I am gay (although I don't tell people) and I met a guy a few years ago, who I suspect might be hiding his sexuality. We met through a mutual friend and we very quickly became friends. He is a foreign student who was studying in Scotland and was leaving to go home for the summer only a few months after we met.
He suggested that I could go and meet him in his home country over the summer, which I was delighted about. I though maybe he liked me. We spent a couple of weeks together and just became better friends. Nothing happened.
After the summer he returned to continue studying and we spent more time together. We would walk home from his work each week which took about an hour and we would just talk and talk.
A few months passed, and one night, out of the blue he asked me if I was gay. I was very surprised by this as because I think I am fairly straight acting. So I was honest and said that I am. He then asked me if I liked him. I thought maybe he was wanting to come out to me, and I told him that I do like him. At this point he told me that he was straight, which was pretty disappointing.
The next day, he deleted me as a friend on Facebook, and wouldn't reply to any texts or emails. We didn't speak for 8 months.
So one day, out of the blue around the time he was planning to return to the country to study (after the summer) he added me as a friend again and said we "could talk". Over the next month or two we saw each other a few times. We made polite small talk although things felt pretty awkward. He went away home again (for Christmas this time) and when he came back he asked if he could stay on my couch (he had done this occasionally at first after I'd spent time with him over the previous summer). So he slept on my couch most weekends over the course of four months, and then or a prolonged period of 7 weeks when his lease ran out on his flat - but he was leaving for the summer again so didn't want to renew it. By the time he was leaving to go home, we had become really close agian. Maybe even close than before because I often felt he flirted with me.
On two occasions he described something I said or did as "cute." He was always singing and substituting my name into the lyrics. I started going to the gym and he would comment that I was looking good. Just little things like that.
He would also watch football and rugby matches with me and comment on how muscular some of the players looked.
He has now moved to London, and having not seen him for 3 months, he invited me to go to visit. During the course of my visit, he said several things that I don't know if he meant as flirting. We were walking along and he bought some peanuts. After eating them he said that the peanuts had made him "horny."
I had claimed that the break away to London felt like a mini-holiday. Towards the end of the holiday he said that usually on holiday he would "make-out" with someone. He was looking for something in his backpack and he said "it won't be in this section, that's where I keep my condoms." He constantly asked me about my sexuality, and any time he saw a gay couple holding hands, he would point it out to me and say something like "if you had a boyfriend that could be you." If he saw a gay bar he would say that if I wanted to go in he wouldn't mind and would come with me. Like I said earlier, I am quite straight acting so I don't go into gay bars.
All of these little things just have me wondering if he is confused about his own sexuality. I am older than him. I'm 34 and he is only 22. When he was asking about my sexuality I told him that when I was 23 I had a girlfriend.
The most confusing part of this whole situation, is that over the course of this summer (the period after he left my flat and meeting him in London) he got a girlfriend. She lives abroad so he doesn't get to see and spend time with her.
In between saying the things I mentioned before (which may or may not be flirting), he never stops talking about her, and what they did over the summer. He was quite detailed in telling me about their sexual encounters. He's constantly taking pictures so he can send them to her. He seems to be happy when talking about her, but I wonder if it's possible he is overcompensating by being ultra-macho. His flirting has definitely gotten stronger sine he got a girlfriend, but is talking about his girlfriend him trying to reassure me that he is off-limits? Is he flirting with me just because he is sexually frustrated?
I have never repeated to him that I like him. I love him as a friend. He's an amazing and funny guy... but I'd like there to be more. However, I don't want to lose his friendship again.
What do you think? What should I do?
Confused and Frustrated
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You don't say what country he is from, but I'm wondering if he is from a culture that is extremely anti-gay (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iran, Korea....), which would result in his being very very nervous and uptight about coming out. Another issue here is that he is very young and probably still struggling with his sexual identity. These two added together, along with all the mixed messages, tell me that you are walking into a big ol' mess of a relationship if you try to push the issue.
My advice? Do not initiate an intimate relationship before he gets his head together about who he is. To do otherwise will lead to much misery on your part.
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