When the Man You Think You’re Dating Finds Someone Else


Rejection is something none of us want to deal with, but what happens when it’s the “dream” that’s rejected? When the man you’ve admired finds another guy and seems to be happy (at least from Facebook photos), is it bad to think of it as a breakup?

I admit it. This article is totally about me.

There’s a guy I’ve been seeing in the city. We met at a bar and had a solid connection—after buying him a slice of pizza we ended up keeping in touch for months afterwards. We went on a few dates and really got to like each other, but business kept taking me in and out of town.

We kept in touch of course, often speaking about how much we liked each other and couldn’t wait till I got back in the city; but this week I found out he has a new boyfriend… Did I miss an opportunity? Was I hesitant to push things forward? Am I thinking too hard about it? Taking it too personal?

The truth is this kind of thing happens all the time in the gay dating world. Why? Do gay guys lack courage taking commitment to the next step? Do we purposely delay love because we’re scared of it?

Look, I’m over it (truly I am), but my situation got me thinking about how many guys have been down this road before. It’s not every day you make a great connection with someone, but more often than not we’re scared to jump on it. Again, why?

I’ve had many crushes in my life. Some of them more intense than others, but as I’ve gotten older the word “crush” seems so juvenile. Guys in their late-twenties don’t have crushes—they have lovers. So when the man you’ve been talking to for months and gone on several dates with gets a boyfriend, is it safe to say you were cheated on?

The rules of dating are blurred. Personally I believe when you’re dating you ought to date more than one person at a time—until it’s official at least. You shouldn’t invest yourself in one person when both of you know you want to mingle.

But when is the moment you have the talk: the conversation where you both say, “Yes. It’s official. I want you. No one else, so… let’s be boyfriend-boyfriend?”

We’re left to assume he feels the same way about us. At the same time, our culture pressures us to find multiple suitors—some of my friends date four or five guys at the same time until the duds filter away. While I support seeing what’s out there, when you find true connection what more do you need?

The fact is you’re never someone’s boyfriend until you make it official. Dating has no rules, but what it does have is investment. We give so much of ourselves to a guy we think we have a future with because all we’re thinking about is the dream rather than focusing on what is being built.

I don’t blame him for finding someone else. I wasn’t in the city long enough to build something substantial with him, but at the same time I was foolish to believe that he’d wait for me. Dreaming isn’t a bad thing, but it can be dangerous.

We all date hoping to find love, and it starts with infatuation. It’s okay to be infatuated by a man while you’re going on dates with him, but should we be devastated if he ends up finding someone else when we never truly made it official in the first place?

Originally published at GayGuys.com

David Artavia


David is an award-winning journalist and editor at The Advocate, Plus, and Chill magazines. His work also appears at Pride.com and OutTraveler. He lives in Los Angeles where he lives vicariously through his friends.

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