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October 4, 1999   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I have such a problem right now. I was dating this totally amazing guy for a while. We were great together. Always got along, never fought. I told him things that I have never told anyone before. Things that were very personal because I could trust him. We talked about going away together. We talked about marriage and children. We even picked out names, although prematurely we did because we were so close and talked about everything. He has to be the nicest guy I've ever met. He's always there for me. He always says how much he cares and that he would never do anything to hurt me, because he didn't want to be like the other guys I had been with.

Recently our relationship went just slightly farther. We talked about how we were both virgins ( I being 18 and he 19). He said how he had never done anything with a girl. Never had a girlfriend. I was his first girlfriend and the first girl he had ever kissed. We didn't actually "make love" but we did fool around in other ways. Ways that I have never done before. Things that I thought I wouldn't do, but for him I would do anything. He meant the world to me and I loved and still love him so much. He was like no one I had ever met.

Now since yesterday we aren't together anymore because of what he told me. Surely he had never slept with a girl, never had a girlfriend and never kissed a girl. Because he's gay. He has slept with guys, had boyfriends and kissed guys. I feel so betrayed. I put all of my faith in him. I haven't stopped crying because I feel so hurt. He told me that he understands how it feels because it's happened to him before. The thing is if he understands then why would he do this to me? After everything he knew I had already gone through. He even told me that certain singers I like are gay and that it was gross. Now he told me that he thought it was funny because he also likes the same singers.

I felt I could trust him, and I did. Now I feel like I can never trust anyone again. I feel like I can never date anyone again for fear of being betrayed. He said we can still be friends and I want that because he's amazing, but it hurts so much to know that I did things with him and the whole time he was gay. He told me he thought I could change him, but he guesses that he's just gay. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I really don't know what to do. I feel like I'm in a really bad dream, and I just want to wake up. The worst part is that I still love him so much. Please help me.


Dear Betrayed,

Oh, oh, oh. To find out that it's not that he doesn't like you, it's that he doesn't like ... any of you? Ow, ow, ow. I understand that you feel completely betrayed. I do. But let me just say a few things that might make a difference. See, the whole "Am I Gay?" thing can be a source of extreme confusion torment -- especially because our world is still not all that hospitable to gay people, unless they are singers. Seems like he was fighting his feelings, and you -- without your consent -- were helping. Like, without realizing it, being the guy behind the guy in the boxing ring. Patting his shoulders and saying, "No, man, you're totally straight, see?" This does not mean that he did -- or does -- not love you. It was not entirely honest or considerate, but I think he was struggling and doing his best.

Look, I'm not trying to get you to say, "Oh, I see, Breakup Girl, I totally understand and I forgive him and his life must be so hard and I'm not hurt anymore." But I am trying to get to not to say -- or believe, anyway -- things like "I can never trust anyone again." This will hurt for a while, you will miss him for a while, something awful. But this is and was just him. This is not How Guys Are, or How Gays Are, or anything. This is how complicated this whole love and sex and trust and "orientation" thing can be. So wait on the "friends" thing until the pain dulls a bit. Then, when you're ready to move on -- and if you're ready to let him back in -- betcha he'll be glad to be the one patting your shoulders and saying, "Go girl!"

Breakup Girl



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