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Is this straight / gay love?

Grace wrote:

I am a 35 year old divorced straight woman who's been in a very intense relationship with a 41 year old gay man for nearly three years. We are both very successful, attractive, similar upbringing, values and we work together every day. The first thing we do is "Instant Messenger" each other in the morning, have lunch three times a week and make sure stop by each others offices to say good bye most every evening. That's if we didn't have dinner plans for later that night. From the first moment we met we were each stopped dead in our tracks in "awe" of each other. The "get-lost-in-you-see-your-soul" eye contact, occasional bizarre jealousy, "lovers" quarrels, compatibility continue, but have subsided over the past year or so. We made a consious effort to draw back, thinking we were sort of using each other as a catalyst for a "real" relationship yet experienceing separation anxiety and some saddness as we tried to move on separately.

When we try to "cool off" and move past this connection, we can't. Even if we weren't drawn back together, we would still work together every day. People at work know that we are great friends, but sometimes ask if it isn't really something beyond that. We go to work functions together, he joins me for family events, I join him for his family events. We have an undeniable love for each other some non-sexual but flirtatious level which we have talked about somewhat. He is out to everyone except his family. They are very conservative midwesterners and my friend is obviously not wanting to "upset them" by coming out, especially at their age now.

He has said we should have children together but shy-ed away when I responded positively a few weeks later, saying he was just joking. On other occassions, he has mentioned "giving up the whole gay lifestyle and getting married/having children." He is very straight "acting...butch, and not comfortable with the flamboyant gay scene. He only buys clothes I say I like, ... I could go on but you get the picture.

I have asked him if he thought he might be bi, he adamantly said no, that he has never been with a woman before and doesn't look at women "that way." On several occasions I've noticed him getting physically close and checking me out in a way. I know he feels deeply and is probably very confused. I am a very level headed woman and realize I cannot change a gay man's orientation. But it is what it is. Who knows what draws one person to another.

Dear Grace

You have clearly stepped way beyond friendship with this man, and he knows it. So it's hard to know when he's saying things to avoid hurting you, and when he's saying what he means.

The baby issue is interesting; he's thinking about a partnership, of being a parent - you are thinking about sex.

You may, of course, be right - he may - just may - be harbouruing deep feelings, physical feelings for you. But you've failed to get it out of him so far, and I don't see why that should change. He's as entitled to be mixed up as a straight person, and it';s not for you to push him - or diagnose him; but you know that, and I'm sure you think you are being tactful!

I suspect you've gone three times around the bushes trying to understand his feelings - but I'm willing to bet you never told him yours. I understand - but it just ain't fair!

The world is full of straight men; go get one. Four years ago, maybe you wanted a gay friend in preference to a straight relationship; maybe that's changing. Who knows?

Stop looking for him to change and see if you need to.

Good Luck!

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