Sunday, March 25, 2007

An email from a young gay reader in a relationship

About a week ago, I received an e-mail from a young gay reader in a relationship:

Dear GB,

Well im 19 goin on 20 and me and my bf have been together for a long time. And we're pretty serious. Well only problem is i love him tons but hes not everything i want. Hes so stuck on me he will do whatever i say slash want. which sounds good on paper, but sometimes i want a mans man. Sometimes i wanna be held and i want to follow someone around let them make the decsions sometimes. I dont really know what i should do. Sometimes i catch my self thinkin of cheatin on him. i think thats bad but i read ur blog and sometimes i think it be ok. not that i have options on that anyway. Only problem is that wouldnt fix the relationship. So do you have any advice.

Since I got this e-mail I've been thinking about the situation, and it's not an easy one. Definitely a situation where readers comments will be important.

For what it's worth, I reckon that good relationships are balanced between the two people involved, and it sounds to me as though this relationship isn't balanced. I've seen situations before where one guy will do anything to please the other guy because the first guy is scared that the relationship might end. But if it gets to that point, the relationship is in serious trouble. The first guy becomes really clingy, and the other guy feels trapped, and it sounds like this is what the reader is describing.

This situation can arise when the first guy develops low self-confidence for whatever reason. They end up thinking "I can't let this relationship end because I'll never find another boyfriend", and then do anything they can to try and please their boyfriend. In this situation, one solution is to try and help the guy rebuild his self-confidence. But it's not an easy thing to do, and sometimes in this situation, the guy who has developed low self-confidence might refuse to be helped. A good boyfriend should stick by his guy for a while, but eventually there comes a point when the best way to help the guy is to end the relationship so as to force the guy to help himself.

Perhaps the situation that this reader faces isn't as serious as that. He says that he's been in the relationship a long time, but he's only 19 so the two of them have probably spent all their early adult life together. It still sounds as though the boyfriend has become clingy though, perhaps because he can't imagine adult life without the guy he's known for so long. It also sounds as though the relationship is monogamous, but there's no reason why it has to be. The easiest step away from monogamy would be for the reader to suggest to his boyfriend that they start having threesomes. A more open arrangement could be a subsequent step. I would suggest that the reader should discuss these ideas with his boyfriend, so as to avoid cheating on him. If they have indeed been with each other for most of their adult lives this would have advantages to both of them, because it would broaden both of their horizons. If the boyfriend resists this idea, then perhaps he does have self-confidence problems.

At the relatively young age of 19, the reader hopefully has a very long life ahead of him. It may well be that the guy that he's been with so far isn't the best guy for him to spend the rest of his life with. It would be convenient if he has found his soul-mate for life, but just because it's convenient doesn't make it true. Above all, he needs to be able to discuss important issues like monogamy with his boyfriend, and if such discussions are difficult it's a bad sign for the long term prospects of the relationship.

As I said above, I reckon this is quite a difficult situation. So do any other readers have any other advice to offer?


Anonymous said...

hi gb,
since the contents of your blog are about your hook-ups was there ever a time where one of the guys you have been seeing have fallen in love with you? and if there was how did you handle it? what are the boundaries and limitations that you draw in terms of hooking up with men? there are some guys who just meet up for flings and doesnt discuss or divulge any information about themselves and when they sense that the other guy is becoming close the cut-off the "relationship". well obviously you do you have good relationships with your "boyfriends".

adrian :-)

muse-ic said...

i have been in the exact same situation as the reader before.

jump. ship. now.

it is SO unbelievably liberating - and you can do as you please and find what you really want. ignore it and it will eat away at you and you may do something you will regret.

Snoskred said...

I agree with the previous commenter.

That song "Young Hearts Run Free" has a good point. In fact it has several of them. Have a listen to it and then the way forward should be clear. ;)

Yellow said...

I think I agree with what a lot of what you say.

Seems to me if you are in a relationship it has to be made of two halves. I think a lot of relationship issues -not to mention the age old will I find that special person- can be solved by just chilling.

I think 19 is very young to be so committed. I think I would say either be with the guy or leave him. I'm not so sure about broadening his horizons while remaining sort of loosely attached

Anonymous said...

Ok hi I'm the 19 year old relationship troubled kid. I guess i was tired so i dint write as indepth of a letter as id liked to have. We have been together going on 3 years and hes a great guy its just his eagerness to please me makes him feel more like a Sim from the sims than a person sometimes. IM gonna try again to tlk to him about it and ill see what happens form there ill try to keep u abreast of the situation. THANX FOR THE ADVICE!

GB said...

Good luck xander :-)
GB xxx

PS: Adrian - when a guy starts getting keen on me I just make sure he knows he's got company!

Hedgy said...

You must be the Marjorie Poops of bloggers.....

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach said...

confidence is not 24/7. it can come and go. when you are in a sketchy relationship you can start to question your confidence. however, maybe what you are experiencing is not actually your self confidence disappearing. maybe you are expereiencing a wake up call that this relationship is not benefical to you. if something makes you feel bad that can be a clue to take stock, re evaluate the relationship and your part in all of this.

muse-ic said...

good luck xander; I hope things work out for you...would be interested to hear how you get on to know if you are similar to how I was