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February 25, 2011
by Davey Wavey
87 Comments



Would You Ever Date Someone in the Closet?

This morning, I received the following email from a concerned blog buddy named Aaron:

I promised myself that I would never get into a relationship with someone in the closet because I didn’t want to have to lie, worry, or go back into the closet myself. Now, I find myself getting involved in that exact situation. It just happened, and it was so fast that I got caught up in it.

Indeed, dating someone in the closet can be a lot of work. Actually, dating anyone can be a lot of work. But closeted guys do require special handling. Accidentally bumping into his friends, family or coworkers while out can be uncomfortable. Being introduced as a “my friend” instead of partner might not feel right. And not being invited to family functions may be a point of contention.

Of course, being in the closet isn’t black and white. Some guys are totally closeted, and others are only not out to certain family members or at work. There’s really a full spectrum of closetedness, and so each situation is quite different.

I have two questions for you.

Question 1: Would you ever date someone in the closet?

Question 2: What advice do you have for Aaron?

To answer question 1, I’d probably shy away from a potential suitor if he wasn’t out to family and friends (or at least on a path to do so). But as J. Biebs once said, “Never say never.” If the connection was really strong (or his you-know-what that big), who knows? I’m sure there’s s possibility that I’d make an exception.

To answer question 2, I do have a suggestion. When I was younger, I dated a number of closeted guys. I learned that it’s much wiser to let them follow their own path, and come out according to their own agenda. Support him, but don’t push him. If you are knowingly entering into a relationship with a closeted guy, accept that he is in the closet with all your heart. Trying to change his situation through coercion, force or extraordinary amounts of energy won’t be beneficial for either party.

So, let’s help Aaron out. In the comments below, let us know if you’d date a closeted guy and whatever advice you might have for Aaron’s situation.

87 Comments

  1. I’m a romantic. You fall in love with whom you fall in love with. Oftentimes you cannot choose who you fall in love with. If he is not ready to come out, that might be part of what makes him the person you come to love. In your stand to be out and proud, you might also end up alone.

  2. For Aaron:

    You promised yourself. I believe you took a mature position. So, sad to say, I would advise against dating this guy.

    I looked for years for a gentleman with whom I wanted to build a life. I found him! Incredibly intelligent, sage, gorgeous, electrifying, talented, funny. But he was (and is) closeted, and I believe he’s working in there on a device that will keep the door closed permanently. That beautiful but pretend relationship caused me several tears and it makes me sad even now.

    I kept holding out for that moment when he would acquiesce and conclude on his own that he needed both to be with me and to be out. But after a dog’s age, I had to make my own conclusion. I was compassionate, passionate, supportive, reliable, open, and clear the entire time. But he wasn’t going anywhere publicly anytime soon (anytime?). We still see each other from time to time. Unfortunately for me, if he ever opened up I’d be right there with him in a heartbeat. It won’t happen. And time passes.

    Aaron, of course you need to make your own decisions. For your sake, if you did I would hope it all works out perfectly. That would be a great story! Odds are it will not. And for me, when it comes to the lines, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost/than never to have loved at all,” the jury is still out.

  3. If it doesn’t matter if someone is black or white, why should it matter if they are in or out? If you honestly loved the person you were dating, you would support them and in doing so, encourage them to come out.
    If you wanted it bad enough, the awkward situations and pretending would be worth it, eventually.

  4. No.1 I was going to say never say never also, but…Living in the closet is the same as giving up your life – “those who live in fear die a thousand deaths” – before they actually die. The give up their life and in the end live in regret.

    Now I say – absolutely not! Life is way to short to live in fear of what others think and end up an empty soul. There may be pain of losing family members etc. but, to lose yourself is much worse. “If I knew 20 years ago what I know today” my life would have been totally different. I would have left all and came out at 18.

  5. I would have a very hard time dating someone who might shy away from me in public. I am not feminine looking or acting but I like to hold hands and I like to be able to give my BF a hug or a kiss without him looking over his shoulder to see who might be watching. I went on a meet-up with a guy, recently, who is in the closet. It was his first time ever meeting up with a guy and he seemed paranoid even though he is here for school, has no family or friends in the area and has no reason to fear that anyone who knows him would see or find out. I certainly wouldn’t prohibit myself from dating a closeted guy but I wouldn’t abide paranoid behaviour.

  6. I’ve got a bad habit of gravitating towards closeted guys. Haven’t managed to get one to come out to me though. Working on one right now, which is seriously the most confusing and draining pursuit i’ve ever encountered. I think I could only be in a relationship with a closeted guy if he showed me some desire to come out. If he was actively taking steps in coming out. He’s the kind of guy tho that is so awesome, i’d wait a year for him to work up the guts to hold my hand in public.

  7. HECK TO THE NO!!! It’s degrading! If he can’t accept himself, how can he accept you? He should have the guts to come out and love you openly instead of hiding. Don’t go for it, there are plenty of great guys out there who’ll love you openly and without shame.

  8. Greetings Davey Wavey

    Haven’t we seen you on http://www.cam4.com as teenieweenie4in? It crtainly looks like your chest with no hair and well shall we say not much to be shy about!

  9. absolutely not-i would never play that charade.being out 19 yrs-im not going back period.being a political activist all these years and the work the effort the time-wouldnt do it.since being out-i dont lie.i would expect my partner to do likewise.no exceptions.

  10. gays in the closet can be alot more fun and don’t have all the bullshit drama…

    • i agree to a certain extent…but it can also be uncomfortable and u always feel uncertain about the future

  11. Honestly, if you have a strong connection with someone go for it. All you can do is just support him with coming out. I recently only told a few close family members and friends and my boyfriend helped me so much with coming out to them that I love him more for giving me that little push to tell them.

    • I agree to a point. That better be some strong connection. It can be a real hassle trying to get the guy through the door. I wasted 3+ years trying every trick in the book on one guy and I’ll never do it again. It was really sad and he broke my heart. I say if you get the guy out a few times, get sloshed, and still can’t get anywhere despite major moves on your part – the guy isn’t coming out anytime soon and move on. If the guy doesn’t want to go out because he knows you want to f him than great – later. But if you do happen to get him out and get some physical feedback then your getting somewhere. But how far will he go? If he’s f’n ya, you’re good to go. But only holding hands and crap? That’s up to you if you want to stick around. If you get a solid no f’n way reaction than forget it. But even then it’s a little more complex because there are those really confused guys that have a girl on the side or something. You can’t be a fool. Oh and what about those bi-curious dudes looking for an adventure. Gotta be real careful.

  12. I don’t have the patience or level of respect that would permit me to give a significant amount of my time to someone unable to be true to themselves. I see that as a sign of weakness and stunted growth as an autonomous adult. There just aren’t any tenable excuses left. However, I am not above using a repressed closet case for my own sexual pleasures and would advise Aaron that it’s OK to use this man-child for sex so long as he doesn’t try to turn it into something substantive.

    For example, just last month I met a married grade school teacher and father of two online. I never gave him my real name and after he blew me, I blocked all communication from him… See, that’s how that works. Ordinarily, I find married cases particularly disgusting and most likely would not have rendezvoused with Al Bundy had I known his status beforehand. He had told me about his family, literally, minutes before my dick was in his mouth.

  13. Thanks for all the advice. Really means a lot.

  14. I’m hearing a whole lot of selfish complaining. Love isnt about “MY happiness” it’s about “OUR happiness” if all you care about is yourself than you don’t belong in a relationship to begin with. Love Ian about changing your partner, it’s about excepting and loving everything about them. Even if your heart is in the right place, you shouldn’t try to change someone. Just be patient, if he wants to come out he will. And he’ll love you even more for staying with him through it all. :D

  15. Plus it just sounds better, “I loved him, so I decided I wanted everyone to know” rather than “well I got tired of his never ending whining so just to shut him up I came out”

    One sounds like a lasting relationship and the other sounds like it belongs on mtv

  16. My girlfriend (who is both lesbian and transgender) is in the closet with some people, out with others. I would never dream of pushing her to reveal her sexual orientation, much less her gender identity, if she isn’t comfortable, but we have found a happy medium:

    She’s not out with her own family, but she is out with mine. That means my cool and welcoming family has become sort of a safe place for her. She gets to be out with a family and experience all the warm-and-fuzzy feelings that go along with the knowledge that she can find acceptance in the world.

    When/if she’s ready to come out more widely, I’ll be right there by her side.

    Hope this helps!

    Hugs,
    Giselle

  17. I simply don’t like living in fear. So if he knows how to use his big-you-know-what I would probably funk him for a while but be “closeted partners” no way, too old for that now.

  18. You totally should, if you like him enough. Of course, I wouldn’t if the person totlly DID NOT want to come out, but otherwise, it’s a really great investment you’re doing, in trust. He’ll be really glad you’re there when he does come out

  19. exatly y my parents dont know

  20. I am in the closet and do not want to be out. So I can understand both POV’s. A lot has to do with where you are from. Living in rural Arkansas it is not acceptable to be” GAY”. That’s their close minded problem/issue. Give your boyfriend/partner all the room they need. It needs to be dealt with on an individual basis and situation. If you truly love and care for someone, then you should respect their wishes. Love triumphs over ones own desire to be out. Lets face it, it may be 2011, but bigotry and stupidity is still rampant in this country.

  21. Coming out takes time and guts. Most of my friends are telling me to come out of the closet. I came out already, but I don’t understand what kind of coming out. Yeah, I accepted myself as gay. With that acceptance, I become more happier and approachable, physically and mentally. Physically-appearance/physique, mentally-positive wellness. I don’t need an ID-saying “I’m gay.” There is no question ask, I love who I am and what I am. Painful years had passed and finally, I accepted my identity. However, I don’t really understand what kind of coming out they’re advising me to d. I do like to know everyone(in certain amount, and degree) not just random people.

    Thanks!

  22. Hey Mr Closet just wanted you to know that I am a member of an gay chorus in Kansas City that is giving a concert in Arkansas. We’re performing in Eureka Springs this next weekend sat mar 12th. I don’t know how far away from Eureka Springs you are but just wanted to let you know.7:00 pm, Saturday, March 12, 2011
    The Auditorium
    36 South Main Street, Eureka Springs, AR
    http://www.theaud.org/HeartlandMensChorus.htm

  23. I started dating a guy just a month ago and it felt like he is the one and I still feel so……before I could propose him and ask for marriage……I decided to come out to my parents and friends because I never wanted to begin a relationship with a lie because I was aware and confident that this is the first and the last one for me………My parents were in pain when I told them I am gay but I can feel the amount of bliss I am feeling after that……..This was also a way by which I could show my love to my partner saying that I am committed to you and will never lie in this relationship…….now in this case I believe each person should take their stand and decide on the right time to come out………donot force……when you fell in love with this person Aaron…you never knew that he is out or not so accept him as it is and support him…

  24. I don’t see it as a lie (being in the closet). It is your “PERSONAL” business/choice. To me being in the closet means that I am simply not going to reveal the fact I am gay. I am not denying it to myself or others. If they were to ask, i am going to say, “it’s not any of your concern/business. That is not a lie. To not tell,as in my case, I am protecting my family- parents & siblings from embarrasment and shame others may attempt to inflict on them or myself. I also would have to deal with prejudice in the workplace. Why bring that grief on myself or family? I am happy now as it is. I don’t have to let the world know that I am gay by wearing a Rainbow coalition ribbon on my chest. Sorry this got a little off topic.

  25. well I have hads bad experiences with this…I remember I bought one of my exes the first Iphone when it came out in 2007. I waited in line for him all night so he could be the first one in the city to get one. All he had to do was show up in the morning to get it. Well that morning there were news reporters there and even though I bought him the present I had to wait inside the store as he spoke to news reporters and wait for him to drive away. Yep really sucked but overall the relationship was not too horrible. It depends on how far in the closet he is. If he is out in one city then closeted in the next then it is not as bad as just being an all out closet-case

  26. Well As it stands dear I would never date a person in the closet because it would not be beneficial to my emotional and mental health and I made that descision along time ago cause at that time i believed never say never I cant really date a newly out person either just because of the fact that are very unreceptive at first to many things.I have been out since i was 13 so fo r 20 years and when i came out it was hard in the schools and in social environs but i had so much love and support from my family that I never felt insecure about it you know. so my advise would be although its not right for me be prepared to deal with some real obsticles some of us are strong enough to deal with those obsticle others not I am personally not have a good day and well just remember your greatest achieve ment is to love your creator love yourself and love others ther is nothing better have a blessed evening Ciao L.E.

  27. Hey, when I started dating my boyfriend I was in the closet. I was on my way out though. Most of my friends knew, some of my family members knew. However, the only people who I havent told are my parents. My boyfriend was curious as to why I never told my parents yet or if I was going to tell them. I struggled with the idea of coming out to them. I was worried that they would not be that accepting of me or not love me anymore. My boyfriend never pushed me to do so but i did indeed come out to my parents. I wanted to be able to bring my boyfriend home to my family, have dinners with them, being able to do things in public, stop lying to my parents. If anything it just showed my boyfriend how much i actually care for him. Since, he means so much to me and i wanted to be able to share that with my family. My parents did not take the news to well. Constantly fighting with me, yelling, screaming, means things were said. However, my boyfriend and friends were all there supporting me and giving me the strength to continue forward.

    My advice would be you should try it out if you really like the guy. But know not to put any pressure on him to make him come out. Keep telling him things like I will be here and support you with either decision that you choose to make. Thats all you really can do.

    -DJ

  28. My boyfriend and I have been together for 10 yrs so really he is more like my husband. He still hasn’t come out to his small town TX family and probably never will. They don’t accept me and I only see them on rare occasions. The last time I saw my boyfriends dad, he told me to leave the wedding photo because I wasn’t family..total ass! It is a real strain for us because my boyfriend won’t stand up for us as a couple….. We may end up apart. Something to think about….make sure you come first!

  29. I looked forever to find someone I love and I finally found him. Unfortunatly he is in the closet. Totally. no one in his life besides me and my family and my friends knows that he is gay. It is indeed hard. We almost ran into his mom and sister at the mall the other day and we had to duck in to a store real quick. I’ll be honest, I didnt like that feeling at all. When I was in the closet I hated lying the most….and I hate that part now. And I’ll be honest, that part weighs in on my trust in him as well at times. He still lives with his parents which makes it even harder. Sometimes we go 2 weeks at a time without being able to see each other. Thats the hardest part of all.

    But for the most part, I can say that it is worth it. He is the sweetest man in the world, and I always say I waited this long to find him, I’m not gonna let him go now. He is under the belief that his family would totally disown him if he ever came out. His religous background, there is a possibility of that. As of now I dont think he has plans to ever come out.

    When we’re together I forget all that. its only after we havent seen each other for a dew days when i get to thinking about it.

  30. he lives in arkansas, i live in oklahoma in little towns not too far from the state line. i’ve been totally out for years. He wants us to move in together….trying to figure out how that will work.

    Having been in the closet myself, I know that the decision to come out is his, and only he can make that decision and only he will know when that time is right, if it ever is. So I cannot pressure him to do so. In all actuality, I have made his protection one of my priorities. And that is my decision and I am happy with it.

    However, it does eat at me sometimes. I waited til I was 27 to come out, and I hate the thought of the possibility of having to go back in, even if it is just a little bit….which is why I wonder how living together will ever work out. I’m not feminine and dont really act overly gay. but at the same time I don’t hide it, and if people ask I will tell them.

    • hi michael your experience being in a relationship with this person makes for a great story…to me it kind of resembles a brokeback mountain type of love story…and i think what u two have is kind of beautiful.

      im in a similar predicament. ive been dating this guy for two months now. he is in the closet and has only dated women in the past. im the first guy he’s ever dated romantically and he told me im the first guy that he’s ever had a connection with. he told me that he is still attracted to women and identifies as being bisexual. he said nobody knows about him — no friends or family members. whenever ive talked to him about the potential of long-term stuff or try to get deep with him about his feelings etc, he seems guarded and says “i have to take things reaaallly slow” he also told me “i dont know if i can ever be what u truly deserve”

      we have fun but sometimes i feel like it might not go anywhere serious? if im going to be serious with somebody, i would hope i can be a part of their social life and family life to a certain degree. i am starting to develop stronger feelings towards him but feel like i should take a step back before i get too attached and then things get really hard once he breaks up or if he starts to pull away. any advice/feedback?

  31. There’s certainly a great deal to learn about this subject. I love all the points you’ve made.

  32. HI GUYS and girls! interesting topic as ive just come from yet another fight with my partner on the issue!

    we are 2 years together and im out and proud 10 years now. he has a difficult polish family who cant acccept him. we live in ireland, although he is moslty out to people he wont bring me to a party if his closeted gay friend thinks i might out him. my partner worries that the straight people at the party should have their unaccepting values respected.

    however i believe he shouldnt give a dam what they think and bring me into the room and say this is my partner. does it show my partner is not respecting the relationship or my feelings or am i being unreasonable??

    SOME HELP ON THIS PLEASE!!!!!!!

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