Asked my boyfriend if he was gay, and feel awful now. Help!
April 5, 2012 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Questioned my boyfriend's sexuality... realize I may have crossed a line. Help please?

Hey everyone,

Let me give you some background info.

My best friend of many years is currently going through a divorce because two months ago, her husband came out of the closet and is now openly gay with a coworker. The three of us (my friend, her husband, and I) have been close friends for about 7 years. They dated for 3 years and would have been married 3 years next month. We all felt very comfortable with each other and, having gone through high school and college together, felt like we knew each other inside and out. Needless to say, both my friend and I were completely blindsided by her husband's coming out, my friend especially. She has been having a rough time processing her divorce and the fact that someone who was gay all along married her in the first place.

Now onto my boyfriend: we have been together about 3 months now, and he is a really great guy. He recently started a new job and is good friends with his male boss. They text each other and hang out outside of work... and I realize this is not unusual behavior, for a man to have a male friend he talks to and spends time with, and my boyfriend has other friends that I've never worried about in this way. I don't know what it is, actually, but I just had a weird feeling about the boss. My roommate mentioned that she found it kind of odd how often they communicate outside of work, even, and we hadn't even been discussing it. Anyway, last night when I went over to his place, he ran outside to bring his boss, who was waiting downstairs, a growler that he'd picked up at a local brewery. He came back up and we hung out a bit, but after a while he pulled out his phone and when I glanced over I saw that he was texting his boss.

I realize now that I was overreacting, but I started thinking about my friend's situation, and the comment my roommate had made, and somehow convinced myself that I should be concerned about my boyfriend's sexuality. When we went to bed last night I calmly told him I needed to ask him something, but knew it would offend him and that I was sorry. I then asked if anything was going on between he and his boss. He, naturally, was very hurt by my question and said that he wasn't, but that he now felt that I considered him effeminate and would always question it in the back of my mind. I tried reassuring him and smoothing things over, and after about twenty minutes of talking we seemed to have worked it out, but I know I bruised his pride and I don't know if he's really okay or just putting on an act.

I've never had reason to question his sexual orientation before, and I realize I was hypersensitive because of my friend's situation. Do you think I've made a serious blunder? If so, what do I do?

Thanks for your help.
posted by Teradactyl to Human Relations (53 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This might be a situation where the more you apologize, the worse you make it because you're just reinforcing the idea that asking him if he's gay/bisexual is an insult or means that you think he's effeminate. It's not, and it doesn't mean that. Give him a few unsolicited comments about how sexy he is in the next few days and otherwise leave it alone.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:08 AM on April 5, 2012 [12 favorites]

I think you crossed the line. I agree with your new boyfriend. It would always be in the back of my mind that you question my sexual orientation.
posted by LeanGreen at 9:08 AM on April 5, 2012

Yeah, that was a mistake, but I don't think you can really do anything to fix it. Just don't bring it up again and hope he gets over it.
posted by ghharr at 9:09 AM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Teradactyl: "I know I bruised his pride"

Huh? Because it's embarrassing to be gay?? That's ridiculous. The only problem I see here is both of your reactions to the whole situation.
posted by Grither at 9:10 AM on April 5, 2012 [62 favorites]

Teradactyl, your friend's situation made you hypersensitive, as you realize. You over-reacted and hurt your BF, but it's understandable why it happened.

I think you just need to make sure your BF, who of course knows the background, is reassured that your concerns came from the amoint of time he was spending with his boss and NOT because you find him "effeminate" at all (I'm sure you both realize that gay men aren't effeminate by default anyway).

So long as he gets where you were coming from, I don't think this blunder is going to break the two of you up, provided you had a good relatiomship to begin with.
posted by misha at 9:11 AM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

Another part of this offense is that you questioned his loyalty and fidelity to you. Even if he were bisexual, that doesn't mean he's cheating on you with his male friends.

I assume you've apologized - that's really all you can do.
posted by muddgirl at 9:11 AM on April 5, 2012 [11 favorites]

That he equated being gay with being effeminate means he's really not gay.

You asking him is a huge bruise to his ego, and (probably) has sabotaged his friendship with his boss. It's a big deal, and you've apologized, and I'd think the thing to do is leave it all alone for now. When he brings it up later, deal with it then.

Bringing it up again and making an even bigger deal of it is not the way to go.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:12 AM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Grither: being gay isn't embarrassing. Having the lady you are sleeping with thing that you would rather being sleeping with a guy instead of her, IS embarrassing.

It has nothing to do with hating gay people.
posted by LeanGreen at 9:13 AM on April 5, 2012 [40 favorites]

One school of thought would say that it's a valid concern you have -- if not a bit hysterical -- and by raising it, you are being authentic and honest. If that derails the relationship, it's not meant to be.

Couple of points:
1) Every man relates to homosexuality in a different way. Some men are afraid of it, others are not. To each their own. This could be an opportunity to open that door and have a bigger chat about values.

2) He's a dude. Meaning he probably doesn't read into things too deeply. Most dudes operate like a light switch. You bring up the fact you think he's gay. "On." There's a problem. Let's discuss. After the discussion? "Off." I am no longer concerned about this thing. Where's the beer?

3) You are questioning yourself at this point because OMG you can't believe you didn't know about the other dude! So you're in a place of paranoia and self-questioning. May want to control it a bit, as you were paranoid about your boyfriend. Now you're paranoid about his response to your paranoia. Realise this is an internal thing. You're examining. It's fine.
posted by nickrussell at 9:13 AM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I don't think you crossed a line. If his masculinity is so threatened by your inquiry that it's eating him up inside, he's the one with the problem.
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:14 AM on April 5, 2012 [26 favorites]

I'm astounded this is even a question in your mind - For a hetero guy, there is no bigger line to cross!
posted by Kruger5 at 9:15 AM on April 5, 2012

Do you actually have reason to think that he is gay? Or, is the real issue here is that you are concerned with the amount of time he is spending with his boss?
posted by baniak at 9:17 AM on April 5, 2012

People: Her question is how can she repair their relationship. She's not wondering if her boyfriend is actually gay or not.
posted by Think_Long at 9:20 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

You didn't ask if he was gay, you asked him if he was cheating on you. In a casual, chatty way, with no evidence. That's the thing that I think crosses a line.

Asking about someone's orientation, on the other hand, is a factual question; and to me checking in on that earlyish in a relationship is totally reasonable. It was something I talked to my now-husband about when we'd been dating for a month or so. But we were also part of a particularly queer-friendly crowd, so maybe my points of reference are skewed. If he had totally bugged out in response and said that he though I had just emasculated him, I wouldn't have dealt with it by reassuring him, I would have dealt with it by kicking him out of bed for not being enough of a human being to have a reasonable conversation.
posted by tchemgrrl at 9:24 AM on April 5, 2012 [14 favorites]

This isn't really something that can be fixed by more talking. If it's going to get better then the only real remedy is time. Prove to him by your actions that you don't think of him that way.

If you convinced him that you won't always think of him that way and his ego is now just bruised, well...bruises heal. Just leave it alone. He'll get over it.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:27 AM on April 5, 2012

People: Her question is how can she repair their relationship. She's not wondering if her boyfriend is actually gay or not.

In that case:

1. I would apologize again for insinuating that he wasn't interested in sleeping with you/cheating on you
2. ask if he has any concerns about you insinuating that he isn't interested in sleeping with you/cheating on you
3. address those concerns
4. contemplate what about the situation between your boyfriend and his "caused" you to insinuate that he didn't want to sleep with you anymore/was cheating on you
5. address those concerns
posted by baniak at 9:27 AM on April 5, 2012

You certainly didn't approach it quite the way I'd suggest. I think it'll be fine after a "Don't get me wrong, I don't think you're effeminate. It's just been on my mind with my friend's husband. And I'm insecure because sometimes it seems like you're a little too good to be true"

OTOH, if he's a straight guy still worried about whether his girlfriend considers him effeminate, he needs to get over that.
posted by pjaust at 9:30 AM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I think you brought up a valid concern, but in doing that you focused on his behaviour and then jumped to an extreme conclusion, rather than concentrating the discussion your feelings about how much time he spends with his boss, and how it maybe distracts from your time together. Repair the relationship by bringing this up again in a way that focuses on the way you feel about the amount of time you each devote to your friends, if that is what really bothers you.
posted by sundaydriver at 9:31 AM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

I don't think its so much that his pride was hurt.

I think the main problem here is that you have introduced an element of weirdness into something that your boyfriend clearly enjoys, ie. his boss' friendship. Not neccessarily by questioning his sexuality but, by extension, passing judgement on who he is friends with. I, personally, would be more upset by that than at any innuendo.

This could be an opportunity to open that door and have a bigger chat about values.

Oh god.. don't do that. The way you approached this with him("I need to ask you something.... Please don't be offended...") most probably scared the hell out of him with its gravitas. Using this as some jumping off point for wider ranging discussion will only make matters worse.

I think the best thing is just let it go. Guys quickly move on from these sort of things. As long as you don't appear threatened or judgemental, he will quickly forget.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 9:35 AM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

Here's thing thing, this isn't about his being homophobic. It's that, in a relationship, you want to be seen by your female partner - at least initially (first 6 months) as kind of an alpha. As THE man in her life. That kind of archetypal boyfriend.

Saying "are you gay with your boss" not only implies that you are not buying into his vision of manly companionship he's been building for you, it also says that you think A) he's giving off a vibe that's the opposite and B) that he's in a relationship with a guy he has to be submissive to as part of his job, his boss.

I'll be honest - I have no idea how you can walk it back in a sincere way. My only advice to you, is if you want to throw a hail mary here is a lie. Here it is:

Your best bet is to say that the thing that threw you about your friend's husband has now been making you question everything. Pick someone you both know as the most hetero guy in your life and say you were sure for 10 minutes that HE was gay and started even bringing it up but got cut off. Say you had a gay-ish dream about another woman and you can't get THAT out of your head (a misdirect that works on guys occasionally). Say you don't think he's gay. You think EVERYONE'S gay now.

In short, play the "women do things that make no sense" card. If you can play this as a global idiocy of yours it may lessen the personal insult he's taking.
posted by rileyray3000 at 9:38 AM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

The real damage here might be that he now feels weird having a strong and vital relationship with another male in the context of a relationship with you, which is not only an exceedingly normal thing for men to pursue, but good for your relationship with your boyfriend, as well. This isn't about being gay, but that you think that his relationship seemed abnormal in the context of his relationship with you, and hence a place for skepticism. If you feel the need to take an extra step, I'd let him know that you rethought this and not only are not skeptical, but highly supportive of him having good male friendships, specifically because it is good for him, and hence good for you, as well. Give him your blessing, and I'm sure that all will be well.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:38 AM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

"It's a silly question, I know. It's just that my best friend's situation has made me all paranoid."
posted by Sys Rq at 9:39 AM on April 5, 2012 [13 favorites]

(say that to him)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:39 AM on April 5, 2012

This is nothing.

I would have been flattered: 'really? you think gay men might be interested in me?'
posted by jamjam at 9:48 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

What sys rq said. It doesn't need to be a big deal, and there is nothing wrong with having your friend's experience be something that makes you want assurances in your own life.

But if he really thinks that gay equals effeminate, he needs to meet more gay guys.
posted by Forktine at 9:53 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yup, pretty serious, for all the reasons folks have listed to this point. I'll add that something that has been really useful for me in relationships is to think "is this about him, or is this about me?" before I say something or make something an issue. For example, in this case, your question and concern really had way more to do with you and your experience with your best friend than it did with his behavior. It's tough to train yourself to do - we're trained that our partner should be there to deal with any of our behavior, but they shouldn't always have to take on the burden of something that's exclusively in your head - but it's made such a difference.

All you can do now is apologize and explain the issue with your best friend so hopefully he understands where you were coming from.
posted by anotheraccount at 9:57 AM on April 5, 2012

Shouldn't have asked the question and, dear god, don't ever bring it up again.

To be perfectly honest, if my girlfriend asked me that question I don't think that I could stay with her if we'd only been dating for 3 months. It would always nag at me and I don't see how that could be assuaged. And if it really is nothing, then what it shows is that you're willing to offend him deeply based upon, what, an experience that a friend had?
posted by fso at 9:59 AM on April 5, 2012

Well, as a bisexual/pansexual/whatever lady, I would be equally pissed off if a partner accused me of having a cheating sexual relationship with any of my friends of any gender.

I would focus on apologizing for that, if on anything. Agree that he probably isn't gay or bi because of the "do you think I'm effeminate?" response.

And yeah, you might have poisoned the well. Not because he's going to be obsessed that you might think he's gay or whatever, but because you're so insecure that you assume he's cheating with everyone he likes a lot, even if that person isn't a gender he usually fucks.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:02 AM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

I don't think his reaction has a lot to do with how he feels about gay people.

Here's the deal:

You asked a dude who you are presumably sleeping with if he's gay. I think the babelfish inside his head translated that to "Attention dude: You are not so good at 'the sex'"

Which, isn't a completely wacky conclusion to jump to. So if you're going to damage control, I'd damage control the hell out of that.
posted by Feel the beat of the rhythm of the night at 10:06 AM on April 5, 2012 [13 favorites]

Hmm, wide range of opinions on this one. I don't it's crossing a line at all, either to have the thought, or to ask him the question. And the idea that it might cross a line seems a bit homophobic to me.

It doesn't sound like you asked because you think your boyfriend is effeminate, which is a separate question, but even *that* shouldn't be considered beyond the pale in my book (though it's understandable if he feels hurt). I've actually had two past girlfriends wonder if I was gay when they first met me, because I'm apparently effeminate. I wasn't offended-- it was funny to me, even when the first girlfriend's *mother* thought I might be gay! What offended me was when the second girlfriend continued to insist that I must secretly be gay and made jokes at my expense about finding me a nice boy and so on, even after I asked her to stop.

If you don't think your boyfriend is effeminate, it's easy enough to let him know, but maybe best to let it go unless he brings it up again.
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 10:08 AM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'd let it go and see how things play out.

What's interesting about the responses here is that if you'd come here with doubts but hadn't asked him, I bet a lot of people would have said you need to talk to him or why can't you talk to him about it.

I don't think it's terrible that you asked him - and I assume he knows what's going on with your best friend, so he's got some context.
posted by mrs. taters at 10:27 AM on April 5, 2012

Thanks for the feedback everyone, you've all been really helpful.

A few points to reassert:

1) Yes, I know he's not gay.
2) I realize (now) that my question came from a place of paranoia over my friend's situation.
3) I know that gay does not equal effeminate, and I didn't mean to offend anyone.


4) Yes, I feel like a complete jackass. :( Poor guy. In my opinion I thought it better to address my (albeit completely illegitimate) concern rather than ignore it and let the paranoia fester. It's not that I didn't take his feelings into consideration when I brought it up; I really care about him and would never intentionally hurt him. I just don't think I realized how offensively he could take it because he knew the situation with my friend and I was just looking for some reassurance. I wasn't trying to be accusatory at all, but unfortunately I came off that way. Bad communication based on unnecessary worry, tptally my fault.

Again, thanks everyone. Keep the responses coming if you so desire. :)
posted by Teradactyl at 10:35 AM on April 5, 2012

We can't really read into his mind, and don't know any really about him. You state his reaction was to ask if you thought he was effeminate. So, is he effeminate? If so, he may be somewhat sensitive to that fact.

Not to derail, although it already has a bit - the whole handringing by folks here over "you're a homophobe because you are saying a guy is going to get offended by being accused of being gay!" really is naive. It really is just an acknowledgement of *reality* whether that is wrong or not (that men who are hetero get offended for being accused of being gay).

Especially for someone who may be effeminate, or have a self-perception that others think they are effeminate. These are the kids who are made fun of (wrongly, yes, wrongly, but that doesn't mean it doesn't HAPPEN), and have been bullied or otherwise targeted. And if they don't have a healthy sense of sence, then, yes, they are going to react very poorly when their girlfriend asks if they are sleeping with their male boss.

Some people are more comfortable than others. I've had gay bosses in the past and my wife has jokingly asked "so what are you doing out so late, hmm?" But doesn't bother me.. have even brought my wife along when he and other gay friends have dragged us to gay bars. But many people are not as comfortable.

Now on to the actual question - let it go, but know that he's going to be somewhat sensitive/reactionary. He may even be more secretive about his interactions with his boss, and lie about who he is with instead of admitting to you that he is out with his boss.

So, it'll be soemthing you need to just tread lightly on, but don't overdo the "oh, you're so manly" side of things. But it really depends on him, and the reason for his sensitivity to the subject.
posted by rich at 10:38 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

OP: Do you think I made a serious blunder? If so, what do I do?

A serious blunder? I don't think so. A mini-blunder? Yes. The situation with your friends' divorce sounds confusing and complicated, and I can understand why it might make you question certainties in your own life. I think Sys Req has it right by suggesting you say to your boyfriend "It's a silly question, I know. It's just that my best friend's situation has made me all paranoid." Hopefully that will be all you need to say to put his mind at ease.
posted by OsoMeaty at 10:43 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Trust your feelings. You were curious and you asked him straight out. Now you both know more about each other. This is good.

I like SpacemanStix's advice to look for ways to be supportive of that relationship, because in your boyfriend's place, I would wonder if you regarded my boss/friend as competition.
posted by Sauce Trough at 10:47 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

You didn't ask if he was gay, you asked him if he was cheating on you. In a casual, chatty way, with no evidence. That's the thing that I think crosses a line.

This. This, this, this, this!

If my wife asked me if I was in a relationship with another man, I would be offended that she would think that I would cheat on her when we have an established monogamous relationship. I'm comfortable enough in my sexuality that someone (even my wife) can ask me a factual question about my sexuality without it "offending" me. I have as much control over whether I'm gay as to whether I'm right handed. Just as I would think it was a bit odd if someone watching me write asked if I were left handed, I would think it odd if a woman I was sleeping with asked me if I were gay. I mean, it would sort of indicate that they weren't really paying attention, but why would it "offend" me?
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:13 AM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

@ rileyray3000

"In short, play the "women do things that make no sense" card. If you can play this as a global idiocy of yours it may lessen the personal insult he's taking."
posted by rileyray3000 at 9:38 AM on April 5

Homophobic nay, sexist yay?

Please OP, don't do that.
posted by travelwithcats at 11:18 AM on April 5, 2012 [10 favorites]

You have every right to have the feelings you did in view of what happened. But doubting him was merely a transfer of your fears. Don't be ashamed of it, we all make mistakes.

Apologize and let him know where you are coming from. Then it is up to him. If he can overlook it then good but if not, there is someone else out there who has had enough experience in life to understand you. And yes there are men who are offended that they are considered gay, it is a reality, no matter how much many would be blind to that.
posted by pakora1 at 11:23 AM on April 5, 2012

1. Dudes hang out and text each other and drink beer. No sex required, because beer is awesome on its own. I'm sure gay dudes like to drink beer and text each other too, because: why not? Also: women hang out and drink and text each other too. Does that automatically make them lesbians?

2. Generally bosses suck. When you have an awesome boss, it is awesome. Texting and boozing with the boss is either a sign of sucking up or an awesome boss. The only thing to worry about here is if your boyfriend is drinking too much or being exploited by the boss.

3. It it too bad that your boyfriend is homophobic, but it is probably better in the long run for you to ask than not. Hopefully it will ultimately strengthen your relationship and help him realize that homophobia is stupid.

4. There is also the possibility that the boss is gay and your boyfriend isn't. I've been that boyfriend before. It was slightly awkward at times, but also helped me get over my homophobia. Awesome gay bosses are just as good as awesome straight bosses.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:28 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Sorry, boyfriend, this thing with Friend and her now-ex just had me shook up. I know you're not gay, and I apologize for being weird."
posted by katypickle at 12:00 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

There are countless possibilities here, including personality/neurodevelopmental issue (overall, friendship with a boss outside of working time goes against regular conventions of social interaction, and some human conditions make us discard and disregard the conventions), OP, please do not beat yourself up with guilt for asking the question. Remain level-headed and look deeper into what can strengthen your own trust, and what your decisions will be in case if you cannot regain that trust. Focus on your perception, remain honest with yourself.
posted by Jurate at 12:03 PM on April 5, 2012

It it too bad that your boyfriend is homophobic, but it is probably better in the long run for you to ask than not. Hopefully it will ultimately strengthen your relationship and help him realize that homophobia is stupid.

Please, boyfriend is NOT homophobic (and I say this as a gay man). Many posters upthread mention the leap to "do you think I'm effeminate" after being asked as toeing the "homophobia" line, but nowhere is it mentioned in the original question whether BF has any of the context of the married friends situation that was laid out in preface to the question. How is he supposed to know where the line of questioning is coming from? I would assume a logical line of thought for him would be that could very well be based on his mannerisms etc... Indeed not all gay men display effeminate qualities, but really, it seems that the question was sprung upon him out of nowhere, due to a friendship that he views as completely innocent/normal with his boss. What else is he supposed to think?

I feel sorry for the dude.
posted by wats at 12:05 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

(I should have said,, nothing from the description of him/his reaction in this question indicates that boyfriend is homophobic...)
posted by wats at 12:06 PM on April 5, 2012

Some people here seem not to be acknowledging that there are people who are sexually attracted to both genders. She asked "if anything was going on between he and his boss." He could be quite sexually attracted to (and good in the sack with) women AND ALSO his boss.

I don't see how this is any worse than asking someone if there's something romantic going on with anyone. Yes, depending on the situation, it might rattle me to be asked if I was cheating on someone. But if we'd just started dating someone in the last three months and they asked if there was something between me and [that person I was constantly texting and hanging out with], I probably wouldn't be that offended. I might be like "no, omg, ha ha, how could you even think that? never!" but to be like "oh, my pride is so hurt?" Why? And the question makes it sound like he wasn't offended at the idea he might be cheating, but because of some unjustified leaps of logic, e.g., that a same-sex attraction would mean he's effeminate. (And by the way, YOU don't have to apologize to us because YOUR BOYFRIEND thinks men who date other men are effeminate. That's on him.)

In your shoes, I'd be apologetic for being needlessly insecure and / or for insulting his ethics, but about his hurt masculine pride I'd be more like, "why is that an insult? I don't get why that'd make you effeminate." And you probably don't need to feel all that bad. On the rare instances I've asked the question, I've received "no, of course there's nothing going on with that person! you're the only person I want to be with" reassurances without any hint that I'd offended the person. I think it's weird that your question sparked such drama, but I don't know how you asked the question, and obviously some here feel differently.
posted by salvia at 12:10 PM on April 5, 2012 [7 favorites]

You have already apologized, bringing it up again will probably be weird. help him forget the words that are making him unhappy with some actions that will make him happy. Show him how much you are attracted to the man that he is. and by that I mean shag him senseless.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:27 PM on April 5, 2012

Your boyfriend's reaction isn't just about how he views gay people; it's also about how he thinks you view gay people. Anything you've ever said about gay men, he thinks you think that about him.

So, try to remember everything you've ever said about gay men while in the presence of your boyfriend. It might be relevant to understanding what's going in his head.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 12:44 PM on April 5, 2012

Do you think I've made a serious blunder?

Doesn't matter what I or anyone else here thinks, it matters what your boyfriend thinks. So talk to him. You did already? Cool, you're covered.

If so, what do I do?

Have lots more sex. Few things are better than make up sex.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I agree with what Sys Rq said above. I think the best recourse is to fall on your sword on this one and A) apologize as gently as possible without making him feel pandered to and B) make sure to mention that you're the one in the wrong BECAUSE of the thing with your longtime friend who you would have NEVER guessed was gay with the option of C) showing him this post to convince him that you're seriously concerned to the point of admitting your wrongness to internet people whose opinion you, obviously, desire and, hopefully, value.

Just in case: "Hi Teradactyl's boyfriend! Now is the time to ask for that kinky stuff you've been wanting or for that xbox game you've been wanting, full speed ahead!"
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:45 PM on April 5, 2012

I'm going to chime in that this has nothing to do with homophobia, or being accused of being effeminate - It's about having your sexuality questioned by the person you are the most intimate with. There's all sorts of subtexts in this...

1. Implied cheating, as mentioned above
2. Implied dishonesty
3. Wondering why on earth you, as the SO he's sleeping with, would ever think that

Brandon Blatcher has a great answer - That, in conjunction with the answers indicating that you were overly concerned due to your friends situation.

I've had my sexuality questioned just like this - It's been questioned by other people, and I didn't really give a shit, but when it comes from the person you are sleeping with, it's a huge fucking blow to the ego, because you can't help but wonder what on earth you could possibly be doing to indicate that.
posted by MysticMCJ at 1:47 PM on April 5, 2012

he now felt that I considered him effeminate and would always question it in the back of my mind

Well, yeah, that's lame.

But also, this whole question is totally bizarre to me? Boyfriends have asked me in the past if I'm interested in women because I'm "sexually aggressive," and I'm not, and it is a silly stereotype about women and lesbians, but I pretty much let it go. So just so you know, your boyfriends feelings are most important, but you did not make a horrifying blunder in my opinion.

I don't understand the implied cheating and implied dishonesty either, but maybe that's just me-- if my boyfriend were cheating in a relationship because he was confused about his sexuality, that's different to me than cheating just because, IMO. But maybe that's more idiosyncratic.

But anyway, there's no reason this has to "always be on his mind" if you talk about it and trust each other. Seems like a bit of an overreaction.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:56 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

That he equated being gay with being effeminate means he's really not gay.

Hahaha if only. Gay people (especially closeted gays) have plenty of fucked up, semi-conscious ideas about what it means to be gay.

But to actually answer your question, what Sys Rq and Brandon said.
posted by en forme de poire at 6:55 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm straight, and this question would seem totally harmless and slightly amusing to me. Opinions vary.
posted by ead at 7:57 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think it's weird that your question sparked such drama

I'm with salvia on this. I'm totally surprised at the number of posters here who agree that being asked a question like this would be a Big Deal (possibly even a deal breaker!) to them, too. I don't particularly see this as much of a blunder at all.

People can get in weird headspaces, that's just something that happens. Tell your boyfriend you promise this isn't something that will be lurking forever in the back of your mind. Tell him the thing with your old friend had got you thinking about how it's really impossible for us ever to know another person with 100% certainty (this is true). You wondered about him, you asked. Tell him that just having the conversation was enough to clear your head, and you hope he can understand your question for what it was and both of you can forget about it.

I just typed this out and then reread your question, and realized you don't actually have reason to believe that your boyfriend isn't already more or less over this. With that in mind, I'd suggest that this really may be a much bigger deal in your head than in his. So, maybe don't borrow trouble? If it crops up again, explain in a straightforward way, but no--don't assume this was a terrible blunder. If it does turn out that it's something your boyfriend is hung up on, that would seem (to me) to be more a problem with him than with you.
posted by torticat at 9:24 PM on April 5, 2012

« Older Muddling through bureaucratic bullshit.   |   Trying to get on the good foot but this sprain... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.