Dating in the closet

It's this terrible thought at the back of your head that just nags at you incessantly.

The conversation will be going along swimmingly. He's a cute guy and seems genuinely interested. He may even seem like Mr. Right. But then I remember, and it gnaws at me.

At some point, I'll have to tell him the truth: I haven't come out.

This is definitely a deal-breaker for a lot of guys. They don't want to have to handle that kind of baggage. Too much running and hiding, to be sure.

Or they'll take it as an insult. 'Why are you running from who you are?' they'll say. 'Is it because you hate being gay?'

I don't begrudge openly gay folks for feeling this way. If I'd gone through the whole difficult process of coming out, I don't know if I'd want to jump into a relationship with someone who'd always be looking over his shoulder. Always suffering from paranoia on date night about someone he knows spotting him in a restaurant, bar or movie theater. Unable to meet his family, and fully become part of his life.

I realize that the closet is not an optimal place for dating. No one said it would be. All the same though, the situation sucks and is contributing to my severe case of FOMO.

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is a common malady among millennials, and I am no exception. I want to experience all of the good things and fun times I see happening all around me, all the time, thanks to social media.

This is especially true of the awesome, yet regularly demonized, gay lifestyle (you know something's probably awesome when it's being demonized, especially by Evangelicals). I want a relationship and constantly fear that I'll never get one.

In a weird way, my FOMO is a good thing. It's driving me to do new things and interact with new people. Who knows? Maybe, I'll get a meaningful relationship out of it.

But I know that no matter what, my status on the down low is going to be an issue for Mr. Right, and when that day comes I'll have to make a decision. In many respects, dating in the closet is not sustainable for a relationship, especially one that's long-term. I know that in my heart of hearts when I meet Mr. Right, I'll have to come out of the closet.

But until that day happens (right after Hell freezes over) I'll still be dreading that awkward conversation when looking for a date.



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