Gay Dating Expert: Toxic Relationship

Dear GDE,

I met my (ex?)-boyfriend of 9 months in Australia shortly before his 1-year visa expired. That time was a highlight of my life so far (I’m 23 and this is my first big love; he’s 30, and has been married before for a long period). Soon after, we had the exclusivity talk, made plans to move to NZ (where we both happened to have working rights for a time period) and go from there to start something together. After six weeks apart with him returning to Europe temporarily, I met him there. Feeling suspicious, I snooped on his phone and found sex-date texts. He admitted to them, but in the same breath said he wants to have an open relationship with me. I was shattered, but he eventually compromised and we made up.

Some time afterwards though, the open monster loomed again and after regaining my trust, he told me a month later (after much fishing) that he hooked up with a guy he met at a club while I was there, in the room we were staying in. I was hurt, confused and anxious. After another heated argument about monogamy, I decided to do some field research and try out my feelings with a random hook-up: I didn’t much care for it.

Since then, mostly from my side, it’s been unpleasant and distrusting. He saw how much “that one night” bothered me but never reassured me. Cheating was a conscious decision for me; I took ownership of it, whilst he always blamed alcohol or our arguments. He even still has the other guy on Facebook, sometimes getting likes. I found him very deflective: we ended up having bigger fights about me telling my friends about the sexting or how negative I became about our relationship post-cheating than about the issues themselves.

My “negativity” about the cheating is now the reason for the end of our relationship. He’s an excellent manipulator, and I obsess. Our plans have since been cancelled, but we both agree that we have a special connection. Is this worth pursuing, or is it just too messed-up (from both sides)?

Dazed & Confused

Dazed & Confused

Walk away, you have the bench marks for a toxic relationship. You want a faithful relationship and he wants an open relationship, and will tell you he will be faithful to end an argument and still go off with other guys behind your back creating the anxiety.

There is nothing wrong with a faithful relationship, and there is nothing wrong with an open relationship, however there is something very wrong with lying.

Chalk this relationship up as an experience, move on with your life. At this moment in time neither of you are going to change, and you both should move on. Put it down as a holiday romance, savour the good parts and realise that it wasn’t to be.

Give yourself a couple of years before reconnecting as a friend with him, if that’s what you want, anything shorter will only cause the ill feeling to bubble up.

The key indicator that a relationship is over is when people lie and when you talk to friends about your partners inadequacies and bad traits rather than talking to the partner in question.

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Gay Dating Expert: HIV Disclosure

Gay Dating Expert

Dear GDE

I met a guy, we dated slept together after a couple of dates and got into a rhythm of being in a relationship. Four months down the line he announced that he’s been HIV+ for five years. I went into melt down, although we’ve practiced mainly safe sex we didn’t when giving and receiving oral. I feel he should have told me before we slept together. I’ve had a test and I’m negative, but we’ve only met up for coffee a couple of times since, he was very worried when I went for the test, which made me thing he’d realized I’d been put at risk.

Is there a legal guideline about disclosure?

Name Withheld

Some people disclose at different times, however I personally feel it should before sex to give the choice. No matter how safe you are, something could happen and the person could be put at risk. It’s a very emotive issue, and I can appreciate that someone with HIV would want to be identified as a person before being identified as a chronic illness.

I don’t know which country you live in and I’m not a lawyer, however if you want to get the black and white legal aspect I suggest you speak with your local HIV advice center.

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Gay Dating Expert: Gift Buying

Gay Dating Expert

Dear GDE

I’m in a wonderful relationship, with a fantastic guy, we’ve been together nearly 3 years, living together for the last year, and life is excellent. My only issue is present buying, we are buying each other things all the time, if we see something the other will like we’ll get it, we both have good jobs and a disposable income. But, I think birthdays should just a token thing and making a nice day of things, my partner feels it’s important to shower me with gifts. We had a discussion about it last year, my birthday is a couple of days after his, and we decided that we’d do a joint event to celebrate and booked a cabin in the mountains for a couple of weeks, the first week would be just us and the second we’d invite friends up to celebrate our birthdays and kick back together. To me that was a great gift to give each other, however he went and bought a load of presents for me on top. This made me feel as though I’d not done enough for him. He put me at ease, but I could tell he was hurt that I didn’t reciprocate, and a few mutual friends commented on it.

We’re a couple of months off doing the cabin again this year, everyone enjoyed it last time and we thought we’d make it a regular event. Again we’ve agreed not to do presents, and keep it to booking the cabin and having a romantic time. However, this weekend while I was clearing out the garage I found a stash of presents hidden in the back of the jeep we use for the summer, he’s obviously stock piling for me again. I’m touched that he’s doing it, but don’t want to go down the raft of feelings I did last year. What should I do?

Brandon P


Some people like to buy gifts, and some people like to receive them. Ultimately this isn’t some life threatening issue, it sounds as though you have the funds and live a good life style. Enjoy the moment get him a handful of presents, you don’t have to buy out Tiffany, just a couple of hours down the Mall, a nice main gift and a few fripperies, perhaps get some outdoorsy things that you can use while at the cabin.

It would seem silly to great anxiety and stress for yourself over a small thing.

Gay Dating Expert: “He wont sleep with me!”

Dear GDE

I moved into a new shared house, it’s a large house and very gay, full of beary looking guys, cubs, otters and it’s like living on a porn film, with scantily clad guys walking around, the mornings at the weekend are wonderful when the one night stands have breakfast or brunch together on Sunday. We’re all single or just playing the dating field. I’ve been living here for a few months and I have fallen for one of my housemates, he’s very attractive, gym body covered with fur, and a interchangeable beard or goatee beard. He’s always bringing someone home for the night, and even though I know he’s not a serious contender for a boyfriend I still want to sleep with him. I’ve tried to make a move on him, but he refuses to go down that route. I’ve bought a selection of guys home to make him jealous, but he doesn’t react. I even chatted up one of his one nighters, and could have stolen his trick from him, but it still didn’t change things. The guys he brings back look like me, I am more of an otter, bearded and a little hairy but I have an athletic build rather than a body builders physique. I have been so frustrated that he won’t sleep with me.

Last night he bought home another guy, I was with the rest of the guys in the living room it was movie night, drinking beer, eating pizza and ice cream. They spent a little time with us before disappearing to his room. It was then I asked my housemates why he wouldn’t sleep with me. They all replied that it was because he liked me too much, he’d like to date me but while I was going through the fling phase he didn’t want me to be a notch in the bedpost!

So, my question is, how do I put this right. I love living where I am, and I really like this guy, but I don’t know if it’s just a physical thing or an emotional thing. Living in this house is like having a conveyor belt of guys parading through, I really like this for me at this moment. I know it won’t last forever, but there is something about this guy which garners my attention

What can I do?

Nathaniel H


It sounds like you are enjoying your housemates and where you are living at the moment, there is nothing wrong with playing the field. It sounds as though there is a lot of game playing going on surrounding you and this guy. Why not ask him out on a date, or a beer to have a conversation, away from the house with just the two of you. It may well clear the air and perhaps put things into perspective for you both. It doesn’t sound as though you want to leave the house or your current lifestyle dynamic at the moment, so I am not suggesting the two of you hook up and disappear into the horizon or married bliss. If he has a thing for you in one sense and you have a thing for him in another it could be toxic for the two of you to get together at this moment of time. However ceasing the game playing between the two of you could alleviate the pressure build up between you.

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