Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote
and How To Know Love
By Angelo Pezzote, MA, LMFT, NCC
This guy has a boyfriend. The other day we were hanging out and fooled around. He got into a fight with his BF about it but they're still together. I don't want to be a home wrecker but am still interested in this guy. What do I do?
Signed, Young and Confused
Dear Young and Confused,
It's frustrating to have a crush on someone who is taken. Ask him if he is in an open relationship. If so, it would be important to know how committed he is to his partner. Is he just looking for fun or is he thinking of breaking up? If it's fun, don't have expectations for something more. If he's breaking up, will you be the rebound? Talk about things with him.
If he is not in an open relationship, we as gay men we need to respect each other's relationships. If a guy says he has a BF it is too often taken in as meaningless data. Suddenly he becomes more desirable because we cannot have him. Then it becomes about our egos trying to get him. We may think - if I can steal him it proves I am great. Our self-esteem gets a big boost. Well, if we truly felt good about ourselves, we would not need to do this. We would not choose a person who is cheating on his BF with us. Why? Because- won't he do the same to us? What is a person's character like who cheats? Is this who you want for a partner? Do you want to be second best? Think of taming a wild horse. You might think you'll be the special one to tie him down. But be careful here. Respect yourself and find someone available to give you 100% of the love you deserve.
I am currently seeing two guys and I dearly love them both. Sometimes I wonder why. Both of them have a loving side to them, then comes the evil side. How do I know If I'm loved? What I am suppose to do?
Signed, Somewhat Helpless
Dear Somewhat Helpless,
We do have the capacity to love more than one man at a time in different ways. It is the same as being able to love more than one friend at a time and more than one family member. But romantically, eventually one wins out over the other. We can only be fully in-love with one person at a time. That part of your question does not strike me as such a concern. (Unless you're avoiding real intimacy with either man by splitting your attention between them.)
But the fact that you're asking why you love Jeckle and Hyde type men is a clue that there is an issue. Because of their pattern of switching from good to "evil," I am compelled to inform you of the cycle of abuse. The abusive partner starts by being loving (honeymoon phase). Then it's business as usual. Next is tension building. Abuse erupts. Then he says sorry and makes promises. The cycle then repeats and the honeymoon phase begins again. You may be in an emotionally, verbally or physically abusive relationship. You are not alone or helpless. Take your power and seek resources on domestic abuse in your community. Speak to your GLBT Center, spiritual leader or professional counselor.
Healthy relationships have problems too, but they do not feel bad overall. You feel loved when you are valued. When there is equal concern and respect for each other's happiness. When you can talk safely and openly about your needs, are listened to and supported. When there is trust and commitment. When problems are worked on and solved. Good love doesn't feel bad.
Angelo Pezzote, MA, LMFT, NCC
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