LGBT Same sex relationships - friendships versus relationships

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by busydoingnothing, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. busydoingnothing

    busydoingnothing A broken man too tough to cry

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    My standard backstory to help put things into perspective: I consider myself mostly straight (I'd place myself as a 1.5-2 on Kinsey's 0-6 scale), which means my sexual attraction is mainly directed towards women, though I do watch gay porn on occasion and have so since I was about 14. I've questioned my sexuality much since then, which grew into an obsession, and I've been seeing a therapist for OCD for almost nearly 2 years (it'll be 2 next month).

    One of the things that I've been most confused about is the difference between friendships and relationships. What really is the difference? Especially for gay men, whose main (or only) attractions are towards other men. What is the difference between being friends with a guy (gay or straight) or wanting to be/being more than friends? How do you deal with your straight friends?

    I've never been a very social person. I've never kept large groups of friends. I never really had close guy friends. I've known my best friend since I was three, so he's pretty much been like a brother to me. Other guy friends have been more "surface" sorta friends, not really talking about life or our problems or things like that.

    I'm also not very well in tune with the differences between love, lust, romance, affection, appreciation, etc. I've always had a pretty perverted/sexual mind, which has caused me to twist a lot of things and overly sexualize many situations which would have even the most remote hint of sexuality. This has caused me a lot of anxiety and discomfort. For instance, if a guy at work asks to hang out, I think he might be trying to get me in bed. Or I'm afraid of asking other guys to hang out because I'm afraid they're thinking that.

    Anyway, there's this particular friend of mine that I met through work several years ago. We became friends and talked a lot, bullshitted, whatever. We never actually hung out outside of work though. When I quit and moved out of state, we kept in touch, and when I'd visit, I'd give him a call or show up at my old job and we'd sit around and talk about shit, mostly about computers and games and stuff. We'd just talk a lot, really.

    A couple years ago, he told me that he could hook me up with a job here that paid rather well. I was running out of shit to do in PA so I figured I'd at least interview for it. I eventually accepted the job and moved back. When I started, he'd buy lunch for me and help me out, he gave me a WoW subscription card. Of course, for him being so generous and all that, I started to wonder.

    I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he were gay, but I really don't know. He has certain mannerisms, and just the way he is overall...I know I'm stereotyping, but I just sort of get this idea that he's not all that into chicks. Who knows. Everyone is different. But I also get the vibe that he might like me as more than a friend, but I don't really know. Like I said, I haven't had a lot of close male friends, so I don't know what it's all about. I'm not used to or comfortable with affection from other guys (and I'm sure this comes from my relationship with my dad). He knows that I'm usually antisocial and he sometimes speaks for me or is protective of me. It's nice, but at the same time, a bit awkward.

    I'm happy when I see him. I usually talk to him with a smile on my face, and he's the same way. I might be having a shitty day and then I see him and I feel a bit better, but the questioning and analyzing over what that all means just brings me down. We always have good conversation, though we both seem to be a little awkward when we talk to each other, sometimes stuttering or stumbling over words, which is kind of weird.

    As far as any sort of physical attraction goes, I can say that he is a good looking guy, with nice eyes and a nice smile. Body wise, eh, I guess he could stand to lose some weight. As far as sexual attraction goes...I really don't think it's there. I mean, yeah, he's good looking, but the thought of me seeing him naked or even doing anything with him...:ugh: yeah, not so much. At the same time, though, I wonder if I'm just not allowing myself to like that, or if it's internal homophobia, or if I really, truly, have no desire to do that. If that's the case, how could I ever even want to be in a relationship with him?

    Ultimately, it boils down to me feeling miserable over the prospect that, based on how I feel good around him, that it might be more than just a friendship. It just freaks me out. Is that because I'm not allowing myself to enjoy it, or that I'm miserable because I'm trying to force myself to want that even though it's not what I truly want? When I tell myself, "You don't have to be in a relationship with him," I get a burst of relief, but then the questioning comes back, "But are you really just in denial?"

    God. I've typed a lot of fucking shit here. Thanks to anyone who read it all. Any input would be appreciated. :hsd:
     
  2. Ivan

    Ivan New Member

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    Well, as I see it, it's normal to feel happier or better when there's a friend around, no matter if they're male or female. I know it works that way for me at least. Alas, the few friends I have aren't always around.

    It doesn't mean you have to be in a relationship with him or anything, especially if you have so many questions or are so confused about the whole situation.

    From your perspective my advice might not be much, or maybe not easy to follow, but I'd say you have a good friend there, so stick to that. If he really wants more from you, someday he'll tell you, and you'll have the right and chance to say "no" if that's what you wish.

    Don't forget that in some cases, going from friendship to relationship can ruin the friendship if the relationship fails to work. I believe you think too much, but don't worry, I can relate to that. :hs:
     
  3. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    its an interesting situation - and I cant pretend to even remotely have an answer. I think you'll hear a lot of the generic advice here, not sure it will be of any help.

    You said you've been going to a therapist for almost 2 years for your OCD. Is this all you work on with them? You seem to be very in touch with your feelings and emotions - something I would bet therapy has helped you with. If you havent shared any of this with them, you might consider it.

    Also (and this could be incredibly difficult - but this guy sounds like he deserves it) maybe you should think about opening up to this guy. You said you havent been very comfortable with male relationships that you've had in the past - maybe its time to try and give one a shot (and I dont mean sexually - I mean as friends - try to make it an even more meaningful friendship). Personally - I can share most of my feelings with my male straight friends - and the good ones welcome any emotional interchange that we have - even encourage it. Of course - there are some things that my straight male friends will never understand or relate to, but for the most part - there hasnt been much difference.

    So anyway - im positive you can sit and count sticks and chat about your feelings on this subject here, I dont think it will help you much though. This guy sounds like he is a pretty good friend, I can only imagine that you sharing your feelings with him will make your friendship stronger - even if you're only interested in simply that - a friendship. If he does harbor affection for you, it will only be beneficial for both of you to lay it all out on the table - yours and his side of things.
     
  4. Sam Gamgee

    Sam Gamgee Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. OT Supporter

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    I think if you over-sexualize things in general, you might be over-sexualizing this too. I think you actually just have a good male friend.

    Sex is something that is wonderful, but it can also complicate things when we bring a sexual connotation into something that may not be sexual at all.

    So, I'd recommend that you just continue to enjoy his company. He seems like a genuinely nice guy who treats you well. So, treat him with the same respect and you'll foster a really nice friendship.

    Regarding your sexual feelings toward this guy, and towards guys in general... maybe you do some more soul-searching before you think about getting into a relationship with a guy... sexual or otherwise.
     
  5. busydoingnothing

    busydoingnothing A broken man too tough to cry

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    Bumping an old thread here, hoping I can get some fresh perspectives :hsd: The constant questioning and overanalyzing is still there. I just don't know how I truly feel. The thought of it being anything more than a friendship just makes me miserable and I wish I could just stop thinking about it so much.
     
  6. Digital_

    Digital_ New Member

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    Why do relationships need to have rules? Have you talked to him about how close you feel to him? He may feel the same way, and there's nothing wrong or weird about liking someone without it being sexual. There are a few people that I have in my circle of friends that just being around them makes my day better. I have people that I wouldn't do anything other than have sex with. There are people that I want both friendship and sex.

    I would say worrying about it is the worst thing to do. You should talk to him, if you really do like him then he should know, if he doesn't feel comfortable with it, then you haven't lost anything. If he loathes you and hates you for being so gay, then so be it, it's better to be in a healthy friendship or relationship than it is to be in a lopsided unclear one.

    And what if he likes you the same way you like him... What if there isn't sex involved... So what, enjoy your friendship. Does no one pay attention to the past? What do you honestly think the Odd Couple was. You don't think that men lived together without women involved? You think that all those male/male couples were gay? Life is shades of gray and there is no correct way to live. Be glad that you live in a place and time where you have the option to live the way you want.
     
  7. ExDelayed

    ExDelayed New Member

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    Men can be friends and not be in a sexual relationship. The friends that I hold closest to me are the ones that I would never sleep with, mainly to protect the friendship. Those friends are also the ones that I do actually open up with the most. As you were refering to the superficial friends, a lot of my gay friends are just that. If I see them, great, we will probably hang out and have a good time, there might even be sex involved, but Im not going to let them know the deep innerworkings of my soul.

    From how I read what you are saying, you just have a good friend. The tension in the friendship could be him reading that you are uncomfortable off of your body language. He might be able to sense that something is bothering you and it is effecting him. Relax and enjoy the friend, if he thinks the way I think about my good friends, he would keep sex out of the picture just to secure the friendship.

    What would actually happen if he did want a sexual relationship with you? You said that you cant picture that happening with him. If he tries for one and you tell him no, would that change anything? Just because he asks doesnt mean you need to go along with it.

    Not being in this friendship I cant give solid advice on what you should do, but perhaps opening up a 'little' wouldnt hurt. You dont need to tell him that you think he is hitting on you, but you maybe could let him know of the poor relationship with your father or therapy, etc.

    And so what if he does think your gay? If he is fine with it, it wont be an issue, no matter his orientation, if he cares enough to ask. He might feel that it is your business and if you are and want him to know, you would tell him. Honestly, in my entire life I have only asked one person what his orientation was, and it sure did make the friendship have some tension for awhile.
     
  8. Kitler

    Kitler Fabulously Gay

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    I think I understand were you are coming from. I basically went through this, but at a much earlier age.
    It really comes down to how you truly feel. You have to separate yourself from everyone else and ask yourself, " Would I be with this person if nobody in the world cared."

    I mean for me that is what my problem was, its this idea that everyone has to be straight. Everyone thinks that god forbid this person be gay, because he is going to try to rape me.
    Thats where the problem lied for me, this idea that if I come out that everyone and everything is going to hate me, and the only way to solve this is by running away from what I truly want, but you can only run so far before you get tired.

    Atleast that is the way I see it for me, and thats the reason why I have had so much trouble in my life.

    I dunno it seems like you are similar in away, by reading what you wrote it seems like you are fighting it, but I could be completely wrong.

    But yea I mean just try to look at it if no one else existed only you and this friend, you will no by how you feel deep inside, and that could be either way its not something we can really determine.

    You know I could be just talking a load of crap to I dunno, but I think I decoded your story correctly either way it was a good read.:)
     
  9. CoCo

    CoCo ...is a Queer Don!! OT Supporter

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    Wow, this is the most interesting series of posts that I wasn't a part of.
     
  10. Sckrewy

    Sckrewy New Member

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    Similar to what others have posted here, I keep my friends separate from my physical relationships. I have to close male friends that percieve me to be straight and relatively normal; I intend to keep the relationship that way. I had a freind that I opened up to. Too bad for him; I suppose he wasn't much of a freind.

    I oversexualise situations too; and I've had the situations go both ways. I've learned tp play dumb yet stay alert!

    I've got a friend who started out as a sex partner and has turned into a family freind. In my situation, I'm just very fortunate that that this guy is the outstanding individual (in more ways than one) that he is.

    Good luck and be careful!

    P.S. From what you've posted about your freind, I would maintain the freindship and avoid turning it into a sexual relationship.

    P.P.S. I can't keep my "I" before "E" rules straight. My apologies to the spelling Nazis.
     
  11. Atlantis

    Atlantis Guest

    Well seeing as no one here really knows me yet I should mention that no one I know irl knows that I am gay.

    Personally around my straight friends (all of them being straight due to no gays living around here) I just try to be as much myself as I can without offending them or in my case being to obviously gay.

    What would make me want to be more then friends with someone? The honest and incredibly shallow answer for me is mostly A: if they are hot... B: if their personality is good/not toooo overly homophobic and C: if they do anything that I might consider them being interested in me. I admit I tend to over sexualize situations alot also (damn my dirty mind!) but a combination of those (and other) factors would be what would make me think to try anything sexual with a friend.
     
  12. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

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    Oxy, can you give us more details?
     
  13. novo

    novo Pokey Man OT Supporter

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    I would say stop overanalyzing and relax. Enjoy your frienship with him, and if there is an interest for more, it will rise to the surface and present itself in time.
     
  14. XPX

    XPX New Member

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    I had a friend like that, search through my older posts and you'll find a similar story...but with a horrible end. It all went wrong when I opened to him, things got a bit weird but we still had a friendship...then one day we got drunk, a girlfriend was in the picture and what could turn into a cool threesome turned into a trainwreck....she moved on, he moved on...I'm still hurt but working on it :)

    Let things run at their own pace, don't overanalize the details, I have straight friends that are really close to me and don't want to take me to bed....enjoy the friendship...it is much better than a relationship.
     

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