DEAR AMY: I am a gay man and am having a horrible time coming out to my mother. I have an amazing boyfriend; I love him, but it hurts not being able to tell her that I am gay.
She thinks that I am trying to "pray away the gay."
She is religious and it scares me because we are close, and I don't want to lose her.
I lose sleep over this because part of me thinks she knows and is in denial. I don't try to hide it, but when I'm around her I take extra measures like changing the background photo on my phone to a random picture.
I don't know what to do. I want to be honest, but I don't want to lose my mom because of her religion.
Desperate to Come Out
DEAR DESPERATE: Your mother might realize you're gay and is making her choice to ignore it. In this sense, you are both holding on to a version of you that is part fiction.
You should try to help your mother along -- and you can start by not overtly lying to her.
Don't deliberately hide aspects of yourself when you are with her. Keep a photo of you and your guy on your phone's home screen, if that's what is normally there.
Introduce your boyfriend to her, but use neutral terminology for now.
If your mother is so religious that she cannot accept you being gay, then you should be able to at least count on her "forgiving" you for your transgression against humanity.
I realize that being forgiven for a crime you haven't committed is several steps below authentic acceptance, but this may be the best she can do, in which case your job will be to forgive her for her frailties and failings. Ultimately, if she can't accept you, it is not her religion's responsibility -- it is hers.
DEAR AMY: I have been seeing my boyfriend for a year and a half. We have a great relationship. He has joint custody of his child, and we get along.
He has his own place, and I live with a roommate.
I want to move in together, but he doesn't. He says that because of the horrible end to his marriage (more than eight years ago), he promised to never again put himself in the position of living with someone and getting burned. He says he loves me and wants me in his life forever but cannot ever see us living together.
He is faithful. I don't want a part-time boyfriend for the rest of my life, but he says he isn't sure if it will change. He wants his space a few days a week and is happy the way things are.
What should I do?
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Your guy is happy the way things are, and many people would find this living situation ideal. Blending a full-time partner into a family that is clicking along on its own is challenging. Exposing himself and his child to a full-time relationship creates some vulnerability for both of them.
This is a "take it or leave it" proposition. I hope you will continue to enjoy this relationship. But realize that if you want a full-time partner, you will have to find him elsewhere.
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