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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Trust a Gut

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I'm a 21-year-old bisexual male on the edge of what might be a potential relationship with a guy I really like who goes to the same college as me. We met online in November and went on two dates before leaving for winter break. We proceeded to talk to each other every day of break. When the new quarter started I went over to his house and we had sex for the first time. It was my first time being with a guy and he was super GGG. We ended up spending that whole day together and continued seeing each other. Recently our communication has been lagging since we are both busy college students, but I felt like I was the one initiating the few conversations we've recently had. I was afraid of losing him so I asked him if I should take a hint. He said that he hasn't had time to think about things and doesn't know what he wants right now. He said he needs to think about what he wants to do with himself and doesn't want to lead me on. I told him he already had. He apologized and said he understood how I could think that, but also said that he had never directly stated he had feelings for me. I don't expect to be a priority and have let him know that he shouldn't feel obligated to talk to me unless he wants to talk to me. I feel like I've screwed things up by coming across as a psycho and have damaged my chances of dating him. I would be fine if we kept things casual, but I just don't know how else to handle this situation. What do I do?

Boyfriend Interrupted

My response after the jump...

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You don't mention prior relationships with either women or men, BI, so I'm going to assume that you're not only new to man-on-man sex, but new anyone-on-anyone relationships as well. Because inexperience is the only charitable explanation for your failure to recognize that you were being dumped. The boy didn't dump you in clear and unambiguous terms, probably because he's inexperienced himself, but he dumped you just the same. Allow me to translate:

"I just needed time to think about things." = "I was hoping you wouldn't call."

"I don't know what I want." = "I don't know what I do want but I do know what I don't want: You."

"I don't want to lead you on." = "I don't have the balls to break up with you in clear and unambiguous terms because I'm afraid of hurting you and I'm a coward so I'm gonna say things like 'I don't know what I want' and 'I just need time to think about things' and hope you'll connect the dots sometime after you're out of my apartment but you'll probably wind up thinking you still have a chance with me for weeks or months and then when you finally do realize that it's actually over—or when someone explains to you that it's actually over—the hurt will be much, much worse for you."

So what do you do, BI?

Don't call him, don't text him, and don't be too angry with him. You dated for a month, you had sex once, and then he realized—for whatever reason—that you weren't the right guy for him. That happens. Dating is equal parts audition and discovery process. He auditioned for you and the more you discovered about him, BI, the more you liked him. You auditioned for him... and, well, he didn't feel the same way. Rejection sucks, I realize (because I've been there), but it's unavoidable and shit like "I don't know what I want" only makes it worse. So when it's your turn to dump someone—when someone fails your audition—be honest and straightforward. Don't do to anyone else what this guy just did to you. Don't be a coward, don't speak in code, don't leave him or her or zim or zer or them or zem nursing false hopes.

One final thing to do, BI: trust your gut. Your gut was telling you to take the hint and guess what? Your gut was right. Listen to your gut next time. It's the great dot connector.

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