He sent a beautiful bouquet for my birthday last month, arranging for its arrival the day I returned home from SE Asia. He’s accompanied me to dress-up events, donning his Armani tuxedo with pleasure. He’s the epitome of a gentleman at these events, offering his arm to escort me, taking my coat and fetching it from the coat check, holding my chair to seat me, making sure my drink is never low, dancing when I want and schmoozing with my business associates, even ones I know he doesn’t like. He keeps himself buff, is current on world affairs, is respected as a thought leader, is generous with charitable contributions.
So why isn’t he my full time beau?
He’s gay. Not bisexual.
The other day another gay friend asked if I’d ever fallen for a gay man thinking he was straight. Yes, in high school my regular “beau” for two years was an attentive, well-dressed, fun guy who came out after going off to college. I can’t say I was surprised as we never shared more than a peck kiss, but he was so much of what I wanted in a boyfriend I overlooked the obvious signs that everyone else gladly pointed out to me.
I asked my friend why he asked the question. He said a lot of women fall for gay men because they are often so much of what the women want. There are exceptions, of course, but the gay men I know tend to be well groomed, take care of their bodies, are considerate, communicative, affectionate, smart, accomplished, witty and funny. What’s not to fall for? In fact, some women think they would make the perfect boyfriend if you’re not interested in sex. The women say they would look the other way while he gets his physical needs met and she gets her emotional, social, intellectual and some physical needs met, like cuddling.
While I’m very fond of my gay “boyfriend” I’m not delusional that it is anything but friendship that he’s expressing. The movie “The Object of My Affection” portrays the situation where Nina (Jennifer Aniston) falls for her friend George (Paul Rudd) fully knowing he’s gay. He is everything her jerk ex-boyfriend is not: communicative, affectionate, able to express his caring for her, nurturing and cooperative. He moves in with her after his boyfriend breaks up with him. Watching them take dance lessons you see the chemistry between them. But her heart breaks when she has to confront the fact that she has fallen in love with a man who can never love her the way she wants to be loved.
So if you have men in your life who you know aren’t available to you, make sure you keep your wits about you and don’t read into their thoughtful behaviors as more than friendship. Just appreciate who they are and love them like a brother.
If you’d like to explore who you want in your next partner, download your copy of In Search of King Charming: Who Do I Want to Share My Throne?