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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