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People think I am gay but I'm not

(43 Posts)
myfirstandonlylove Sat 28-Nov-15 18:08:25

I am sorry if this is a silly question/point. I am an early 40s guy, look a bit younger. I have weekly therapy for depression and am talking through various things. One thing that came up as a obstacle to me forming a relationship was the issue in the title. In some ways I can understand it but it seems to happen more and more regularly. I am shy and have a hard time letting prospects know how I feel until it is too late plus I find some straight men a bit hard going at times socially. I am in no way homophobic. My female friend said I should have been a lesbian woman. Mostly people seem to accept it when I say I am straight but some not so. I am sorry this is not very well expressed. Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

LuluJakey1 Sat 28-Nov-15 18:44:07

Not sure what you want to hear thought on TBH.

I know a number of quite camp straight men who have very successful relationships with women although other men initially assume they are gay.

AnotherEmma Sat 28-Nov-15 18:51:20

Maybe the issue is not so much people thinking you're gay, but more your confidence? If you feel more confident about flirting with women and asking them out, it will become pretty clear that you're straight! So I suggest you work on your confidence and worrying less about what people think. Good luck.

pocketsaviour Sat 28-Nov-15 19:42:48

I'm not sure how this is holding you back from relationships?

Are you saying that you ask a woman out, and she says "Oh I thought you were gay. You're too feminine for me."?

Or is it that you are worried that because some people may think you're gay that you're going to get knocked back, and therefore you've not got the confidence to ask anyone out?

Frostycake Sat 28-Nov-15 21:57:22

What's your relationship history?

I knew someone like you and people thought he may be gay because they never saw him in the Company of a woman. When he realised this he turned into a bit of an idiot 'openly lusting after women - real and imaginary.' Please don't go down that path.

Are you effeminate, camp or publicly uninterested in women? I know you've said you're shy but that in itself shouldn't stop you admiring women openly.

BolshierAryaStark Sat 28-Nov-15 22:40:28

My bff is married to the most gay man I ever met, we laugh about it all the time. He is gorgeous & a lovely person who met the right woman, another reason why I love her.
Just be you no matter what this entails,

annandale Sat 28-Nov-15 22:45:42

'i have a hard time telling prospects how I feel until it is a bit too late'

Thinking about this, what happens? I do wonder if you yourself are perhaps missing out on getting to know people who like you because you are mentally focused on people who are not interested?

Northernparent68 Sun 29-Nov-15 00:29:44

I have to say I think the responses here are harsh, asking the op if he's camp or effeminate is a bit aggressive, particularly as the op suffers from depression.
Some people think anyone who is single over a certain age must be gay, so I would nt take comments like that seriously.
If the op is still viewing I'd recommend working on the depression and self confidence, then start dating. Counselling and ex cerise can help with confidence issues.

myfirstandonlylove Sun 29-Nov-15 00:36:59

Thanks so much for your comments. My relationship history is a single 2 year stint when I lived abroad. She went back to her country and broke my heart. That was 10 years ago. I don't tend to openly admire women as I don't feel comfortable it somehow feels judgemental and wrong. Plus I worry people won't fancy me and don't think I have the right to fancy or not fancy others.I am not camp nor effeminate but fairly reserved. Having said I'm not gay I would happily kiss Bono as I just got back from the 3 Arena Dublin show. That however is another story blush

annandale Sun 29-Nov-15 07:00:05

I wonder what you mean by 'openly admiring women'? There's a lot of behaviour that I would completely agree with you is wrong and a poor idea, but there's also plenty of ways to make it clear that you are enjoying being with someone that are not creepy.

Hearts break, but hearts can also mend. I wonder if a relationships counsellor and/or dating coach might be a good thing for you (I would struggle to afford this at the moment but would have been able to pay for it when single!) It sounds as if you may be over your past relationship but you are not in the least over what it did to you.

Imissmy0ldusername Sun 29-Nov-15 07:13:50

If you took a snapshot of me right now, using all of the stereotypes going, you'd make the assumption that I was a lesbian. I have short hair, and I'm surrounded by cats! My soon to be husband is snoring his head off in the bedroom. We met via a mutual voluntary activity. He never judged me for how I looked, and I fell for him for how he behaved - we are a bit of an "odd couple". But it's normal for the volunteers we work with. What I'm trying to say is find something that works for you socially, this will break down the barriers when it comes to how you come across.

RealityCheque Sun 29-Nov-15 08:09:06

A straight man would not "happily kiss bono"!


BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Sun 29-Nov-15 08:11:32

I know several very men who are often assumed to be gay but who are not, and they are all pretty successful with women. I think you need to work on your confidence more and worry less about how others perceive you, especially your sexuality.

Isetan Sun 29-Nov-15 09:29:00

The disconnect between what you want and the 'I'm not interested' signals your lack of confidence is broadcasting, is the problem. If a woman was really interested then she'd seek something more concrete then suspicion to put her off.

The line between being a letch and being aloof isn't a fine one and they're are plenty of ways that you can advertise your interest without being a dick but lack of confidence will make it harder.

AnotherEmma Sun 29-Nov-15 11:33:30

"I worry people won't fancy me and don't think I have the right to fancy or not fancy others."

I think this is the main problem and recommend addressing it in your counselling.

Ignore RealityCheque, I don't think having a crush on Bono makes you gay! Straight women have "girl crushes" so I'm sure straight men have "boy crushes" too. I've heard that there is a spectrum rather than neat boxes of straight, gay, bi, and that makes sense to me.

HPsauciness Sun 29-Nov-15 11:39:44

I wouldn't worry too much that being perceived as gay will put you out of the running to meet women, I know many many men who I perhaps thought were gay to start with, but have gone on to meet their wives and girlfriends, perhaps some of them are bi but it really doesn't matter- I don't think this is the issue, as others have said, it seems to be your confidence and inability to initiate, plus your held onto love that is holding you back (see your name).

myfirstandonlylove Sun 29-Nov-15 17:36:08

Yes certainly confidence is an issue for me to work on. I loved my ex but she stopped loving me and since her I built a wall around my broken heart. I have been in love twice since then, in fact I am right now but I never ever say anything and all I ever hear is how fed up women are with being approached by idiots so I stand on the sidelines with my Spotify account and my memories of loving and being loved. Meanwhile I have a decent job nice house and am very aware how fortunate I am in comparison to others suffering.

bridie69 Sun 29-Nov-15 21:00:25

Well isn't it up to you to take steps within the bounds of what is socially acceptable to let the women you like know this, and that you are not gay? And do those who say or think you are gay know you once loved a woman?

pocketsaviour Sun 29-Nov-15 21:21:26

I worry people won't fancy me and don't think I have the right to fancy or not fancy others.

Like AnotherEmma I feel this is the main issue. You seem really conflicted around your sexual attraction to women. It's not disrespectful to want to have sex with someone! It's what we as a species are designed to do smile

Obviously you don't just approach a woman and say "Hello! I would like to perpetuate the species with you! Knickers off?" grin

Perhaps this perception of you as gay (by some people) is because you don't ever flirt with or show attraction to women? Some women will notice those lack of signals and will assume that either you're not interested in them, or if they see that lack of signals applied to a large number of women, they will usually make an unconscious assumption.

Did someone once tell you that it was disgusting to have sexual feelings for someone? Or that it wasn't right to want sex with a partner? I think this is something you really need to work on with your counsellor.

myfirstandonlylove Sun 29-Nov-15 22:53:46

pocketsaviour what you say all sounds on the money. At an intellectual level I know sexual attraction is natural and not to be ashamed of. However sometimes you need to hear someone respectable say that. As for "did someone once tell you it was disgusting to have sexual feelings for someone", yes they did, albeit in different words. I was brought up by staunch Catholic parents themselves brought up in austere 1950s Ireland and I wasn't allowed anywhere near girls at all in my teens. The Catholic Church seemed to utterly despise sexual expression. I could go on but I think you get the picture. In actual fact re what I said earlier a male acquaintance of mine who is a total philanderer(single guy like me) is actually much more honest than me in that he doesn't pretend he has no sexual feelings.

ChippyOikInAWowGuna Sun 29-Nov-15 23:01:55


Madlizzy Sun 29-Nov-15 23:06:45

A sane person wouldn't happily kiss Bono wink. You just need to be yourself.

myfirstandonlylove Sun 29-Nov-15 23:13:55

Well I have the absolute chilli infused grinhots for Imelda May, an Irish singer and TV presenter Bono got up on stage last night but after the performance U2 turned in I'd be conflicted if they asked me to choose between them..admittedly not a very likely scenario..

ChippyOikInAWowGuna Sun 29-Nov-15 23:36:15

I used to feel that the worst humiliation imaginable was for people to know that I felt that way about somebody if the feeling wasn't reciprocated. So I never, ever took a risk. NEVER risked letting somebody know I liked them. Even if I liked them and wanted them to make a move I'd be thinking 'phew, they don't know that I like them like that, go me, got me dignity'.

Is it a bit like that with you?

ChippyOikInAWowGuna Sun 29-Nov-15 23:39:13

If you had to stop and think between imelda and bono then are you sure you're straight confused

I know who see is as I'm Irish and she is very attractive with a very strong sense of herself, she has that in common with bono! My parents also brought me up to believe it was a bit shameful, unnecessary, self-indulgent, chaotic even to pursue a sexual relationship. Obviously we'd never say the word sexual at my mum and dad's house.

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