Thursday, November 09, 2006

An email from a gay male reader

Yesterday morning, I received the following e-mail from a reader:

Dear GB,

I enjoy your blog quite a bit, especially since you changed the format. It was time for some fresh air!

Since I noticed in a recent posting you received advice requests from some of your readers, and I do respect your opinions, I am wondering if you can advise on this situation:
  • I am mid 20’s and gay, and I met a bloke via gaydar in July of this year

  • We have been dating since then, but at a restrained pace (i.e. seeing each other 2-3 times per week; I've met some of his friends, he's met some of mine)

  • I thought things were going well, but I noticed he's been logging on to gaydar again. (I checked by checking his profile's URL outside of gaydar)
Is this something I should be concerned about?

For me it's an issue of honesty. He has told me that he has been monogamous since we met. Logging on to gaydar of course isn't evidence of a breach, but certainly raises suspicions. I don't want to make it seem that I'm overly controlling. The more I mull it over though, I'm thinking it might be time to have a chat about where we stand, even though I prefer these things to evolve themselves rather than through firm declarations.

I'd be interested in hearing your perspective. I expect this isn't the first time someone you know has asked this question. Thanks.

Best regards

Isn't it strange how these things happen. In spite of my record of infidelity and my views against monogamy, I'm gradually turning into an agony uncle! In fact, since I started blogging I've had several requests for advice like this. Previously I've never posted anything about these requests, and although I answered each one as well as I could, I don't pretend that I'm at all qualified to answer these queries.

Anyway, for what it's worth mate, I definitely think you should talk to the bloke you're dating. The mistake I made with boyfriend number 1 was not discussing things enough. Although it can be hard to have these discussions, in healthy relationships couples can talk about these issues. Looking at it another way, in the long term, the relationship won't survive if you can't talk to each other properly.

Should you be worried that's he's logging into gaydar? I think you're spot on when you say it's an issue of honesty. If he's got lots of friends on gaydar, it can be used as a simple email system. But then it does have other uses too! Before you chat to him, I suggest you try and anticipate his possible answers, so that you can have your own views worked out. Then if it turns out that he does want a more open relationship, you'll be better prepared to discuss the subject.

Thinking about this reader's situation made me realise something very important. Another problem that me and boyfriend number 1 had is that we both agreed to be monogamous at the outset, because we both thought that's what we wanted and would always want. And even I managed monogamy for five years. Gradually though I changed my mind, but there was no 'mechanism' for changing things. Somehow it seemed impossible to bring up the subject.

How can a guy in his early 20's know what he'll want when he's in his 30's, or 40's? I think that's a mistake that many of us make. We don't cater for the possibility that we'll change our mind, especially about monogamy. So perhaps the most important piece of advice is to realise that things might change, and to factor that into early discussions. Then if things do eventually change, it's not a completely taboo subject.

Some young gay guys reading this might be thinking "What rubbish, I know that I'll always want a monogamous relationship". But how many of you also thought, while growing up, "I'm a straight guy, I'll never be gay"? Being honest with oneself can sometimes be the hardest thing of all. The honesty I'm suggesting here should be easier though, just admitting that ones views might change shouldn't be too difficult.


Legal-ize-IT said...

1st'ly - y was this emailer in gaydar? - was it just to check up on his mate or was he being a bit of a player as well?

2nd'ly - b upfront - confront him with honesty if that is what u expect in return. u get your answers.

3rd'ly - becoming a bit of a Dear Gay Banker now, interesting.

Unknown said...

Aside from issues of monogamy and infidelity-- what is our friend doing on gaydar as well?

On another note:

"I suggest you try and anticipate his possible answers," is advice is readily agree with.

I cannot begin to list how many men and women I've watched questions their partners without being prepared.


*NEVER* ask a question if you are not prepared to hear an answer! Ever!

GB said...

In defense of my reader, he does say he "checked by checking [the guy's] profile's URL outside of gaydar", which means he didn't log on. Although he can obviously be accused of checking up on the guy behind his back!

GB x

close encounters said...

if Reader's boyfriend is using it to communicate with his mates, then fair enough ...

but if he's using it for sex, then he isn't a very clever cheater - why use an existing profile (known by Reader) rather than setting up a brand new one that Reader could never track ?

GB said...

Update: I got another e-mail from this reader about an hour ago, saying:

Dear GB,

We had a chat. He agreed to delete his profile from gaydar, and admitted if he wanted to "dabble" there were more creative ways of doing so. The perils of living in London!

That said, we both said we wanted a monogamous relationship. You're right, maybe we're setting ourselves up for difficulty down the road, but for now it seems like the right thing for us.


Thanks to the other readers who left comments here. I guess the advantage of seeking advice like this via blog is that one gets the views of the blog’s readers as well as the blog owner!

GB xxx

Nikos said...

Logging into gaydar while having a relationship which is supposedly monogamous is a very suspicious things. Usually they don't care about you and are looking for something better in gaydar. So either they stop logging in or you split up. Or do whatever else you think it's proper. I just gave two ideas.