DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been going out with this sweet guy from my high school for a year now. During coronoavirus, everything got weird because we haven’t been able to see each other. During one of our many “talks” on Snapchat, he told me that he doesn’t want to date anymore because he’s gay. What? Never in all the time that we have been together has he done anything to make me think he is gay.
I’m shocked. It’s not that I have an issue with gay people, but how could I not have known? We used to spend so much time together. He was so respectful. We were close, but he never tried to make me have sex with him. I thought that was him being a gentleman. Now my whole sense of how to know if somebody really likes me like that is wrecked. I thought I was in love with him only to find out none of it was true. I am so mad, but I don’t know what to say or do. -- Duped
DEAR DUPED: I’m sorry that your boyfriend did not turn out to be the guy for you. It sounds like you two are friends and possibly even close. It also sounds like he has been grappling with questions about his identity. Perhaps this time of quarantine helped him come to terms with who he is in a more profound and direct way. Unfortunately, it has impacted you, and you are hurt. That’s understandable.
Talk this out with him. Ask him to share his thoughts, feelings and experiences with you. What happened to make him realize that your relationship needed to be different?
Also, please know that it is possible for you to find someone who cares deeply for you who will not try to force you to do anything that you do not want, and who will take it slow. Straight boys can be gentlemen, too.
As it relates to this young man, tell him how you feel. He bears some responsibility for supporting you through this breakup and time of awakening for him. It may be possible for you to remain friends as you transition the nature of your relationship.