientation and to what extent we publicise it.

With social media widely available nowadays, rumours and truths are more likely to be spread widely more quickly. This could be devastating for anyone who wanted to remain in the closet, should someone burst their bubble publicly, whether willfully or not. Once the rumour spreads, how do you stop it? Many people from young generations admit that their coming out experiences, though a big deal for them, turned out to be less of a drama than would have been expected from older generations. That is because of the way public views have evolved in recent years.

So, to answer your question, I'd say that anyone hiding their orientation these days in our tolerant societies probably has more to hide and needs to hide it even more than before, because if they're hiding it, it is because their own circumstances are linked to higher risks. With this, I should think it's even more difficult for an out person to maintain a relationship with someone who isn't out.

Of course, if you are patient, the relationship may be worth it, and you may find that the out person is the one that gradually coaxes the closeted person out, as they realise that either nobody really cares, or they realise that it's their lives and their mental healths that are more important.
It has a price of course and it's never very easy to say what the future of any relationship is, but being out with a closeted boyfriend is rather complicated to handle.

Again, as in [MENTION=24520]Pyromancer[/MENTION] 's experience, letting the cat out of the bag may not come from one of the elements of the couple but from well-meaning or ignorant friends and family who don't know or understand the hush hush situation. And of course someone who's liberated themselves from the constraints of hiding in the closet won't be very happy with having to step back in the closet as it can be extremely costly in terms of emotional balance. Everywhere you have to pretend that you're not dating, that you're still a free heart to catch, and you can't even let on that the one your heart belongs to is gay, or he'll pretend that he's just one of the (straight) boys and that could be very hurtful. So I think it all depends on your patience, your level of involvement, your desire to live a happy life and your ability to empathise and help the closeted one.

And then, there are the ones who live discreet and private lives. Those who don't think that their sexual orientation is anyone's business, even if they are out. So those people are more likely to make something like this work because being discreet is innate and the general way they behave. By not having to rub it in anyone's nose and not having to hold any accounts to their entourage, they can live private love lives which need not be too stressful.
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#4
I would date a closeted guy, but if things went well ie past date 2, I would make it clear that for things to work for me, he could not remain in the closet long term. I came out age 25, for a couple reasons. a) I was fed up of covering my sexuality up, and b) I knew having a relationship with a guy whilst still being in the closet myself would not work and would be unfair on him. I did not come out and choose to live my life authentically to then have to sneak around and keep a part of my life hidden. No-one should expect you to do that, and you certainly aren't judgemental for not wanting to do that. You are right, being in a long term relationship with a closeted guy would effectively mean going back into the closet. No thanks.
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#5
I can understand how it would be troublesome. How about just being friends ?

Like, OP, if that guy doesn't have the intention to date you, just merely be friends, would it be okay ? I'm curious.
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#6
I think in a healthy long-term relationship, people shouldn't hide it because it makes the relationship less valuable (just my opinion). Like when you break up with someone, your friends and family don't even know. It sounds everything doesn't exist and is worthless.

However, I won't reject a closeted guy just because he is not out. I'm not out to my family and nod friends. If my friends ask me about my sexual orientation, I tell them the truth. Now, I don't have a proper reason to come out to my family as there is no different if I'm straight or gay. I know It's the time when I meet my Mr. Right. I actually can't wait the day I introduce my boyfriend to my family.

Should you date a closeted guy? It depends. People will change. Some closet guys just need a good reason to come out. If he won't introduce you as a boyfriend to his family or friends even you two are in a serious long-term relationship, you shouldn't date him because he doesn't respect you.
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#7
seeking Wrote:I can understand how it would be troublesome. How about just being friends ?

Like, OP, if that guy doesn't have the intention to date you, just merely be friends, would it be okay ? I'm curious.

Yes, I'd have no problem being friends with him, because his decision to stay in the closet wouldn't directly affect my life. I don't judge or have anything against closeted guys, I just couldn't be in an intimate relationship with one.
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#8
[MENTION=1766]princealbertofb[/MENTION] - Thanks for such a comprehensive reply, it's a lot to think about. I'm not a flamboyant person, but if I'm in a relationship with someone, I expect to be allowed to introduce him as my partner. And it would be different if I was already in a relationship with a closeted guy, I'm sure I wouldn't be so quick to throw it away. But since I've never dated this guy, and actually hardly know him, it seems easier not to get involved in the first place.
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#9
MHJG Wrote:I think in a healthy long-term relationship, people shouldn't hide it because it makes the relationship less valuable (just my opinion). Like when you break up with someone, your friends and family don't even know. It sounds everything doesn't exist and is worthless.

However, I won't reject a closeted guy just because he is not out. I'm not out to my family and nod friends. If my friends ask me about my sexual orientation, I tell them the truth. Now, I don't have a proper reason to come out to my family as there is no different if I'm straight or gay. I know It's the time when I meet my Mr. Right. I actually can't wait the day I introduce my boyfriend to my family.

Should you date a closeted guy? It depends. People will change. Some closet guys just need a good reason to come out. If he won't introduce you as a boyfriend to his family or friends even you two are in a serious long-term relationship, you shouldn't date him because he doesn't respect you.

I'm not sure I would go as far as to say that there is no respect when the closeted person won't tell people that you're anything other than a friend, but it does make things a bit more difficult. I know that I've introduced my partner as my 'friend' because it can sometimes be awkward when you're speaking in another language. The words you would use in English don't apply in the same capacity, and it depends who you are telling and how much the person needs to know. It's not a question of lack of respect, on the contrary, to me it's making things safe for both involved.
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#10
Matt608 Wrote:[MENTION=1766]princealbertofb[/MENTION] - Thanks for such a comprehensive reply, it's a lot to think about. I'm not a flamboyant person, but if I'm in a relationship with someone, I expect to be allowed to introduce him as my partner. And it would be different if I was already in a relationship with a closeted guy, I'm sure I wouldn't be so quick to throw it away. But since I've never dated this guy, and actually hardly know him, it seems easier not to get involved in the first place.

You're right, [MENTION=24419]Matt608[/MENTION], you've set the boundaries early for yourself so that you don't get disappointed further down the relationship line. As one of the other posters suggested, you can still be 'friends' (no benefits), if it can't be a love / sex relationship.
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