You're so gay, and you don't even like boys... ???
July 7, 2008 7:43 PM   Subscribe

I fell in love with my best friend, who is a guy. I’m a young bisexual guy. Apparently, he is not. Did the “wrong thing” and told him about how I felt, and was rejected, but things seemed okay afterward. However, I’m still hurting, I’m feeling delusional about it, and sometimes I think that he inadvertently isn’t helping… how do I live with my best friend now? Help me, Metafilter!

I think one of the major issues in me getting past what happened was how many positive signs of success I thought I was seeing prior to the big moment. Worse, these signals have continued so strongly after the fact that individuals ignorant as to the overall situation have begun to take notice. Let’s call my friend James. Before I started being romantically attracted to him, my “gaydar” (apologies for invoking this concept) had gone off on him, as had those of all other LGB friends who know him. In addition, I had known him to have three romantic interactions (at the very least heavy kissing, petting, etc., if not oral sex) with a male friend of ours that hadn’t even occurred while drunk. Off the bat, I was primed to think of him as a queer man, someone who definitely wasn’t a “0” on the Kinsey scale.

We’ve known each other for almost three years now, and especially since about a seven months ago, James and I have had one of the strongest interpersonal relationships of my life… we clicked really famously on the friendship front. For about two years, I hadn’t been romantically attracted to him, but then a switch flicked on and the strong feelings of friendship toward him began to give rise to desires for more intimate bonds between us. Realizing how bad the situation could get, I kept these feelings (and my sexuality) under wraps for several months, until he began one long, intense phone conversation with me out of the blue. He opened up to me in a thousand new ways and began to praise me heavily, giving me an events timeline (???) of when exactly he was feeling more and more personally intimate with me, explaining why I was one of the most important people in the world to him, and telling me that any day I talked to him brightened it immeasurably. This began to make me think that there was some actual hope for a relationship, as not only were these weird things for me to be hearing from a young straight guy (sorry, stereotyping in action, I know), but they seemed to proclaim some sort of intimate exclusivity to our relationship.

Happily following the advice of a gay friend, I did something that I should have done long ago for the wrong reasons, and came out to my close straight male friends (I included James in this category) in hopes of maybe dragging out more information. I thought I had succeeded in this, as James messaged said gay friend less than 24 hours later to tell him that he had “cried” from being so proud and was “so happy” and that he wanted to “ask [me] who [my] love is, because that kind of love should not be withheld.” (Considering I “came out” in what was essentially a custom-locked blog entry that was fairly plain, the extreme emotional rise I got out of him confused me, and it was also weird at the time that the first thing he wanted to talk to me about was who my possibly gay crush was because the love I have to give is apparently just so awesome.) He also heavily began to ramp up contact with me (80+ short e-mails exchanged in two weeks), and every message seemed to be insanely positive and cheerful, which was in opposition to his typical demeanor. Finally, he invited me to make a five-hour trek to the college he was attending to spend the night for no particular reason, and remarked very particularly about the visit (such as suggesting we could sleep in the same bed???). Of course, at this point, I’m thinking: how could this be anything but his method of trying to romantically whisk me away, right?

Wrong. Despite some interesting encounters when I did visit (including being taken to a “special place” to gaze at the stars), when I finally couldn’t hold it in anymore and told him that I was developing, I was shot down by him saying that he wasn’t queer. (Actually, it was more so that I answered the question for him in a self-defeating manner... "I think I like you" ==> "But you can't be gay or bi, right?" I regret not letting him answer the real question.) This crushed me heavily, as I had believed strongly and illogically that there was some serious hope for a positive outcome. I asked him while crying why he had had romantic intercourse with our mutual gay friend, and he replied that he was simply “comfortable with his [straight] sexuality,” which frustrated me to no end. (I would later find out that there was a gay guy at James’s college seriously asking around the gay community if anyone would like to have a no-strings-attached m-m-m threesome including James, which would help foster my later delusions.) We departed on uncertain terms but over the next few days he assured me heavily that this wouldn’t come between us and that we were still as close as ever, if not more so. It hurt, but I steeled myself and worked as hard as I could to try to reorient my affections so that I would be okay with him and so I could try to heal.

When I went home, some uncomfortable things started to happen in the midst of the “business-as-usual” that I was hoping for, things that made it increasingly more difficult for me to start moving on. I started getting a whole deal more physical contact from James than I was used to, which felt strange considering what had happened a few weeks before. This contact included rough-housing, him stripping a shirt off of me, shoulder-to-shoulder-almost-face-to-face closeness at any sitdown event we attended, and lots (LOTS) of leg rubbing. For a two-week period J and I were together for at least 66.6% of the time (including him sleeping over at my house almost every night), which was nice at the same time that it was extremely difficult to deal with emotionally. (This, in part, led to three [!] female friends and one usually dense straight male friend who all knew that I had come out but who were ignorant as to what happened between James and I to ask seriously more or less whether James or I were in a relationship, which stung heavily. How could they be so off-mark while being so, so, close?) A girl he had an infrequent friends-with-benefits relationship with started to do recon in social circles that eventually got back to me as to whether or not James and I had ever been involved, because apparently she had grown suspicious of some “odd remarks” he had made. He also began to make a lot of non-ironic positive remarks about my appearance and how he’d “like to see [my] muscles after [I] bulked up [from weight training]” that also made me very uncomfortable after what had happened. To be perfectly fair, I was largely passive in all of this as I usually am, and was (and barely am now) not in a state where I was able to assert myself well, which is a larger problem I have to deal with.

In the mean-time, I’ve become hypersensitive to the contours of our relationship, and flip out internally over little not-really rejections because I still worry that I’ve destroyed our friendship with my admission, despite evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, this entire time I’ve had to keep an active vigilance over the fantasies that tell me that at the very least he’s heavily closeted and at the extreme end of wishful thinking could have feelings for me someday. I know these are absolutely terrible thoughts to be thinking, which is why I’ve been trying so hard to regulate them. It doesn’t help, though, that aspects of his character (usually embarrassed or ignorant as to his own feelings, self-destructive in romantic entanglements in terms of seeking people who are the opposite of what he professes to desire, history of sexual abuse in his childhood) make it easy for subprocesses in my head to make up a story positing hidden sexual issues. I know this is bad and need to find a way to get it down.

This whole situation is obviously very awkward, but James is going on a vacation out of the country for about a month, which might give me some time to regroup and recuperate. What are some suggestions to help move onto the next stages of getting over my friend? How do I stop driving myself batshit over our relationship? What sorts of things can I tell the delusional little voice in my head to get it to shut up and stop making up crazy stories that are probably supposed to make me feel better, but ultimately just lead to roadblocks to letting go? If, when I get home again, some of the behaviors that discomfort me continue (abnormal physical contact in particular, actually), am I in the right to have a conversation with him about them in the context of me wanting to move past that in our relationship (I worry that this is a no-no, considering I want things to be "normal" and it was my fault for making the situation awkward in the first place)? If so, any suggestions on how to approach this subject? Any other advice to offer in this situation? Thanks!

Throwaway e-mail:
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
What are some suggestions to help move onto the next stages of getting over my friend? How do I stop driving myself batshit over our relationship?

In all seriousness... go get laid.
posted by matty at 7:58 PM on July 7, 2008

Pardon my bluntness, but James is as queer as a three-dollar bill, he just hasn't admitted it. Straight guys don't do a "lot of leg rubbing" and stripping the shirt off of male friends during "rough-housing," nor do they muse about how they'd like to see their friends' muscles bulked up after weight-training. Who knows why he is denying being queer ... but clearly he is not straight. Perhaps he is not attracted to you.
posted by jayder at 7:59 PM on July 7, 2008 [6 favorites]

In all seriousness... go get laid. Really, stop ripping yourself apart over a closet case. Go get laid, get over it, get laid again, and be a friend to someone who obviously needs a friend.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:07 PM on July 7, 2008

james is, at the very least, quite the tease—the absolute LAST thing you do when a friend tells you they like you and you're not interested is to to engage in any physical contact, let alone more. it's cruel, it gives them false hope, it makes it harder for them to move on. take this from me, both as a flirt and as someone who has had to shut down more than a handful of guy friends who've put the moves on me.

i can't tell you if he's straight or closeted or interested in you or not, but i can tell you that he's not, but i can tell you that he's playing games with your feelings. whether that's intentional or not, it's not something you need in your life, especially right now. he's being a jerk, and you deserve better. disengage for a few months, don't hang out with him, go meet a bunch of other guys and girls. things can't go back to the way they used to be, at least not any time in the near future, accept that and move on.
posted by lia at 8:14 PM on July 7, 2008 [6 favorites]

arrghhh, but i can tell you that he's not,
posted by lia at 8:16 PM on July 7, 2008

Pardon my bluntness, but James is as queer as a three-dollar bill, he just hasn't admitted it. Straight guys don't do a "lot of leg rubbing" and stripping the shirt off of male friends during "rough-housing," nor do they muse about how they'd like to see their friends' muscles bulked up after weight-training. Who knows why he is denying being queer ... but clearly he is not straight. Perhaps he is not attracted to you.

I couldn't agree more.

I'm a really, really straight guy who has a lot of gay friends. "Do"s: handshakes, hugging hello or goodbye, walking down the street together a foot or two apart, hanging out for a beer, asking them for fashion advice.

"Don't"s: leg-rubbing, sleep-overs, full-body touching, telling them about the guy I blew the other week but-I'm-totally-straight-doncha-know-it, sexy wrestling, undressing each other, making their gaydar go off.

James is at least bi, if not some other flavor of pan-sexual/queer/whatever. And he seems to be really enjoying the erotic tension of doing erotic things with you, like the leg-rubbing and sleep-overs and and sexy touching. But, for whatever reason, at this moment in time, given your approach so far, he doesn't seem interested in consummating your relationship.

I think you should either move on and get laid by some other guy. Or, man up and next time James is over both of you have three or four beers, do some shirtless man-on-man wrestling, and let those pheromones take their course. I know a lot more about seducing women than I do men, but I think there are probably some universals (don't be creepy, alcohol helps unless you have too much, doing beats talking, etc) and if you are willing to risk him saying "naw, not tonight, but how about we watch some underwear ads and I sleep in your bed again?" you are probably good to go.
posted by Forktine at 8:20 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

He's queer, he's in the closet, and he's attracted to you - but nothing will come of it until he comes out. And, likely, what comes of it then will be seriously messed up, since his closet is apparently hiding his sexuality from himself (and not just others, as yours was).

The best you're likely to get is some hot, hot sex from him; the worst, a dragged out mind-game as he continues to explore (and deny) his urges, using you as his testing ground.

posted by IAmBroom at 8:24 PM on July 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

I am so sorry everyone here is being so ugly to you - you don't deserve that and you are honestly in pain. I'm sorry. You do not deserve it.

You've been honest and authentic. You deserve someone who is also honest and authentic.

James is not this person.

I know, I know, he is hot and cute and this and that, but he is not loving and caring of you. You deserve someone who loves you and cares for you. When you get it, you will know it and you will NOT need to ask Mefi about it! Really. You won't. This isn't a homo/hetero issue; it is a people issue. And there are some people who suck. I'm sorry, but James is one of them. For whatever ego-gratifying reasons, he is utilizing your admiration for his own ends without regard to your feelings. You know what? That SUCKS. James SUCKS. You deserve better. I don't know you, but you are articulate and intelligent and you therefore DESERVE BETTER than this guy. Really.

I totally want to hug you and tell you it will be okay and you will meet someone deserving of your sweet attention and love and time. You will! It isn't this guy. But there is someone far more worthy. You will meet him. Please know you aren't defined by this guy's metric. He's an idiot. And you sound like a gem. I'm rooting for you.
posted by Punctual at 8:43 PM on July 7, 2008 [21 favorites]

I am straight and I have lots of gay and bi friends including my very best friend and what counts is handshakes, high fives, the occasional bro hug, drinking, barbecues... what guys of our age, mid-20s professionals, do generally.

We do not take our shirts off in front of each other, generally comment about our muscles and how we need to show them off to each other, send like five dozen infatuation e-mails to each other or invite each other into our beds.

Your roommate is definitely bisexual and probably actually gay. He's trying to drop subtle hints to his girlfriend, maybe in thinking that if he can get her and you and him together for a night then it won't seem gay but be as adventurous and straight-sounding as the "letters" he reads in Forum.

I really believe that truly bisexual people exist, but having dated several professed bisexual women, I can tell you from experience that most bisexual women fantasize about men when they are with men and women when they are with women. A roommate who is being a sexual tease to you while cavorting around with an on-off female friend with benefits? That doesn't sound very bisexual, it sounds really, really gay.
posted by parmanparman at 8:45 PM on July 7, 2008

I still worry that I’ve destroyed our friendship with my admission, despite evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, this entire time I’ve had to keep an active vigilance over the fantasies that tell me that at the very least he’s heavily closeted and at the extreme end of wishful thinking could have feelings for me someday. I know these are absolutely terrible thoughts to be thinking, which is why I’ve been trying so hard to regulate them.

You didn't destroy your friendship by being honest--he's threatening to destroying it by sending you some intensely mixed messages. You can't stop having those fantasies because he's, consciously or not, actively feeding them (or was before he left). His behavior is genuinely confusing, and it's probably because he himself is confused. You mentioned he has a history of sexual abuse, as well as a tendency to be self-destructive in romantic relationships. It could be, as others have guessed, that he is attracted to you and just can't admit it. It could also be that he's deeply confused about what actually feels good to him sexually (as a lot of survivors of abuse are). Bottom line is, it seems pretty clear that there's no way that you and he are going to have the kind of relationship you want and deserve: someone who will be honest and sexual and affectionate with you.

I don't think you've overdone the honesty; I think you've underdone it. I'd say, next time he initiates physical contact that seems more than friendly, say, "Hey, James, this feels weird and sexual." Set some boundaries. Say, "We can be friends or lovers, but I can't deal with this confusing middle ground." I think it makes sense to use this month with him gone to sort things out, focus on other parts of your life, talk to other people to let out your feelings and get some perspective on him (although try not to obsess about him too much). It might help all of that to decide to have no communication for this month (or longer). Even though you were never truly dating, you (completely understandably, based on what you've said) thought that you and your best friend were about to start an awesome, sexy romantic relationship, and some you're probably feeling some of the same feelings that people going through a break up feel.

Essentially, I think you're being too hard on yourself and blaming all of the current mess on yourself, when, really, it's a situation that both of you created. If he's willing to be honest with you and respect your boundaries, great, but if not, if he keeps putting you in sexually charged situations while insisting that he's straight, my advice would be to walk away, however painful that might be for you.
posted by overglow at 9:14 PM on July 7, 2008

He's gay, but sounds confused. I don't think there's anything you can do about it, so move on. I wouldn't hesitate to call him on it the next time he tries something with you - "Why are you rubbing my leg? Why are you sleeping over my house?"
posted by xammerboy at 9:17 PM on July 7, 2008

James: Gay, Not In To You, Possibly Confused.
You: Very unfortunate situation, time to move on.
posted by phrontist at 10:22 PM on July 7, 2008

am I in the right to have a conversation with him about them in the context of me wanting to move past that in our relationship

You absolutely should do this. He is sending you some very mixed up messages and unfairly playing with your emotions. You deserve better.

No matter what your sexual orientation, leg rubbing, sleeping in the same bed, undressing while wrestling are all no-nos in platonic friendships.

Any sort of romantic relationship you two would have right now would be seriously fucked up. He is too confused about his sexuality at this time in his life to have a decent relationship with you (or any other man). I know it hurts, but for your own sake, you need to put an end to any sort of romantic or intimate contact between the two of you and move on.
posted by wigglin at 10:23 PM on July 7, 2008

Hmm, I dunno. I'm gonna disagree with the majority of people and say that he's not necessarily gay. I speak from similar experiences throughout college.

Had a roommate who, in his own show of masculinity, would regularly state that he was so comfortable with his sexuality that he wouldn't care if I grabbed his crotch, gave him a massage, or jacked him off. He never set off my gaydar but we did a lot of homo-related things. We'd wrestle often and during a few matches I would strip him naked.
He'd mention things like he had been walking around the apartment naked earlier and that I would've liked it or that he had showered with the door open and I missed it while I was at class.
It never went past light petting (I actually had not 100% accepted that I was gay myself)--and it was always me doing things to him--but now he's happily married with a kid.

Around the same time I had a crush on this other guy who sent me similar odd signals. We had 2 classes together and we're pursuing the same major at the time. Often we'd sit in class next to each other and he would scoot his desk next to mine and position his leg so that our legs were touching.
He'd call me often to work on assignments together and just to hang out. I'd regularly visit his dorm to study and once in a while he'd shower, come back in a towel and lounge around in my line of sight.
Another time I was sitting on an ottoman trying to figure out a programming error on a computer, he sat behind me, put his chin on my shoulder and his hands on my thighs.
He started dating a girl (who he's still with after about 6 years) just 3 weeks after I met him. I truly believed he was flirting with me and that things would go farther but it was just who he was--very comfortable and physical. I was just projecting my own desires and reading too much into these non-existant 'signs'. It was disappointing but a much needed wake up call.

My last example is of this dude I had a threesome with. Afterwards we were talking about relationships and such and I said something like, "So, I guess you're gay."
And he replied, "No."
Confused I asked, "Then... you're bi?"
And he said, "No."
He ended up giving me what I thought at the time was utter BS. He confirmed that he wasn't exactly straight (since he just participated in sexual acts with 2 other men), but he wouldn't label himself anything else. He would just say, "I know what I am but I can't explain it."
Probably about 2 years afterwards he started dating only women and now another 2 years later I kind of understand him.

I say back off a little and let your friend discover who he is. Maybe he's just a straight guy who likes the attention, maybe he's just very physical and romantic by nature. Maybe he is in fact bi or gay or some other unknown classification... or maybe you are tricking yourself into believing things that aren't really there. Definitely give it all some time.
posted by simplethings at 10:25 PM on July 7, 2008

Without the gay angle, which I know can cause other stresses:

I once declared my unending love for my best male friend (I'm female). He was kind and just wasn't that into me, even though we'd slept in the same bed pretty often and felt comfortable enough with each other for backrubs and stuff. We've never kissed or had sex. He felt more like we are siblings than lovers. I was hurt after he turned me down, of course. I left him alone for a bit and we talked on the phone some. We still exchanged letters and kept up with each other. We're still friends now, well over 10 years later, because I let it go. We've had a couple short, non-too-weird chats about it since. Really, he was right. We wouldn't have worked. Mostly because, duh, he wasn't that into me. I'm happy for the friendship. It's still love, just a different flavor.

He's my oldest friend. He's a great uncle to my children, and although he married a while back (and I did, too), they don't plan on having any kids. He says he likes my kids better than his own biological nieces and nephews. I like his wife and I totally understand why they are happy together.

A deep connection does not have to be a sexual one. It's so easy to be confused there.

My best wishes to you with dealing with this.
posted by lilywing13 at 12:15 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't think you need to blame yourself for your "delusions". This guy is toying with you.

That said, he is never going to give you what you want and it doesn't really matter why. You're wasting your time being miserable and you need to concentrate on letting this go. Stop or at least severely decrease emailing, calling or spending time with this guy. Spend that time doing things you enjoy with people who are good to you.
posted by orange swan at 1:14 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

The behaviors you describe in "James" are pretty much exactly those displayed by male friends of mine who are in the first stages of coming out of the closet... and that includes the ones who have been stuck in the first stage of coming out of the closet for the last decade or two.

And unfortunately, based on my observations of their lives, I can't give you an optimistic prognosis on a healthy romantic relationship with James even if you do manage to break through his repression and start one. Whether he eventually comes out completely or stays stuck in the "having sex with men doesn't make me gay" stage forever, right now he is going to be an emotional rollercoaster for you.

His sexual waffling is hurting you *now*... how's it going to feel when he announces that he's not gay *after you've made love all night*? When he drops your hand every time someone he knows walks by? When he introduces you as his 'buddy' and answers 'no' when people ask him if he's seeing anyone? When he overcompensates and makes homophobic jokes? When you sit at home like a dirty secret during his family's weddings/Thanksgivings/funerals?

These all sound horrible and cliché, but I've seen many, many friends of mine who are lovely people otherwise do all of them and worse to their first boyfriends.

Until he comes to terms with who he is, he is going to be an all-you-can-eat pain buffet for anyone who truly loves him and longs to be with him.

Do not let this guy use you as his sexual guinea pig. You care too much. You will get hurt. If he's an asshole, he'll hurt you without remorse -- bad. If he's not an asshole, he'll feel terrible because he knows he's yanking your chain but can't seem to stop himself, and he'll feel guilty about you, respect you less for taking his shit, and start finding fault with you so that he doesn't have to feel so bad about hurting you. In the end, it's just as bad.

When he wants to shirtless wrestle or rub your leg or sleep in your bed, don't let him do it. Instead of handing out the little crumbs that are all he's willing to admit that he wants, make yourself the whole, unattainable, scrumptious-looking cake he can't have unless he admits that he wants it.

And be prepared -- he may go find some guy, like whoever he made out with before, who'll let him have crumbs, and that'll hurt like hell, too. But seriously -- if he's going to cut his teeth on something, it's way better that your heart isn't the rubber ring.
posted by Gianna at 1:55 AM on July 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Is being comfortable with your sexuality really proved by making statements such as "I'm a really, really straight guy"? It reminds me of the child that screws their eyes shut, puts the blanket over the head and chants "I'm not afraid" over and over as they rock themselves.

I resent the idea that there exists such narrow parameters of affection between two friends; there is nothing gay about having a friend sleepover (perhaps in the same bed, but not conclusively), or interacting on a greater phsycal nature than some people think is acceptable. Surely it is the purpose and motivation of the action, and not the action themselves (to a resonable degree, of course.) We shouldn't be so quick to label and proscribe, it really does reflect an unrealistic view of friendship; the Romans certainly put this narrow view of friendship to shame as they had much more rich and nuanced understanding.

To the original poster, I think you need to talk to him; honestly and throughly talk about your feelings. It doesn't have to be verbal, it can be via IM or email etc. Explain to him what you have explained to us. He may be obdurate at first, but communication, if the friendship is true enough, will triumph. You've made an important step in realizing that the current state of affairs is unsustainable and unhealthy.
posted by oxford blue at 6:43 AM on July 8, 2008

Labels like bi-gay-straight don´t always fit people exactly.

I think James wants to play with the sexual energy between you, and enjoy that, without calling himself ¨bi¨ or ¨gay¨. This bed-sleeping, shirt-stripping, leg-rubbing behavior, while it is extremely extremely taboo among most straight men, is similar to something that often goes on between women (with considerably less taboos) without progressing to full on sex, or the women involved adopting the ¨bi¨ label. James wants to experiment with this sort of touching without adopting the label of ¨bi¨ or ¨gay¨. Being a straight man carries with it a whole pile of expectations about acceptable behavior for men who have sex with women but don´t have sex with men, but to some extent this is stereotyping which most men fit into out of fear of what other people will think.

You are confused because James isn´t fitting into a tidy little labeled box that says ¨straight¨ or ¨bi¨ or ¨gay¨. If you can enjoy it for what it is without wanting to get into a standard dating/sexual relationship with him, it could be both fun and lead to deep connections between you. Enjoy it for what it is without expecting it to lead anywhere, which might be hard for you right now. Don´t have sex with James right now, because he´s not going to be able to give you the connection you want from that. Be aware that what James calls sex and what you call sex might be two different things -- so you need to be aware of your boundaries.

It sounds like what you really want right now is a boyfriend. James isn´t going to be it.
posted by yohko at 7:46 AM on July 8, 2008

My last example is of this dude I had a threesome with. Afterwards we were talking about relationships and such and I said something like, "So, I guess you're gay."
And he replied, "No."
Confused I asked, "Then... you're bi?"
And he said, "No."
He ended up giving me what I thought at the time was utter BS. He confirmed that he wasn't exactly straight (since he just participated in sexual acts with 2 other men), but he wouldn't label himself anything else. He would just say, "I know what I am but I can't explain it."
Probably about 2 years afterwards he started dating only women and now another 2 years later I kind of understand him.

I had a friend like that in high-school. I fawned over him for years as he was what I considered my first 'boyfriend'. But just like others here, I was simply projecting all thie things I wanted him to be onto him and our 'relationship'. Skip forward 20 years and he's happily married with kids.

We've talked about everything that went on between us back then... and to this day he says he isn't nor ever was 'gay'. To put it his way, "At that age I was just 'sexual', I didn't care what sex I was having sex with as long as I was having sex."

Although he thoroughly confused me in high school, I understand him perfectly now.
posted by matty at 7:55 AM on July 8, 2008

Everyone is bi to some degree. Including James.
posted by mpls2 at 8:03 AM on July 8, 2008

What Punctual said. To me this isn't a sexuality issue, it's a "he's jerking you around" issue.

James is teasing you and playing a cat-and-mouse game. Even if he were to come out of the closet tomorrow, he's not good relationship material. If James were Jacqueline, I'd tell you the same thing. This person is playing you like a yo-yo and will suck you down a never-ending quicksand of drama, because HE needs help. James needs a therapist and to do some work on himself; he's not going to be a good partner to anyone until he does this.

Hot, cute guys are a dime a dozen. Find a healthy, kind, hot, cute guy who is not into jerking people around.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:11 AM on July 8, 2008

In complete agreement with Punctual ...

It doesn't matter if he's gay or straight or bi. You could make up a million "crazy" stories in your head to justify his behavior, and every single one of those stories could be 100% correct - but it wouldn't matter. He isn't treating you very well. And you don't deserve it - if anyone should be trying to justify his jerky behavior, it's him and not you.

And you being honest with him wasn't wrong. I think it's awesome that you were honest - that isn't what made this situation all messed up, it's that boy's behavior that is messed up, and honestly, he would be jerking you around either way.

You get over him the same as you would if you were "in a relationship" - lots of good advice around here on how to do that. (Sorry, I am late for a meeting and running short!)

You don't deserve to be hurting. It's not your fault.
posted by KAS at 8:12 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Perhaps this is metaphorically you focusing on a tree whilst leaving behind the forest ... I've known many Jameses too (the guy who was in all my classes, flirted with me, and then made out with me after telling me he wasn't interested, and kept writing me letters years afterward; the guy who invited me into his bed after i'd shared some deep, scary shit about my sexual past; you get the idea ...).

I moved on from these guys simply by focusing my energy and attention elsewhere. Let this James and other Jameses you meet be themselves, not who or what you want them to be. Frankly, i think it is funny and cute when guys who would otherwise be str8 feel comfortable enough to indulge themselves in queerplay. However, it crosses a line when a truly queer person become smitten, and now that James knows your feelings are deeper than friendly playful flirting, and has made it clear he isn't interested in you in the ways you are interested in him, it's time to stop giving him so much weight and attention.

You said he's going away soon? Perfect time to go out, celebrate, and really shake things up in your world!! Be the change you want to see. Queer boys of the type you're most likely looking to date (and build a relationship with) are hiding in the unlikeliest of places at times, it's up to you to refocus your vision, try new things you've never done before (safely, and within reason) and see who you meet! (The more hippie version of the "go get laid" advice others have made here).

You sound confident, friendly, thoughtful, and willing to be adventurous. Use those and your other assets to your advantage, there are plenty of queer boys out there waiting to bump into a guy like you!!
posted by kuppajava at 8:14 AM on July 8, 2008

If I could favorite the reply from KAS more than once, I would. You didn't ask us if he was gay; it doesn't matter if he is or isn't or anything in between. You asked us how to move on.

I think you can do that by realizing that James isn't good for you. You are in a fragile state of mind and heart right now. You don't need to be rejected by him and then get a series of come-ons and physical intimacies. There's nothing wrong with you, and James isn't treating you in a very respectful or mature way for a "friend."

Take the time while James is away to grieve for awhile, then go out with other friends, go meet new people, go get on with your life.
posted by Robert Angelo at 2:19 PM on July 8, 2008

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