Love is a beautiful thing. It never feels good to go without or, even worse, to have it in abundance and not be able to show it to the world. Having your boyfriend keep you a secret and causing him to lead a double life doesn’t do anybody any favors. But loving him means you’re willing to give it a go, even if you don’t know how to handle so much disappointment in a very primal, basic part of your social being. Here are a few ways to deal if your boyfriend wants to keep you a secret.
The Holiday Snub
Your family is across the country, his are a 30-minute drive away. And even though they always invite him to bring his latest “girlfriend” to the place, you’re never invited. In fact, you’re explicitly told by your boyfriend that he’d rather you didn’t come. Ouch. To deal with this hurt, tell him calmly how you feel and talk with him about why exactly he wants to continue to keep you a secret and how long he thinks this secrecy will last. Try to get some concrete answers out of him while still respecting his right to protect himself as a person. In the end, if your holiday time together is still shot, at least try to get him to compromise by having him arrive late, leave early, or spending the entire day with you immediately before or after.
The Friend Zone
Whether it be with family or his friends, when you get friend zoned by your own beau, it feels awful. It makes you filter every last word you say and movement you make, terrified of slipping up and outing your boyfriend to his own core social group. But instead of fuming, try to gauge his friends’ personalities and how they may feel about your boyfriend finally coming out. If you’re feeling particularly bold, let slip that you’re gay and see how they respond. Despite what happens, your boyfriend may feel more prepared to out himself at a later time.
The Roommate Debacle
If you’ve been living together and are still referred to as the roommate, it can get more than a little irritating. Whenever his friends or family come over, there needs to be rigorous planning and a complete overhaul of your place, kicking your own clothes under the bed, hiding the dildos, and making you and your boyfriend’s quarters look like there are two bedrooms instead of one. It’s definitely tiring. After yet-another visit under these stressful conditions, bring up with your boyfriend your feelings on the matter and add the suggestion that, if you continue to be “just the roommate,” that maybe your boyfriend stop inviting people over. Instead, everybody should meet on more neutral ground to help crack down on anxiety levels.
The PDA Failure
If your boyfriend is so far in the closest that he’s even afraid of holding your hand, you may begin to wonder if you’re in a relationship at all. The mere thought of being seen in public with you by one of his friends causes a major panic inside of him, which just plain isn’t healthy. Share your concerns with him and try to help him talk out his feelings on people knowing he’s gay. Exactly how much of the world’s end would it be?
The Refusal to Come Out (Like, Ever)
The thing about being gay is you have to come out sometime. You will be out sometime. The question comes down to whether you want to do it yourself or have someone (accidentally or maliciously) out you to the world, leaving you stammering. With our current technological age, it’s nearly impossible to keep such a core part of your being a secret, especially if you’re seeing someone. Kindly and calmly explain these things to your boyfriend in the attempts to encourage him to come out, not to condemn him for not having done so yet. Remind him how much you love him and that you’ll be there for him no matter what happens. If you’re already out yourself, lead by example. Share your experience with him, step by step, and help to answer any of his questions.