Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Girlfriend fears she is hanging on to a closeted boyfriend

Carolyn Hax on

As is watching gay porn but drawing a line at saying "gay."

If you've politically corrected yourself into knots, then make it simple and see the answer in your looking so hard for an answer. Happy, healthy, satisfied couples heading in a mutually agreeable direction just don't agonize over their relationships the way you're picking apart yours.

Let's say for the sake of argument your boyfriend is exactly as straight as his parents want him to be. (Picture the emoji with no mouth. That's me typing this.) How would knowing that status change anything about your relationship as you're living it now, day after typical day?

This very relationship, exactly as you're living it, has set off your alarms. Your impulse to stick with it as you dig for and identify the problem is an admirable one; you're not looking at him or your feelings for him as disposable. However, at some point the exact nature of the problem becomes irrelevant and all that matters is its tenacity.

Problem arises; problem resists your attempts to fix it; problem wins.

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If you're still not ready to leave: Please promise you won't take this conflicted person's word for it (or anyone's) that urges have "never been acted on whatsoever." You can love and sympathize with and even trust someone and still be mindful that people in torment sometimes act selfishly in ways they never otherwise would.


Email Carolyn at, follow her on Facebook at or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group



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