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Do you know of a gay man who fell in love with a woman, and it turned into LTR?

(47 Posts)
allaflutter Wed 20-Mar-13 00:07:03

this is a question on behalf of my friend who is too shy to post on forums. I'd really like to hear from those who know of such scenarios, when a man is above 30-35 (we don't know how old he is exactly), not only theories.

A bit of info, but there isn't much...We both know the guy through my male friend who is his boss, in a small company, the gay guy is a 'hit with the ladies' at work as my friend puts it. He is indeed very nice and very easy to talk to, and attractive-looking but not camp really. She came along with me a few times over a couple of years, and they do seem to get on very well, I'd say it looks like there is a bit of chemistry, but it could be general chemistry IYKWIM like with a friend. She now confessed she fancies him, and yesterday when he hugged her after a long absence, she felt it was bliss!

Says that if he wasn't gay she would really like to date him. I asked my friend/the boss whether he knew if the guy is in relationship, he sort of laughed and dismissed it with 'I don't think so'. not sure what's that supposed to mean, that gay men are often playing the field? made me a bit hmm. Anyway I can't find out any more. He's not really obviously gay when you first meet or talk to him, but once you really talk it comes through: he's quite tactile with women, I mean hugs hello and chats with them easily, sort of arm-touching during talking etc. I have never seen him with guys though, only at work where he has to be a bit formal.

She says, she feels that he is a little bit attracted, but knows she could be projecting. It's obvious they enjoy their chats though, he's slightly more low key with her than with women he works with. Personally I think gay men don't change completely, I don't know of any, but I don't know gay men anyway (as friends). There is always possibility a gay man has bi-leanings and wants a family, so would date one woman, but I doubt that she could trust him in the future as TBH I can't imagine that they would just lose their attraction to guys? So it's playing with fire really, but maybe I just don't know.

DangerRabbit Wed 20-Mar-13 09:58:35

I am a bisexual person in my early 30s and have been in a civil partnership for 3 years. Because i am married to a woman, people tend to assume i am gay rather than bisexual and i dont really bother to correct them as i am not on the dating scene. I have experienced attraction to both genders but when i was younger i used to define myself as gay rather than bisexual as i felt it was a stronger label that would be taken more seriously by my religious family than if i had defined myself as bisexual.

It is possible your friends crush may define himself as "gay" but still have some bisexual leanings and that is why she may feel she experiences a mutual attraction. But. A person who defines themself as gay does so because they are sending out a clear message to the outside world that they have no interest in pursuing a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Whether or not they do experience any opposite sex attraction they would be unlikely to act on this in a serious way eg by pursuing a relationship. The most i could imagine one might expect from such a situation would be for the individuals to have "fun" and this may get complicated if your friend hopes for something more. I can tell you from my own personal experience that developing a gay identity and choosing to live a gay lifestyle is a big step that requires you to have courage with family friends and society as we still live in a very homophobic world. When you have had to make sacrifices to get something you tend to become very attached to that thing, whether it be a house, a family, or a sexual identity. So even if your friends crush is interested in her sexually he would have a lot to lose by giving up his identity as a gay person and i would suggest that EVEN IF HE IS ATTRACTED (and there is no evidence to suggest this other than her suspicions), she would be playing emotionally with fire and be unlikely to get him to agree to have a relationship (just as a married man is unlikely to leave his wife for his mistress).

I would advise her to steer clear before she allows herself to get even more emotionally entangled.

rockinhippy Wed 20-Mar-13 10:21:05

Great post Danger

OneMoreGo Wed 20-Mar-13 12:14:09

V good post Danger!

allaflutter Wed 20-Mar-13 13:41:01

Very interesting, Danger! Yes, we - I mean those who don't have gay friends or knowledge of the subject - don't really take into account of how much a patricular gay person had to sacrifice or go through (especially if parental disapproval was involved) to be where they are openly. And yes, I can see that some people can feel chemistry to both genders, but wouldn't act on it, same as heterosexuals would feel something towards other people but not go there if they are in r-ships. Of course in some cases it was easier to be openly gay, if they had supportive parents and happened to live in a cosmopolitan place, like London (which this guy does, the latter). The guy doesn't come across as angsty at all, so he may be one of the less 'battered' people, but I know from my friend that he's not in LTR with a man now (although last time I asked was moths ago). Or indeed whether he's bi or not, this was just a possibility. But yes, great point that he COULD well be bi, but only towards very few women iykwim, whereas mainly he's gay, i.e. mainly attracted to men. As you are bi yourself, was it always the case that you found it easier to be attracted to women, so you could sacrifice men to be able to stick to a stronger identity or was it a tough choice? if it's too personal, don't answer of course smile.
So based on the Spirited suggestion, you would still not recommend asking him out socially? I mean she makes it sound ok, that he wouldn't be horrified but at least she could move on then rather than fantasise? As it stands she only sees him when I visit my friend as she comes along but it's very infrequent, so she either asks him to go out somewhere now, or she nust forget it, can't rely on rare visits.

Kiri I wasn't at all suggesting that all gays are promiscuous, if anything I was hmm about my friend's comment that dismissed that the guy could be in ltr. What I meant was, if a hetero person marries someone, they do have the sex they are used to so if they are a faithful person, they wouldn't cheat, their sexual needs are being met. But for a man to give up the sex he had with men, means he doesn't 'have this at home' as I assume it's very different with a woman, so he may eventually miss it. But it's only my thoughts, I don't really know.

rockin so you split up for other reasons that him being gay? Or you mean your sex life was fine for 6 yrs and then he felt more passion towards men? I just find it hard to imagine someone being happy with their sex life with one gender, then suddenly switching - there had to be either a 'fall in love' moment with a man, or just general lack of passion in existing relationship?

allaflutter Wed 20-Mar-13 13:51:28

Danger, I can see your point about "just fun" too, no she's not after a quick shag, and I think he's too nice not to consider her emotions, even if he has bi-leanings, but in any case she shouldn't risk it. Social thing- maybe ok, but nothing physical unless he really shows interest.

rockinhippy Wed 20-Mar-13 14:00:19

Split for other reasons xx

Xiaoxiong Wed 20-Mar-13 17:45:16

Agree 100% with Danger.

I was in a relationship with a gay man for 3.5 years who was still in the closet. A total shock to everyone when he came out. In the aftermath I remember talking to him and asking whether this meant he was bi and he said no, that he knew all along he was "gay except for me". I think it was post hoc justification, and we were still very young (though of course we felt terribly grown up at 23/24 when we split).

We're now both very happily married and good friends - he sang at my wedding when I married my husband and is now DS's godfather, I was his best woman (heavily pregnant) when he married his husband and had fun roasting him in my speech at the reception and also reading out a loving and supportive message from his parents and sister who couldn't be there on the day that they and I had cooked up between us as a surprise. Not a dry eye in the house wink

I feel bad for your friend for getting a bit of a crush but she really needs to give herself a good talking-to and not hold a torch. If they have a great friendship then just keep it that way.

(I'm assuming he is out and openly identifies as gay and you're not just making assumptions based on his tactility, hugging, arm-touching and "popularity" with women!)

DangerRabbit Wed 20-Mar-13 18:26:12

Hi allaflutter,

In my 15 years experience of being on the gay scene i have never yet met a gay/bi person who has not been affected in some way by their experience of being Other sexually, although they may not choose to show their angst to their straight colleagues and aquaintances. I would imagine that a person who is secure enough in their identity to be out about their sexuality at work has already gone through the process of discovering themselves and is quite sorted and secure in their identity. I live in london and consider myself to be quite comfortable wih ly sexuality these days but it was not always the way. I would say it is a generational thing as i have seen attitudes change in the 15 years i have been out.

Obviously i dont know any of these people and you do so i can only make sweeping generalisations forgive me. If the love interest is in his early 20s he may have had an "easier ride" than myself in which case he may be less attached to his gay identity than someone in their 30s. If he is in his 40s or older he will have had to fight long and hard to gain acceptance not just from family and society but LGBT people also face discrimination from themselves in the form of internalised homophobia.

If your friend is serious about this person i would suggest she consider continuing flirting with him and then once - and only once, dont keep doing it or it will piss him off - in the course of flirting with him, she can ask him in a half-joking way if he has ever considered being attracted to women since he is so good at flirting with them? And then she should stand and look at him in a serious way and see what he says. If he gets all offended and goes no im gay what you trying to say she could then "save face" by making out it was a joke (but she will know where she stands). If he continues to flirt with her after telling her he is 100% gay she can assume the flirting is just "platonic" if you get what i mean and she should make a supreme effort to distance herself emotionally as it will be her who gets hurt if she allows herself to get attached to an unavailable man. Alternatively they may have true love for ever who knows, if it is pissing her off that much i would advise her to ask but only the once and respect his answer if he says he is gay even if she feels a vibe of attraction.

She does not necessarily have to ask him in a jokey way just whatever way she feels comfortable (joking would be how i would do it but depends on the individuals personality). It seemed for a time in my early 20s i was getting more offers from men rather than less cos they saw me as a challenge. I was never offended by these offers unless they were repeated and persistent in which case i would see that as disrespectful of my stated sexuality, so a 1-time only offer would be key, but i would also advise your friend to be cautious of such a move in a professional environment and bear in mind some gays may be offended - only your friend would know the individual and judge the situation.

As with regards to my own story i am happy to answer questions here but dont have space right now as am going out so will come back to it later. But in summary i would suggest your friend proceed with caution and keep a lookout for available straight men who would be much more likely to give her what she is looking for.

allaflutter Wed 20-Mar-13 22:20:37

Xiao, that's quite a movng story, probably it wasn't a total shock to you personally by the end of the relationship, as you must have known before he came out that something was not right (?). Good thing you wre both young, many women do end up feeling let down and bitter when they aer much older and the long term H leaves them for a man, as makes tem feel their life was 'fake' before this. Anyway great that your H came out early.

I've talked to her today, she says she can be happy with friendship as this guy mentioned other female friends to her (not in this context but in passing), and she feels better that than forgetting him and never talking to him again. She does hope that if they become friends things will become very clear soon, i.e. was he ever with a woman etc, so she IS still hoping but after relating all this discussion to her, it's obvious that shocking him or charging in is a bad idea. But I worry that she can get really involved emotionally through being friends.

He definitely is known as gay, my friend who is his bpss knows this and so do others - in this industry gay men are not unusual, and it's not a very formal company.

Thanks, Danger, would be interesting to read about your past as you are happy to do so! He's about 35, I'd say, so not as hard life as with 45+ gays. I see a lot of angsty gay men in London of that age upwards, many just come across as angry and I'm sorry for them, possibly this IS the internalised hatred, poor guys! This one really is younger and quite at peace with himself, I mean I'm sure he has some self-criticism like most people, but overall seems quite a happy person, also doing well in his business and is valued, which helps. He's also not obviously camp, so again a sign of being balanced, imo.

It's still so confusing to her that she fels the attraction, her theory is that strong attarction is ALWAYS mutual, well based on hetero experience, hmm... I tend to agree. Imagine how she feels when she hugs her and she feels she belongs in his arms! It's so hard then to say to yourself: it's all in your imagination, he won't feel the same. And it's even harder for her to understand your advice of 'he can be attracted, but won't act on it', that's ouch, what a shame kind of feeling.

What do you think of that friensship plan as I mention earlier, good idea to suss him out at say some social get-together, or would you still do the direct one question as you suggested? BTW he's not flirty with her, an odd arm touch only, but they just really get on chatting and feel at ease with each other, there is no overt flirting. But as I said, he's more low key with her than with other women, when he's more jokey/loud.

jynier Thu 21-Mar-13 01:56:48

I know many gay men; they get so cheesed off when women won't leave them alone and are trying to "convert" them that some of them will have sex with a female. They call it a "posh w**k."

allaflutter Thu 21-Mar-13 02:15:47

shock really, jynier? I can't imagine they would just cave in purely as someone pesters! and sorry if I'm dense, but how is this a 'posh wank' which usually mean wank with a condom on confused? I'd think if someone is gay rather than bi, sex with women would be impossible as they won't get turned on, or even if turned on when drunk/clothed, they would be repulsed by women's naked bodies? unless very drunk I s'pose.

jynier Thu 21-Mar-13 02:33:20

Sometimes, it is very wearying for gay men to be pursued sexually by women who won't give up! Think that the men must close their eyes while they're getting on with the business.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 09:28:32

I know a guy who was bi and everyone fancied him. My female friend ended up marrying him much to the envy of the rest of the ladies in the town! Haha!
I guess it's slightly different though as he was bi :s

madonnawhore Thu 21-Mar-13 09:45:46

A friend of mine had a relationship with a gay man for about 9 months.

When they met they just clicked personality wise. There was a lot of talk from both of them at the beginning about how you don't fall in love with a gender, you fall in love with a soul, etc, etc.

It was his first ever relationship with a woman and I think for him it was a lot to do with novelty and infatuation. Once that wore off it quickly became harder and harder to get around the fact that he simply was gay. And while he no doubt felt very strong feelings for my friend, he just wasn't sexually into it.

allaflutter Thu 21-Mar-13 12:33:30

exactly, madonna, that's what I voiced as a concern in the beginning of the thread, and one poster was arguing with it. That if a man is truly gay, or even mainly gay with bi tendencies, he's unlikely to stay faithful to a woman, even if he was attarcted to start with. He'll be missing the whole sex wit men thing eventually when the novelty or 'being in love' wears off. This is what I always thought theoretically, so thanks for the example from real life. There probably are some exceptions but so far no posters came up with them.

It's a little sad that for men love does not outweight sex, if you know what I mean. On the other hand lots of example of women on MN who were straight before but switched sexuality because they fallen genuinely in LOVE with another woman. I guess it doesn't work like that for men, their sexuality is not as fluid as women's.

LadyA, and do you know whether they've lasted the distance? Some bi- people can lean towards opposite gender mainly, he's probably like that, mainly attarcted to women with ab odd fancy for a man. Still she's a brave woman, and very confident in her powers, unless they have a somewhat open marriage.

jynier grin, I honestly don't get it why would women force gay men into bed, only to watch them 'closing his eyes and thinking of England'!

rockinhippy Thu 21-Mar-13 12:38:44

There probably are some exceptions but so far no posters came up with them

I though myself & another poster already hadconfused - but added that at the age this man is, it is highly unlikely

allaflutter Thu 21-Mar-13 12:44:37

rockin, yes I meant not for complete youngsters, this guy is 35 or so. Your was the only example really, and with an under-25. The other poster - which one do you mean? most people came up with opposite stories (gay and couldn't change it, even the one that the poster had a relationship with when young for SIX yrs but led the rest of his life as gay).

allaflutter Thu 21-Mar-13 22:41:21

Danger I hope you will still share so I'm bumping the thread.

Friend decided to try out friendship with him, so far it was only odd meetings, so they are friendly but not friends as such. She's going to contact him with suggesting something socially and then see how (and if) he responds hmm.
I think she's kidding herself a bit as she obviously fancies him, "loves his hugs"!

toddlerama Fri 22-Mar-13 07:45:57

I know two gay men who are now in ltr with women. One of them says as he grew older he didn't feel "defined" by his sexuality anymore, so when he fell for a woman he was happy to go with it. They are very happily married with 2 children and he is still quite camp. The other doesn't really discuss the past we all remember but seems comfortable, just private I suppose. I don't feel like he has anything to explain really. You never know how a person can grow in unexpected directions.

allaflutter Fri 22-Mar-13 12:51:42

hi toodlerama, thank you so much for this, first example of (two!) mature men switching! Interesting about the first one, did he say whether he was starting considering and looking at women, or was it a thunderbolt kind of thing and very unexpected to him? If it's the first option, then I wonder whether this was all about him wanting children, and realising that it's more important to him than sex (possibly with age he lost high libido, it happens to both genders). I take it, it's been a while now and that he doesn't hanker after men anymore?

allaflutter Fri 22-Mar-13 12:52:15

ha ha, toddler, not toodler!

toddlerama Mon 25-Mar-13 17:23:47

I'm afraid he's an acquaintance rather than a friend! I couldn't ask him that. He is affectionate with his wife, but that's all I have to go on!

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