Dear Dr Bill,
I have a question for you which I am sure you have heard a million times.
I started dating a man three months ago, we are both mid 40’s. He spent 20 years married to a woman, although says he always knew he was gay, and the past 7 years in a relationship with a man, they split 6 months ago. He is very full on with me and tells me constantly how fond he is of me, I am fond of him too. Now, my issue is he has a wondering eye, when we see an attractive man he will not just look but he will gawk, this is making me very uncomfortable and I am wondering if he can be as fond of me as he makes out. I understand we all look at attractive people, a quick glance I understand, a gawk I kind of find disrespectful.
I have been around the block a few times and realise how men, not just gay men, can be. I have made it clear that I want a monogamous relationship as I am tired of playing away, it never really works anyway, nor do I want any mind games (way too old). It is now getting to the point where I feel extremely uncomfortable if we go out socialising, and I refuse to go onto the gay scene. When I broach the subject he insists it is in my imagination and that I am being paranoid. I know I am not seeing things, should I just put up with it and continue, put this down to me having trust issues - or cut my losses before I fall too deep, can men like this change?
Thanks for your advice
Gawking at someone is downright rude, and his absolute failure to own up to it and apologize is troubling. Sometimes the gawking is done as a signal that the guy you're with a.) isn't ready to settle down with you or perhaps anyone at this point in time and wants to keep things very casual, or b.) he's letting you know that he thinks he can find someone better, obnoxious as that is. This guy has had seven years at least to be with a man, and probably was having sex with men -- sowing his wild oats, so to speak -- all the time he was married, but maybe he needs time to get over the last guy or doesn't want to risk another relationship, or as they say, "just isn't that into you." [If that's the case, don't feel too bad -- it's happened to me and virtually everyone I know. One guy I dated would not only point out "hot guys" but wind up making out with them. What a pig!]
If you want to keep seeing this guy in hopes his feelings for you will deepen and he'll stop acting like a jerk, at least see other men, too. If this guy just isn't interested in a monogamous relationship with you, then move on. Whoever comes into your life next may be just the ticket!