Falling For A Gay Guy Taught Me A Lot About How I Love

They say you can’t help who you love, and I definitely believe that’s true. What other explanation is there for why I fell for a gay guy who I had no chance of ever being with? While the situation ended about as well as you would expect, it wasn’t all bad news. Here’s what I learned from catching feelings for a guy who only dates other men:

  1. No, I REALLY can’t control who I love. Love can come up at any time, any place, and it’s not always convenient. Obviously it would have been much easier and a lot less painful if I’d developed feelings for someone I actually had a chance with, but hey, crap happens.
  2. It’s not the same as being attracted to women. When I confided in a female friend about my feelings for him, she said it was like I was into women. Um, no. I hate the idea that there’s such a ridiculous stereotype of gay men being super feminine and girly. They’re not — at least not all of them. They’re men.
  3. Just because I get along well with a guy doesn’t mean he should be my boyfriend. I think what made me feel things for this guy was that we were getting to know each other and we had lots in common. We really got along well on the most basic level, which is such a rare experience with a guy that it automatically had me thinking that we should take things one step further and be romantic partners.
  4. People are so judgmental about love. It’s scary how some people judged me for my feelings. Some said I didn’t have any self-respect for loving him, while others said I’d have to try to “turn him straight.” It was terrible. I didn’t want to change him, but I knew if I didn’t deal with my feelings, they would cause chaos.
  5. My ego sometimes gets in the way. My feelings were too strong — I couldn’t seem to turn them off, even though I knew it was never going to go any further. The bigger they grew, the more I started to wonder if perhaps he could feel something for me. He then confessed that he did, which spurred me on more. I started to believe we could have a relationship despite his sexual orientation. (I think I watch way too many rom-coms for my own good.)
  6. Human relationships are so damn complex. This guy taught me that just because someone has feelings for me, it doesn’t mean that they want to have a relationship with me. Emotions are complicated, as is sexuality. Just because he felt a connection to me on a deeper level didn’t mean he wanted to be my boyfriend. It took me a long time to understand that — probably too long, in fact.
  7. Some relationships are worth fighting for. I couldn’t be friends with this guy anymore because of our feelings. He was able to push his aside, but I wasn’t. I completely cut him out of my life for my own good, but then I missed his friendship so much that I knew I’d made a horrible mistake.
  8. Love gets in the way and it’s stupid. I learned that sometimes love gets in the way of things that can be just as beautiful, such as a deep, real friendship. I threw that all away and it felt like it had been a selfish thing to do. Really, besides sex, this guy could have offered me most of the other things I was looking for in his friendship, but that wasn’t enough for me. Ugh.
  9. I let myself lose faith in guys, and that was wrong. I think one of the reasons why I’d fallen for this guy was because I’d been in a jaded place for a while. I was sick of dealing with straight guys who were always hurting me or who only wanted one thing but never anything real. I guess this guy appealed to me because he was gentle and caring, and sex was obviously off the table so I knew he was really into me for who I was.
  10. Torturing myself isn’t going to change the outcome. I couldn’t fix the situation. I had to learn a huge lesson here: I can’t control anyone or fix them. I can’t make people feel the same way I do, no matter how hard I love them. Sometimes it’s not even about me, it’s just the way things are.
  11. It’s better to pick yourself up and move on than to waste time on something that’s not meant to be. I wasted months pining for this guy. I should have been running after someone else who wasn’t emotionally and physically unavailable, someone who would have been able to give me what I needed. At the end of it, I was just left with hurt feelings, a bruised ego and one less friend. What was the point?
  12. I was a commitment-phobe for a while. At the time, I really think I was dealing with commitment issues. A string of bad relationships had left me cynical about love and also fearful of falling in love with yet another man who would hurt me. By loving a guy who could never be mine, it was a way to guard my heart, but it also made me miss out on awesome relationships I could have had!
  13. I know better now than to take rejection too hard. I felt really hurt and rejected by this guy, but the experience taught me I shouldn’t take rejection so seriously. It wasn’t personal. I couldn’t give him what he needed and vice versa. We were just on different paths and we wanted different things. That was nobody’s fault and I certainly shouldn’t have felt that there was something wrong with me. Love can happen anywhere, but it’s what I do with it that counts — and I definitely should have put a plug on this one.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.