Can I make gay friends while in a relationship?

#Choices with Momma Kyle
Photo by Nicolas Calzas

Greetings All!

Momma is back…back….back again! It’s nice to see that things are getting more “back to normal” with some relaxing of pandemic guidelines! I’m hoping it’ll give way to an amazing Pride and summer this year! We all need to get out and about; I know I do! This time around we talk about potential deal-breakers, the line between friendship and flirtation, and when to say “boyfriend”. I know it’s been a bit since I’ve written, but hopefully, that’ll be changing in the new year! Please continue to write in! I’d love to hear from you!

Hi Momma,
I’m 25 and have been talking to this guy for almost 2 years now. We haven’t met up yet because of COVID but he is a very sweet person and has been there for me in some difficult times. I just found out we have some differing political views and I would like some advice on how to approach this please and thank you.

Political Pause

Dear Political Pause,

You haven’t met up with him in 2 years in person and this is the deal-breaker we’re concerned about? What makes politics so special as a potential deal-breaker? How long is the list of other topics that you may disagree with? What I’m saying is that I’m inviting you to venture and explore the possibility of continuing this relationship while having a difference of opinion. I do find it impressive that you’ve managed to not find this out for 2 years given the political climate, so kudos! But that also builds on my point. Say 2 years from now you learn he likes dogs and you like cats. Is that a deal-breaker? At what point does it end and are these things really that pivotal in your feelings for another person? I suggest you seek to understand their point of view without judgment. Notice how I did NOT say AGREE but UNDERSTAND. You will of course have the same opportunity to invite him to understand yours. It is through communication, both agreements and disagreements, that we’re able to grow as individuals and grow together in a relationship.

Momma Kyle,
I feel like something that is really missing in my life is having gay friends. I’ve always struggled with making friends with other gay guys without someone crossing the line of flirting or it turning sexual. It’s especially difficult when you have a boyfriend, it almost feels like cheating if you start talking to other gay guys because there’s always this stereotype that it has to be because you fancy them.

Don’t want to be,
Crossing The Line

Photo by G Michael Beigay

Dear Crossing the Line,

 I could be sassy and say, “You’re not missing much!” but I’d be lying. I would say that my strongest gay friendships are that way because of the boundaries I put in place as it relates to “the line”. One way is how you meet gay people in general. If you’re trying to make friends on a dating app, it’s not easy, but it will also blur those lines of friendship and flirtation. Honestly, QBurgh posts all kinds of social events, so start there. In addition, any boyfriend you have, if it makes you more comfortable, should accompany you to any such venue or gathering. This is an opportunity to share something together and integrate with the community and build upon your group of friends. In a relationship, it is ultimately your responsibility to set the cheating boundary and not let anyone cross it. In doing so, it will instill trust from your boyfriend. But I think you need to explore that there are more opportunities to have success in this than obstacles, you need only find the means, and set your boundaries. Also, screw the damn stereotypes. It isn’t cheating unless your intent is to cheat. You’re allowed to have friends, gay or straight. The degree of friendship is your responsibility. And it is also your responsibility to communicate with your boyfriend and be transparent about the nature of those friendships. By remaining honest, there is no need for the shame or guilt. Stop caring so much about what other people say, and do what you like.

Maybe you can give me some advice Momma.
I’m 21 and have started seeing another guy, 18,  who I’m getting on really well with – I feel very comfortable around him already and we keep finding more and more things that work well between us. We’ve only known each other for like 2 weeks and I’m nowhere near asking him to be my boyfriend yet but I wondered how long I should wait? We’ve agreed not to talk to other people at the moment so we can properly explore how things go but I don’t want to move it forward too quickly even though its going really well.

When is it Right?

Dear When is it Right?,

 What does “boyfriend” mean to you? What does it mean to him? Since you’re not talking to anyone else, by some peoples’ definition, you’re already boyfriends! So stop worrying about the label and just keep focusing on building your relationship and growing together. In time, these things will fall into place. When it feels right, have the “what does boyfriend mean to you” conversation with him so you are both aware of those expectations and that will serve to let you know when you’d feel more comfortable saying it or calling him that more regularly. Everyone is different and as products of our experiences, there is no “one size fits all” answer. But if you communicate honestly, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to not hold back your feelings and see where he stands-and give yourselves a chance to meet somewhere in the middle where you’ll both be comfortable.

Ask Momma Kyle your questions

Promise he won’t bite… hard.

Kyle Leotsakos
Kyle Leotsakos works in both healthcare administration and retail. He lives in the Greater Pittsburgh Area with his dog, Zeus. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Business. A NJ native, this is his second time living out in the Pittsburgh area, as he enjoys the mix of city and country it provides. Follow him on Instagram. Ask Kyle for advice here.