There are those people who just know they are gay from the moment they open their eyes for the first time. Others, are not so fortunate and need some time to figure it out. Some people just feel different and have no frame of reference to tell you why or how. All they can say is that they are different and do not know how to explain it. During the lifetime of these unfortunate souls they are subjected to myriad feelings and thoughts that never go away.
In some situations, these people are able to find support and guidance. They figure out what about them is different either through their own soul searching or through professional help. Sometimes religious avenues can help figure things out. It becomes clear at some point that they are homosexual or transgender or whatever makes them feel different. Once the discovery has been made, he can move on with the growth process and becoming a whole person.
In the cases that he doesn’t get to move on at a healthy rate or something else stunts his emotional growth, he will remain in the closet about his gay status around family members and lifelong friends. These guys may be the nicest guys ever, be responsible, wonderful men capable of carrying on a relationship with another man but not able to show it in public where he might be outed to his family, friends or coworkers.
Not All These Relationships Are Doomed
If you find yourself in a relationship with this type of guy it doesn’t mean you’re doomed from the start. There are ways to help him deal with what he’s feeling and keep you feeling validated as well.
First find out why he is still in the closet. Let him know that it doesn’t matter what it is and you will respect his wishes regardless, but you must know why he keeps his sexual orientation secret. To fully understand and commiserate with him you’ll really need to know what is going on with him.
No Matter What Always Respect His Choices
Always respect his wishes. If you care enough to be in a relationship with him then care enough to protect his privacy as long as he wants you too and that includes after you break up. No matter how bad a breakup can get you should never stoop to those depths. Coming out is a very private and difficult thing. If you love this man you will want it to happen as easily as possible.
Find out if there is anything that he wants you to do specifically. There may be something he needs you to do or say that can help him make his own decisions. He may just need to know what your story is or that you have his back. Find out what you can do personally, if anything, to help him on that moment.
Be patient, open and understanding like you never have before in your entire life. Open your heart as far as you can and accept him for the man he is at that moment. Be there for him no matter how bad he acts. Let him know that you are not going to leave him, and that you are not going to out him under any circumstances. You may have to take a step back in the relationship and ease up on the restrictiveness to give him space and time to think.
Make Coming Out Easier For Him
Discuss any negative behavior he has had in the past when trying to come out. – Go here for 24 awesome ways to come out – If he has tried to come out before and was met with negative behavior and bad feelings it can make him afraid to come out and keep it a secret for longer and longer. Address any negative experiences he has had associated with his sexuality and assure him that you will help him face whatever comes next.
Ultimately, it is his decision and only he can make it. You can be supportive and encouraging but that is as much help as you can provide. Let him know that you are hoping for a public relationship at some point and are willing to help him get there but make it known that is your ultimate goal. It’s only fair to let him know your intentions as well.
This is a hard time in a man’s life and if you don’t feel 100% up to it, you should never make promises you can’t keep or feign an interest that isn’t there. Be honest and let him know your just not the guy he’s looking for.