Thursday, January 21, 2010

Email from a gay guy with trust issues in his relationship

Last week, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I've been with an Asian guy for about 4 months. That's time we first met rather than becoming "officially" boyfriends. But from time to time he'll have a bit of a crisis because he can't get to trust me. We've talked about it a few times but it always seems to come around.

We had an almost break up last week and another serious chat at the end of the week. He was using my computer and came across my messenger logs and decided to read them. In there there are some early conversations when I told some friends I wasn't sure about the whole thing so he just assumed I just didn't like him and brought back all his insecurities, mistrust and the jealousy that comes with it.

This time he's asked for some specifics that he wants me to do.

The first one is that I remove all my pictures from any profile I may have in any dating website. I already updated my status a long time ago and make it clear I'm not looking for any fun and just interested in models for my photography or friends. I also removed any pics where I may have a top off or be in swimwear or similar.

He now wants me to take off the rest of the pics. As such I am not completely against it. I mostly want to use it just to find models really and my pic is not completely necessary for that. But although he didn't as such say, he wouldn't like me to actually contact anyone either, so basically chances of someone finding the profile, clicking on a picture-less one and volunteering as model are highly remote. So it's pretty much useless for that. Equally it also means I couldn't make any new friends. All in return for not objecting to me continuing with my male photography.

The second thing is about travelling. He has limited holidays, while I have quite a lot more. He uses most of his by visiting his parents so there is little left where we could go together. We're going on a couple of one week holidays but that still leaves me with 5 weeks more of holidays.

So, unless I can find an existing friend to travel with, I would have to travel on my own. Last year it was almost impossible to find anyone and only last minute for one week.

He wants me to go on any holidays either with a friend or nobody else, including meeting any friends I may have in any of the places but haven't met before (existing or new). For me it would me much easier if I could meet a friend in some of the places so they can show me around, give me some local advice etc. I'm not talking about taking them to my bed, I have no intention of doing that. I'm talking pure friends. Travelling to some places is not quite easy, especially where they speak little English. In the past I've always met someone locally and that's made all the difference for me.

To be honest, if I really wanted to sleep with someone else, and I don't, I could do it here with anyone using a faceless profile, the same on the holidays. Or I could just go to a gay place and meet someone there. So really it serves no purpose other than make my holiday worse as I can't meet a friend. He agrees with that but he wants to remove any situations where I could be tempted.

To me besides these two things there is also an underlying thing that he's never really trusted me and I can only imagine than even if I agreed now it would be something different later and this may have no end. And I also worried at some point I would also feel frustrated and unhappy with restrictions I consider unfair and unnecessary, a relationship cannot survive if there is no trust!

My friends think he's being unrealistic and needs to mature while apparently his friends completely agree with him. So it could be everyone is just supporting his friend and saying what they want to hear. So I thought why not ask someone who isn't a friend of either and has been in a Western+Asian relationship.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

It's true that I'm in a Western+Asian relationship, because boyfriend T is Asian. But although a few values seem to be common between Asian guys from different countries, I think that there are also many differences, so just because I've also got an Asian boyfriend doesn't necessarily give me any useful insight here. In particular, I don't think boyfriend T and myself have any trust issues, even though he knows that I'm not necessarily monogamous. (... and before anyone leaves a comment, YES, I'm happy for him to be 'not necessarily monogamous' too!)

In fact, the reader's boyfriend reminds me a bit of a guy I know who's particularly hung-up about finding a guy for a monogamous relationship. In the case of this guy, his attitude stems from the fact that while he was growing up his father slept around with many women, and the guy saw what a terrible effect his father's behaviour had on his mother. So one thing that the reader might do is try to understand his boyfriend more, and try and find out if there's anything in the boyfriend's past that causes him to be so distrustful.

Any relationship involves compromise. Given that the reader's boyfriend wants to agree rules which restrict what the reader can do, I'm wondering what the boyfriend is offering in return? One thing that occurs to me is that is the boyfriend could agree to spend less time with his family, which would help solve the reader's holiday problem a bit. After all, if the boyfriend wants this young relationship to develop into a serious long term one, then the reader should eventually become more important to him that his family. I'd say that a guy isn't serious about a relationship if he says "if you want me to be my boyfriend then you must do all these things" without being prepared to compromise on other things himself.

All long term readers of this blog will know that I'm not keen on monogamous relationships, and that I think that gay relationships should be constructed in a different way. For any two guys in a relationship I think the important thing is where their hearts lie, and how they treat each other when they're together, rather than what they do with their dicks and their orifices when they're apart! In that context, then of course I think that the reader's boyfriend is being unrealistic, especially because the reader could easily cheat if he wanted to.

However, given that these guys both want a monogamous relationship, one possibility is that there's something in the reader's behaviour that gives his boyfriend reasons to be suspicious about him. In fact I've had other correspondence with the reader that leads me to think that this might be true. Two guys in a relationship certainly don't need to do everything together, or have identical hobbies, but they should know about each other's hobbies and interests. So I think the reader needs to be more open with his boyfriend, and over time that will help build trust. As an example of this, in my case I decided early last year that I'd have to tell any new boyfriend that I'm a blogger, so I divulged that information to boyfriend T after I'd known him for a few months. Although I pretty sure that he's not one of my readers, if I hadn't told him then he'd have good cause to wonder why I spend so much time online!

Ultimately though, if these two guys can't agree a better deal, then it might well be best for them to split up. The reader clearly knows this, because he says that he may end up feeling frustrated and unhappy with the restrictions, and that in itself could end up killing the relationship. If the reader wants to try and save the relationship, then I think he needs to work especially hard to gain his boyfriend's trust and make him feel comfortable, because when two guys love each other then they should work to help each other over their difficulties. If that happens then the boyfriend should become a lot more comfortable, and happy to relax the proposed restrictions. In my case with boyfriend T, I think that perhaps I'm a bit too attentive, but the good thing about that is that it leaves him in no doubt that I love him and that he's always my top priority :-).

Does anyone else have any thoughts for this reader?


Volodya/Vlad said...

GB, basically, you already said everything. Having read your reader's story, one thing that is very hard from me to grasp is how one can accidentally come across messenger logs. :(

Anonymous said...

First impression: too many demands, too early on.

Just say no.

If he has trust issues, fair enough, but really, he's the one who needs to be fixed, not you.

Anonymous said...

This is a controlling relationship. Unless it is dealt with firmly regardless of the possible consequences, the relationship will never work properly. Trust me, I have been there admittedly in a straight relationship but the same applies. I spent years pandering to it and they were wasted years.

Sir Wobin said...

Nice suggestion to ask the reader's BF to give something in return what he asks. I'm not hopeful that improve matters and agree with the others that it's probably best to let this relationship end.

A-Philosophical said...

You and the asian guys. I have never been with one. I may be curious to try at this stage!


Shawn L said...

Is this the first relationship for reader's bf? Being an Asian and having my first relationship with a white guy, I did similar things like snooping emails before (I did find quite a lot of things though). But I'd rather contribute it to my insecurity of being in a first relationship rather than cultural difference (I will never do it now if I ever date again, that's just simply stupid) And even I would say banning reader from travelling with new people is too much controlling...Trust is the most important thing in a relationship

I hope reader's bf didn't find anything fishy while snooping MSN, cuz if he did then the trust is probably broken, and it is REALLY hard to rebuild the trust. Reader's bf will be constantly paranoid ALL the time.... which is definitely not good for the relationship

Agree with the above, I'd suggest the reader talk to his bf again and see if bf can comprise something on his bf. And if bf never learns and still snoops or being jealous and insecure, it is better to let this relationship end. His bf will need to learn and grow up from the unsuccessful relationship

Anonymous said...

I am asian and with my first western partner and I still don't trust him fully but we are together for 22 months. I guess the reader is a good looking man and the partner is just too insecure. He must have a reason to be so the best way is for the reader to make him feel secure. I guess this is my case too. Regarding being strict I think the same is with my case. The reader could be my boy friend actually! Well i don't know if it is just asian-western relationship but I admit I am and would be the same....

gay banker - more power to you. I reallly get interested when you post regarding asian-western relationships....

m4m said...

Trust issue is really hard in a relationship. I obviously am in one of them. but I think it takes time to trust someone, especially, when it is a cross-cultural relationship.

Tony said...

I'm in an asian-western relationship too. Being the asian, I can understand where the reader's bf is coming from. I think that telling your bf that the reason 'I'm just surfing the net to make friends' is a little hard to swallow.

However, I agree that communication is key. Talk it through, if the requests are too unreasonable, reach a compromise. Sometimes some action is all we need to build up trust.

Gd luck

Anonymous said...

hot white guys will always cheat coz there are lots of asians who will fuck them no mattter their relationship status.

this asian guy clearly knows that.

but the thing is, if you love someone.. let them go.. if they come back they're yours.. thats how you know.

a fuck is a cheap fuck... but if u are the one they sleep with at night. then u won