I’m ‘John’ and I have been in a relationship for almost two years with a guy we shall call Trevor. My boyfriend and I have not been fully sexual because I’m Roman Catholic and I was raised to wait till marriage. We have had good times together, but my main concern is that he won’t come out to his entire family.
I come from an old-fashioned family where you only introduce someone to the family if they are ‘the one’. But while I attend college and he lives in the area, I still haven’t met his parents. This does concern me because I want to get to know his parents. I have met his siblings.
I can’t, in all good conscience, have him travel home with me on holiday to meet my parents when I can’t even meet his parents 30 minutes from his house and my college.
I have brought this to him several times and he says he will handle it, but I don’t know what to think any more. I feel like he still feels the need to hide his true self, but shouldn’t I be enough to help him overcome that insecurity?
I always encourage him, and I even told him that I would give our relationship a year, but if he still wasn’t out, I would leave. I am a person who doesn’t mince words, but obviously I didn’t leave him. He made a convincing case for not doing so, plus he makes me feel wanted.
As a person who graduated with distinction, I can’t believe I’m in this complicated relationship. Dating is a new thing for both of us. However, I assumed he would hold my hand in public, show some affection in public, or at least put his arm around me or pick me up, because he can, and that’s what I want.
I’ve told him my concerns and feelings, but I don’t think he’s listening. What should I do? Other guys have shown more interest in me. It’s gotten to the point that, when a random guy shows a little interest in me in public, I feel so happy, and he notices that. He might comment on it and I tell him he needs to be more romantic.
He always wants me to decide things, and I want a man. I want him to decide, to take charge. I want him to want something and go for it.
I remember a friend, before Trevor, passionately held me against a wall without even touching me, and it was such a great feeling. I’ve never had that feeling with Trevor, like when you are suspended in air.
Trevor is great and respects me, but I have told him I want him to be more assertive.
In conclusion, I am dating a man that is not out. A man who has not introduced me to his parents who live 30 minutes away and whose brother is already out. A man who doesn’t take charge. I feel like he is leading me on.
He still doesn’t say he’s with me, John, but instead tells people that he’s going to be unavailable for a few hours or out of town with “a friend”. That definitely upsets me, and I don’t think I can stay with someone like that.
Surely, if a man wants to be with you, he will, even if it means going against his parents. I just want an unbiased perspective. What would you recommend?
Mary replies: In your very detailed email, the only positive thing that you have said about Trevor is that he respects you and makes you feel wanted. Other than that, you have given me a long list of things that you do not like, or, indeed, find objectionable.
People have different ways of coming out to family and friends. It may well be that his parents had a negative reaction when his sibling came out, and Trevor doesn’t want to add to their distress.
I don’t think you have any right to insist that he comes out. And while I respect that, in your family, only ‘the one’ is introduced, that is far from the norm in lots of other households, where it would be felt to be far too restrictive.
You cannot change Trevor, you can only change yourself, so he will always be more or less the person he is now.
I suggest that you take a break from him and date other people. The whole dating game is quite new to you both, and it would benefit you enormously to see other people and broaden your outlook.
Give it six months to see how you fare, and then you can both decide if you want to resume the relationship.
As you are finding out, relationships are complicated, involve lots of compromise, but can also be intensely rewarding — which yours doesn’t sound like it is right
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